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New short videos from OSHA provide training to help inform workers on the proper use of respirators

 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has posted a series of 17 videos to help workers learn about the proper use of respirators on the job.

These short videos, nine in English and eight in Spanish, provide valuable information to workers in general industry and construction.  Topics include OSHA’s Respiratory Standard, respirator use, training, fit-testing and detecting counterfeit respirators.  The videos are available with closed captioning for streaming or download from OSHA’s Web site.

OSHA’s Safety and Health topics page on Respiratory Protection also includes additional training materials, information about occupational respiratory hazards in different industries, and details of OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard (29 CFR 1910.134 and 29 CFR 1926.103).

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees.  OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.  For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

 

Posting of Injury and Illness Summary Required

 

 

By Neal O’Briant, Public Information Officer, NC DOL

Employers are reminded that they must post a summary of work-related injuries and illnesses that occurred in 2011. The N.C. Department of Labor requires the summary be posted from Feb. 1 through April 30.  Most employers must keep a Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (Form 300) that records work-related fatalities, injuries and illnesses.  The Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (Form 300A) is compiled from the data on the log.  Companies without any injuries and illnesses should post the summary with zeroes on the total lines. 

A company executive must certify that they have examined the OSHA 300 Log and that
they reasonably believe that the annual summary is correct and complete.
“This posting requirement is an important way employers keep their employees informed about safety and health conditions in the workplace,” said Wanda Lagoe, Bureau Chief of the Education, Training and Technical Assistance Bureau.

Companies that had 10 or fewer employees at all times during the previous calendar year are exempt from keeping injury and illness logs and posting summaries.  Certain businesses classified in a specific low-hazard retail, service, finance, insurance or real estate industry are also exempt from keeping injury and illness logs and posting summaries unless requested to do so for survey purposes.

For more information about recording criteria or for a list of exempt industries, contact the Education, Training and Technical Assistance Bureau at 1-800-625-2267 or locally at 919-807-2875.  Workplace Applications software can generate the OSHA 300, OSHA 300A or OSHA 301, or you can visit www.nclabor.com for more details.

If you are not located in NC, please check your own state for posting requirements.

 

OSHA publishes Injury and Illness Prevention Programs White Paper

 

 

OSHA has published a new Injury and Illness Prevention Programs White Paper on the agency’s Web site. An injury and illness prevention program is a proactive process to help employers find and fix workplace hazards before workers are hurt. These programs are effective at reducing injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. Many workplaces have already adopted such approaches, for example as part of OSHA’s cooperative programs. Not only do these employers experience dramatic decreases in workplace injuries, but they often report a transformed workplace culture that can lead to higher productivity and quality, reduced turnover, reduced costs, and greater employee satisfaction.

Thirty-four states and many nations around the world already require or encourage employers to implement such programs. The key elements common to all of these programs are management leadership, worker participation, hazard identification and assessment, hazard prevention and control, education and training, and program evaluation and improvement.

OSHA believes that adoption of injury and illness prevention programs based on simple, sound, proven principles will help millions of U.S. businesses improve their compliance with existing laws and regulations, decrease the incidence of workplace injuries and illnesses, reduce costs (including significant reductions in workers’ compensation premiums) and enhance their overall business operations. Read more on OSHA’s Injury and Illness Prevention Programs Web page.

OSHA has also initiated a Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) Panel Process on a draft Injury and Illness Prevention Program rule on January 6, 2012. The SBREFA Panel process is an opportunity, prior to publishing a proposed rule, for affected small entities (including small businesses, small local governments and small not-for-profit entities) to provide input on the impacts of a draft proposed rule–as well as alternatives that OSHA is considering–on small business and to suggest ways such impacts might be decreased, consistent with agency statutory goals.

OSHA convened a SBREFA Panel, which consists of members from OSHA, the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, and the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (5 U.S.C. 609 (b)(3)). Visit the OSHA Web site for more information on the SBREFA process.

 

 

CAOHC and Pulmonary Function Technician First Quarter 2012 Schedules

 

 

 

See below for our course offerings for the first quarter of 2012 for Hearing Conservation and Pulmonary Function Technician Training:

CAOHC Occupational Hearing Conservation Certification

• January 4-6, 2012 (Toledo, OH)
• January 11-13, 2012 (Greensboro, NC)
• February 1-3, 2012 (Louisville, KY)
• February 7-9, 2012 (Greenville, SC)*
• March 5-7, 2012 (Indianapolis, IN)
• March 14-16, 2012 (Greensboro, NC)
• March 21-23, 2012 (Bloomington, IL)
• March 21-23, 2012 (Honolulu, HI)

CAOHC Occupational Hearing Conservation Recertification

• January 5, 2012 (Toledo, OH)
• January 12, 2012 (Greensboro, NC)
• February 2, 2012 (Louisville, KY)
• February 8, 2012 (Greenville, SC)**
• March 6, 2012 (Indianapolis, IN)
• March 15, 2012 (Greensboro, NC)
• March 22, 2012 (Bloomington, IL)
• March 22, 2012 (Honolulu, HI)

*Held at Greenville Technical College in Greenville, SC, taught by Workplace Integra, Inc. instructor.

