Author Archives: OH&S News

Buoyancy Compensation Vests Recalled

Buoyancy Compensation Vests Recalled CPSC reported that Mares has received one report of a loose deflator button, but no injuries have been reported. The vests were sold at specialized dive shops and online from June 2018 through March 2019 for about $350 to $825. Jun 18, 2019 Mares of Boca Raton, Fla., has recalled about 600 units of its XR buoyancy compensation vests because their deflation button can come unscrewed and result in loss of buoyancy, posing a drowning hazard, the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced June 12. Owners of the vests are asked to contact Mares at 800-874-3236 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern weekdays, e-mail [email protected], or visit https://www.mares.com/us-US/sports/extended-range/recall/, or go to the Mares USA main website, click or hover on "Scuba Diving" on the gray toolbar at the top of the page, then click on "Recall" for more information. The recall involves Mares XR buoyancy compensation vests used for scuba diving. The serial number is printed on a rectangular label on the inflator's body; the recall affects serial numbers from 8A-02001 to 8A-07630. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled buoyancy compensation vests and take them to a Mares scuba dealer for a free repair. CPSC reported that the company has received one report of a loose deflator button, but no injuries have been reported. The vests were sold at specialized dive shops and online from June 2018 through March 2019 for about $350 to $825. Let's block ads! (Why?)

FDA Cites Poor Manufacturing Processes in Supplements Seizure

FDA Cites Poor Manufacturing Processes in Supplements Seizure "This seizure underscores the agency's commitment to taking aggressive action when manufacturers distribute adulterated dietary supplements that have the potential to put consumers at risk," said Melinda K. Plaisier, FDA's associate commissioner for Regulatory Affairs. Jun 18, 2019 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently announced that at its request, U.S. marshals seized more than 300,000 containers of dietary supplements, including tablets, capsules, and teas, from Life Rising Corporation. The seized goods, which were held by Life Rising or manufactured in the company's facility in Willowbrook, Ill., consisted of more than 500 products bearing brand names Life Rising, Holicare, or HopeStream and are valued at approximately $3.5 million. The U.S. district court for the Northern District of Illinois determined there was probable cause that the company prepared, packed, and/or held dietary supplements under conditions that do not conform to the dietary supplement current good manufacturing practice requirements, FDA reported. "This seizure underscores the agency's commitment to taking aggressive action when manufacturers distribute adulterated dietary supplements that have the potential to put consumers at risk," said Melinda K. Plaisier, FDA's associate commissioner for Regulatory Affairs. "The FDA has a variety of enforcement tools at its disposal, and when products don't comply with FDA regulations, we will not hesitate to take appropriate action." The agency reported that its inspection at Life Rising found that the company failed to establish product specifications for the identity, purity, strength, and composition of each finished batch of dietary supplement and for limits on certain types of contamination, to ensure the quality of the supplement. The company also lacked written procedures for pest control and for maintaining, cleaning, and sanitizing equipment and/or surfaces that came in contact with the dietary supplements, among other violations, FDA reported. Based on these CGMP violations, FDA issued an Administrative Detention Order to prevent the products from reaching consumers until they could be seized. In May 2019, FDA also issued a safety alert for three Life Rising products (Life Rising Holder-W Holder Warmer capsules, Life Rising NECK-ND Neck Clear capsules, and HoliCare Metabolism Cleansing tablets) because those products may be contaminated with lead. These products were recalled by the company on May 2, a day before the safety alert was issued. Let's block ads! (Why?)

