2013-03-01 12:00 - Messages

Performing Arts Safety Bulletin #7 Rigging Systems and Flown Scenery

Anyone who is responsible for rigging must understand the legislation before proceeding with any rigging work. Rigging is one of the most dangerous tasks in the theatre and it presents hazards for:

• The operator (musculoskeletal and other bodily injuries)
• The performers or crew onstage below (being crushed by falling scenery)
• The audience (being crushed by falling scenery)
• Other set pieces, furniture, stage floors and the rigging equipment itself
Source : http://www.actsafe.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/PASB-07-Rigging-Flown-Scenery.pdf

NIOSH Alert - Preventing Occupational Respiratory Disease from Exposures caused by Dampness in Office Buildings, Schools and Other Non-Industrial Buildings

Office buildings, schools, and other non-industrial buildings may develop moisture and dampness problems from roof and window leaks, high indoor humidity, and flooding events, among other things. This CDC-NIOSH Alert contains recommendations regarding building design and use.
For this Alert, CDC defines "dampness" as the presence of unwanted and excessive moisture in buildings. Research studies have shown that dampness-related exposures from building dampness and mould have been associated with respiratory symptoms, asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, rhinosinusitis, bronchitis, and respiratory infections in research studies. Individuals with asthma or hypersensitivity pneumonitis may be at risk for progression to more severe disease if the relationship between illness and exposure to the damp building is not recognized and exposures continue.

Source : http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2013-102/pdfs/2013-102.pdf

Mining Publication: A new perimeter control blast design concept for underground metal/nonmetal drifting applications

This report presents a new concept in perimeter control blasting for underground metal/nonmetal mine drifting applications focusing on the importance of the buffer holes in a blast design. The new blast design concept applies the understanding of radial damage that is caused by the buffer hole column charge. Buffer hole radial damage is defined by a practical damage limit applied to the rock lying between the buffer holes and the perimeter. A favorable comparison was made between five successful controlled blast designs and the concept of practical damage limit. This concept is easy to use and acceptance of the approach would only require mines to conduct trial blasts to test the design theory.

Source : http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/mining/UserFiles/works/pdfs/ri9691.pdf

Workplace hazard identification and management: The case of an underground mining operation

This paper uses the findings from two workshops conducted with 77 employees of an underground mining operation in Western Australia in April and May 2011. Risk management requires all managers and employees to identify hazards in their work environments. Managers assume that their employees have sufficient knowledge and skills to successfully identify not only obvious but also emerging hazards. For this study, two workshops were conducted using an action research methodology. In the first workshop, “Hazard Identification” it was found that the range of workplace hazards the staff could identify was extensive by some groups and very limited by others. For example length of experience underground did not predetermine an ability to identify hazards. Some of the longest serving and those in supervisory positions identified few hazards. Most teams identified 8–12 hazards under each of four categories within a typology: obvious, trivial, emerging and hidden hazards. However, the team with the least experience were unable to identify more than four obvious, two trivial, five emerging and three hidden hazards in their work areas. In workshop two, “Managing Workplace Hazards”, the teams showed a range of abilities to complete the task with one team (with an average 12 years experience underground) unable to identify any strategies to control the list of emerging hazards and one team of managers displaying limited skills. Given these results there is a need to provide further training for all managers and employees in hazard identification and management.
The paper shows the inability of even experienced people to identify hazards.  Workers lack skills to identify strategies to successfully manage hazards. Training in hazard identification is recommended.

Source : Bahn, S. Workplace hazard identification and management: The case of an underground mining operation. Safety Science, Vol. 57, August 2013, p. 129–137. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2013.01.010

Injuries in the commercial fishing fleet of Norway 2000–2011

 A working fishing vessel at sea is an elaborate collection of interacting accident potentials, barely controlled. Even the deck underfoot betrays the unwary, as can every other aspect of the normal daily grind onboard, as fishers ply their trade in weather foul and fair. All elements of the vessel at sea conspire in making this the most dangerous and difficult of all professional callings, an inexplicable calling where life and limb are continually at risk.
This article is based on an examination of reported occupational injuries from the Norwegian fishing fleet from 2000 to 2011. The aim is the determination of important characteristics and traits in the statistics, which may be used to focus and further preventative measures to be applied within this fleet. The results indicate that the current intervention programs and improvement measures have to date made a significant impact on injury levels within the fleet. This study has borne witness to a reduction in injury numbers and incident rates year on year for the past 12 years. It identifies the trawler fleet as the seat of the highest incident rates of injury occurrence, while the small coastal fleet had the lowest reported numbers of injuries. Under-reporting of minor injuries is revealed as a problem in the current reporting system of fisher injuries while the manner, location and body regions of reported injuries are also investigated. These findings lead to a discussion on the future requirements for the Norwegian fleet for further injury reduction and improved reporting practices.

