September 2019 Workplace Safety News and Notes

Medical / First Aid, Personal Protective Equipment, Safety News

Here’s a collection of safety news from around the web:

NIOSH Studies Work-related Asthma Prevention

NIOSH investigators are studying how to prevent work-related asthma by controlling exposure to hazardous substances. In two recent investigations, NIOSH evaluated the link between cleaning and disinfecting products and various asthma symptoms among healthcare workers, and also studied the presence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) among people with work-related asthma compared to other causes. Learn more.


NSC Toolkit Helps Employers Deal with Opioids in the Workplace

The National Safety Council now offers a free Opioids at Work Employer Toolkit that includes sample policies, fact sheets, presentations, 5-minute safety talks, posters, white papers, reports, videos and more to help employers implement an opioid program. Download it here.


Court Upholds OSHA Rule on Respiratory Threats

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently concluded that OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard requires employers to evaluate potentially harmful atmospheres to determine whether respirators are required and in selecting the appropriate respirator, rather than performing this evaluation after determining that respirators are necessary. So, employers should review their procedures for determining when it is reasonable to suspect employees may be exposed to harmful concentrations of airborne contaminants. Read more.


New Video: PPE Basics for First Responders Exposed to Fentanyl

NIOSH has released a video to help first responders understand PPE protocol when facing potential exposure to fentanyl. The 12-minute video illustrates fundamentals of PPE use when responding to situations with minimal, moderate and high exposure levels. Watch the video here.


Bosses Who Bully Undercut Workplace Safety, Raise Comp Costs

Bullied employees and their colleagues are less likely to engage in safe work practices, say researchers from Portland State University. Failing to address bullying behaviors can affect a company’s bottom line through absenteeism, lower productivity and increased workers compensation costs. A study found that abusive supervision was negatively related to employees’ engagement of safety behaviors as well as their objective safety performance. Learn more.


Court Holds Company President Personally Accountable for OSHA Fines

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently found a New Jersey construction company in contempt of court for failing to pay $412,000 in OSHA penalties. And if the company doesn’t pay the fines, the company president must. The court’s judgment specifies that the company president (and only board member) is liable for the full amount of the penalty if the company does not pay. Read more.


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