Author Archives: OH&S News

Georgia DOT Suspends Some Construction Work During Eclipse

Georgia DOT Suspends Some Construction Work During EclipseTo ensure safety and ease traffic congestion, construction-related lane closures on interstate and secondary routes in Metro Atlanta and Northeast Georgia will be suspended from noon to 7 p.m. on Aug. 21.Aug 18, 2017The Georgia Department of Transportation has decided to suspend construction-related lane closures on interstate and secondary routes in Metro Atlanta and Northeast Georgia because of the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse that is crossing the continental United States from Oregon to South Carolina.It will pass over Northeast Georgia, and partial coverage will occur in Metro Atlanta, according to the agency. Its announcement encourages drivers to be safe during the eclipse and says, to ensure safety and ease traffic congestion, construction-related lane closures on interstate and secondary routes in Metro Atlanta and Northeast Georgia will be suspended from noon to 7 p.m. on Aug. 21.It also says, "If you must be on the road during the eclipse, please remember:Don't park along the shoulder of the road, highway, or interstate to view the eclipse.Exit the roadway and park in a safe area away from traffic before viewing the eclipse.During the eclipse, it will be similar to nighttime travel, so turn on headlights.Don't look at the sun and don't wear opaque sun shades while driving.Let's block ads! (Why?)

New York Paperboard Mill Issued 61 Citations

New York Paperboard Mill Issued 61 CitationsCarthage Specialty Paperboard faces $357,445 in penalties for more than 60 safety and health violations.Aug 18, 2017 A New York-based paperboard mill announced its plan to contest findings that it exposed employees to more than 60 health and safety hazards, creating an unsafe work environment. OSHA in Syracuse issued a total of $357,445 in penalties to Carthage Specialty Paperboard after discovering many serious safety hazards including more than 20 instances of machinery lacking proper safety guards to prevent employees from the risk of amputation. In addition to missing safety guards, machinery did not have safety locks to prevent an accidental startup during maintenance. Officials also discovered that metal catwalks – some as high as 13 feet – did not feature restraints to help protect people from falling and employees did not receive required training or personal protective equipment to work on electrical systems with up to 2,300 volts, which could put them at serious risk of electrocution. Other citations were issued for workers entering confined spaces without prior atmospheric testing or means to rescue persons overcome by fumes, and for exposing employees to struck-by hazards when the company failed to inspect cranes and hoists. OSHA opened its inspection of Carthage Specialty Paperboard Inc., on Dec. 27, 2016, in response to an allegation of unsafe working conditions. "The violations found during this investigation put employees at serious risk of injury or even worse," said OSHA Area Director Christopher Adams in a news release. "This is a significant number of hazards for a single workplace. Carthage Specialty Paperboard must implement corrective measures to protect their employees' safety and health." Let's block ads! (Why?)

Mylan Paying $465 Million to Settle Case About EpiPen Classification

Mylan Paying $465 Million to Settle Case About EpiPen ClassificationThe U.S. Department of Justice announced the settlement Aug. 17 in a case that generated widespread attention about the rising cost of the anti-allergy EpiPen auto-injection device.Aug 18, 2017Pharmaceutical companies Mylan Inc. and Mylan Specialty L.P. have agreed to pay $465 million to resolve claims they violated the False Claims Act by knowingly misclassifying EpiPen as a generic drug to avoid paying rebates owed primarily to Medicaid, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Aug. 17, in a case that generated widespread attention about the rising cost of the anti-allergy EpiPen auto-injection device. Mylan Inc. and Mylan Specialty L.P. are wholly owned subsidiaries of Mylan N.V., which is headquartered in Canonsburg, Pa."This settlement demonstrates the Department of Justice's unwavering commitment to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for schemes to overbill Medicaid, a taxpayer-funded program whose purpose is to help the poor and disabled," said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler of DOJ's Civil Division. "Drug manufacturers must abide by their legal obligations to pay appropriate rebates to state Medicaid programs."The settlement provides for resolution of all potential Medicaid rebate liability claims by the federal government, as well as potential claims by certain hospitals and other covered entities that participate in the 340B Drug Pricing Program. The settlement allocates money to the Medicaid programs of all 50 states and establishes a framework for resolving all potential state Medicaid rebate liability claims within 60 days. In connection with the settlement, Mylan also has entered into a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services. The settlement does not contain an admission or finding of wrongdoing.Mylan will reclassify the EpiPen Auto-Injector for purposes of the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program and pay the rebate applicable to innovator products effective as of April 1, 2017."As we said when we announced the settlement last year, bringing closure to this matter is the right course of action for Mylan and our stakeholders to allow us to move forward. Over the course of the last year, we have taken significant steps to enhance access to epinephrine auto-injectors, including bringing a solution to the fast-changing healthcare landscape in the U.S. by launching an authorized generic version at less than half the wholesale acquisition cost of the brand and meaningfully expanding our patient access programs," Mylan CEO Heather Bresch said. "Mylan has always been committed to providing patients in the U.S. and around the world with access to medicine, and we look forward to continuing to deliver on this mission.""Mylan misclassified its brand name drug, EpiPen, to profit at the expense of the Medicaid program," said Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb. "Taxpayers rightly expect companies like Mylan that receive payments from taxpayer-funded programs to scrupulously follow the rules. We will continue to protect the integrity of Medicaid and ensure a level playing field for pharmaceutical companies.""Our five-year corporate integrity agreement requires intensive outside scrutiny to assess whether Mylan is complying with the rules of the Medicaid drug rebate program," added Gregory E. Demske, chief counsel to the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "In addition, the [agreement] requires individual accountability by Mylan board members and executives."Let's block ads! (Why?)

