August 16, 2011 / Volume 9, Number 16
Historic Conference on Health and Safety Disparities
Changes to OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program
SafeSPEC™ 2.0
Red Light Cameras Reduce Crashes
Safer Workplace Means Lower Workers’ Compensation
Get Safety Going
Miracle On The Hudson: Prepare For Safety
Historic Conference on Health and Safety Disparities
OSHA, NIOSH, EPA, NIEHS, and more co–sponsor.

Eliminating Health and Safety Disparities at Work, the first national conference on the topic, is taking place on September 14−15 in Chicago, Illinois.

The conference aims to examine why occupational health and safety disparities exist, i.e. how and why safety metrics vary (higher or lower) across different groups and/or categories.

One example is why people with a higher socioeconomic status (SES) have better overall health than those with a lower SES.

The conference will gather representatives from multiple disciplines who will look at the social, cultural, and economic factors that generate differences.

During the conference, five white papers will be presented and discussed. The topics are:
  • Work Organization − Discusses the role of forced overtime, downsizing, contracting, long work hours, job insecurity, etc.
  • Workplace Injustice − Tackles discrimination, harassment and abuse
  • Approaches to Education and Training
  • Health of the Low–Income Workforce − How occupational health concerns can be integrated further into the mainstream public health infrastructure, with a focus on low−income communities and worksites
  • Effects of Social, Economic and Labor Policies
Eliminating Health and Safety Disparities at Work is co−sponsored by professional organizations, including the American Public Health Association (APHA) and American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE).

To register, view the agenda, and learn more about the conference, visit the Eliminating Health and Safety Disparities at Work website.
Changes to OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program
Updates made public August 1.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) announced new measures that would enhance its Whistleblower Protection Program.

According to OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels, the updates will help strengthen OSHA enforcement capacities. The agency currently administers 21 whistleblower laws.

According to an OSHA press release, the additional measures include:

Restructuring: OSHA's Whistleblower Protection Program will now be directly under the assistant secretary. Twenty−five additional investigators have been hired, and come fiscal year 2012, OSHA will enhance its ability to track and hold accountable its activities and accomplishments.

Training: OSHA will conduct a national whistleblower training conference in September, among other training events. The agency will also ensure that all concerned investigators and supervisors will get the required training before the calendar year's end.

Program Policy: OSHA will publish a new Whistleblower Investigations Manual with procedural updates, further guidance, and additional information on the new laws enacted since the manual's last update in 2003.

Internal Systems: OSHA has revamped its data collection system and beefed up its audit program to ensure that complaints are properly handled in a timely manner.

To explore the details of these changes and other changes, visit OSHA's internal review report.
SafeSPEC™ 2.0
Comprehensive Online Tool Helps Identify Protective Apparel for Industry Pros

DuPont Protection Technologies launched SafeSPEC™ 2.0, one of the most comprehensive interactive online tools that helps safety professionals to make informed decisions about selecting chemical protective apparel.

SafeSPEC™ 2.0 offers several new customizable product selection and search features for the full portfolio of chemical protection clothing from DuPont, including DuPont™ Tyvek® and Tychem® protective apparel. The new straightforward design allows users to search by parameters that are tailored to their needs including fabric, design, certification, and EPA/OSHA designation and hazard. The tool also provides industry−specific search for construction; manufacturing; transportation and utilities; mining, oil and gas extraction; agriculture and public administration.

The updated product selector tool allows users to input specific hazard scenarios, yielding results that best match the environment in which the products will be used. To ensure better accuracy and enhance the search experience, safety professionals may now search up to five chemicals at once to demonstrate which garments offer resistance to multiple threats. The tool also features a check system that validates garment selections based on user input for specific hazard scenarios.

SafeSPEC™ 2.0 provides access to a wealth of easy-to-read content including product literature, technical information, a chemical resistance database and information on where to buy each product. SafeSPEC™ 2.0 emphasizes ease of use for safety professionals; because many chemicals have complex names, the tool automatically fills in the chemical name as it is entered so that customers can more easily locate the chemical requirements for their specific hazard scenario.

Using SafeSPEC™ 2.0, safety professionals will have the ability to see products in a new way with 360 degree images that enable views from all angles to aid in product selection. SafeSPEC™ 2.0 includes more than 550 new product images to provide more detailed information about specific offerings.

Learn more about SafeSPEC™ 2.0 or try out the tool.

