December 16, 2013 | Volume 11, Number 24
CDC: Blood Lead Levels High Among Adults
OSHA Seeks Comment on Possible Revisions to PSM Standard
The Working Conditions of Women in Construction
ASSE Journal Stresses 'Ergonomic Risk Assessments'
Take Safety Home
CDC: Blood Lead Levels High Among Adults
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance (ABLES) tracks elevated blood lead levels (BLL) among adults in the United States. From 2002-2011, more than a million adults reported to the ABLES program and it was found that 11,536 had a very high BLL (≥40 μg/dL) with almost 20 percent of those having persistently high levels.

Over 7,000 of the adults were exposed to lead at work with the majority coming from the manufacturing, services, construction, or mining industry.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers a blood lead level (BLL) ≥10 μg/dL as 'elevated,' a level that can pose significant health risks.

OSHA's lead standards, which permits 'workers removed from lead exposure' to go back to work when their BLL drops to 40 μg/dL.

For more details, see the full write-up.
OSHA Seeks Comment on Possible Revisions to PSM Standard
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is seeking public feedback on potential changes to the Process Safety Management standard.

OSHA's request for comments is in compliance with Executive Order 13650, which aims to enhance 'chemical facility safety' in the aftermath of an ammonium nitrate explosion in Texas in April 2013.

OSHA is also requesting for input on revisions to the following standards: Explosives and Blasting Agents, Flammable Liquids, and Spray Finishing. The agency is looking for 'specific rule making and policy options' that can manage safety risks. OSHA will consider the public's feedback to chart any possible actions.

The Request of Information has not been published as of December 3, but once it has been uploaded to the Federal Register site, written comments will be welcome for 90 days.

For more information, read the OSHA press release.
The Working Conditions of Women
in Construction
The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health recently revealed that women in the construction industry face unique risks, including a hostile workplace, wherein women are belittled or even assaulted; isolation, in which women are outnumbered by men; and job insecurity, which deters women from reporting safety violations.

They also face sexual harassment, reproductive hazards because of harmful chemicals, and unsanitary working conditions.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 800,000 women were working in the construction industry in 2011. Between 2003 and 2010, over 1,000 women were killed each year in construction sites.

While many women do not work directly in 'actual construction trades,' they do experience ergonomics issues because they are 'assigned more repetitive tasks,' a risk exacerbated by their relatively 'shorter hands and lower grip strength.'

Women also do not get to wear PPE that fits their size; many are too big for them, giving them inadequate protection. They also use construction tools that are primarily designed for men.

For more information, read the report.
ASSE Journal Stresses 'Ergonomic Risk Assessments'
The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) reports that injuries related to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) can be managed through 'ergonomic risk assessments'

ASSE is citing a study published in its journal, Professional Safety, whose authors said that 'the lack of ergonomic principles in workplace design can lead to inherently flawed systems.'

To address the issue, the authors also stressed the need for a cross-functional ergonomics team that will manage safety and health programs, explore workers' compensation claims, and check injury reports to see whether 'jobs or tasks' are connected with MSDs, which account for 33 percent of 'disabling workplace incidents' and more than 40 percent of workers' compensation claims.

For more information, read the ASSE press release.
Take Safety Home
It's five o'clock. Work is over. You can finally relax and let your safety guard down, right? Wrong. You are three times more likely to get injured off the job than on it. And, you are eleven times more likely to die from a non-work injury than a work-related one.

Given these statistics, it is imperative that employees understand the importance of taking safety home – not just for themselves, but their family and friends too. DuPont Sustainable Solutions' new training program, Take Safety Home covers key concepts for transferring safe work practices from the job over to everyday at-home scenarios.

Preview and purchase Take Safety Home online or get instant access on CoastalFlix™, our video streaming solution.

Save on Take Safety Home during our Year-End Special*!

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Hurry offer ends 12/31/13. Save on our human resources and maintenance and reliability programs too. Check with other sites and locations regarding their training needs in order to maximize your savings.
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Volume 11, Number 24
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Please note: Safety Currents Express is a complimentary bimonthly newsletter updating you on the latest trends, news and information. All issues may be forwarded in their entirety via e-mail. Materials in this issue may only be reprinted with permission.
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