Union Pacific Launches 'Your Life Is Worth the Wait' Campaign

Union Pacific Launches 'Your Life Is Worth the Wait' Campaign"Train accidents are preventable if people actively think about their safety at railroad crossings and choose to stop and patiently wait for approaching trains," said Cameron Scott, Union Pacific's executive vice president and chief operating officer.Aug 18, 2017Union Pacific launched a "Your Life Is Worth the Wait" public railroad safety campaign on Aug. 15 on Facebook, YouTube, Hulu, and online news sites. It invites visitors to watch and share videos on social media to help their relatives and friends prevent tragedies on railroad tracks. Sharing the videos via social media could save lives, says the Omaha, Neb.-based company.One video is titled "Think You'll Hear a Train? Think Again." It explains that most of the noise created by a train is behind the locomotive, so a person on the tracks as a train approaches may not hear it until it's too late."Trains cannot swerve or stop quickly. Unfortunately for drivers and pedestrians, trains follow the rails forward, hitting anyone or anything in their paths," said Cameron Scott, Union Pacific's executive vice president and chief operating officer. "Train accidents are preventable if people actively think about their safety at railroad crossings and choose to stop and patiently wait for approaching trains."The company says according to the Federal Railroad Administration, 94 percent of train-vehicle collisions are attributed to driver behavior or poor judgment. The new campaign highlights risky driver and pedestrian behaviors in videos "dispelling misconceptions that a train's enormous size and sounds are obvious warnings that prevent people from getting hit."The company's YouTube videos put viewers in the driver's seat as hurrying motorists approach railroad tracks. Viewers choose the ending by clicking a "cross" or "don't cross" option, each of which leads the driver to a different ending and reminds viewers it's worth the wait to spend a few minutes letting trains pass at railroad crossings. Union Pacific's "Curfew" video follows a teenage boy hurrying to get his date home before curfew and racing to beat an approaching train at a crossing.Let's block ads! (Why?)

Steelmaker Fined $1.2 Million for Toxic Release

Steelmaker Fined $1.2 Million for Toxic Release"It was extremely fortunate no one was seriously affected by this incident. Had the flammable vapor cloud ignited, this could have resulted in multiple fatalities," HSE inspector Stephen Hargreaves said. "This incident highlights the need for all duty holders to implement and address all concerns and potential risks which have been identified. Tata's failure to do so in this case put a number of workers at risk of serious harm."Aug 17, 2017Britain's Health and Safety Executive announced that Tata Steel has been fined about $1.19 million for a release of toxic and flammable substances from its Scunthorpe facility on June 17, 2011. Hull Crown Court heard that a large quantity of benzole -- a coal tar product that is a combination of benzene and toluene -- was released at Tata's Scunthorpe Steel Works, producing a large, flammable vapor cloud that exposed five workers to the risk of serious injury, or death if the cloud had ignited.Two of the workers suffered breathing difficulties, were transported to a hospital, and were discharged the following day.HSE's investigation found Tata Steel failed to take appropriate measures to prevent the release of the toxic and flammable chemical and failed to address risks that had previously been identified. The incident could have been avoided entirely had it done so, according to HSE, which reported the site in Scunthorpe is a top tier Control of Major Accidents Hazards site due to the large amounts of highly flammable and toxic chemicals stored there.Tata Steel UK Limited of Millbank, London, pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2 (1) and 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £930,000 (about $1.19 million in U.S. dollars) and ordered to pay costs of £70,000."It was extremely fortunate no one was seriously affected by this incident. Had the flammable vapor cloud ignited, this could have resulted in multiple fatalities," HSE inspector Stephen Hargreaves said. "This incident highlights the need for all duty holders to implement and address all concerns and potential risks which have been identified. Tata's failure to do so in this case put a number of workers at risk of serious harm."Let's block ads! (Why?)

