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.

Autonomous Railroads? FRA Seeks Input

Among the questions the agency asks are what are the safety and security issues raised by automation in railroad operations at public and private at-grade highway-rail crossings, and to what extent should DOT coordinate with state or local governmental entities on certain safety or security issues.

MTA Subway Action Plan Funded, Boosting Car Overhaul Rate

The busiest U.S. transit agency will be fully staffing its two car overhaul shops 24/7 and will now fully rehabilitate more than 1,300 cars per year.

Meetings Set on Metal and Nonmetal Mines' Examination Rule

Becoming effective on June 2, 2018, the rule will require that each working place be examined at least once each shift for conditions that may adversely affect safety or health of miners before work begins or as miners begin work in that place.

European Commission Setting New PELs for Five Carcinogens

According to the commission, the new limits would improve working conditions for more than 1 million EU workers and prevent more than 22,000 cases of work-related illness, including cancers.

Stand-Up for Grain Engulfment Prevention Week Under Way

Companies can take part by providing a focused activity or toolbox talk on topics such as lockout/tagout, walk down, fall prevention, permitting, or any other prevention measures.

GAO photo

GAO Recommends Eliminating Coal Mine Operators' Self-Bonding

GAO found that state agencies and OSMRE report they hold approximately $10.2 billion in surety bonds, collateral bonds, and self-bonds as financial assurances for coal mine reclamation. The stakeholders GAO interviewed identified several challenges OSMRE and state agencies face in managing financial assurances, citing industry bankruptcies and lower coal demand.

Two More States' Transit Safety Oversight Programs Certified

Thirty states still must meet the April 2019 deadline. If a state fails to meet the deadline, FTA is prohibited by law from awarding any new federal transit funds to transit agencies within the state until certification is achieved.

Colorado Agencies Open TIM Training Center

While dedicating the facility to all of Colorado's first responders, memorial plaques were presented to the families of CSP Troopers Jaimie Jursevics and Cody Donahue to honor their service and sacrifice on behalf of the residents of Colorado. Both were hit and killed by vehicles during traffic stops on I-25 in Douglas County.

FBI Offers Reward for Capture of Fugitive Mechanic in ValuJet Crash

The FBI is still seeking Mauro Ociel Valenzuela-Reyes, a mechanic who worked for ValuJet Airlines' maintenance contractor, SabreTech. He was facing criminal charges in 1999 following the crash of ValuJet Flight 592 in 1996. Crash investigators determined he had a role in the mishandling and packaging of oxygen generators that were placed in the DC-9's cargo hold.

Do Dangerous Goods Belong on Driverless Vehicles?

Do Dangerous Goods Belong on Driverless Vehicles?

Based on the current state of autonomous vehicles, we presume that while an employee may not “drive” the truck, a “safety engineer,” “operator,” or “attendant” will be in the vehicle during transport. Having a trained hazmat employee in the truck will be critical—at least until the next leap in artificial intelligence.

NNSA Team Wins Project Management Award

The presentation took place during the 2018 DOE Project Management Workshop held in Arlington, Va. The TWF project at Los Alamos National Laboratory is NNSA's first Hazard Category 2 Nuclear Facility project completed under budget.

HELP Committee Sets April 11 Hearing on Opioids Bill

"The opioid crisis is currently our most serious public health epidemic and despite efforts in every state, it's getting worse," Sen. Lamar Alexander said. "We've been listening to the experts for the last six months on how the federal government can help states and communities bring an end to the opioid crisis, and the bipartisan proposals in this draft reflect what we've learned."

UK Company Fined for Vibration Exposures

"No one's health should be made worse by the work they do. In this case, if Tai Calon had understood why health surveillance was necessary, it would have ensured that it had the right systems in place to monitor its workers' health," said HSE Inspector Paul Newton.

New Oregon Law Clarifies Hit and Run Driver's Responsibilities

Failing to perform the duties of a driver involved in a motor vehicle crash can result in felony charges, the Oregon Department of Transportation warns.

Surgeon General Says More Americans Should Carry Naloxone

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams is now recommending that more individuals, including family, friends, and those who are personally at risk for an opioid overdose, keep the drug on hand.

Wireless Emergency Alert Testing on Tap in D.C. Area

Twenty local jurisdictions will simultaneously issue a test message April 5 to the public through the WEA system.

