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The Safety Brief. News on Regulations, Events and More

The October Issue

September brought in rustling leaves and chilly days, but the new season also kicked off with some interesting safety news. In case you've missed the headlines, here a collection of the most notable safety events and initiatives from September.

1.       NIOSH celebrates Respiratory Protection Week

NIOSH celebrated 100 years of respiratory protection by creating the first Respiratory Protection Week. The week of 3-6th September marked the passing of a century since the US Department of Mines initiated the first respirator program in the US. On this occasion, NIOSH introduced new materials about the history of respiratory protection, as well as new guides for PAPR selection.

Explore the new NIOSH-approved materials, here.

2.       OSHA adds new respiratory fit testing protocols

OSHA issued a final rule approving two additional quantitative fit testing protocols to the appendix A of the Respiratory Protection standard.

·         The modified ambient aerosol condensation nuclei counter (CNC) for full-facepiece and half-mask elastomeric respirators.

·         The modified ambient aerosol CNC quantitative fit testing for filtering facepiece respirators.

The new rules provide employers with additional options for fit testing respirators, so testing can be performed faster. They apply to employers in general industry, shipyard employment, and the construction industry. They do not render non-compliance and are effective September 26th, 2019.

The final rule, here.

3.       HSE launches hand-arm vibration calculator

The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has launched a calculator to help estimate and record workers’ exposure to hand-arm vibration (HAVS). The calculator compares workers’ exposures to the levels specified in the regulations, as part of an HAV risk assessment.

The tool includes a drop-down menu of vibration magnitudes for common tools from the HSE’s HAV database. This can be used to make cautious estimates of exposure before representative in-use data for specific tools is available.

4.       OSHA gets new construction director

The US Department of Labor announced that it has chosen Scott Ketcham as director of OSHA's Directorate of Construction (DOC). Ketcham served in various roles at OSHA, including deputy regional administrator, area director, assistant area director, compliance officer, and manager. He retired after a 24-year career in the US Army, where he was a staff industrial hygienist for five years. Source, here.

5.       Worker fatigue, a “serious issue” in construction

Over one-third of UK workers in this sector spend an excess of 50h a week at work, according to a survey by the Considerate Constructors Scheme. 58% say that feeling tired affects their productivity at work, while half are unaware of the regulations on worker fatigue.

By the way, go check out our article on how to reduce worker fatigue.

These findings lay the foundation of “Spotlight on…worker fatigue”, a campaign meant to raise awareness of the health and safety risks associated with this issue. More details, here.

6.       Fall protection still first in top 10 OSHA violations

OSHA announced its preliminary list of Top 10 Most Cited Violations in 2019 at the National Safety Council Congress and Expo. For the 9th consecutive year, Fall protection – General Requirements is OSHA’s most frequently cited standard. The list has largely remained the same, with Lockout/Tagout moving from the 5th place to the 4th, trading places with Respiratory Protection.

7.       Honeywell Miller Fall Protection celebrated 75 years

Honeywell Miller celebrated 75 years of expertise and safety knowledge with a patriotic AirCore harness design with stars and stripes. Explore the campaign in this video, here.