Source : : McGuinness, E., Aasjord, H.L., Utne, I.B., Holmen, I.M. Injuries in the commercial fishing fleet of Norway 2000–2011, Safety Science, vol. 57, August 2013, p. 82-99. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2013.01.008,

Farm safety report released by Safe Work Australia

The Work-related injuries and fatalities on Australian farms report released by Safe Work Australia today has found one in six workers killed in Australia were working on a farm. The report monitored statistics over an eight year period until 30 June 2011. While only 3 percent of workers are employed in the agriculture sector, on average 44 farm workers are killed each year and another 17 400 suffer a work-related injury.
Other key findings from the report include:
• Vehicles accounted for nearly three quarters of work-related fatalities on farms.
o In the eight years of the study 93 workers died while using a tractor. Half of these workers were aged 65 years and over one-third of the deaths involved a rollover.
o Aircraft incidents while undertaking tasks such as mustering or crop dusting claimed the lives of 48 workers.
o Quad bikes were involved in 27 fatalities of which 20 were due to a rollover.
• Almost one-third of work-related fatalities on Australian farms involved workers aged 65 years or over. This is nearly three times the proportion the age group represents of all worker fatalities in Australian workplaces.
• Young farm workers had more hospitalisations for a motorbike or horse-related incident while older workers had more hospitalisations from contact with machinery.
• Only half of Australian agriculture workers are covered by workers' compensation as 46 percent are self-employed. The report showed that nearly one in four workers' compensation claims were due to working with animals, one in five were from working with mobile plant and transport including motorbikes and nearly one in five were from working with non-powered tools and equipment.

Source : http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/about/publications/pages/work-related-injuries-fatalities-australian-farms

Guide on Manual Handling Risk Assessment in the Manufacturing Sector

This guide gives direction and practical information to those that work in the manufacturing sector on action that can be taken to manage the potential hazard of manual handling in the workplace. This is necessary in order to work towards preventing musculoskeletal injuries at work and reducing exposure to high financial costs including compensation claims.

Source : http://www.hsa.ie/eng/Publications_and_Forms/Publications/Occupational_Health/Guide_on_Manual_Handling_Risk_Assessment_in_the_Manufacturing_Sector.pdf

Nail guns

Nail guns are used in workshops during assembly, for example bed manufacture or pallet making. They also get used a lot on site for shop fitting, timber frame erection, etc. The use of nail guns has increased dramatically over the last few years and nail gun incidents now feature in high numbers in HSE's woodworking accident statistics.  Nail guns use a piston that is driven at high speed onto the head of a nail (or large staple) to force the fixing into the timber in one adjustable strike.  The nails range in size from about 15mm to 100mm long and these are held in strips in a magazine.  There are three main types of nail gun.  For factory use the type operated by compressed air is most common.  For site use the type using butane gas is widely used.  The butane is mixed with air in a combustion chamber and ignited by an electric spark when the trigger is pulled.  The third type are light weight and much less powerful and use an electric motor and spring to drive the piston - some of these are battery operated.  This web page does not cover the use of much more powerful cartridge nail guns that are used for fixing materials into steel or concrete [...]

Source : http://www.hse.gov.uk/woodworking/nail-guns.htm?ebul=gd-woodworking&cr=2/Mar13

LED Screen Falls Injuring Three at Miami Ultra Music Festival

Thursday, March 14, 2013 - Workers setting-up modular LED display screens for the annual Miami Ultra Music Festival were trapped under screen components that fell about 30 feet (10m) from the overhead trusses.  Fortunately, Fire and Rescue teams were on the festival site preparing for the two-weekend event that runs over Spring Break.  They were able to respond immediately and free the trapped workers.  The workers were transported to local hospitals where two were checked and found to have only minor injuries, and one worker remains hospitalized with two broken legs.  The incident occurred just prior to 8:00 PM the night before the festival opens.

Souce : http://theatresafetyblog.blogspot.ca/2013/03/led-screen-falls-injuring-three-at.html

Dossier : inspection préventive (ASSTSAS)

Les articles de ce dossier vous en apprendront plus sur les éléments à inspecter, sur la façon de procéder ainsi que sur les avantages de mettre sur pied un programme d’inspection.

