Pedestrian Deaths in the US Still High

About 2,125 pedestrian deaths were reported in the first six months of 2014, according to a new study by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA).

The figures for the first-half of 2014 are essentially unchanged compared to the same period in 2013, and are actually 15 percent higher than in 2009.

The GHSA study, Spotlight on Highway Safety: Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State, relied on preliminary data from 50 State Highway Safety Offices, and the District of Columbia.

Key findings include:

  • In 2013, 43 percent of pedestrian deaths occurred in California, Florida, Texas, and New York.
  • Delaware and Florida had the highest incidents per 100,000 residents in 2013.
  • Twenty-four states, including D.C., reduced pedestrian fatalities in the first half of 2014.
  • Deaths involving elderly pedestrians and children under 12 years old have declined since 1975.
  • Between 1975 and 2013, fatalities affecting pedestrians age 20 to 69 increased 28 percent.

Read the GHSA press release.

Download the full report.

NIOSH Studies Hearing Loss Over a 30-Year Period

Researchers for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have published a study that examines hearing loss trends over the last 30 years across various industries.

Around 22 million U.S. employees are exposed to hazardous workplace noise. This landmark study examined hearing tests of nearly 2 million noise-exposed employees between 1981 and 2010.

Key findings of the study include:

  • Hearing loss in all industries affected around 20 percent of employees for the thirty-year period.
  • The incidence and risk of incident hearing loss has declined since 1981.
  • During the majority of the time period, construction employees had the highest incidence of hearing loss.

The study was published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, view the abstract.

Read the NIOSH press release.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Are your employees still letting distractions into their driver seat? Do your part to help keep their mind on task when behind the wheel.

Take some time to remind your employees that focusing on anything other than driving, including eating and drinking, reading a map, adjusting a radio or talking on the phone, while behind the wheel can put themselves and other in serious danger.

To help, from now until April 24th, DuPont Sustainable Solutions is offering free access to the video stream* Fatal Distractions: Keep Your Eyes On The RoadOnly 1.6 Seconds to React. Share this video clip with employees and encourage them to share with family and friends.

This emotional real-life story of Ben Koppa’s tragic death due to a distracted driver will urge your employees, family and friends to keep distractions out of the driver’s seat.

Plus, save on training in April! Fill your library with compelling, impactful titles covering everything from distracted driving to OSHA compliance. There are two ways to save:

  • Save 20% on any CoastalFlix™ streaming video order! Just enter code Apr15! at checkout. Visit www.CoastalFlix.com and start streaming today.
  • Buy 2 DVDs, get 1 FREE! Buy 3, get 2 FREE! Buy 4, get 3 FREE!** There is no limit. Preview and purchase online.

Hurry! Both offers end April 30, 2015!

Study: Aligning Work Shifts With Body Clocks Enhances Sleep, Reduces Social Jetlag

Researchers from a German university published a study supporting the idea that scheduling shift work based on employees’ chronotype can enhance sleep quality and minimize social jetlag.

In the study, factory workers were given three chronotypes (early, late, or intermediate). Simply put, a chronotype refers to the extent one is a morning or evening person. This in turn is based on our body’s unique but natural circadian rhythms.

Having assigned chronotypes, employees were given ideal schedules: morning people never received shifts that required them to stay up later than usual, while night people did not have to wake up earlier than they generally do.

The researchers then examined the workers’ sleep quality and well-being, among other indicators. They discovered that customizing shifts based on chronotype helped employees get better sleep. It also reduced social jetlag, which occurs when our body’s natural sleep cycle does not correspond to what we need for our activities. It happens, for instance, when we feel lethargic at work after a long holiday.

The study was published in an issue of Current Biology.

Read the abstract or read a less technical summary.

OSHA Seeks to Update Eye and Face Protection Standards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a proposed revision to its Eye and Face Protection Standards, which would affect personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements in general industry, shipyard employment, longshoring, marine terminals, and construction standards.

The changes would align existing national consensus standards and provide up-to-date protection for employees.

Stakeholders can comment on the proposed revision until April 13, 2015.

View the full Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

NTSB Welcomes New Chairman, Christopher Hart

Christopher Hart was sworn in last month as the 13th chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Chairman Hart is a lawyer, aerospace engineer, and a licensed pilot with commercial, multi-engine and instrument ratings. He has a law degree from Harvard and a BA in Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University.

Prior to becoming chairman, Hart had been vice chairman and board member of the NTSB. He also occupied positions at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration.

Chairman Hart was nominated by President Obama in January this year and was recently unanimously confirmed by the Senate.

Read the press release on Chairman Hart’s assumption of chairman.

For FREE online previews visit www.training.dupont.com. To speak with an account representative, simply call 888-489-9776 or email info@training.dupont.com. Please be sure to give your name, facility name, address and phone number.

* Streaming video files may be blocked by your IT network. If you have trouble viewing within your organization, please try viewing the file outside of your company's network. Streaming offer ends 4/30/15.

**Offer is only good on Coastal/DuPont-produced programs. It cannot be combined with other offers and is not good on previous purchases. It cannot be used on the purchase of STOP™ or Take Two…for Safety™ materials. Offer good on English and Spanish titles only. Offer ends 4/30/15.

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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