September 16, 2013 | Volume 11, Number 18
Draft of NFPA Guide on Confined Space Entry Now Available for Comment
Pioneering Study Compares Sleep Habits in
Six Countries
Curing Jet Lag and Shift Work Issues?
There May Be a Drug For That
Study: Americans Less Concerned About Dangerous Driving Behaviors
Sulfuric Acid: Safe Handling
Draft of NFPA Guide on Confined Space Entry Now Available for Comment
The Standards Council of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has released a preliminary draft of NFPA 350, a 'non-mandatory' guide for confined space entry. It covers best practices that have helped organizations comply with regulatory standards over the last two decades. It also incorporates the NFPA's experience and expertise in hot work and maritime and emergency rescue industries.

NFPA 350 mainly aims to fill in gaps in standards and offer guidance on implementing existing regulations, especially those in OSHA 1910.146. That regulation only requires verifying the safety of a confined space atmosphere, while NFPA 350 outlines specific tests and procedures for gas monitor selection, calibration, and limitation. It also discusses finding ventilation equipment to help manage atmospheric risks.

NFPA 350 is open for comment until January 3, 2014.

Review the proposed standard or read the NFPA blog for more information.
Pioneering Study Compares Sleep Habits in Six Countries
Compared with six other countries, the United States reports the second least amount of sleep, putting in an average of 6 hours and 31 minutes a work night, according to a study by the National Sleep Foundation.

The 2013 International Bedroom Poll studies the sleep times, attitudes, habits and bedtime routines of people aged between 25 and 55 in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan.

According to the study:
  • Japan gets the least sleep with 6 hours and 22 minutes on average.
  • Two-thirds of Japanese and 53 percent of Americans surveyed report sleeping less than 7 hours on work nights.
  • Twenty-one percent of Americans said they slept less than six hours a night during the work week.
  • In all countries except Japan, less than half of respondents report getting a good night's sleep 'every night or almost every night on work nights or week nights.'
The 2013 International Bedroom Poll also revealed that scent was a huge factor in a good bedroom as it contributed to a feeling of relaxation.

For more information, read the press release.
Curing Jet Lag and Shift Work Issues? There May Be a Drug For That
A recent study has pinpointed a protein that could be influenced by drugs to help cure jet lag faster and manage circadian rhythms more effectively.

Circadian rhythms, or your body clock, regulate the body's functions according to whether it is light or dark within a 24-hour cycle. Traveling to a (hugely) different time zone can disrupt this body clock and cause jet lag.

The research identified the protein SIK1, which plays a part in managing the speed with which the body adjusts to various changes, including the transition between day and night. When SIK1 was blocked in laboratory mice, they acclimated faster to shifts in light-dark cycles. Similarly, drugs could target SIK1 and help people manage jet lag more efficiently.

The medication could also help ease the effects of shift work, which are said to contribute to various conditions like diabetes, cancer and heart disease, as well as a few mental disorders.

The study was published in the journal, Cell.

Read a University of Notre Dame press release or view the abstract.
Study: Americans Less Concerned About Dangerous Driving Behaviors
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reveals that the number of drivers who are concerned about certain dangerous driving behaviors has dropped significantly since 2009.

Risky Driving Behavior Percentage of Drivers Who Believe Behavior to be Risky in 2012 Percentage of Drivers Who Believe Behavior to be Risky in 2009
Driving after drinking 69% 90%
Drowsy driving 46% 71%
Red-light running 70% 77%
Distracted driving 81% 87%

The complacency and decreasing concern run parallel to a recent increase in yearly traffic-related deaths. In 2012, there were over 34,000 such fatalities, the first time in seven years that the numbers have increased.

In addition, over one in four drivers admitted to texting behind the wheel, an increase from 21 to 26 percent.

For more information, read the press release or download a PDF of the report.
Sulfuric Acid: Safe Handling
Sulfuric acid is used to make many products that enhance the quality of our lives. Things like paint, petroleum, pharmaceuticals, textiles and even paper.

But, when not handled properly, this reactive substance can mean trouble for your employees. DuPont Sustainable Solutions' new Sulfuric Acid: Safe Handling shows your employees how they can work safely around this potentially dangerous material.

Preview and purchase Sulfuric Acid: Safe Handling online.
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Volume 11, Number 18
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