1. Head protection: ‘An absolute must

    Keeping an eye out for hazards that could lead to a blow to the head – and safeguarding against them – is vital in the workplace.

    It’s also required: OSHA has standards focused on head protection: OSHA 1910.135(a) and 1926.100(a).

    “It’s an absolute must in most hazardous environments,” said David Consider, senior workplace safety consultant at the National Safety Council, “the infamous ones being construction and mining.”

    Deaths linked to traumatic brain injury more commonly occur in construction – NIOSH data shows that a quarter of all fatalities in the industry from 2003 to 2010 were the result of a TBI. But the risk for head injuries also is present in numerous other occupational sectors.

    So, how can safety pros help protect workers?

    Types of protection

    “You can see some head injur
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  2. UAE authorities warn companies over breaching health and safety rules

    UAE authorities have warned companies they face severe penalties if they fail to provide a safe working environment for employees.

    In a social media post, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation told employers to ensure they follow health and safety rules. These include:

    • Ensure working areas are not used to store material, equipment or rubbish and that sufficient space around machinery is provided to allow workers to move freely and avoid injury

    • Take necessary precautions to protect workers from falling objects

    • Fill potholes and drain stagnant water on the premises

    • Provide fire-resistant equipment

    • Mark entrances and emergency exits

    Under Article 342 of UAE law, employers can face up to five years in prison and be fined if found guilty of causing injury or
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  3. How workplaces can address safety during a power outage

    Workplace power outages can become more than inconveniences. They can also pose safety risks to the people affected. Here’s how to minimize the associated threats.

    Understand the company’s power outage risk

    A good starting point is for business leaders to learn what factors are most likely to cause future power outages. One recent study of the electricity supply on the west coast of the United States found that climate change and associated severe weather will likely put the electrical grid under more strain.

    Beyond that study, some areas of the country are particularly likely to experience hurricanes and ice storms depending on the season and the amount of local preparedness for dealing with those events. Company decision-makers should assess how they have historically dealt with power outages. Did any safety issues arise during those instances? What lessons did the business learn from them?

    Compiling that information can

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  4. Fall Arrest Protection by MSA

    There are many scenarios where working at height is simply unavoidable and some of the most hazardous work sees operatives working on top of an elevated surface or structure. It’s here where selecting the correct fall arrest solution is critical. Jon Rowan, Product Line Manager at MSA Safety, explores where, when and how Self-Retracting Lifelines (SRLs) should be deployed for vertical fall arrest protection, and looks at the features that define the most reliable, robust and best lifetime-value equipment.

    Despite significant advances in risk awareness and safety technology, falls from height remain a significant cause of injury and death. According to the HSE’s figures for fatal injuries in Great Britain for 2019-20, 29 workers suffered fatal injuries as a result of falling from height – that’s just over 26% of all UK fatalities in the workplace. Over the last five years, falls from a height have accounted for 26% of all fatal accident injuries (an average of 37 fatal injurie

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  5. Workplace Safety Begins at Home

    The new ASSP president credits EHS professionals with keeping workers safe and the doors of a business open throughout the pandemic.

    Bradley D. Giles, president of Bradley Giles and Associates, has spent most of his 40-year career in construction and mining. His long association with the safety profession was influenced by family tragedies, as both his grandfather and great-grandfather died in mining incidents. Since joining the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) in 1981, he has received the President’s Award twice and was honored as an ASSP Fellow in 2010. He took the reins as the association’s 107th president on July 1, 2021.

    EHS Today talked with Giles about safety’s expanded role due to the pandemic and his plans for ASSP going forward.

    EHS Today: What are your thoughts on how the profession dealt with the pandemic?

    Bradley Giles: In the past 16 months, the true value of the safety professional came through. How we as safety peopl

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  6. Coronavirus advice for employers

    This guidance was updated on 26 November and comes into force on 2 December. It is for everyone who has been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable (via letter from the NHS or GP).

