April 15, 2019
You probably have quite a bit of equipment on-site that is UL certified, but are you confident that you are using that equipment within the parameters for which it was certified? Or, have you ever wondered if a product UL mark on it, was actually certified by UL. Now you can find out easily online.
UL Product iQ, the next generation of UL’s online safety certification directory that allows you to quickly access UL certification data.
Users are required to register for an account, but access to certifications are free. A premium subscription to Product iQ allows you to purchase access to enhanced tools, including saved searches, tagging, and confirmation letters.
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Occupational Tick-Borne Disease Prevention
CONN-OSHA announced its plan
in 2017 to implement of a new and innovative strategy to prevent tick-borne disease transmissions at Connecticut workplaces by applying the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) standards within CONN-OSHA regulations. Now, CONN-OSHA has determined that within the State of Connecticut, effective preventive measures need to be implemented as part of the routine workplace health and safety programs that would protect employees from exposures to tick-borne diseases.
The State of Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH), the Connecticut Agricultural Experimentation Station (CAES), the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), University of Connecticut (UCONN), local health departments, and health districts routinely disseminate research findings and public health information, bulletins, advisories and recommendations on tick-borne disease (TBD) prevention. As such, there is a wealth of public health information. It is a role of Connecticut's public health apparatus to provide advice and recommendations to the public in order to enhance and increase awareness for the prevention of communicable disease.
Currently, CONN-OSHA inspections find that most employers do not have active TBD exposure prevention strategies in place. Effective strategies would include training on recognizing tick habitat, exposure avoidance, use of repellants, tick checks, blousing or tucking pant legs into socks, light colored work clothing, hygienic practices, correct tick removal, and reporting tick bites.
The debilitating tick-borne infection of Lyme disease was identified in Connecticut in 1975. Lyme disease has rapidly increased in range and frequency throughout New England, the mid-Atlantic and north-central states and has become the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. There are now seven tick-borne diseases known to have been transmitted in Connecticut.
The Powasson Virus (POWV) is an established and endemic zoonotic disease found during Connecticut tick and deer surveys. The first human transmission of a POWV infection in Connecticut occurred in the month of November 2017. It is currently considered a rare infectious disease. However it has a 10% fatality rate with cases having neuroinvasive involvement, and 50% of those who survive experience varying degrees of permanent brain damage and neurological impairments.
New and emerging TBDs in Connecticut are posing problems and challenges to employers and employees relevant to preventing occupational exposures. Workplace prevention of TBDs need to be implemented to provide a safer work environment.
Research studies are indicating that Connecticut woodland fauna ecology and environmental changes have been in flux for decades. New diseases and vector competent ticks are being introduced into our landscape and are advancing across the regional geography. Higher abundance of disease infected ticks is being reported within the fragmented forest landscape environments where our citizens live and work.
Now, with higher rates of human infections and emergence of new TBDs into our geography a fresh look at our relationship with our outdoor life and work environments is required. Those of us having occupational safety and health workplace responsibilities must meet the challenge of addressing these health hazards by raising the level of awareness to these pervasive diseases. In the long term, we must begin to address the larger disease ecology and vector control problems on our horizon. In the short term, we will begin to control our exposures to these preventable diseases.
By implementing workplace prevention and controls with the application of the existing CONN-OSHA standard 1910.132 "Personal Protective Equipment," we will begin to attack this pervasive and persistent public health problem from a different direction with a new and innovative approach. This inexpensive strategy does not require new regulations or amended legislation. It will raise public awareness and begin to change the way we work within high density disease endemic environments in our state.
All covered agencies within the State of Connecticut will be required to assess their workplaces for the known and recognized hazard of occupational exposure to tick-borne disease and to implement prescribed workplace control measures. Private sector employers within Connecticut under the jurisdiction of Federal OSHA should begin to implement these initiatives as well.
Below is a list of the best and most directly available resources for Connecticut employers to begin their assessments and to implement safety and health practices within workplaces having exposure to TBD.
References/ resource links for employers:
Ohio Construction Company Fined After Employee Suffers Injuries from Fall at Florida Worksite
OSHA has cited Hiebert Bros Construction LLC for exposing employees to fall hazards after a worker was injured from a 26-foot fall at a construction worksite in Gainesville, Florida. The company faces penalties of $56,828.
OSHA inspectors determined that the Berlin Heights, Ohio-based construction company failed to ensure that workers used fall protection systems while engaged in roofing activities, train employees on fall protection, and notify OSHA
within 24 hours of the employee’s hospitalization, as required. OSHA initiated the inspection in conjunction with the agency’s Regional Emphasis Program for Falls in Construction
“Falls continue to be the leading cause of fatalities in construction,” said OSHA Jacksonville Area Director Michelle Gonzalez. “Providing workers with fall protection is not optional. It is required by law to prevent worker injuries and fatalities.”