Red Light Cameras Reduce Crashes
"One of the most extensive studies" in the U.S.

The Texas Transportation Institute's (TTI) Center for Transportation Safety recently released a study showing that red−light cameras help minimize intersection crashes, according to a TTI press release.

Running red lights is responsible for over 100,000 collisions and 1,000 deaths each year, while right−angle crashes cause 46 percent of intersection crashes, according to federal figures.

The study, Evaluation of Photographic Traffic Signal Enforcement Systems in Texas, sought to determine how effectively automated traffic enforcement systems help prevent right−angle, rear−end and other crash types at signal–controlled intersections.

Analyzing over 11,000 crash incidents at 275 intersections within the state, the study saw that after installation of the cameras state−wide, there was:
  • An 11 percent decline in crash incidents
  • A 25 percent decrease in red light–related crashes
  • A 32 percent drop in right–angle crashes.
Reductions were noted on all types of roads.

The study examined crash frequencies before and after the cameras were installed. The first year saw a 23 percent drop compared to the previous year; the second, a 27 percent decline from the previous two years; and the third, a 21 percent reduction from the previous three years.

View the complete report.

Safer Workplace Means Lower Workers’ Compensation
NTEU president speaks out against cuts

The government could reduce federal workers’ compensation costs not by cutting benefits but by preventing workplace injuries, said Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) during a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management and the Federal Workforce.

Read the NTEU press release. The Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA) was under examination during the hearing July 26. Kelley supported the review, but asserted that it must not be “rigidly limited to benefit payments.” Apart from benefit cuts, she opposed forced retirement provisions.

In particular, Kelley pointed out two limitations of FECA:
  • Once an injured worker gets FECA payments, he or she is not entitled to “retirement contribution matches” or is not able to contribute to the federal Thrift Savings Plan.
  • Low maximum scheduled award for facial disfigurement, and low funeral expense limit.
To correct these, the NTEU has supported the Federal Workers’ Compensation Modernization and Improvement Act (H.R. 2465).

View Colleen Kelley's entire statement.

Get Safety Going
STOP™ For Each Other

STOP™ For Each Other is based on the idea that safety is everyone’s responsibility. It is designed to help participants look at safety in a new way, so they can help themselves and their co−workers work injury−free. During the program, participants develop their safety awareness and communication skills enabling them to talk with others about all aspects of safety.

STOP™ For Each Other is designed for all levels of employees who need to make informal safety observations and conduct effective peer−to−peer formal observations.

Important STOP™ For Each Other concepts include:

Seeing safety. Participants become so attuned to safety that they automatically notice safe or unsafe practices throughout the workplace and home. This is also referred to as “making safety second nature.”

We depend on each other. Peers rely on themselves and each other to stay safe.

Show me you care, make me aware. The program gives peers permission to talk with each other about safety.

STOP™ For Each Other is especially well suited for delivery to personnel in team−based or flat organizations. STOP™ For Each Other also works well for organizations that have used STOP™ For Supervision and wish to train non−supervisory personnel or to conduct refresher training. STOP™ For Each Other’s job−focused application activities make safety real, not theoretical.

Learn more! Join us for a FREE one-hour overview webinar. Or attend a one-day workshop in a city near you.

Copyright 2011 E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. All rights reserved. The DuPont Oval Logo, DuPont™, The miracles of science™, STOP™ and the STOP™ logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of DuPont or its affiliates.

Call 877-714-2324 to learn how to get safety going in your organization.

Join us for a FREE one–hour overview webinar!

Attend a one–day STOP™ workshop in your area!
Miracle On The Hudson: Prepare For Safety
New safety awareness training, coming soon.

In the gripping program, Miracle On The Hudson: Prepare For Safety, Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger relives the fateful day that he was forced to land Flight 1549 in the icy Hudson River.

He'll share how he helped save hundreds of lives by calling upon the 4 C's − Competence, Compassion, Commitment and Communication. Your employees will see how they can acquire and apply these same characteristics in their own life, both on and off−the−job.

Use this real-life example to share with your employees the importance of the right safety attitude. Lives were saved that day because, not just one, but teams of people were prepared for safety.

Incidents won't announce themselves, help prepare your team for the unexpected!

Call 888-489-9776 or go online to reserve your FREE 7-day preview of this must-see program today!

Reserve your FREE 7-day preview today!
Volume 9, Number 16
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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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