May 15, 2014 | Volume 12, Number 10

'Death on the Job:' AFL-CIO Releases Report

In 2012, 4,628 workers in the United States died because of workplace injuries, according to Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect, a report by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).

The report is a national and state-by-state profile of worker safety and health in the United States. Highlights include:

  • The states that had the most number of worker deaths were North Dakota, Wyoming, Alaska, West Virginia, and Montana.
  • The states with the lowest fatality rates were Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Washington.
  • North Dakota had the highest rate among all fifty states, 17.7 for every 100,000 workers. This is 500 percent higher than the national average.
  • The rate of Latino worker deaths was nine percent higher than the national average.

For more information, read the AFL-CIO press release or download the full report.

What Accounts for 43% of Fatal Worker Falls?

In the last decade, ladders have been involved in 43 percent of fatal falls among workers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report examines occupational ladder fall injuries in the United States. Some of the findings include:

  • Ladders were involved in 81 percent of fall injuries among construction workers treated in emergency rooms in the U.S.
  • In 2011, work-related ladder fall injuries resulted in 113 deaths; 15,460 employers reported nonfatal injuries that resulted in at least 1 day away from work; and 34,000 nonfatal injuries were treated in emergency rooms.

The CDC report is based on several safety databases -- the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries; the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses; and the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-occupational supplement.

For more information, view the full CDC report.

GHSA: Motorcycle Deaths Declined in 2013

According to preliminary data from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), motorcyclist fatalities in the United States decreased in 2013.

The report, The Spotlight on Highway Safety, collected data from 50 states and the District of Columbia (D.C.) and found that in the first nine months of 2013, 35 states plus D.C. experienced a drop in motorcycle deaths; 13 saw an increase; and two remained the same. These figures are in comparison with the first three quarters of 2012.

There were about 4,610 motorcyclist deaths in 2013, which represents a seven percent decline from that in 2012. The drop was partially attributed to weather. In 2012, the first six months of the year were warm and conducive to riding; the first nine months of 2013, were cooler and wetter, prompting motorcycle drivers to stay at home.

Despite the decline, the GHSA believes that motorcycle safety overall has not improved in the last fifteen years.

For more information and safety recommendations, read the GHSA press release.

Some Smartphone Apps May Be Used For Noise Measurements

A new study revealed that fourteen smartphone applications can measure sound with some accuracy, and thus may be used for occupational noise measurements.

Several iOS and Android apps met some occupational relevancy criteria:

  • Capacity to report unweighted (C/Z/flat) or A-weighted sound levels
  • 3-dB or 5-dB exchange rate
  • Slow or fast response
  • Equivalent continuous average sound level
  • Inclusion of the built-in microphone calibration

Among the ten iOS apps selected were Adv Decibel Meter 2.0; Decibel Meter Pro 2.0.5; iSPL Pro 1.1.4; and Noise Hunter 1.0.1. View the complete list.

The four Android apps that complied with the criteria were SPL Meter; deciBel Pro, dB Sound Meter, and Noise Meter.

For caveats, limitations, and other detailed information, visit the article page at the website of the Journal of Acoustical Society of America. .

DuPont Wins the National Safety Council Robert W. Campbell Award

DuPont received the Robert W. Campbell Award, which is given to an organization that demonstrates how its world-class performance in EHS management is linked to its success as a business.

Their “Committed to Zero” motto drives the organization to adhere to the highest standards of environmental, health and safety excellence.

In 2012, the recordable injury rate at DuPont improved by 13 percent compared to the previous year and its rate for the first quarter of 2013 was 38 percent better than that in 2012. This marked improvement in EHS performance parallels the company’s business success, as DuPont’s total revenue increased three percent in 2012 compared to 2011.

To find out more about DuPont’s journey, read the article in Safety and Health Magazine.

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