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CAL FIRE announced that law enforcement investigators concluded a faulty gas water heater sparked one of the fires that merged to become the Rocky Fire, one of 16 active wildfires in the state as of Aug. 19, 2015.

USDA Chief Praises Wildfire Funding Fix

Until the funding solution was achieved, the fire suppression portion of the Forest Service budget was funded at a rolling 10-year average of appropriations, while the overall USFS budget remained relatively flat. Because fire seasons are longer and conditions are worse, the 10-year rolling fire suppression budget average kept rising, consuming a larger percentage of the total Forest Service's budget each year and forcing the agency to take funds from prevention programs to cover fire suppression costs.

State Study of Mohawk River Ice Jams Announced

The study will analyze storm and ice-jam flood mitigation needs in high-risk areas, including Schenectady, N.Y., which experienced ice-jam flooding in February 2018. The study will include recommendations to mitigate future hazards on the Mohawk River and other waterbodies across New York state.

Analysis Links West Texas Ground Movement to Oil Drilling

Alarming movement is linked to prolonged oil production and is a danger to residents, roads, railroads, levees, dams, pipelines, and groundwater, the authors concluded.

DOT Inspector General Auditing Oversight of FIU Bridge Project

The FIU pedestrian bridge that collapsed March 15 was funded in part through DOT's Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) discretionary grant program, which awards grants to fund infrastructure improvement projects.

New Method Shown for Detecting Methane Leaks Inexpensively

As described in their paper, the researchers tested this method successfully on a Colorado well field containing placed methane leak sources.

NIOSH Research Can Help Construction Workers Avoid Injury

Construction workers are at high risk for developing MSDs because they are frequently doing manual lifting and material handling tasks, using repetitive motions, and may be exposed to vibrations and inconsistent working conditions.

HSE: Don't Use Off-the-Shelf Ergonomics Training

"If you do need staff training, and there are many residual risks where this is the case, then this needs to be customized and professionally delivered. Any such training should be based on observations of current working practices and should be informed by the views and experience of the workforce," HSE Health and Work Portfolio Manager Geoff Cox said.

PennDOT Announces New Motorcycle Training Clinics

"The short amount of time spent in training translates into many safe miles of riding by helping riders sharpen reflexes and hone the split-second decision making required to safely operate a motorcycle," said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards.

Kinross Gold Certified Under CORESafety System

Kinross is the eighth National Mining Association member company to complete each step of the process.

NIOSH Study Shows Association Between Noise Exposure and Heart Disease Risk Factors

"Reducing workplace noise levels is critical not just for hearing loss prevention – it may also impact blood pressure and cholesterol," said NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard, M.D. "Work site health and wellness programs that include screenings for high blood pressure and cholesterol should also target noise-exposed workers."

WorkSafeBC Publishes Bulletin on Preventing Pentane Gas Fires

"Manufacturers should, and generally do, build in a period for off-gassing that will reduce the amount of pentane within the EPS foam before shipping," it says. "Despite this, residual amounts of pentane remain in shipped EPS foam blocks and other products."

Report Warns Some States Falling Behind on Electrical Safety

NFPA noted that from 2010 to 2014, an annual average of more than 61,000 fires in the United States were attributed to electrical failures or malfunctions, causing more than $2 billion in losses and killing an average of 432 people each year.

Hearing and Public Health Center Launched by Bloomberg School

"We are just now beginning to understand the impact that hearing loss can have on the lives of older adults," said Dr. Frank Lin, who heads the new center. "Amazingly, there is a dearth of public health research that examines this area and that is geared towards developing solutions and policies needed to mitigate these effects."

About 18,000 Riding Lawnmowers Recalled

The reverse-mow option switch can malfunction and allow the mowers to unintentionally mow when being driven in a reverse direction, posing a risk of injury to bystanders.

New EU Regulation Completed for Hot Air Balloons

The new regulation is one of the projects of the General Aviation Road Map established by the European Aviation Safety Agency in partnership with the European Commission and other stakeholders. The updated rules are in force beginning April 8, 2019.