NFPA Presents Top 2019 Awards

NFPA Presents Top 2019 Awards The 2019 recipient of the Standards Medal, the top award given by the NFPA Standards Council, is Stephen J. King, III, whose 30-year career began with the Fire Department of New York, where he rose through the ranks to become commander for Battalion 54. King was the city-wide safety chief on September 11, 2001, when the World Trade Center buildings were struck by hijacked airplanes. Jun 18, 2019 The National fire Protection Association presented its top 2019 awards recognizing outstanding achievements in fire and life safety on June 16 during its Conference & Expo in San Antonio. The awards included: Harry C. Bigglestone Award, given annually to a paper appearing in Fire Technology that best represents excellence in the communication of fire protection concepts. This award honors the memory of Harry C. Bigglestone, who served as a trustee of the Fire Protection Research Foundation, and was a fellow and past president of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers. The award is accompanied by a $5,000 cash prize from NFPA. The 2019 Harry C. Bigglestone winning paper is "Wind and Fire Coupled Modelling," by Dr. Wojciech Wegrzyński, assistant professor and deputy head of the Fire Research Department of the Polish Building Research Institute in Warsaw and Tomasz Lipecki, a head of the Smoke Control, Detection and Fire Automation, Fire Research department of the institute. Fire Protection Research Foundation Medal, which recognizes the Fire Protection Research Foundation project completed in the previous year that best exemplifies the foundation's fire safety mission, technical challenges that have been overcome, and a collaborative approach to execution. The Fire Safety Challenges of Tall Wood Buildings (Phase 2) project was selected as the winner of the 2019 Research Foundation Medal. The project aimed to quantify the contribution of cross laminated timber building elements (wall and/or floor-ceiling assemblies) in compartment fires and evaluate the relative performance of those elements compared to other building systems commonly used in tall buildings. The Foundation Medal will be presented to Daniel Brandon, a researcher within the fire research division at the Research Institutes of Sweden; Matthew Hoehler, a research structural engineer at NIST; Birgit A.-L. Östman, affiliated with Linnaeus University in Växjö, Sweden; and Joseph Su, a principal research officer at the National Research Council of Canada, Fire Safety Unit. The Industrial Fire Protection Section Fire Prevention Week Award recipient is Robbie Stone. Prior to becoming fire chief in 2006 of Atkinson County (Ga.) Fire Department, Stone was the director of the Emergency Management Agency. He is also a Georgia Certified Volunteer Fire Chief through the Georgia Chiefs Association. He served as a volunteer in the fire service for more than 15 years. Stone was instrumental in creating a new fire safety program, resulting in a 30 percent drop in fire calls, when two towns consolidated their fire services. The 2019 recipient of the Standards Medal, the top award given by the NFPA Standards Council, is Stephen J. King, III, whose 30-year career began with the Fire Department of New York, where he rose through the ranks to become commander for Battalion 54. King was the city-wide safety chief on September 11, 2001, when the World Trade Center buildings were struck by hijacked airplanes. He suffered injuries from the incident and subsequently retired but has remained actively involved in the fire service, serving as chairman of the NFPA Technical Committee on Structural and Proximity Fire Fighting Protective Clothing and Equipment. Let's block ads! (Why?)

Live From Safety 2019: Wrap-Up

Live From Safety 2019: Wrap-Up The Safety 2019 Professional Development Conference & Exposition went by in a busy blur! We’ve rounded up some of the highlights from the show floor—you can catch up on everything you may have missed on our Live From Safety 2019 Social Zone at OHSonline.com/live. Jun 17, 2019 NEW ORLEANS – The Safety 2019 Professional Development Conference & Exposition went by in a busy blur! We’ve rounded up some of the highlights from the show floor—you can catch up on everything you may have missed on our Live From Safety 2019 Social Zone at OHSonline.com/live. It was definitely warm in New Orleans—and not just because of the DuPont Thermo-Man demonstration Monday evening! Luckily, the show floor was air-conditioned for attendees and the almost 700 exhibitors. There was plenty to do and see on the packed show floor, and we highlighted some of the most exciting activity on our Live From Safety 2019 Social Zone at OHSonline.com/live, sponsored by Avery Products, Columbia Southern University, Little Giant Ladders, MCR Safety, and Tingley. Here’s a peek into OH&S’s coverage of Safety 2019. It’s a wrap on another successful ASSP show for Avery Products. Hundreds of enthusiastic safety professionals stopped by the Avery booth to learn about quick, easy and cost-effective GHS, safety label & sign products that can be printed on-site with standard laser and inkjet printers for instant compliance. If you missed Avery Products at the ASSP show, learn more at: www.avery.com/industrial. Donnie with @AveryProducts shows off the wide variety in sizing of Avery GHS labels. See them for yourself at #Safety2019 booth 329! pic.twitter.com/tmEYkxMJrG — OccHealthSafety (@OccHealthSafety) June 12, 2019 Let's block ads! (Why?)