HHS Appoints Members to Panel on Serious Mental Illnesses

HHS Appoints Members to Panel on Serious Mental Illnesses"We look forward to working with the committee to get individuals with serious mental illness the care they need," HHS Secretary Dr. Tom Price said. "For too long, our nation has let down Americans with serious mental illness, and the committee will help inform HHS's efforts to turn that around."Aug 17, 2017The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has appointed a group of national experts to guide a new initiative that will better serve Americans with serious mental illness, according to the department. The Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC) was established by the 21st Century Cures Act to improve federal coordination of efforts that address the needs of adults with serious mental illness and children and youth with serious emotional disturbance; they often lack access to evidence-based treatment and supports and experience high rates of suicide, unemployment, homelessness, criminal justice involvement, and other negative outcomes, the agency noted, adding that HHS Secretary Dr. Tom Price has identified serious mental illness as one of his department's top three clinical priorities.The committee consists of senior leaders from 10 federal agencies that include HHS, Justice, Labor, Veteran Affairs, Defense, Housing and Urban Development, Education, and the Social Security Administration, plus 14 non-federal public members. HHS received more than 200 nominations.These national experts were selected to serve three-year terms:Linda S. Beeber, Ph.D., PMHCNS-BC, FAAN, distinguished professor, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of NursingRon Bruno, founding board member and second vice president, CIT InternationalDr. Clayton Chau, M.D., Ph.D., regional executive medical director, Institute for Mental Health and Wellness at St. Joseph-Hoag HealthDavid Covington, LPC, MBA, CEO/president, RI InternationalMaryann Davis, Ph.D., research associate professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical CenterPete Earley, authorPaul Emrich, Ph.D., under secretary of Family and Mental Health, Chickasaw NationMary Giliberti, J.D., CEO, National Alliance for Mental IllnessElena Kravitz, Peer Support Provider and manager, Collaborative Support Programs of New JerseyDr. Kenneth Minkoff, M.D., Zia PartnersElyn Saks, J.D., Ph.D., professor of paw, Legal Scholar, University of Southern California Gould School of LawJohn Snook, executive director/attorney, Treatment Advocacy CenterRhathelia Stroud, J.D., presiding judge, DeKalb County Magistrate CourtConni Wells, owner/manager, Axis Group, LLCLet's block ads! (Why?)

Dan Post Boots Recalled

Dan Post Boots RecalledCPSC warned that the boots and shoes can fail to protect feet when heavy or sharp objects fall on them, posing an injury hazard to wearers.Aug 17, 2017Dan Post Boot Company of Clarksville, Tenn., has recalled one of its protective boots after receiving a report that a wearer suffered a broken foot when a tire fell onto his foot. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that customers immediately stop wearing the recalled boots and return them to the company for a full refund. The company imported the boots, which are made in China.They were sold at Gerler and Son Inc., Grainger Inc., Safety Solutions Inc., Standup Rancher, and other independent safety stores nationwide and online at Kohls.com, Steel-Toe-Shoes.com, Thewesterncompany.com, and Workboots.com their from October 2013 through June 2017 for between $80 and $130.CPSC warned that the boots and shoes can fail to protect feet when heavy or sharp objects fall on them, posing an injury hazard to wearers.To contact the Dan Post Boot Company Return Department, call 866-301-4488 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern weekdays, emailt [email protected], or visit www.danpostboots.com and click on the recall tab.The recall involves 7,200 units of McRae Industrial brand steel toe boots, static dissipative shoes, and composite boots. There are seven styles of the McRae Industrial brand shoes included in the recall with model numbers MR85300, MR85394, MR47321, MR47616, MR87321, MR43002, and MR83310 printed on a tag on the lining of the boot or the tongue of the shoe.Let's block ads! (Why?)

