February 18, 2014 | Volume 12, Number 4

Use of Smart Phones at Night Drains Energy

Research from Michigan State University recently revealed that workers who used smart phones for business after 9 P.M. were more tired and less engaged the following day at work.

Smartphones "keep us mentally engaged late into the evening," according to Russell Johnson, MSU Assistant Professor of Management. "They make it hard to detach from work so we can relax and fall asleep."

It was also discovered that smartphones had a bigger negative effect on sleep and energy levels than watching TV or using laptops or desktops. Smartphones emit blue light, the most disruptive of all colors and inhibits melatonin, a chemical that promotes sleep.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, 60 percent of Americans do not get enough sleep, and smartphone use is a common reason why.

For more information, read the MSU press release.

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States to Step Up for Safety Legislation

The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) anticipates that states will play a bigger role in promoting safety legislation.

Aaron Trippler, AIHA’s chief liaison with Congress and federal agencies, explains that the state’s role can be corrective to a “broken rule making process” at the federal level, where it can take a very long time to enact safety regulations.

“Legislation passed at the state level eventually comes up at the federal level,” says Trippler. He adds that it is important that resources be devoted to monitoring state legislation and engaging in state rule making.

In addition, the AIHA forecasts that the following issues are likely to occupy state-level regulatory agencies in the next few months:

  • Safe patient handling
  • Mold abatement and licensing
  • Hazardous substances
  • Title protection and legal recognition of the profession.

For more information, view the AIHA press release.

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View the full agenda.

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EPA Reports Reduction in Air Pollution

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced total releases of toxic chemicals dropped 12 percent from 2011 to 2012, including an eight-percent reduction in total toxic air releases. Surface water and land pollutants also declined by three percent and 16 percent, respectively.

The figures come from the EPA’s annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) report, which indicates that 3.63 billion pounds of pollutants were disposed or released into the environment in 2011 and 2012.

The TRI contains new features, such as the inclusion of hydrogen sulfide and the submission of TRI reports to tribal lands on which a facility is located. It also provides interactive maps, sums up industry efforts to manage pollution, and explores chemical use in consumer products.

For more information, read the EPA press release.

NIOSH Advises Parapets to Prevent Falls

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends that construction sites use parapets, guardrails, and permanent anchoret points to help prevent falls during construction.

The recommendation is part of NIOSH’s advocacy of Prevention through Design (PtD), in which hazards are addressed even during the design stages of a project.

Twelve percent of deaths in 2011 were attributed to falls. Another NIOSH study had determined that 42 percent of fatalities under the NIOSH Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program may have been linked to the building design.

Until parapets are constructed, NIOSH advises the following interim measures:

  • Job-built or commercially available guardrails that meet OSHA height and strength requirements
  • Properly designed anchor points with appropriate personal fall arrest systems.

For more detailed and specific information, read the NIOSH document (PDF).

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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.

*Free programs must be of equal or lesser value than purchased programs. Offer is only good on Coastal and DuPont-produced programs. Offer excludes series. Special cannot be combined with other offers and is not good on previous purchases. It cannot be used on the purchase of People-Based Safety®, STOP™ or Take Two...for Safety™ materials. Offer ends 3/31/14.

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