Construction’s “Fatal Four”

Out of 4,114* worker fatalities in private industry in calendar year 2011, 721 or 17.5% were in construction. The leading causes of worker deaths on construction sites were falls, followed by electrocution, struck by object, and caught-in/between. These “Fatal Four” were responsible for nearly three out of five (57%) construction worker deaths in 2011*, BLS reports. Eliminating the Fatal Four would save 410 workers’ lives in America every year.

Falls – 251 out of 721 total deaths in construction in CY 2011 (35%)

Electrocutions – 67 (9%)

Struck by Object – 73 (10%)

Caught-in/between – 19 (3%)

via OSHA Commonly Used Statistics.

Stroke is Sometimes Called a “Brain Attack”

A stroke happens when blood flow to a part of the brain stops. A stroke is sometimes called a “brain attack.”

If blood flow is stopped for longer than a few seconds, the brain cannot get blood and oxygen. Brain cells can die, causing permanent damage.

There are two major types of stroke: ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke.

Ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain is blocked by a blood clot. This may happen in two ways:

A clot may form in an artery that is already very narrow. This is called a thrombotic stroke.

A clot may break off from another place in the blood vessels of the brain, or from some other part of the body, and travel up to the brain. This is called cerebral embolism, or an embolic stroke.

Ischemic strokes may be caused by clogged arteries. Fat, cholesterol, and other substances collect on the artery walls, forming a sticky substance called plaque.

A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in part of the brain becomes weak and bursts open, causing blood to leak into the brain. Some people have defects in the blood vessels of the brain that make this more likely.

via Stroke – PubMed Health.

Major Changes to the Hazard Communication Standard

New changes to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard are bringing the United States into alignment with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), further improving safety and health protections for America’s workers. Building on the success of OSHA’s current Hazard Communication Standard, the GHS is expected to prevent injuries and illnesses, save lives and improve trade conditions for chemical manufacturers. The Hazard Communication Standard in 1983 gave the workers the ‘right to know,’ but the new Globally Harmonized System gives workers the ‘right to understand.

Hazard classification: Provides specific criteria for classification of health and physical hazards, as well as classification of mixtures.

Labels: Chemical manufacturers and importers will be required to provide a label that includes a harmonized signal word, pictogram, and hazard statement for each hazard class and category. Precautionary statements must also be provided.

Safety Data Sheets: Will now have a specified 16-section format.

Information and training: Employers are required to train workers by December 1, 2013 on the new labels elements and safety data sheets format to facilitate recognition and understanding.

via Hazard Communication.

National Diabetes Month — November 2012

November is National Diabetes Month. In 2010, nearly 26 million persons in the United States had diabetes, and an estimated 79 million adults had pre-diabetes. Persons with diabetes can take steps to control the disease and prevent complications, and those with prediabetes can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes through weight loss and physical activity .

via National Diabetes Month — November 2012.

Effective Safety Committees

Safety committees are a key part of safety in the workplace. They can provide a central focus when they represent all functions or departments to allow the organization to take an overall look at safety requirements and to foresee problems. They can provide a sounding board by being a visible and approachable body for safety or health complaints and suggestions. Finally, they can provide central coordination of safety training activities.

via Safety Committees training, regulations, analysis, news, and tools –

Assessing Your Weight and Health Risk

Risk Factors for Health Topics Associated With Obesity

Along with being overweight or obese, the following conditions will put you at greater risk for heart disease and other conditions:

Risk Factors

  • High blood pressure hypertension
  • High LDL cholesterol “bad” cholesterol
  • Low HDL cholesterol “good” cholesterol
  • High triglycerides
  • High blood glucose sugar
  • Family history of premature heart disease
  • Physical inactivity
  • Cigarette smoking

via Assessing Your Weight and Health Risk.

Cell Phone Policies of Companies with Best Fleet Safety Performance

Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) fleet benchmarking study of companies with a combined fleet of 350,000 vehicles found that policies banning all cell phone use while driving were common among  companies with the best fleet safety performance:

  • 83% of fleet safety leaders banned all cell phones, versus 43% of other companies.
  • 17% of fleet safety leaders allowed hands-free use, versus 57% of other companies.
  • 83% of fleet safety leaders responded to policy violations with disciplinary action, and 50% percent include termination as a disciplinary response.

via Employer Policies, Distracted Driving Resources, Free Cell Phone Policy Kit.

Heart Attack Symptoms and Early Warning Signs

A heart attack is a medical emergency. If you have symptoms of a heart attack, call 911 or your local emergency number right away.

  • DO NOT try to drive yourself to the hospital.
  • DO NOT WAIT. You are at greatest risk of sudden death in the early hours of a heart attack.

Chest pain is the most common symptom of a heart attack. You may feel the pain in only one part of your body, or it may move from your chest to your arms, shoulder, neck, teeth, jaw, belly area, or back. The pain can be severe or mild. It can feel like:

  • A tight band around the chest
  • Bad indigestion
  • Something heavy sitting on your chest
  • Squeezing or heavy pressure

The pain usually lasts longer than 20 minutes. Rest and a medicine called nitroglycerin may not completely relieve the pain of a heart attack. Symptoms may also go away and come back. Other symptoms of a heart attack can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Cough
  • Fainting
  • Light-headedness, dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Palpitations (feeling like your heart is beating too fast or irregularly)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating, which may be very heavy

Some people (the elderly, people with diabetes, and women) may have little or no chest pain. Or, they may have unusual symptoms (shortness of breath, fatigue, and weakness). A “silent heart attack” is a heart attack with no symptoms.

via Heart attack – PubMed Health.

Joint Pain at Work

Joint Pain at Work – That creaking you hear may not be your co-workers Halloween skeleton decoration but their actual knees, hips, wrists and shoulders.  Joint pain at work can be very SCARY… and painful… and costly.  Arthritis, one example of joint pain, is the leading cause of work disability.  In 2007, the annual cost of arthritis and other rheumatic conditions was $128 billion.

via The NIOSH Science Blog has been updated: Joint Pain at Work.