May 1, 2014 | Volume 12, Number 9

Report: 2014 Preventable Deaths

The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH) is calling for public access to National Fatality Data and immigration reform to help enhance worker safety in the United States.

These were among the recommendations offered by National COSH in 2014 Preventable Deaths: The Tragedy of Workplace Fatalities, an annual report published during Workers’ Memorial Week.

In the report, National COSH summed up the latest safety and illness statistics; looked at the case studies of seven employees who died on the job; and gave special focus on silica dust, “a silent killer” that affects millions of American workers.

The report is from various government agencies.

Download the report.

Study: Noise Exposure and Hearing Loss Can Impact Work-Related Injuries

Exposure to noise and accompanying loss of hearing among employees is linked to risk of injury, according to a study recently published in Injury Prevention.

The study examined and collected health data from employees who experienced at least one-work related injury that resulted in hospital admission in the space of five years after undergoing hearing tests between 1987.

Two things were discovered: (1) the risk of injury increased for each decibel of hearing loss and (2) there was an association between the extent of a workplace’s danger and the level of its ambient noise.

The study was conducted by researchers affiliated with the Institut national de santé publique du Quebec.

For more information, read the abstract or the article in Safety & Health magazine.

Injuries in Agricultural Sector Underreported

Seventy-seven percent of injuries and illnesses to agricultural workers and farmers are not reported, according to research from the University of California Davis School of Medicine.

The discrepancy is partly due to the government’s focus on mid- to large-sized farming enterprises, which accounts for less than fifty percent of employment in the agricultural sector.

To address the gap, the researchers collected data from various sources which cover a wider range of “farming environments,” including family farms. According to their study, there are approximately 74,932 injuries and illnesses for crop farms, and 68,504 for animal farms. Both figures are not reported accurately in government data.

Underreporting tends to shift costs to government social programs or charity care and hinders a more accurate view of where safety and prevention can help.

The study was published last month in the Annals of Epidemiology.

For more information, read the UC Davis press release.

OSHA to Hold Informal Hearing on Extending Crane Operator Certification Deadline

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will hold a public hearing on May 19, 2014 to solicit the public’s feedback on whether to extend the compliance date for meeting crane operator certification requirements.

On February 10 OSHA proposed to extend the deadline to November 2017. The proposal elicited comments from many stakeholders, including a request for a hearing.

The hearing will take place at 9:30 a.m., Monday, May 19 in the auditorium of the U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20210.

For more information, read the OSHA press release.

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