Norfolk Southern's Safety Train Begins 2018 Tour

The train will stop in 23 cities this year as part of Norfolk Southern's Operation Awareness & Response program, which provides free training to first responders on how to safely respond to a potential rail hazmat incident.

Colorado Investigating Infection Control Breach at Denver Hospital

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issued a statement April 4 about the breach at Porter Adventist Hospital. The department is working with the hospital, which is notifying people who had orthopedic or spine surgery there between July 21, 2016, and Feb. 20, 2018, that some orthopedic or spine surgery patients may be at risk for surgical site infections or for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or HIV. No patient infections have been confirmed.

Kiewit Infrastructure workers placed leveling concrete for an access road below four energy dissipator blocks at the Oroville Dam

Oroville Dam's Partially Rebuilt Spillway May Be Used

The 2017/18 Lake Oroville Winter Operations Plan says the main spillway is to be used if the reservoir's elevation reaches 830 feet during the month of April. Current forecasts show inflows may raise the reservoir to near the 830-foot trigger elevation by the middle of next week. On April 3, the elevation was 794 feet.

Dollar Tree Cited Again in Washington State

"We are seeing the same safety violations at Dollar Tree stores over and over again in Washington," said L&I Division of Occupational Safety and Health Assistant Director Anne Soiza. "It's concerning because this is a national problem, as well. Employees, and sometimes customers, are being put at risk even though the fixes to these safety problems are simple."

West Virginia Debuts Webpage on Pipeline Projects

Information available on the page includes maps of the proposed pipeline routes and a link to WVDEP's searchable online database where additional information, such as any inspection and enforcement actions and any permit modifications, can be found.

The new specification can increase runway capacity by 5 percent at airports operating at or near maximum capacity, according to Eurocontrol.

Enhanced Time Based Separation Implemented at Heathrow

NATS announced that, working with Leidos and Heathrow Airport, it has launched the world's first fully systemized Optimized Runway Delivery tool. It will improve punctuality at the UK's busiest airport.

NASA Awards Big Contract for Design of Quieter Supersonic Aircraft

Under the $247.5 million contract, Lockheed Martin will complete the design and fabrication of an experimental aircraft known as an X-plane that can cruise at 55,000 feet at a speed of about 940 mph and create a sound about as loud as a car door closing, instead of a sonic boom, according to NASA.

MSHA Has Reopened Diesel Exhaust RFI for Comments

MSHA sought information and data on the effectiveness of its current standards and policy guidance on controlling miners' exposure to diesel exhaust -- standards that date to 2001, when an MSHA final rule established new health standards for underground metal and nonmetal mines that use equipment powered by diesel engines.

U.S. Steel Settles CWA Case Involving Wastewater Spill

A consent decree was filed in federal district court in the Northern District of Indiana that requires U.S. Steel to pay more than $600,000 as a civil penalty and to reimburse EPA and the National Park Service for response costs incurred after an April 2017 spill of wastewater containing hexavalent chromium that entered a waterway flowing into Lake Michigan.

CSB Meeting This Week on Recommendations Program, Audits

The board also will consider and possibly vote on a proposed change to Board Order 022, the CSB Recommendations Program, which is how the independent agency hopes to prevent serious accidents. Recommendations are included in CSB final reports.

Anchorage, State Partner to Increase Felony Prosecutions

"Public safety is our top priority, and we are finding new ways to cooperate across state and municipal lines for the benefit of all Anchorage residents," Mayor Ethan Berkowitz said. "This effort is made possible by the growth of the Anchorage Police Department and the willingness of the prosecuting agencies to adopt innovative solutions in the face of the state fiscal crisis."

Illinois Reports Death Associated with Synthetic Cannabinoid

To date IDPH has reports of 38 people in the Chicago area and in central Illinois who have experienced severe bleeding and reported using synthetic cannabinoids. All of those individuals have required hospitalization, and three of them tested positive for brodifacoum, a lethal anticoagulant often used as a rat poison.

A recalled 2014 Ranger XP 900 from Polaris Industries, Inc.

Polaris Industries Paying $27.25 Million Civil Penalty

CPSC reported that between December 2013 and July 2016, Polaris received 36 reports of fires associated with its model year 2014 Rangers and made two design changes to the vehicle to prevent the heat shield from becoming loose and falling off.

CDC: U.S. Drug Overdose Deaths Continue to Rise

The report confirms that recent increases in drug overdose deaths are fueled by continued, sharp increases in deaths that involve synthetic opioids other than methadone, such as illicitly manufactured fentanyl.