Order Signed for Mexico's Largest Wind Park

Order Signed for Mexico's Largest Wind Park"Mexico is undergoing a historical moment in its energy policy and we are extremely pleased to play an active role in this process. By building Mexico's largest wind park with Vestas' turbines, we are taking a bold step in the country's transition towards renewables," said Adrián Katzew, CEO of Zuma Energía.Aug 16, 2017Vestas, a major manufacturer of wind turbines, announced Aug. 15 it has received an order from Zuma Energía for the largest wind park in Mexico. The Reynosa III project will be built in Tamaulipas and be home to 123 of the company's V136-3.45 MW turbines equipped with blades 66.7 meters long. Total power output will be 424 MW, according to the company's release.The contract includes supply, installation, and commissioning of the wind turbines and a 15-year Active Output Management 5000 service agreement. Delivery of the wind turbines is expected to begin in late 2017 with commissioning expected in 2018.It is a firm and unconditional order for the Parque Eólico Reynosa, which will be Mexico's largest wind park and one of the largest wind power projects in Latin America. Established in 2014, Zuma Energía is a leading Mexican player within renewable energy financially backed by Actis and Mesoamerica, which have a successful track record of building large renewable energy operations across the Americas and Europe, Vestas announced."Mexico is undergoing a historical moment in its energy policy and we are extremely pleased to play an active role in this process. By building Mexico's largest wind park with Vestas' turbines, we are taking a bold step in the country's transition towards renewables," said Adrián Katzew, CEO of Zuma Energía."Tamaulipas has a leading position in the country within wind energy, and we are proud to be part of this by installing the Reynosa project. The blades for V136-3.45 MW projects in Latin America will be produced in Mexico, which underlines our long-term localisation strategy in Mexico and Vestas' strong commitment to support Mexico' renewable target of 35 percent of clean energy by 2024," added Angélica Ruiz Celis, Vestas' managing director for Mexico and northern Latin America.Let's block ads! (Why?)

KDOL Amusement Ride Rules Hearing Scheduled

KDOL Amusement Ride Rules Hearing ScheduledThe proposed permanent regulations mirror the temporary regulations that went into effect July 1, 2017.Aug 16, 2017The Kansas Department of Labor has scheduled a public hearing has been set on Sept. 7 to discuss the new, permanent rules and regulations under the Kansas Amusement Ride Act. It is set to start at 9 a.m. at the Kansas Department of Labor, 401 SW Topeka Blvd. in Topeka, in first floor hearing room 3. The proposed permanent regulations mirror the temporary regulations that went into effect July 1, 2017.Comments or questions on the proposed regulations and requests for copies of the proposed regulations or economic impact statements should be sent to the Kansas Department of Labor, Attn: Bradley R. Burke, 401 SW Topeka Blvd., Topeka, KS, 66603 or emailed to [email protected] act says no amusement ride may be operated in Kansas unless a valid permit for the ride has been issued by KDOL and the owner of the ride has registered with KDOL as an amusement ride owner. In order to obtain a permit to operate an amusement ride in Kansas, the owner must first submit an application packet with KDOL. The owner must submit proof of insurance, report of itinerary, certification of inspection by a qualified inspector, and written certification that the ride meets the applicable ASTM International F24 committee standard.Let's block ads! (Why?)

Gains Made in Fingerprint Analysis: NIST

Gains Made in Fingerprint Analysis: NISTAn algorithm developed by NIST and Michigan State University researchers may help to reduce the chance of human error in the first step of fingerprint analysis.Aug 16, 2017Scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Michigan State University have developed an algorithm that automates an important step in fingerprint analysis, publishing their research in IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security. The accomplishment is important because research has shown fingerprint examination can produce erroneous results, according to the NIST news release, which cites a 2009 report from the National Academy of Sciences that found results "are not necessarily repeatable from examiner to examiner" and even experienced examiners may disagree with their own past conclusions when they re-examine the same prints later.The algorithm may help to reduce the chance of human error, it says."We know that when humans analyze a crime scene fingerprint, the process is inherently subjective," said Elham Tabassi, a computer engineer at NIST and a co-author of the study. "By reducing the human subjectivity, we can make fingerprint analysis more reliable and more efficient.""At a crime scene, there's no one directing the perpetrator on how to leave good prints," explained Anil Jain, a computer scientist at MSU and co-author of the study. When an examiner receives latent prints from a crime scene, the first step is to judge how much useful information they contain. This first step is standard practice in the forensic community, and thus is the step automated by the researchers, Jain said.After that initial step, if the print contains sufficient usable information, it can be submitted to an Automated Fingerprint Identification System, which searches its database and returns a list of potential matches to be examined for a conclusive match."If you submit a print to AFIS that does not have sufficient information, you're more likely to get erroneous matches. If you don't submit a print that actually does have sufficient information, the perpetrator gets off the hook," Tabassi said.Let's block ads! (Why?)