ANSI Board Approves By-Laws Changes

ANSI Board Approves By-Laws Changes The changes clarify the roles and responsibilities of the four Committees of ANSI (the Executive Standards Council, Board of Standards Review, ANSI ISO Council, and the USNC Council) and underscore that members of these committees, because they make decisions on behalf of ANSI, are fiduciaries of ANSI and are subject to conflict of interest requirements. Jun 14, 2019 The American National Standards Institute announced that its board of directors has approved proposed amendments to the ANSI By-Laws, as well as a Response to Comments document that addresses input from ANSI members on the proposed changes. Approved June 5, the By-Laws will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020. The proposed changes were published and distributed in December 2018 and members were invited to comment during a 45-day comment period. "ANSI believes that these modifications will continue to protect the integrity of ANSI's decision-making and further enhance ANSI's ability to serve the needs of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment communities," said ANSI president and CEO S. Joe Bhatia. The organization reported that some of the more significant changes to the By-Laws are designed to: clarify the roles and responsibilities of the four Committees of ANSI (i.e., the Executive Standards Council, Board of Standards Review, ANSI ISO Council, and the USNC Council) and underscore that members of these committees, because they make decisions on behalf of ANSI, are fiduciaries of ANSI and are subject to conflict of interest requirements simplify and flatten ANSI's organizational structure, with all four Committees of ANSI reporting directly to the ANSI Executive Committee clarify that Policy Committees, now called Policy Advisory Groups, are advisory in nature and that their members are not fiduciaries, but also reconfirm their continued importance to ANSI in developing ANSI policy positions on international, national, and IP-related issues include a comprehensive Code of Conduct to replace the former Code of Ethics that provides guidance on how ANSI volunteers are expected to behave at any ANSI meeting or gatherings, including board, committee, forums, and Policy Advisory Groups ANSI also has released a document of Frequently Asked Questions that provides members with details about why revisions were undertaken and a description of and rationale for proposed changes. Let's block ads! (Why?)

Bureau of Prisons Launches ‘Ready to Work’ Program

Bureau of Prisons Launches 'Ready to Work' Program "Ready to Work" seeks to secure every offender reentering his or her community an opportunity to quickly find work. This includes the approximately 2,200 inmates scheduled for early release due to good conduct on July 19, after changes in the First Step Act become effective. Jun 14, 2019 The federal Bureau of Prisons on June 13 announced a new program, "Ready to Work," to work directly with interested employers seeking to hire newly released inmates. The bureau wants to connect employers directly to inmates to improve reentry outcomes, at a time when employers in some industries are struggling to find enough qualified employees. "The Justice Department is committed to fully implementing the First Step Act," said Attorney General William Barr. "This includes helping offenders successfully reintegrate into the community – a critical factor in preventing recidivism and, in turn, reducing the number of crime victims. Finding gainful employment is an important part of that process." The act was passed in 2018. "Ready to Work" seeks to secure every offender reentering his or her community an opportunity to quickly find work. This includes the approximately 2,200 inmates scheduled for early release due to good conduct on July 19, after changes in the First Step Act become effective. BOP has long recognized that inmates benefit from a variety of self-improvement programs. Federal inmates participate in vocational training, educational classes, and skills groups, all of which contribute to employment readiness and help to develop high-quality employees. "Newly released individuals can provide an untapped source of qualified employees for businesses having difficulty hiring during this strong economy," said Acting BOP Director Hugh Hurwitz. "The BOP is working to strengthen existing, and build new, partnerships with businesses across the country to ensure that inmates have solid employment opportunities upon release." Every day, BOP releases hundreds of individuals into communities throughout the country. Prior to their release, many of these individuals will have utilized BOP occupational training programs that produce skilled workers in a variety of professional fields, such as HVAC, plumbing, masonry, aquiculture, computers and technology, carpentry, cosmetology, medical billing, and food preparation. Even those who do not qualify as skilled workers will have participated in BOP educational classes and self-improvement programming designed to improve community reintegration. To learn more about "Ready to Work," including BOP's employment readiness programs, or to begin working with the agency to hire newly released individuals, employers may contact BOP's Reentry Services Division by emailing BOP-RSD/[email protected] Let's block ads! (Why?)

