March 3, 2014 | Volume 12, Number 5

OSHA Seeks to Extend Crane Operator Compliance Deadline

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) proposed to extend the compliance date for the crane operator certification requirement from November 10, 2014 to November 10, 2017.

OSHA issued a standard on cranes and derricks for construction on August 9, 2010, but several stakeholders expressed their concerns on certification requirements. In response, OSHA held public meetings to discuss the issue. The agency then decided to extend the deadline to reduce disruption to the construction industry and to potential rulemaking.

Comments on this proposed extension are welcome until March 12, 2014. Get more information here. Or read the OSHA press release.

Study: Shift Workers’ Diet Raises Risk of Chronic Disease

Shift workers are more susceptible to diet- and inflammation-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer, according to a new study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Examining data from 2005-2010 from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers found that shift workers had a higher dietary inflammatory index than their daytime working counterparts. This may help explain the higher risk of inflammation-related chronic disease among shift workers. It was also observed that women tended to express strong evening/night shift effects.

For more information, view the abstract.

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OSHA’s Silica Rule Draws Mixed Reactions

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) proposed rule to reduce the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for crystalline silica drew varied reactions, according to the Safety+Health Magazine.

The rule proposes that the current PEL of 100 micrograms per cubic meter of air be cut in half. OSHA estimates that the typical workplace will spend $1,242 a year to comply, and half that amount for smaller businesses. But the Foundry Association of Michigan contested the estimate, saying that the compliance cost could actually amount to $1 million because compliance requires new equipment. Others, like the Institute of Makers of Explosives, questioned the data; according to them, the new PEL cannot be measured accurately.

A few, however, expressed positive sentiments, adding that the rule has been a long time coming. Others applauded many of its provisions, including the need to monitor exposure and conduct medical surveillance.

Read the full article.

Planning for Motor Vehicle Safety: NIOSH Seeks Feedback on Strategic Plan

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is seeking public comment on a draft document, "NIOSH Center for Motor Vehicle Safety: Research and Guidance Strategic Plan 2014-2018."

Motor-vehicle related incidents are one of the primary causes of workplace deaths. The draft document covers the following:

  • Epidemiologic research to identify risk factors associated with work-related motor vehicle crashes and injury
  • Engineering and technology-related research
  • Research and demonstration projects on motor vehicle safety management strategies
  • Global collaborations to develop strategies for reducing occupational road traffic injuries worldwide
  • Research communication products

NIOSH is asking feedback concerning:

  • The relevance of the current draft
  • The adequacy of the plan in addressing research needs for work-related motor vehicle crashes and fatal/non-fatal injuries
  • The adequacy of proposed performance measures
  • Additional potential partners for NIOSH

For more information, download the Notice of draft document for public comment.

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