Turn to OH&S for the latest news in the occupational health & safety industry.  Don't want to miss any news?  Subscribe to our RSS News feed.

Safety Precautions Issued for Lake Berryessa Visitors

The federal Bureau of Reclamation's Lake Berryessa office in Napa, Calif., is asking visitors to take extra caution when in or around the lake this winter. The lake is high due to recent storms, and recent wildfires have brought more sediment and downed trees into the lake.

NYPD Demands Waze Stop Letting Users Log Police Checkpoints

"Individuals who post the locations of DWI checkpoints may be engaging in criminal conduct since such actions could be intentional attempts to prevent and/or impair the administration of the DWI laws and other relevant criminal and traffic laws," wrote NYPD acting Deputy Commissioner Ann Prunty in a Feb. 2 letter to Google.

IIHS Estimates More Than 800 Traffic Deaths in 2017 Linked to Cellphone Manipulation

IIHS noted that a 2018 national survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that 64 percent of respondents consider distracted driving a much bigger problem now than it was three years ago.

Series of Arson Fires Plagues Anchorage

A fire on Jan. 26 destroyed a partly constructed, 141-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel in the city, with damage estimated at $20 million. Two restaurants in the same strip mall were set afire on Feb. 4 and Feb. 7.

Higher HIOSH Penalties Now in Effect

The maximum for a willful or repeated violation is now $132,598 per violation.

Justice Department Investigating Attorneys' Actions in Epstein Case

Alexander Acosta, the current U.S. secretary of Labor, was Miami's top federal prosecutor when he agreed in 2007 to allow multimillionaire defendant accused of coercing underage girls into sex acts at his Florida mansion to plead guilty only to two prostitution charges in state court, the Miami Herald reported in November 2018.

NYC Construction Activity Down Slightly in 2018

The Department of Buildings issued 165,988 construction permits in 2018, down from 168,243 in 2017 -- a drop of about 1 percent. This was the first decline in total permits issued year-over-year since 2009. However, 2018's permit totals are the second highest on record.

FHWA Giving $705.7 Million in Emergency Funds to 34 States

Some of the funding was designated to help states recover from some of the largest incidents in recent years, including the eruption of Kilauea in Hawaii last year, the Oroville Dam emergency in northern California in 2017, and Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria in 2017.

Colorado Agency Holding Feb. 14 Public Hearing on Revised Explosives Regulations

The regulations cover permits and the storage, transportation, and use of explosive materials. They would take effect May 1, 2019.

Houston's Main Airports Set Passenger Records in 2018

George Bush Intercontinental Airport and William P. Hobby Airport set new records for passenger numbers in 2018, topping 58 million passengers for the first time.

Ohio BWC Awards Safety Grants to 35 Employers

Thirty-five employers will share $891,979 in grants from the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation to purchase equipment designed to substantially reduce or eliminate workplace injuries and illnesses, the agency announced Jan. 29.

FDA Advisory Committee to Meet on Next Season's Flu Vaccine

The Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee will meet March 6-7 in Silver Spring, Md., to discuss and make recommendations on the selection of strains to be included in the influenza virus vaccines for the 2019-2020 flu season.

OSHA Joins Alliance Focused on Safe Handling of Fertilizers

Announced Feb. 4, the alliance already has completed its first project: a training video showing a mock agricultural retail facility inspection. The video was filmed at the ResponsibleAg training facility in Owensboro, Ky.

NTSB Issues Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements for 2019-2020

"The 2019–2020 Most Wanted List advocates for 46 specific safety recommendations that can and should be implemented during these next two years," said NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt. "It also features broad, longstanding safety issues that still threaten the traveling public."

State Health Departments Urging Procrastinators to Get Flu Shots

"If you haven't gotten a flu shot yet, don't hesitate; there's still time," Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said. "The flu vaccine is the best precaution you can take, and it not only helps protect you, but also your family members, neighbors, co-workers, and anyone you come in contact with. We're seeing increasing numbers of flu cases across the commonwealth, so don't wait to get your shot."

