January 3, 2014 | Volume 12, Number 1
CDC Releases New Findings in Restaurant
Food Safety
OSHA's VPP Has 'Insufficient Controls'
Speeding on America's Roads
National "Be Ready. Be Buckled." Kids' Art Contest
Correction
CDC Releases New Findings in Restaurant Food Safety
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that food preparation and handling practices, worker health policies, and hand washing practices often go unreported as contributing factors of foodborne illness outbreaks, even though over 50 percent of reported foodborne outbreaks each year occur in restaurants and delis.

The CDC published four articles in the Journal of Food Protection, offering steps to prevent and manage foodborne illnesses associated with ground beef, chicken, and leafy vegetables.

The CDC will roll out a new surveillance system and e-learning course in early 2014. These tools will help leverage data from environmental assessments and use it to prevent future foodborne outbreaks in restaurants and other food service establishments.

For more information, read the CDC press release.
OSHA’s VPP Has ‘Insufficient Controls’
The Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Audit reports that OSHA has inadequate controls in ensuring compliance with and participation in the agency’s Voluntary Protection
Program (VPP).

Under the VPP, participants must have an 'exemplary' safety record. However, it was found that the injury and illness rates of 13 percent of participants exceeded industry averages and that despite such a poor record, they were potentially allowed to stay in the VPP program for up to 6 years.

Also, participant assessments were not always conducted in a timely manner. Furthermore, it was found that OSHA did not know how many participants or applicants were involved in the program because it tracked the information in at least 11 different databases with inconsistent numbers. Lastly, the safety data that OSHA used to assess participants was found to be unreliable.

For more information, read the report from the Office of
Inspector General.
Speeding on America's Roads
According to a new study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 50 percent of surveyed drivers say that speeding is a problem and 20 percent admitted to driving as fast as they could to reach their destination.

The data is from the National Survey of Speeding Attitudes and Behavior, which also shows that:
  • Sixteen percent believe that speeding is safe and all right for skilled drivers.
  • About 80 percent of surveyed drivers believe that driving at or near the speed limit helps reduce the likelihood of a crash.
  • Ninety-one percent believe that everyone should obey the speed limit because it's the law.
The study also reveals that males and younger drivers (between 16 and 20 years old) speed more often than females and older
drivers, respectively.

For more information, read the NHTSA press release.
National "Be Ready. Be Buckled." Kids'
Art Contest
The Department of Transportation has launched the National "Be Ready. Be Buckled." Kids' Art Contest to promote seat belt use, especially among bus and truck drivers.

The contest runs until Friday, February 28, 2014 for children ages 5 to 12 who have a relationship to individuals or organizations in the trucking and bus industries.

Entries should showcase the importance of commercial motor vehicle drivers buckling up and must feature the header ‘Safety Belts Save Lives.’

Get more details here.
Correction:
In the December 16 issue of Safety Currents Express, the article 'The Working Conditions of Women in Construction' originally read, "According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics…Between 2003 and 2010, over 1,000 women were killed each year in construction sites." It should have been, "… Between 2003 and 2010, an average of 15 women and 1,101 men were killed each year." Our apologies for the error and thank you to the New York Committee on Occupational Safety and Health for the update.

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Volume 12, Number 1
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