What Was 2010's Top Safety Story?

At least 20 major stories in the world of workplace safety and health might qualify as 2010's top story of the year. Several were disasters that will always make headlines, but others were important events that ended a long-running regulatory action, changed how we are taught to deliver CPR, or showed us how new information technologies are affecting our safety and U.S. labor law.

Take a look at our list and then add a comment explaining why one of them, or perhaps some other story we've left out, was your top story of the year for 2010.

1. April 20, 2010: An explosion kills 11 workers aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which soon sinks in the Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana's coastline. An oil spill follows, and BP's chief executive resigns.

2. Feb. 7, 2010: The Kleen Energy "gas blow" explosion in Connecticut kills six workers.

3. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration implements CSA 2010, its new safety measurement system for motor carriers.

4. OSHA's administrator questions VPP's future, saying a new funding source is needed.

5. April 2010: OSHA proposes long-awaited changes in its fall protection regulations.

6. FDA announces it will require grim color photos on cigarette packs to warn smokers.

7. Motorcyclist deaths drop, breaking an 11-year streak of annual increases.

8. NLRB files complaint after a worker was fired for her Facebook post about a supervisor.

9. Explosions kill 29 coal miners in West Virginia (April 5) and another 29 coal miners in New Zealand (Nov. 19). In October, 33 miners are rescued after being trapped for 68 days deep inside a remote Chilean gold and copper mine.

10. Honeywell buys Paris-based Sperian Protection, the world's biggest PPE manufacturer, for $1.4 billion.

11. OSHA considers a new enforcement approach for its noise exposure standards that may require much wider use of engineering controls.

12. Emphasizing compressions, the 2010 CPR guidelines change A-B-C to C-A-B.

13. OSHA audits all of its state plans.

14. Massey Energy battles MSHA over the Upper Big Branch investigation and announces CEO Don Blankenship will retire Dec. 30, 2010.

15. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood targets distracted driving by commercial truckers and the general public. Several DOT agencies propose rules dealing with distracting technologies.

16. OSHA repeatedly fines the U.S. Postal Service, including for allegedly willful violations at some facilities.

17. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling invalidates about 600 decisions that had been issued when the National Labor Relations Board had only two members.

18. CDC predicts 1 billion tobacco-related deaths worldwide will occur during this century.

19. Nearly all 9/11 responders accept a financial settlement of their illness claims.

20. MSHA reforms its pattern of violations scheme and warns 13 mines they must correct their S&S (significant and substantial) violations promptly.

Posted by Jerry Laws on Dec 07, 2010


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