Electric shocks at work in Europe: development of a job exposure matrix

Objectives Electric shocks have been suggested as a potential risk factor for neurological disease, in particular for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. While actual exposure to shocks is difficult to measure, occurrence and variation of electric injuries could serve as an exposure proxy. We assessed risk of electric injury, using occupational accident registries across Europe to develop an electric shock job-exposure-matrix (JEM). Materials and methods Injury data were obtained from five European countries, and the number of workers per occupation and country from EUROSTAT was compiled at a 3-digit International Standard Classification of Occupations 1988 level. We pooled accident rates across countries with a random effects model and categorised jobs into low, medium and high risk based on the 75th and 90th percentile. We next compared our JEM to a JEM that classified extremely low frequency magnetic field exposure of jobs into low, medium and high. Results Of 116 job codes, occupations with high potential for electric injury exposure were electrical and electronic equipment mechanics and fitters, building frame workers and finishers, machinery mechanics and fitters, metal moulders and welders, assemblers, mining and construction labourers, metal-products machine operators, ships’ decks crews and power production and related plant operators. Agreement between the electrical injury and magnetic field JEM was 67.2%. Conclusions Our JEM classifies occupational titles according to risk of electric injury as a proxy for occurrence of electric shocks. In addition to assessing risk potentially arising from electric shocks, this JEM might contribute to disentangling risks from electric injury from those of extremely low frequency magnetic field exposure.

Source : Anke Huss, Roel Vermeulen, Joseph D Bowman, Leeka Kheifets, Hans Kromhout. Electric shocks at work in Europe: development of a job exposure matrix. Occup Environ Med 2013;70:4 261-267. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/oemed-2012-100732

Financial Incentives of Experience Rating in Workers' Compensation: New Evidence From a Program Change in Ontario, Canada

Objective: To investigate the incentive for primary and secondary prevention associated with experience rating in a retrospective workers' compensation program. Methods: Panel data on 21,558 firms from 1998 to 2007 were used to estimate the relationship between the degree of experience rating and seven measures of workplace occupational health and safety outcomes. We focused on the impact of a policy change in 2004 in which the degree of experience rating was substantially increased for all firms. Results: The 2004 increase in experience rating was associated with a reduction in the total, lost-time, no-lost-time, benefit days, permanent impairment, musculoskeletal disorder, and acute trauma claim rates. These observed changes follow secular trends. Conclusion: The association of experience rating with some claim outcomes and not others in some time periods suggests that firms may focus on claims and cost management practices.

Source : Tompa, Emile, Hogg-Johnson, Sheilah, Amick, Benjamin C., Wang, Ying, Shen, Enqing, Mustard, Cam, Robson, Lynda, Saunders, Ron. Financial Incentives of Experience Rating in Workers' Compensation: New Evidence From a Program Change in Ontario, Canada. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, March 2013, vol. 55, no 3, p. 292–304. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0b013e31827827fa


Shift-related sleep problems vary according to work schedule

Objectives Shift-related sleep and sleepiness problems may be due to characteristics of both shifts (ie, day, evening and night shifts) and work schedules (ie, permanent vs rotational schedules). The Bergen Shift Work Sleep Questionnaire (BSWSQ) was used to investigate associations between shift-related sleep problems and work schedules. Methods 1586 nurses completed the BSWSQ. Participants who, in relation to a shift, ‘often’ or ‘always’ experienced both a sleep problem and a tiredness/sleepiness problem were defined as having shift-related insomnia (separate for day, evening and night shifts and rest-days). Logistic regression analyses were conducted for day, evening, night, and rest-day insomnia with participants on both permanent and rotational schedules. Results Shift-related insomnia differed between the work schedules. The evening shift insomnia was more prevalent in the two-shift rotation schedule than the three-shift rotation schedule (29.8% and 19.8%, respectively). Night shift insomnia showed higher frequencies among three-shift rotation workers compared with permanent night workers (67.7% and 41.7%, respectively). Rest-day insomnia was more prevalent among permanent night workers compared with two- and three-shift rotations (11.4% compared with 4.2% and 3.6%, respectively).