Colorado Behavioral Health Task Force Meeting July 1

Colorado Behavioral Health Task Force Meeting July 1 The task force will evaluate Colorado's behavioral health system and write a statewide strategic blueprint to reform the system with the goal of allowing every Coloradan experiencing behavioral health needs to receive timely, high-quality services in his or her community. Jun 14, 2019 The Colorado Department of Human Services and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis have announced the members of the newly created Behavioral Health Task Force and its three subcommittees. CDHS tweeted that more than 500 people applied for a position on the task force, which will evaluate Colorado's behavioral health system and write a statewide strategic blueprint to reform the system with the goal of allowing every Coloradan experiencing behavioral health needs to receive timely, high-quality services in his or her community. There are 100 seats in all on the state task force and the subcommittees -- the State Safety Net subcommittee, the Long-Term Competency subcommittee, and the Children's Behavioral Health subcommittee. "I am proud to lead this task force so we can urgently work to create a roadmap for behavioral health in our state," CDHS Executive Director Michelle Barnes said. "The 100 citizens we have selected will make a critical difference for people dealing with issues related to mental health and substance abuse. I want to thank everyone that applied and encourage all Coloradans to stay involved, as there is much work to be done." The first meeting will be July 1. There, the main task force will outline its vision and how it will measure progress toward completing the blueprint by June 2020. There will be opportunities for the public to contribute through town hall meetings and discussions around the state. Let's block ads! (Why?)

BSCP Presents 2019 Awards

BSCP Presents 2019 Awards The Board of Certified Safety Professionals presented its most prestigious awards on June 12 during a luncheon at the American Society of Safety Professionals' Safety 2019 Conference and Exposition, including the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award. Jun 13, 2019 NEW ORLEANS -- The Board of Certified Safety Professionals presented its most prestigious awards on June 12 during a luncheon at the American Society of Safety Professionals' #Safety2019 Conference and Exposition here. The recipients were Stewart Burkhammer, CSP, OHST; Carl Heinlein, CSP, OHST, STSC; Tye Legleu, CSP, OHST; and Eric Simmons, CSP, SMS, CHST, STSC. BCSP reported that its board of directors' Awards Committee received many submissions for the 2019 awards and selected what it described as "four exemplary certificants." Burkhammer received the BCSP Lifetime Achievement Award. Heinlein received the CSP Award of Excellence, Legleu received the OHST Award of Excellence, and Simmons received the CHST Award of Excellence. Burkhammer thanked his mentors as he accepted his award and commented on his view of the future of the profession. "I am deeply honored and humbled to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from BCSP in recognition of my 50-plus years of working in the environmental, safety, and health field. I have spent a career speaking out on various issues and have learned that the voice of one person has a much greater impact when it is the voice of a group," he said. "I am extremely proud of the growth of the ES&H community. The ES&H professional of the future will be someone who is comfortable with not just developing, but promoting culture changes strategies." BSCP congratulated the recipients, reporting that all four have contributed a great deal to the EHS profession, and also thanked everyone who submitted a nomination and encouraged future submissions. Let's block ads! (Why?)

