March 17, 2014 | Volume 12, Number 6

OSHA Releases Yearly Annual Inspection Plan

The Occupational Safety and Health Organization (OSHA) issued its Site-Specific Targeting 2014 program (SST-14) last month, revealing an annual inspection plan that sets its sights on workplaces with the highest rates of injuries and illnesses.

According to an OSHA press release, the SST is one of OSHA’s main programmed inspection plans for high-hazard, non-construction workplaces that have 20 or more workers. It is based on a survey of 80,000 businesses.

SST-14 also covers an evaluation of the program’s effectiveness, which is based on 1,260 randomly selected establishments.

For more information, read the OSHA press release or download the OSHA Notice.

Driver Electronic Device Usage

There were about 660,000 drivers using hand-held cell phones at a typical daylight moment in 2012, according to new data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).

This amounts to five percent of drivers holding cell phones to their ears, a percentage unchanged from 2011. The number of drivers who visibly manipulated hand-held devices increased from 1.3 percent in 2011 to 1.5 percent in 2012.

The data also reveals that driver hand-held cell phone use is highest among the 16-24 age bracket, and that women use a cell phone manually (not hands-free) more often than men.

These figures come from the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS), the only nation-wide probability-based observed data on driver electronic device use in the United States.

For more information, download the NHTSA Research Note.

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Promoting Health-Conscious Employees

A new study found that businesses that have a strong culture of health have employees who are happier, less stressed, and more proactive towards their well-being.

Consumer Health Mindset was conducted by Aon Hewitt, the National Business Group on Health, and The Futures Company. The study involved over 2,700 employees (and their dependents) in large employer-sponsored health plans and sought to identify their perspectives, behaviors, and attitudes towards health and wellness.

The responses were then compared with those of workers in organizations that do not have health programs. The survey found that organizations that promote worker health, had a larger number of employees get their annual physical check-up in the past year and exercise at least three days a week.

For more information, read the AON press release.

Protecting Farmers from Pesticide Exposure

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeks to revise the Worker Protection Standard in order to enhance the protection of farmers and their families from pesticides.

There are about two million farmers in the United States, and the revisions aim to improve their training on pesticide use, including the prevention and treatment of pesticide exposure.

The proposed changes would also inform workers of their safety rights under the law, and aim to prohibit children under 16 years of age (except those on family farms) from using pesticides.

For more information, read the EPA press release. .

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