Southern New Jersey Contractor Fined for Disregarding Fall Protection Requirements
OSHA has cited Brutus Construction Inc. for exposing employees to fall and other safety hazards at a worksite in Souderton, Pennsylvania. The company faces $181,699 in penalties.
An OSHA inspector observed employees working without fall protection
on roofs at a residential construction site. OSHA cited
Brutus Construction Inc. for willfully exposing employees to fall hazards, repeat safety hazards, and failure to provide fall protection training.
“Companies that fail to meet basic fall protection requirements place employees’ lives at risk,” said OSHA Allentown Area Director Jean Kulp.
OSHA has cited Brutus Construction Inc. 19 times in the past for similar hazards and proposed nearly $440,000 in penalties.
Plastics Manufacturer Fined $159,118 for Exposing Employees to Amputations after Worker Injury
OSHA has cited Heritage Plastics Inc. for exposing employees to amputations at the company’s facility in Picayune, Mississippi. The plastics manufacturer faces $159,118 in penalties, including a willful violation that carries the maximum penalty allowed.
“Proper safety procedures, including the effective lockout of all sources of energy, could have prevented this employee’s serious injury,” said OSHA Jackson Area Office Director Courtney Bohannon. “Employers must take proactive steps to develop and implement energy control procedures to minimize risk to their employees.”
Ability to Lift Weights Quickly Can Mean a Longer Life
Prolong your life by increasing your muscle power. That’s the main message of a study presented at EuroPrevent 2019, a scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology.1
“Rising from a chair in old age and kicking a ball depend more on muscle power than muscle strength, yet most weight bearing exercise focuses on the latter,” said study author Professor Claudio Gil Araújo, director of research and education, Exercise Medicine Clinic – CLINIMEX, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. “Our study shows for the first time that people with more muscle power tend to live longer.”
Power depends on the ability to generate force and velocity, and to coordinate movement.2 In other words, it is the measure of the work performed per unit time (force times distance); more power is produced when the same amount of work is completed in a shorter period or when more work is performed during the same period.3Climbing stairs requires power – the faster you climb, the more power you need. Holding or pushing a heavy object (for example a car with a dead battery) needs strength.
Professor Araújo said: “Power training is carried out by finding the best combination of speed and weight being lifted or moved. For strength training at the gym most people just think about the amount of weight being lifted and the number of repetitions without paying attention to the speed of execution. But for optimal power training results, you should go beyond typical strength training and add speed to your weight lifts.”
Muscle power gradually decreases after 40 years of age. “We now show that power is strongly related to all-cause mortality. But the good news is that you only need to be above the median for your sex to have the best survival, with no further benefit in becoming even more powerful,” said Professor Araújo.
The study enrolled 3,878 non-athletes aged 41–85 years who underwent a maximal muscle power test using the upright row exercise between 2001 and 2016 (see photo). The average age of participants was 59 years, 5% were over 80, and 68% were men. The highest value achieved after two or three attempts with increasing loads was considered the maximal muscle power and expressed relative to body weight (i.e. power per kg of body weight). Values were divided into quartiles for survival analysis and analysed separately by sex.
During a median 6.5-year follow-up, 247 men (10%) and 75 women (6%) died. Median power values were 2.5 watts/kg for men and 1.4 watts/kg for women. Participants with a maximal muscle power above the median for their sex (i.e. in quartiles three and four) had the best survival. Those in quartiles two and one had, respectively, a 4–5 and 10–13 times higher risk of dying as compared to those above the median in maximal muscle power.
Professor Araújo noted that this is the first time the prognostic value of muscle power has been assessed. Previous research has focused on muscle strength, primarily using the handgrip exercise. The upright row exercise was chosen for the study because it is a common action in daily life for picking up groceries, grandchildren, and so on. The researchers are currently examining the link between muscle power and specific causes of death including cardiovascular disease and cancer. He added: “Doctors should consider measuring muscle power in their patients and advise more power training.”
How to train to increase your muscle power:
- Choose multiple exercises for the upper and lower body
- Choose a weight with the load to achieve the maximal power (not so easy to lift and not so heavy that you can barely lift it)
- Do one to three sets of six to eight repetitions moving the weight as fast as possible while you contract your muscles (slow or natural speed in returning to initial position)
- Rest for 20 seconds between each set to sufficiently replenish the energy stores in your muscles to start the new set
- Repeat the above for the other exercises (biceps curl, etc.).