    The guidance has been updated to support the clinically extremely vulnerable in protecting themselves from exposure to coronavirus . It replaces previous guidance on shielding that was in place during the 4-week period of National Restrictions. The guidance is set out in 2 parts:

    ● Updated advice on protecting the clinically extremely vulnerable, based on the tiers of local restrictions in your area. The advice sets out the additional things people at the highest risk from COVID-19 are advised to do to keep themselves safe for each tier.
    ● Updated shielding advice that is more targeted and will only apply in some of the worst affected areas and only for a limited period of time. People are only advised to follow shielding advice if they receive a new written shielding notification.

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  7. Ergonomic Considerations for Fall Harnesses When Working at Height

    Workers who spend a great deal of time working at height depend on their fall protection PPE harnesses. They want their gear to be comfortable and lightweight, not hot and heavy. Some harnesses can claim they are lighter weight, but that doesn’t always equate to comfort, especially for workers of varying shapes and sizes. Let’s explore some of the things that can make fall protection harnesses more comfortable, lighter weight and easily incorporated with other PPE.

    Since “falls from height” rank first in cause of death for the construction industry, it’s critical that workers are appropriately protected. These features will make it easier for workers to be compliant by encouraging them to wear their gear properly and keep themselves and the jobsite safe:

    ■ Ergonomic safety
    ■ Lightweight and Flexible
    ■ Integration with other PPE

    Ergonomic Safety

    Comfort is key to performance and that is where ergonomics comes in. Ergon
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  8. Slowing down is safety common sense, but overcoming resistance requires purpose

    Both Visual Literacy and Human and Organizational Performance (HOP) emphasize slowing down with purpose.

    As humans, about half of our personalities are wired more towards action, fast-paced, and getting things done, making it harder to slow down and get help. The other half of us are wired more toward needing additional information, being more methodical. This makes it harder for us to speed through tasks. For those of us who don’t naturally slow down, factors in addition to our personality wiring include production pressures, time pressures, peer pressure, rewards for output, customer demands, and a focus on outcomes.

    Those are external drivers of moving too fast. The consequences can be serious, leading to near misses, minor and serious injuries, even fatalities. Rushing through jobs can lead to overlooking hazards, taking risks, working with faulty equipment, dispensing with personal protective equipment (PPE), short-cutting safety rules and procedures, and half-hearted a

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  9. Enterprise Health Prepares Health Systems to Administer COVID-19 Vaccine to Employees

    As several biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies begin to apply for and receive emergency use authorization from the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for their COVID-19 vaccines, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has activated the distribution phase of its Operation Warp Speed Strategy for Distributing a COVID-19 Vaccine. The playbook for this phase of the plan is complex and relies on several critical components including the need for appropriate IT architecture to support an extensive data monitoring infrastructure.

    The data monitoring infrastructure will be relied upon to identify when a person needs a potential second dose, to monitor outcomes and adverse events, and to account for products the U.S. government is spending billions of dollars to research, develop and produce. Organizations that administer vaccines will need the capability to accurately capture and share data at the federal, state, local and tribal levels to ensure efficient management

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  10. Lawmakers, UMWA join call for MSHA to lower exposure limit to silica

    Washington — Five Senate Democrats are imploring the Mine Safety and Health Administration to lower its exposure limit for crystalline silica – a carcinogen found in sand, stone and artificial stone.

    In a letter dated Nov. 20 and addressed to MSHA administrator David Zatezalo, Sens. Joe Manchin (WV), Sherrod Brown (OH), Bob Casey (PA), Tim Kaine (VA) and Mark Warner (VA) write that the findings of a recent Department of Labor Office of Inspector General report contending MSHA’s silica exposure limit is out of date “illustrates the need for urgent action.”

    The agency’s silica exposure limit of 100 micrograms per cubic meter of air was established in 1969. Although OSHA has since lowered its silica exposure limit to 50 micrograms per cubic meter, “both OSHA and NIOSH warned that 50 μg/m³ is the lowest feasible limit, not the safest,” DOL OIG states in the report released Nov. 16.

    Further, DOL OIG says a recent increase in progressive massive fibrosis – the mo

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