NIOSH Spirometry Initial Training

National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety

 

 

• February 22-23, 2012 (Greensboro, NC)

NIOSH Spirometry Refresher Training

• February 22, 2012 (Greensboro, NC)

Complete 2012 Training Schedule

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hearing for the first time

  

In the spirit of the season, we present the story of Sarah Churman, a mother-of-two from Texas, was born profoundly deaf and had relied all her life on conventional hearing aids to make out basic sounds.

But she underwent pioneering surgery in September to have an Esteem hearing device implanted into her head.

Eight weeks after the nine-hour operation, the device was turned on.

In the video, which her husband filmed as the implant was switched on, Sarah hears herself laugh.  Overcome with emotion at hearing herself for the first time, she then bursts into tears.

The video speaks volumes. Click here to watch.

Follow Sarah’s blog: http://sarahchurman.blogspot.com/

And for another feel good video, click here to see an 8 month old baby hearing his mother’s voice for the first time.

Buy Quiet

National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety

Quieter tools and machines lead to decreased hearing loss among the workers who use them.  So why aren’t companies “buying quiet”? Read more about the challenges in this area and what NIOSH is doing to make it easier to “buy quiet”.  Join the discussion on the NIOSH Science Blog.

NIOSH Gives Guidance on Reducing Noise Hazards for Call Center Operators

National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety

 

 Workers at call and dispatch centers may suffer hearing damage as a result of high noise level exposures through their headsets. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has released recommendations to help workers deal with this problem.

According to NIOSH, call and dispatch center workers face:
• Acoustic trauma from sudden spikes in noise levels, such as feedback into a headset.
• Background noise from incoming calls, and
• Background noise from other workers and equipment, such as air-conditioners or heating systems.

NIOSH says many workers face exposure to noise levels between four and 18 decibels (dB) higher than the recommended exposure limit of 85 decibels, A-weighted, over an eight-hour average.

Many call center/dispatch workers interviewed by NIOSH reported ringing in their ears, headaches, irritability, increased tension and fatigue as a result of frequent exposure to loud sounds.

Workers who experience tinnitus (ear ringing), a dulled sense of hearing or fullness in their ears after a shift should speak to their supervisor and ask for advice.

NIOSH also recommends that workers:
• Avoid setting the volume control beyond the midpoint.
• Ask to try different headsets with improved protection or noise-canceling features.
• Clean and maintain their headsets periodically and replace them when they notice damage or decreased performance.
• Take advantage of breaks in quiet areas whenever possible.
• Ask co-workers to use lower volumes on sound-generating devices.

Read NIOSH document here:

Shortage of OSHA Professionals Coming Soon, NIOSH Survey Predicts

National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety

The warning confirms problems that are well known — students aren’t well aware of OSH degree programs, for example — and highlights funding cuts felt by academic programs that do not receive NIOSH funding.
•         Oct 24, 2011
A new report from NIOSH predicts that the national demand for occupational safety and health services will far exceed the number of professionals with the necessary training, education, and experience to provide them. The conclusion is based on a national survey.
While employers plan to hire at least 25,000 OSH professionals in the next five years, only about 12,000 new graduates are expected from the academic programs that fill the need. According to NIOSH, these hiring estimates include new or replacement positions.

“Robust businesses are essential for U.S. economic recovery and growth and, in turn, safe and healthy workplaces are a vital ingredient of any successful business plan,” said NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard. “The results of this NIOSH-commissioned survey suggest a troubling shortfall of professional expertise at a time when such services are most needed. NIOSH will continue to work with partners and stakeholders to identify and pursue ways to meet this critical training need for the 21st Century. The need for an adequate supply of trained professionals is particularly great, as we anticipate that growing numbers of older professionals will retire over the next decade and as new technologies continue to enter the workplace requiring specialized skills and knowledge. For more than 40 years, under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, NIOSH has provided fundamental support for the academic programs that provide such training.”
 
NIOSH commissioned the survey in 2008 from Westsat, an independent research firm that designed and conducted it. The agency said the survey found that:
•  Degree programs in occupational safety and health have experienced declines in funding from university, college, and department sources, especially among programs that do not receive NIOSH funding.
•  Students who might be interested in an occupational safety and health degree face inadequate or limited financial aid and a lack of knowledge about these degree programs.
•  While employers generally are satisfied with OSH professionals’ level of training in their specific work areas, they would like new graduates to have training in additional relevant areas, including leadership and communication.

The report, titled “National Assessment of the Occupational Safety and Health Workforce,” is posted on the NIOSH website at www.cdc.gov/niosh/oshworkforce/ and printed copies will be available later this year.