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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.

Entergy Agrees to Survey of Safety Culture at Nuclear Plants

The survey will be done by a third party within a year at plants in Mississippi, Arkansas, New York, Michigan, Massachusetts, and Louisiana, to identify safety culture concerns that could be contributing to employees' willful misconduct.

Pennsylvania Posts Opioid Data Dashboard

"This information allows us to look at the areas where the opioid crisis is doing the most damage," Acting Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said. "Through this data, we can see where prevention is needed, where rescue can be improved, and where treatment is necessary to help those communities that have been affected the most by the opioid epidemic."

New York Investigating Utilities' Storm Response

"In the wake of recent storms, it is abundantly clear that some utilities failed to meet our expectations," Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said. "Given the number of prolonged outages, I directed the Department of Public Service to investigate the utilities' preparations and response to the storms."

MDNR Warns Property Owners Not to Attract Bears

"The ideal situation is for a bear to walk past your property, not find a food reward, and move along on its own," said DNR wildlife communication Coordinator Katie Keen. "That's the best way to live with bears and not encourage conflict."

California's Housekeepers Ergonomics Standard Takes Effect July 1

The regulation requires employers in the hotel and lodging industry to implement and maintain an effective Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Program so employees won't be hurt from tasks such as lifting mattresses, pulling linens, pushing heavy carts, and slipping, tripping, or falling while cleaning bathrooms.

Free NIST Software Can ID Fentanyl Analogs

The tool contains an algorithm for searching chemical databases that can recognize new fentanyl analogs even if there are no matches in the chemical databases forensic chemists are using to identify illegal drugs.

CARB Awards Grant for Ultra-Low NOx Truck Demonstration Project

California's ultra-low NOx emissions standard is 0.02 grams per brake horsepower-hour. This program will demonstrate the first diesel engine to comply with this state standard.

Two Injured, One Missing After Texas Chemical Plant Explosions

At least two people are injured and one person is missing after two explosions March 15 at a chemical plant in Hood County, Texas.

Drought Declaration Signed for Klamath County, Oregon

Gov. Kate Brown's news release said at the end of February, the snow-water equivalent in Klamath County was 40 percent of a normal water year, and forecasted water conditions are not expected to improve. Drought, severe weather conditions, and the upcoming fire season are significant threats to the local economy, agriculture and livestock, natural resources, and recreation in the county.

Six Dead in Bridge Collapse at FIU

A new pedestrian bridge under construction near the campus of Florida International University collapsed Thursday, crushing eight cars underneath the concrete slabs.

Maryland Labor Department Issues Three Model Leave Policies

The department's three model earned sick and safe leave policies cover employers awarding earned leave at the beginning of the year, employers allowing leave to accrue throughout the year, and a policy for tipped employees in the restaurant industry.

Canada Funds $1.3 Million for Removal of Abandoned Boats

"Abandoned boats are not just an eyesore; they are a safety concern and a financial burden to communities," Minister of Transport Marc Garneau said.

EPA Settles Idaho Mining Case

As part of the settlement, Bunker Hill Mining Corp. will pay EPA up to $20 million, on behalf of Placer Mining, in satisfaction of EPA's past costs claim against Placer Mining, and Placer Mining agrees drop its "takings" case against the United States. BHMC can return the mine to production after a hiatus of more than two decades.

New NIOSH Documents Out on Nanotechnology Workplace Design

Four new documents offers tips on the design and use of exposure controls for nanomaterial production, post processing, and use. They are posters that pose questions employers and workers should consider before starting work with a nanomaterial and list options to reduce exposures to nanomaterials based on the physical form.

California Officials Preparing for the Next Disasters

The governor and legislative leaders are partnering on solutions this year that will make California more resilient against the impacts of natural disasters and climate change.

Two New Members Join NFPA Standards Council

New members Jack Poole of Poole Fire Protection Inc. and Rodger Reiswig of Johnson Controls are serving three-year terms effective Jan. 1, 2018.

WHO Issues New Guidance on Tobacco Regulation

Dr. Vinayak Prasad, who leads WHO's Tobacco Free Initiative, said the failure to regulate "represents a missed opportunity as tobacco product regulation, in the context of comprehensive control, is a valuable tool that complements other tried and tested tobacco control interventions, such as raising taxes and ensuring smoke-free environments."

Risky Hiking on the Rise in Hawaii

Honolulu Fire Department personnel have been called out 59 times to the top rescue location, Diamond Head Crater, during the past year.

Florida DEP Presents 2017 Plant Excellence Awards

Each year, the department presents awards to domestic wastewater and drinking water facilities around the state that demonstrate excellence in operation, maintenance, innovative treatment, waste reduction, pollution prevention, recycling, or other achievements.

Industrial Scientific Adds Fluke Instruments to Rental Program

"We are pleased to partner with the worldwide leader in electronic testing and imaging tools to offer our customers new products that improve safety and efficiency in the workplace," said Jason Wright, rental sales manager.