2013-01-01 12:00 - Messages

A fatal case of CO(2) intoxication in a fermentation tank

Carbon dioxide (CO(2) ) is an odorless constituent of air. Higher concentrations can be detected in geothermal and automotive emissions, fermentation, and sublimation of dry ice. An unskilled worker entered a fermentation tank to clean it, which had not been done for about 5 months allowing for high concentrations of CO(2) to build up. A second worker entered the tank to rescue the first one. Shortly after both were found the first worker was rescued directly whereas the tank had to be rotated to pull the second worker out. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was successful only for the first worker. Medico-legal autopsy showed bruises, hematoma, myocardial hemorrhage, and edema of the lungs. The right lung was vacuum degassed in an argon atmosphere and quadrupole-mass-spectrometry showed an elevated CO(2) content in lung gases. Thus, CO(2) intoxication/asphyxia in a vitiated atmosphere due to fermentation of wine mash was established as the cause of death.

Source : Kettner M, Ramsthaler F, Juhnke C, Bux R, Schmidt P. J. A fatal case of CO(2) intoxication in a fermentation tank Forensic Sci. 2013. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1556-4029.12058


La première norme nationale du Canada « santé et sécurité psychologiques au travail »

« Santé et sécurité psychologiques en milieu de travail  – Prévention, promotion et lignes directrices pour une mise en œuvre par étapes » est l’intitulé de la première norme nationale du Canada qui a été publiée par la Commission de la santé mentale du Canada et ses partenaires.  Il s’agit d’une norme d’application volontaire qui vise à aider les milieux de travail à favoriser la santé et la sécurité psychologiques et à prévenir les préjudices psychologiques.

Source : http://www-es.criq.qc.ca/pls/owa_es/bnqw_norme.detail_norme?p_lang=en&p_id_norm=12696&p_code_menu=NORME

La restauration traditionnelle : prévention des risques professionnels

Ce document, conçu par un groupe de travail constitué de professionnels de la restauration commerciale, de préventeurs et de médecins du travail.
Il traite des différents risques professionnels dans les cuisines des établissements de restauration, sous forme de fiches de bonnes pratiques de santé et de sécurité au travail.
Ces fiches sont destinées à aider le restaurateur dans son analyse et son évaluation des risques pour la santé des opérateurs et dans la mise en oeuvre de solutions de prévention.

Source : http://www.inrs.fr/accueil/produits/mediatheque/doc/publications.html?refINRS=ED%20880

Approved Code of Practice for Load-Lifting Rigging

This Approved Code of Practice (the Code) has been prepared by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment in conjunction with representatives of the industries and stakeholders concerned. Its purpose is to support the requirements of the Health and Safety in Employment Regulations 1995 in relation to load-lifting rigging activities.  It contains a number of diagrams and tables that are essential for safe load-lifting rigging work and chain/strop maintenance. The Code provides recommendations and procedures for safe practice while carrying out lifting and rigging work in industry. In an industry with inherent dangers involving lifting, this Code will assist to lift the focus on safety. In addition to health and safety information for the rigging industry, sections of the Code include: appropriate safety factors for equipment; rope splices; fitting, sheaves and blocks; rigging for crane work

Source : http://www.osh.govt.nz/publications/booklets/rigging-load-lifting-acop/index.shtml

Approved Code of Practice for Safety and Health in Forest Operations[2012-12-05]

This code has been prepared by representatives of the forestry industry and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). The purpose of this code is to provide practical guidance to employers, contractors, employees, and all others engaged in work associated with forestry, on how they can meet their obligations under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 and its associated Regulations. This code is applied to forest operations, including planning, establishment, silviculture, harvesting and transportation of log and log products.

Source :

Expositions multiples : le cumul nuit à la santé

Un dossier sur les expositions multiples est paru dans le dernier numéro de la revue Travail et sécurité. Les salariés sont quotidiennement confrontés à des expositions multiples dont les effets combinés potentiels sont peu connus. Les préventeurs doivent néenmoins s'emparer de la question afin d'adopter des stratégies adaptées à la réalité du terrain. Un travail pour lequel il est nécessaire de référer les expertises dans des domaines divers : chimie, physique, toxicologie, ergonomie.