Charting a Path to Prevent Patient Lifting Injuries

Charting a Path to Prevent Patient Lifting Injuries Musculoskeletal injuries remain a major hazard for nurses and nursing assistants in hospitals, home health, and other settings, presenters stressed during an ASSP Safety 2019 session on June 11. Jun 12, 2019 NEW ORLEANS -- Back injuries remain a major concern for nurses, nursing assistants, EMTs, firefighters, home health aides, and other workers who must help lift and move patients, two presenters said during a June 11 session at the American Society of Safety Professionals' #Safety2019 Professional Development Conference and Exposition here. Neal Wiggermann, Ph.D., CPE, a specialist research scientist in human factors and ergonomics for medical equipment manufacturer Hill-Rom, and Yeu-Li Yeung, MS, OT/L, CPE, CSPHP, patient care ergonomics coordinator at Duke University and Duke Health, discussed the scope of the injury problem among these workers and the successes so far of Duke's Safe Patient Handling and Mobility Program (SPHM). "We have plenty of equipment that can help us move boxes and patients now -- but that's not enough. We need a program," Yeung explained. Wiggermann said some of the activities in which workers and patients are frequently hurt include moving patients, transferring patients from a bed to a chair or toilet, repositioning patients in bed, and weighing patients. In 2017, the rate of musculoskeletal injuries for all health care workers was 32 per 10,000 employees, but it was 48 for registered nurses and about 200 for nursing assistants that year, he said. For firefighters, the rate was about 170 per 10,000. He mentioned a 2011 study involving 4,000 nurses in which many reported they frequently or mostly miss care that has been ordered by doctors, care that calls for getting patients turned or up and moving. "What we're still seeing in nursing schools is body mechanics. They're still training nurses to lift with their legs, not their backs," he said, explaining that most current training in lifting techniques for nurses is not protecting them against back injuries. Duke's SPHM program began in 2004. It has made use of the American Nursing Association's 2014 Safe Patient Handling and Mobility guidelines, Yeung explained. Now named DukeMOVES (for Move Often, Very Early, and Safely), the program acquired $1.2 million of new lifting and mobility equipment for three hospitals. Program managers ended up adopting a mobility assessment tool, she said. "Just because you have equipment doesn't mean they're going to use it," said Yeung, adding that the lifting equipment must be accessible and available ("in their face," as she put it) to ensure the workers will indeed use it. The program produced a 45 percent drop in the hospitals' DART rate for nursing personnel by FY2016 and is projected to achieve a 58 percent drop by FY2019, compared with FY2015, she said, and both patient falls and patient falls with injuries have declined. Let's block ads! (Why?)

Lots of Gray Areas in Marijuana Landscape, Panelists Say

Lots of Gray Areas in Marijuana Landscape, Panelists Say A June 12 panel discussion at the ASSP Safety 2019 conference examined the "crazy quilt" of U.S. laws growing up around the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana, how employers should respond to incidents and accommodate workers who seek help for opioid addiction, and how soon there could be a test to measure marijuana impairment. Jun 12, 2019 NEW ORLEANS -- One of the final general sessions at the American Society of Safety Professionals' #Safety2019 Conference and Exposition was a June 12 panel discussion exploring the implications of widespread marijuana legalization in the United States for employers, workers, and safety and HR professionals. Not surprisingly, it drew a large audience in a ballroom of the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, and it left as many questions unanswered as answered. In short, the patchwork of laws regarding legal medical marijuana is a "crazy quilt," panelist Adele Abrams, president of the Law Office of Adele Abrams, PC, said, with 33 states and the District of Columbia enacting a variety of laws and courts working to interpret them. "Keep on top of the laws. They are changing as we speak," advised another panelist, Eldeen Pozniak of Pozniak Safety Associates, Inc., in Saskatchewan, Canada, who said employers there are much less free than U.S. employers to conduct pre-employment or random drug tests of their workers. Yet Canada has legalized both medical and recreational marijuana. Thom Kramer, managing principal at LJB Inc. and an ASSP board member, moderated the discussion. The other two panelists were Dr. Marcos Iglesias, M.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer at Broadspire; and Stepanie Hopper, CEO of KSF Consulting in Denver, Colo., whose company is involved in the cannabis industry. Iglesias spoke most strongly about what he described as the problems legalizing marijuana is causing. "As a society, we know very little about marijuana," he said. "We have a rosy view of marijuana. . . . Our knowledge is very unscientific. We don't know." Abrams said she attended an FDA hearing two weeks ago on CBD products, which are derived from hemp but purported to contain no THC and thus be safe to use. "What came from that hearing is that we are in the wild, wild West when it comes to CBD," she said, adding that a host of CBD-containing products are available commercially but are not regulated by FDA, and the content of the products varies widely. She said a shop steward had told her that a worker who had taken CBP products and narrowly failed a employer's drug test has been barred from working on job sites for seven years as a result. Let's block ads! (Why?)