Source : Elisabeth Flo, Ståle Pallesen, Torbjørn Åkerstedt, Nils Magerøy, Bente Elisabeth Moen, Janne Grønli, Inger Hilde Nordhus, Bjørn Bjorvatn. Shift-related sleep problems vary according to work schedule. Occup Environ Med 2013;70:4 238-245. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/oemed-2012-101091 

Allergies professionnelles. Une réalité insidieuse : Dossier Travail et Sécurité

Les allergies professionnelles, souvent considérées par les salariés comme une pathologie inhérente au métier, touchent généralement des personnes jeunes (39 ans en moyenne pour l'asthme et 35 ans pour les dermatoses), qui travaillent souvent dans des PME/TPE. Leur reclassement est difficile et elles sont souvent obligées de changer de métier.
La prévention est peu aisée et passe, quand l'activité professionnelle le permet, par la substitution des produits contenant des allergènes, ou par l'automatisation des tâches pour éviter le contact avec le produit.
Ce dossier est complété par des reportages dans plusieurs secteurs particulièrement concernés par les allergies : le BTP, la boulangerie, les métiers de la propreté, la coiffure.

Source : http://www.inrs.fr/accueil/produits/mediatheque/doc/publications.html?refINRS=TS737page11

Analysis of the safety conditions of scaffolding on construction sites

This paper presents the results of a study whose aim was to analyse the safety conditions of supported scaffolds (i.e., ground supported scaffolding). In 2007 the authors examined the scaffolding erected on 105 building sites in Spain. The study provides a qualitative assessment of the safety conditions of bracings, anchor ties, toe-boards, guardrails, ladders, struts, long beams, cross beams, platforms, supports, etc. In the European Union there are no legal requirements for the manufacturers of supported scaffolds, but there are some regulations on the use of this type of scaffolding on construction sites. This is the case, in particular, of the Directive 2001/45/EC, on workplace health and safety. The European norms EN 12810 and EN 12811 also provide some non-compulsory guidance for scaffolding manufacturers. The scaffolding currently used can comply or not with the previous norms. Since conformed scaffolding is more expensive than non-conformed, both types are found on construction sites.

Source : Rubio-Romeroa,  J.C.,  Rubio Gámez, M.C., Carrillo-Castrillo, J.A. Analysis of the safety conditions of scaffolding on construction sites. Safety Science,
Vol. 55, June 2013, p. 160–164. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2013.01.006

Fatalities due to dichloromethane in paint strippers: A continuing problem

Background Exposure to dichloromethane (DCM or methylene chloride - CH2Cl2) in paint strippers continues to be an avoidable source of morbidity and mortality. DCM has been under regulatory scrutiny by occupational and consumer product agencies since the identification of its carcinogenicity in the mid-1980s. Methods We investigated two independent workplace incidents that resulted in three cases of DCM intoxication from paint stripper use. Results Each incident investigated resulted in a fatality. A third worker suffered obtundation requiring hospitalization and intubation. Conclusions The continued occurrence of fatalities and other serious injuries due to DCM-containing paint strippers in the United States calls for a re-evaluation of existing regulatory strategies.

Source : MacIsaac, J., Harrison, R., Krishnaswami, J., McNary, J., Suchard, J., Boysen-Osborn, M., Cierpich, H., Styles, L. and Shusterman, D. (2013), Fatalities due to dichloromethane in paint strippers: A continuing problem. Am. J. Ind. Med. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajim.22167

Association between heat stress and occupational injury among Thai workers

Global warming will increase heat stress at home and at work. Few studies have addressed the health consequences in tropical low and middle income settings such as Thailand. We report on the association between heat stress and workplace injury among workers enrolled in the large national Thai Cohort Study in 2005 (N=58,495). We used logistic regression to relate heat stress and occupational injury separately for males and females, adjusting for covariate effects of age, income, education, alcohol, smoking, Body Mass Index, job location, job type, sleeping hours, existing illness, and having to work very fast. Nearly 20% of workers experienced occupational heat stress which strongly and significantly associated with occupational injury (adjusted OR 2.12, 95%CI 1.87-2.42 for males and 1.89, 95%CI 1.64-2.18 for females). This study provides evidence connecting heat stress and occupational injury in tropical Thailand and also identifies several factors that increase heat exposure. The findings will be useful for policy makers to consider work-related heat stress problems in tropical Thailand and to develop an occupational health and safety program which is urgently needed given the looming threat of global warming.

Source : Tawatsupa B, Yiengprugsawan V, Kjellstrom T, Berecki-Gisolf J, Seubsman SA, Sleigh A. Association between heat stress and occupational injury among Thai workers: findings of the Thai Cohort Study. Ind. Health 2013; 51(1): 34-46.


Text Neck: The Link Between Texting and Musculoskeletal Injuries

Excessive texting, accompanied by leaning your head down to study your electronic device, can lead to a condition called “text neck” as well as other musculoskeletal ailments.

Source : http://ehstoday.com/health/text-neck-link-between-texting-and-musculoskeletal-injuries

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