NIOSH To Offer Health Screenings for Coal Miners

Later this month, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) will launch a series of free, confidential health screenings that aim to detect cases of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP), which is more commonly known as black lung.

Black lung is caused by the inhalation of respirable coal mine dust and an increase in the number of cases has been noted, said NIOSH.

The health screenings are scheduled according to state/region. The first stops will be in coal-mining regions in Alabama from March 26 to April 15, 2017. Below is the rest of the itinerary.

  • Illinois and Indiana: May 10 to May 31, 2017.
  • Eastern Kentucky: July 30 to August 26, 2017.

NIOSH says that local and individual outreach will be done in all specific locations and stressed that all coal miners (current, former, underground, surface, and contract) are eligible for the health screening.

The health screening is estimated to take 30 minutes and results are confidential. The health screenings are offered as part of NIOSH Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program.

Read the NIOSH press release for further information.

Study Identifies Most Sleep-Deprived Occupations in the US

Surveying 22 major occupational groups, a study revealed that the fields with the highest occurrences of short sleep duration are (arranged from highest to lowest):

  • Production
  • Healthcare Support
  • Healthcare Practitioners and Technical
  • Food Preparation and Serving-Related
  • Protective Service.

Published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the study also provided findings on specific occupations under each group. For instance, under protective service, firefighters and fire prevention workers were the most sleep-deprived, while workers in nursing, psychiatry, and home health aide topped the healthcare support group.

The job with the highest rate of sleep deprivation was communication equipment operations, followed by ‘other transportation workers’ and then rail transportation employees.

Sleep deprivation costs the U.S. economy around $411 billion each year, as well as 1.2 million lost working days, according to the study.

To learn more about the study, its methodology, sources, and limitations, visit the full report.

Eye Protection Can Prevent “90 Percent of Work-Related Eye Injuries”

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) stated last month that 9 out 10 eye-related injuries can be avoided by wearing eye protection. Also, around 2,000 workers each year suffer from an eye injury that requires medical treatment, according to the AAO, and such injuries incur losses of over $300 million annually. Most eye injuries occur in construction, manufacturing, and mining.

As part of its mission, the AAO offered the following eye-safety measures. Workers should:

  • Ensure that eye protection is appropriate for the type of hazard. Hazardous radiation welding, chemicals, lasers, and fiber optics require special purpose equipment.
  • Check that protection is ANSI-approved and OSHA-compliant.

The AAO also stressed that eye-related hazards are not limited to just getting objects in our eyes. Screens, computers and digital gadgets also pose risks to eye health. Accordingly, the AAO advises the public to:

  • Adopt the 20-20-20 rule, which involves taking a break every 20 minutes to look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will allow the eyes to relax and relubricate.
  • Minimize glare on gadgets, tablets, and phones to help reduce eye strain.
  • Adjust the lighting in your workplace if light from the computer is brighter than that of the environment.

To learn more, read the AAO press release.

Study: Latino and African-American Workers Face Highest Safety Risk in their Jobs

Latino immigrant and African-American workers are the most vulnerable to worker hazards, according to a study by scholars from the University of Southern California.

Published in the February issue of Health Affairs, their journal article showed that Latino immigrants have an injury rate of 13.7 per 1,000 employees. Second were African-Americans at over 12 per 1,000. Next are U.S.-born Latino men at nearly 12 per 1,000. Caucasians stood at 11.8 per 1,000 and Asian-Americans were at 10 per 1,000.

One explanation for the high injury rates among Latino and African-American workers was that disparities in economic opportunities for minorities lead them to take more hazardous jobs, according to the study’s lead author, Seth Seabury.

To learn about the sources of the study’s findings and its limitations, read the full USC press release. The title of the study is Racial And Ethnic Differences In The Frequency Of Workplace Injuries And Prevalence Of Work-Related Disability.

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125 Organizations Sign Letter Opposing Congressional Veto Power Over Public Protections

Institutions, groups, and organizations from various sectors released a letter opposing the use of the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to ‘repeal public protections that are critical to the public’s health and safety, the environment, and a stable financial system that works for Main Street, and not Wall Street.’

According to the letter dated January 30, 2017, the leadership of the 115th Congress had invoked the use of the CRA. The CRA gives Congress the power to overturn a recently finalized rule through majority vote alone. Once overturned, a similar rule in the future may be difficult to pass, especially with a CRA provision that stipulates that any future regulation must not be substantially similar to its repealed counterpart.

Read the full letter.

A Look Inside STOP®

The award-winning DuPont™ STOP® program provides a path to workplace safety excellence by making safe behavior and workplace conditions part of the work culture – thus preventing injuries and incidents.

See for yourself how DuPont helps to provide people with the safest workplace possible with A Look Inside STOP®. During this one-day workshop, a certified STOP® trainer - who has hands-on experience implementing STOP® - will outline why the STOP® principles work, how the programs are structured and how it can be rolled out in your workplace.

Who Should Attend?

  • Safety personnel, safety committee members and operations managers who are new to the STOP® offering and would like to understand how the STOP® principles can revolutionize how employees look at safety.
  • Those who want to understand how improving employee observation and communication skills can not only reduce injuries, but also improve quality and productivity.
  • Those who haven't looked at STOP® for a few years. Come and see what's new!

A Look Inside STOP is $99 and includes lunch and refreshments. It runs from 8:30am-2:00pm. View the full agenda.

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