July 1, 2014 | Volume 12, Number 13

CPWR Analyzes Rise in Construction Deaths

In a new data brief, The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) examines the increase in the number of deaths in the construction industry between 2011 and 2012. According to government statistics, 849 workers were killed in 2012, the highest among all U.S. industries.

Highlights of the data brief:

  • The percentage of Hispanic construction workers that died increased by 12.7 percent, compared to an 8.7 percent increase for the overall industry
  • There was a larger increase in percentage of deaths among workers aged 45+
  • The number of self-employed workers who died increased by a greater number than their 'wage-and-salary counterparts'
  • A larger percentage increase in deaths happened in residential construction versus non-residential construction
  • Fall fatalities increased 9.3 percent.

For details, download the full CPWR Data Brief.

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Too Much Computer Time Can be Bad for the Eyes

Spending more time in front of the computer changes the chemistry of tear fluid by reducing its protein content, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The changes are similar to what people with dry eyes experience. People with such a condition generate less fluids which contributes to vision-related ailments.

In the study, it was revealed that people who sat across their computers for seven or more hours each day had, on average, less mucin 5AC (the protein that helps the eye function) than those who spent less time in front of their desktops.

For more information, read the abstract.

ISEA Updates Head Protection Standard

ANSI/ISEA Z89.1-2014, the American National Standard for Industrial Head Protection, has been approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

The standard, developed by the International Safety Equipment Association, had a previous edition in 2009. The update essentially enhances protections to employees who operate in especially hot environments.

Head protection equipment that meet the standard will be marked.

For more information, read the ISEA press release.


MSHA Clarifies Respirable Dust Rule in Updated FAQ

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) provided some clarifications regarding the Respirable Dust Rule and other questions on its frequently asked questions page.

When asked what controls MSHA suggests to lower the dust levels in a mine, the group suggested that many MMUs could 'increase air quantity, air velocity, the number of water sprays, and water pressure; change the type of sprays and/or direction of sprays, balance the quantity of air delivered to the face with the scrubber air quantity; change the type of screen that is used in the scrubber system, and/or change from blowing face ventilation to exhausting face ventilation.'

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