March 15, 2013 | Volume 11, Number 6
OSHA To Meet Stakeholders on
Operator Certification
Roofers in Residential Work Among
Most Prone to Fall-Related Deaths
Seven Steps of Lockout/Tagout Infographic
OSHA Warns of Risks of Hydrogen Sulfide
The Impact of Fatigue on Railroad Employees
OSHA To Meet Stakeholders on Operator Certification
Requirements are up for discussion
Stakeholder meetings on operator certification will be held on April 2 and 3, 2013, 9 a.m to 12 noon, at the Department of Labor office in Washington, D.C.

On the agenda are certification requirements under the Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard. According to an OSHA press release, OSHA is specifically asking for public comment on:
  • The usefulness of certifying operators for different capacities of cranes
  • The risks of allowing an operator to operate all capacities of cranes within a specific type.
For details on how to participate and submit a comment, read the OSHA press release.
Roofers in Residential Work Among Most Prone to Fall-Related Deaths
NIOSH funds new study
A study examining trends and patterns of fatal falls from roofs in the U.S. construction industry determined that roofers in residential construction face higher risk of deaths due to these types of falls.

Other groups that face high risks are:
  • Workers younger than 20 years old
  • Workers older than 44 years old
  • Hispanics and immigrant workers
  • Workers from the Southern regions.
The study also revealed that around two-thirds of deaths from falls happen in small construction establishments, defined as those with ten workers or less.

Published in the Journal of Safety Research, the study examined data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Current Population Survey, looking at deaths due to falls in the United States' construction industry from 1992-2009.

For more information, read OSHA's QuickTakes newsletter or read the abstract.
Seven Steps of Lockout/Tagout Infographic
Share with employees

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OSHA Warns of Risks of Hydrogen Sulfide
Develops web page
The Occupational Safety and Heath Administration (OSHA) created a new web page to help alert the public to the dangers of hydrogen sulfide.

According to the site's home page, hydrogen sulfide is used or produced in oil and gas refining, mining, pulp and paper processing, tanning, and rayon manufacturing. Commonly known as sewer gas or swamp gas, it occurs naturally in manure pits, sewers, well water, volcanoes, and oil and gas wells.

The safety and health impact of hydrogen sulfide varies according to how much and how long anyone breathes it in. OSHA warns that even at low concentrations, symptoms may include headaches, eye irritation, unconsciousness or death.

The OSHA web page on hydrogen sulfide discusses further details on its health effects, sources, and exposure prevention.

Visit the webpage.
The Impact of Fatigue on Railroad Employees
FRA conducts study on safety-critical workers
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) released a new report that studied the nature and impact of fatigue on safety-critical employees, including:
  • Train and Engine (T&E) workers
  • Signalmen and passenger T&E workers
  • Maintenance of Way (MOW) workers and dispatchers
Using logbooks and applying the Fatigue Avoidance Scheduling Tool (FAST), the study revealed that:
  • When a worker is fatigued, the cost of a "human factors accident" is approximately $1.6 million.
  • Dispatchers and Train and Engine employees have the highest likelihood of fatigue, since they work the longest and at night.
  • Railroad workers in all groups have sleep disorders that go beyond normal rates of working adults.
For more detailed information, read the report.
Volume 11, Number 6
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