HELP Committee May Take Up Mugno Nomination

President Donald J. Trump nominated Mugno, who was vice president for Safety, Sustainability and Vehicle Maintenance at FedEx Ground in Pittsburgh, Pa., to be the head of OSHA on Oct. 27, 2017. The failure of the U.S. Senate to confirm him for well over a year has puzzled many safety professionals and their professional organizations.

Ohio Governor Signs Domestic Violence Executive Order

His order directs all state agencies, boards, and commissions to take necessary corrective actions, up to and including termination, when an employee commits or threatens to commit domestic violence on state property, at state-sponsored events, or when using state resources; and to contact law enforcement if an incident occurs.

Eighteen Volcanoes Ranked Highest in New USGS Threat Assessment

The new assessment updates one done in 2005. It indicates 161 U.S. volcanoes pose potential threats to American lives and property. The eighteen very highest threat volcanoes are in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington, while 39 other volcanoes are high threat, 49 are moderate, 34 are low, and 21 are very low threat.

Tunnel Under Downtown Seattle Opens to Traffic

The tunnel replaces the seismically vulnerable Alaskan Way Viaduct, which will be demolished.

Agency Recommends Revamping Taxiways at Canada's Busiest Airport

The board's investigation found that all 27 runway incursions at Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport between June 2012 and November 2017 happened on the inner runway after the flight crews involved had landed on the outer runway and were taxiing on a rapid-exit taxiway between the two runways. It found that several characteristics of the rapid exits in this area are different from almost every other major airport in North America.

NIOSH Reopens Comment Period on Fentanyl-Protective Products in PPE Database

The reopened comment period is for the agency's invitation to manufacturers to take part in an expansion of the PPE-Info database by adding products that protect against fentanyl exposure.

Cal/OSHA Reminds Employers to Post 2018 Injury and Illness Summaries

Summaries of work-related injuries and illnesses must be posted each year from February 1 through April 30, even if no workplace injuries occurred during the prior year.

Oregon OSHA's 2019 Safety Break Set for May 8

Now in its 16th year, Safety Break encourages employers to bolster workplace safety and health with training, award recognition gatherings, or other creative activities.

If It's Super Bowl Week, Counterfeit Cops Are Busy

Special agents from ICE teamed with industry, Customs and Border Protection, Atlanta police officers, and other partner agencies to identify flea markets, retail outlets, and street vendors selling counterfeit goods during the week leading up to Super Bowl LIII. They seized fake jerseys, hats, cell phone accessories, and thousands of other bogus items.

Report Finds Construction Fatalities Continue to Increase in New York State

In the "Deadly Skyline: An Annual Report on Construction Fatalities in New York State" report, researchers found that while New York State has seen an increase in fatalities related to construction, construction fatality rates in New York City construction continue to decrease.

Northern Virginia Highways Projects Announced

In all, Transurban has committed more than $1 billion over the next five years to fund enhancements to the regional transportation network.

Coast Guard Suspends Search for Alaska Aircraft

The Guardian Flight twin-engine King Air with three employees on board went missing Jan. 29.

Solid Waste Industry Experienced Unprecedented Increase in Fatal Incidents in January 2019

"The surge in fatal incidents involving solid waste personnel and vehicles in January is unprecedented in my 20-plus years in the industry and is unacceptable," said David Biderman, executive director and CEO of SWANA.

House Labor Committee's Subcommittee Chairs Chosen

Chairman Bobby Scott also announced the committee's first four hearings will concern protections for workers with pre-existing conditions, gradually raising the federal minimum wage to $15, investing in America's public schools, and preventing gender-based wage discrimination.

Indiana State Senator Seeks to Scrap Child Labor Laws

Sen. Chip Perfect, CEO of a ski resort that employs hundreds of minors, is getting noticed for his bill seeking to remove restrictions on the hours 16- and 17-year-old employees can work.