May 1, 2013 | Volume 11, Number 9
Crashing In: Accidents in Highway Work Zones
Study: Federal Safety Data Inaccurate
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
Group-Based Incentives Give Initial Boost for Weight Loss Promotion
Top 10 Environmental Hazards at Home
Crashing In: Accidents in Highway Work Zones
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC of America) reports that 38 percent of highway contractors had vehicles crash into their work zones over the past year. Surveying about 800 contractors, the AGC of America also said that:
  • Vehicle operators and passengers are more likely to get hurt or die from work zone crashes than highway construction workers
  • Twenty-one percent of contractors shut down operations temporarily because of work zone incidents; 30 percent of the shutdowns lasted for two or more days
  • Sixty-eight percent of contractors said that stricter laws and penalties would help reduce incidents and injuries at highway work zones
  • Seventy-percent of contractors believe more training is necessary.
For more information, read the press release.
Study: Federal Safety Data Inaccurate
A new study published in the Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine revealed that there are more work-related amputations in Michigan than estimated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

BLS figures reported 250 amputations in 2008, while the recent study, conducted by the University of Michigan, revealed a staggering 616 cases. The huge discrepancy has raised significant concerns over the government's safety recording system.

The co-author of the study, Kenneth Rosenman, is head of the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the University of Michigan's College of Human Medicine. He called for the use of multiple data sources, recommending that the BLS rely on figures other than a sampling of employers' reports. The state of Michigan, for instance, also looks at hospital records and workers' compensation information.

Rosenman said, "If your numbers are not accurate on how much of a problem there is, how do you know where to deploy your resources, or judge if any of your programs are successful in addressing the problem?"

Read the press release.
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Take this opportunity to remind your employees that they are the only ones who can keep themselves safe.

motorcycle safety training

Click here to learn how to include this infographic on your corporate intranet, employee eNewsletter or blog.
Group-Based Incentives Give Initial Boost for Weight Loss Promotion
Group-based financial incentives help kickstart weight loss among employees more than individual incentives and monthly weigh-ins, according to a study published by Annals of Internal Medicine.

The study followed three groups; the first group participated in monthly weigh-ins; the second group received $100 each per month if they met or exceeded weight-loss objectives; and the third group split into teams of 5 and were paid a collective $500 per month for hitting their goals. The incentives were offered for 24 weeks and weight-loss was measured, then incentives were dropped and weight-loss was measured for an additional 12 weeks .

The results revealed that while those under the group incentive lost more weight than the weigh-in group in the first 24 weeks, they lost less than those in the individual incentive program during the 12 weeks after the incentives were removed.

Read the abstract.
Top 10 Environmental Hazards at Home
In celebration of Earth Day last month, the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) re-issued its list of the top 10 indoor environmental risks:
  1. Tobacco Smoke
  2. Radon
  3. Asbestos
  4. Lead
  5. Combustion Gases
  6. Water
  7. Household Chemicals
  8. Pesticides
  9. Allergens
  10. Food Poisoning
The ACOEM issued a PDF listing these household hazards, along with basic safety tips and relevant government websites.

The checklist calls for:
  • Radon testing
  • Inspection and removing of lead and asbestos
  • Checking the potability of water
  • Proper hazard communication.
For more information, read the press release.

Download the ACOEM's information guide.

Volume 11, Number 9
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