Volvo's Sales of Electric Buses Top 4,000

Volvo Buses has now sold more than 4000 electrified Volvo buses to customers around the world, the company announced March 14, saying its latest order is for 90 hybrid buses from Brussels.

Next Rx Take Back Day Set for April 28

According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs, and a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

FRA's Latest PTC Update Shows Progress

Following meetings with all 41 railroads required to implement Positive Train Control technology, FRA reported it is now meeting with PTC suppliers to learn more about their capacity to meet the demands for railroads' implementation of PTC systems.

GHSA Still Accepting Nominations for 2018 Safety Awards

The association presents awards each year at its annual meeting to recognize organizations and individuals for achievements in highway safety. The 2018 meeting is taking place Aug. 25-29 in Atlanta, and nominations are being accepted through April 11.

On March 13, 2018, Harald Reichel, an aerospace engineer with NTSB’s Office of Aviation Safety, examines the engine of the  Liberty Helicopters helicopter that crashed in the East River on March 11. (NTSB Photo by Chris O’Neil)

Urgent NTSB Safety Recommendation Follows Liberty Helicopters Crash

The agency's March 19 recommendation seeks an FAA ban on flights using unsafe passenger harness systems.

There is a growing global push toward hazardous location competency training.

BSEE Launches Risk-Based Inspection Program

The first ones, taking place this month, will focus on crane operations of Gulf of Mexico operations. "We developed this program to address areas where trends in compliance and incident data suggest the potential for imminent safety concerns," said Jason Mathews, chief of BSEE's Gulf of Mexico Region Safety Management Office.

New NIOSH/OSHA Guidance on Ototoxicity Posted

"There is growing concern among occupational health and safety professionals that ototoxicant-induced hearing loss may go unrecognized since the measure for hearing loss does not indicate the cause," the document states. "For example, audiometric tests are powerful tools that show hearing impairments (i.e., threshold shifts); however, they do not differentiate between noise and ototoxic causes."

WHO, Partners Working Together on Opioids Problem

During the 61st session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna, Austria, three organizations have committed to improving equitable access to controlled medicines for pain management and palliative care and to scale up efforts to prevent non-medical drug use and to provide treatment services drug use disorders.

Editorial Cites 'Growing Fatigue' Around Sepsis Reports

The Lancet Respiratory Medicine's editorial notes that early detection of sepsis is vital but is hampered by signs and symptoms of the condition being similar to other disorders.

FDA Proposes Cutting Nicotine Level in CIgarettes

The advance notice of proposed rulemaking published March 16 is a step toward cutting the level of nicotine in cigarettes to "minimally or non-addictive levels," with FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb calling it "a pivotal step ... that could ultimately bring us closer to our vision of a world where combustible cigarettes would no longer create or sustain addiction."

Ohio Boosts Grants for Firefighters' Health Protection

"When we call firefighters for help, they're at our door as fast as humanly possible," said Ohio BWC Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison. "It's only right that we do the same when they need equipment critical to their health and safety. We want every qualifying fire department that applies for these grants to get their funds as soon as possible."

NASA Clears Up DNA Questions from Twins Study

"The change related to only 7 percent of the gene expression that changed during spaceflight that had not returned to preflight after six months on Earth. This change of gene expression is very minimal," NASA explained in a March 15 statement.

What is the Foundation of an Effective NFPA 70E Implementation?

This is a question that I hear frequently while discussing NFPA 70E on the road. Perhaps this is because the Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace is so broad?

Texas Governor Announces New Flood Control Measures

"It has been a trying time for this community as we work through the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey," Gov. Abbott said March 15. "I want to assure all Texans that I am committed to working with the federal government and local officials to protect life and property from uncontrolled flood waters."

Slice: Unique Finger-Friendly Blades, Safer Knives

Slice: Unique Finger-Friendly Blades, Safer Knives

Safety is a primary concern in the workplace, especially when it comes to cutting tools. Rightfully so. Lacerations are one of the most common workplace injuries, and cutting tools are largely the culprit.