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Knowledge at Work - UL Workplace Health & Safety

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Workplace Health & Safety News

Increase in transportation fatalities reminder of need for highway safety

February 21, 2014 - Posted by Editorial Team

Transportation fatalities in the United States increased by 3 percent in 2012 compared to 2011, a reminder of the need for heightened attention to highway safety, according preliminary figures from the National Transportation Safety Board. Transportation fatalities in all modes totaled 35,531 in 2012. Although marine, aviation and pipeline-related deaths declined, highway and rail fatalities increased.

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Transferable skills make a difference in job search by occupation, study shows

February 21, 2014 - Posted by Editorial Team

Understanding the relationship between industry types and occupational skills may provide important insights into workers’ ability to cope with job loss, according to Beyond the Numbers, a new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Using the Herfindahl-Hirschman index and industry quotients to measure occupational specialization by industry, the study found differences in industry staffing patterns may affect workers’ ability to respond effectively and flexibly to changes in the economy.

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Interim final rule protects food industry whistleblowers from retaliation

February 21, 2014 - Posted by Editorial Team

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) invites public comments on an interim final rule to establish procedures and time frames for handling retaliation complaints in the food industry. Under the Food Safety Modernization Act, employees who disclose information about possible violations of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act are protected from retaliation by employers engaged in food manufacturing, processing, packing and distribution. The interim final rule establishes procedures, burdens of proof, remedies and statutes of limitations similar to other whistleblower protection statutes administered by OSHA.

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Glow-in-the-dark chemicals subject to new EPA rule

February 12, 2014 - Posted by Editorial Team

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Labor Department files whistleblower lawsuit in Ohio

February 10, 2014 - Posted by Editorial Team

In another example of heightened enforcement of whistleblower protections, the U.S. Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit against Ohio Bell Telephone, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) reported today. The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, alleges 13 employees were disciplined and given one- to three-day unpaid suspensions for reporting injuries that occurred on the job. The company claims each employee violated a corporate workplace safety standard, according to OSHA.

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CDC recommends immediate use of updated information statements for Td and Hib vaccines

February 10, 2014 - Posted by Editorial Team

Vaccine information statements (VIS) that explain the benefits and risks of tetanus/diphtheria (Td) and Haemophilus Influenzae Type b (Hib) vaccines have been updated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Because both statements include changes in the adverse events section (“problems that can happen after any vaccine”), health officials advised healthcare providers to begin using them immediately. The Td VIS replaces a Td/Tdap VIS which was temporarily in use for Td alone. The new Hib edition allows the CDC to retire what it calls the “elder statesman" of VIS. Federal law requires healthcare staff to provide an information statement to a patient, parent or legal representative before each dose of certain vaccinations. The CDC said provider guidelines for both vaccines will be available soon.

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OSHA director encourages hospital commitment to safety culture

January 17, 2014 - Posted by Editorial Team

“When hospitals commit to safe workplaces, everybody wins,” Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, said this week in a blog posted on the Department of Labor’s Work in Progress website.

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U.S. Safety Datapalooza - a potpourri of projects

January 17, 2014 - Posted by Editorial Team

The Obama administration launched a Safety Data Initiative in 2012 that is intended to make government data relating to every aspect of public and product safety more accessible and help consumers and employers make smarter, safer choices. This week, the White House and agencies including the Department of Transportation and Department of Agriculture convened the second annual Safety Datapalooza to discuss products, services and Smartphone apps that advance public safety.

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Disease management program saved company $3.78 in healthcare costs per $1 invested, RAND study shows

January 17, 2014 - Posted by Editorial Team

 

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New NIOSH workers' compensation primer applies to public health, worker populations

January 09, 2014 - Posted by Editorial Team

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's Center for Workers’ Compensation Studies has released Workers’ Compensation Insurance: A Primer for Public Health. The primer is designed to encourage work-related injury and illness prevention research among public and private sector partners. The agency says workers’ compensation insurance records can be used as a resource for primary prevention. In addition, insurance data may be used for early detection of health outcomes in worker populations (secondary prevention) and to help identify effective medical treatment (tertiary prevention).

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