How to progress:
- Start with six repetitions in each set and when the exercise becomes easy, try to increase to eight
- If it becomes easy again, increase the weight and go back to six repetitions
- If you unable to complete the repetitions with the proper technique, avoid cheating and go back to less repetitions or less weight. This is important to prevent injuries.
Cal/OSHA Reminder to Employers to Protect Outdoor Workers from Heat Illness
Temperatures at outdoor worksites across California are rising as the weather warms up. On Friday, Cal/OSHA will participate in a news conference and training sessions to help employers plan for and prevent heat-related illness and death from affecting outdoor workers.
Cal/OSHA’s heat illness prevention model includes annual trainings statewide in both
. The Nisei Farmers League and nine other agricultural employers will co-sponsor training sessions in Easton in both languages. This collaborative training has been held every year since 2008 to protect outdoor workers from heat illness and to highlight the requirements of the state’s heat illness prevention standard.
“When it comes to preventing heat illness, employers with outdoor workers should not wait until it gets hot to review their procedures and ensure their training is effective,” said Cal/OSHA Heat and Agriculture Program Coordinator David Hornung. “Workers should know the signs and symptoms of heat illness and what to do in case someone gets sick. This helps prevent serious and fatal heat illnesses while working outdoors.”
Heat illness is a serious hazard for people who work outdoors. Cal/OSHA’s investigates heat-related incidents and complaints of hazards at outdoor worksites in industries such as agriculture, landscaping and construction. These investigations ensure compliance with the heat illness prevention standard
and the injury and illness prevention standard
, which require employers to take the following basic precautions:
- Train all employees and supervisors on heat illness prevention.
Provide enough fresh water so that each employee can drink at least1 quart per hour, or four 8-ounce glasses of water per hour and encourage them to do so.
- Provide access to shade and encourage employees to take a cool‐down rest in the shade for at least 5 minutes. They should not wait until they feel sick to cool down. Shade structures must be in place upon request or when temperatures exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Closely observe all employees during a heat wave and any employee newly assigned to a high heat area. Lighter work, frequent breaks or shorter hours will help employees who have not been working in high temperatures adapt to the new conditions.
- Develop and implement written procedures for complying with the Cal/OSHA heat illness prevention standard, including plans on how to handle medical emergencies and steps to take if someone shows signs or symptoms of heat illness
We continue to conduct outreach, training, and enforcement to ensure the heat illness prevention standard is followed and outdoor workers have access to the water, rest and shade that keeps them healthy,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum.
The most frequent heat-related violation that Cal/OSHA cites during enforcement inspections is for failure to have an effective written heat illness prevention plan specific to the worksite. Serious heat-related violations are often related to inadequate access to water and shade, and to a lack of supervisor and employee training.
Additional information about heat illness prevention, including details on upcoming training sessions throughout the state are posted on Cal/OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention page
. Cal/OSHA also has extensive multilingual materials for employers, workers and trainers on its Water. Rest. Shade. public awareness campaign website.
Questions related to heat illness prevention should be directed to Cal/OSHA’s Consultation Services Branch
, which provides free and voluntary assistance to employers and employee organizations to improve their health and safety programs. Employers should call (800) 963-9424 for assistance from Cal/OSHA Consultation Services.
Noise Standards and Hearing Loss Prevention Is Topic of April 16 CONN-OSHA Roundtable
The Connecticut Department of Labor’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (CONN-OSHA) will cover noise standards and preventing hearing loss at its April 16 Breakfast Roundtable Discussion Group to be held 8:15 to 9:45 a.m. at the agency’s Wethersfield office, 200 Folly Brook Boulevard.
“Make OSHA’s Noise Standard Your Business,” will be presented by Deborah Pease, MPH and epidemiologist with the Connecticut Department of Public Health’s Environmental and Occupational Health’s Assessment Team, and Anne Bracker, MPH, Certified Industrial Hygienist, and CONN-OSHA Occupational Hygienist.
“Attendees will learn about the federal noise standard and how to use these guidelines to develop a customized hearing conservation program that meets their specific business needs,” explains John Able, CONN-OSHA Occupational Safety Training Specialist and roundtable project coordinator.
“Noise-induced hearing loss is a growing health issue among young adults and older Americans.” Able notes. “Nationwide, there are 48 million people with hearing loss, yet noise-induced hearing loss is 100 percent preventable.”
Able added that the Connecticut Young Worker Health and Safety Team – of which Pease is the chair – had made great progress in educating teens, teachers and employers about the issue of hearing loss. Bracker, who also has extensive experience in this subject, helps smaller businesses identify and control workplace hazards and prevent work-related injuries, illnesses and fatalities.
Admission to the breakfast is free, but pre-registration is required. Please contact Able at email@example.com to register or for additional information.
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