Source : Travail et sécurité, no 735, janvier 2013-01-10


Evaluation of the effectiveness of occupational injury prevention programs at the company level

The objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of an occupational injury prevention program, known as the Preferential Action Plan (PAP), focused on companies with high incidence rates of occupational injuries. We studied 1189 companies in the industrial, construction and services sectors between 1999 and 2007 in the Valencia region (Spain). Our sample included 507,262 workers, among whom 44,250 non-fatal occupational injuries with at least a workday lost were registered. Companies included in a PAP program were divided into three intervention groups, according to the year that each company entered into a PAP (2000, 2001, and 2002). We calculated annual percentage change in incidence rates of occupational injuries for companies with a PAP and for those without a PAP (comparison group), and trends in the incidence rates of occupational injuries were compared between each intervention group and the comparison group. The results showed that the trend in the occupational injury rate declined 12%, 14% and 11% annually for the 2000, 2001, and 2002 intervention groups respectively, and around 5% for the comparison group. The differences in intervention and comparison group trends were found to be statistically significant. This pattern is observed by company size and activity sector, length of sick leave, and type of injury. According to these results, the use of PAPs in companies with high incidence rates of occupational injuries seems to be effective in the prevention of occupational injuries.

Source : López-Ruiz M, Martínez JM, Gil JM, Boix P, García AM, Rodrigo F, Moreno A, Benavides FG. Evaluation of the effectiveness of occupational injury prevention programs at the company level, Safety Sci. 2013; 51(1), p. 250-256. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2012.06.026


Worker participation practices: a review of EU-OSHA case studies : literature review

U-OSHA publishes case studies of good practices to prevent workplace risks. The cases are analysed and effective worker participation consistently appears as a basic requirement for the successful identification of problems and implementation of practical solutions, regardless of the size or type of workplace or type of problem. Many of the cases describe how worker participation took place in practice and its role in introducing successful prevention measures. This report compiles these worker participation components to provide an overview of how worker participation featured in the various cases and show the approaches and methods that were used.

Source : https://osha.europa.eu/en/publications/literature_reviews/worker-participation-practices-a-review-of-eu-osha-case-studies?sourceid=rss&utm_source=home&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rssfeeds

Safety risk management for electrical transmission and distribution line construction

Prior research has established that electrical contractors involved in the construction and maintenance of electrical transmission and distribution (T&D) lines are at extremely high risk of electrocution. The result of inadvertent contact with T&D lines often is death or severe injury that involves damage to internal organs, musculoskeletal disorders, neurological damages and severe burns. The Electrical Safety Foundation International has demonstrated that contact with overhead power lines has been the single largest cause of electrical fatalities over the last decade. To reduce this disproportionate injury rate, electrical contractors implement many strategies such as the use of rubber insulating equipment, and locking devices. Unfortunately, these strategies are often cost-prohibitive in certain construction and maintenance scenarios. Therefore, electrical contractors are faced with complex decisions that involve comparing the cost of injury prevention with the expected safety benefit. This paper presents research that objectively evaluated the risk associated with common T&D construction tasks and the effectiveness of specific injury prevention techniques. The research team then developed a decision support framework that provides electrical contractors with objective safety and cost feedback given specific project characteristics. The results indicate that many of the effective strategies implemented to reduce T&D electrical injuries are very costly (e.g., de-energizing lines). Consequently, under most conditions, the costs of injury prevention far outweigh the cost savings associated with the reduction of injury rates. The implication of these findings is that T&D electrical contractors must highly value the non-monetary benefits of injury prevention in order to improve safety in their sector.

Source : Albert A, Hallowell MR. Safety risk management for electrical transmission and distribution line construction, Safety Sci. 2013; 51(1): 118-126. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2012.06.011

Fragile roofs : Safe working practices

This leaflet is aimed at building owners and occupiers, construction businesses and workers – in short, anyone working on fragile roofs or having work done.

Source : http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/geis5.pdf

International Symposium on the Challenges of Workplace Injury Prevention through Financial Incentives (FIS 2012)

December 18—Slide presentations from the Institute for Work & Health's International Symposium on the Challenges of Workplace Injury Prevention through Financial Incentives (FIS 2012) are now posted online, where available. Slidecasts of most keynote presentations at the symposium, held in late November in Toronto, will also be available shortly.

On November 29 and 30, 2012, the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) hosted the International Symposium on the Challenges of Workplace Injury Prevention through Financial Incentives. More than 180 researchers, students, policy-makers, members of the injured worker community, employer representatives, worker representatives and other stakeholders—primarily from Ontario, but also from other parts of Canada, the United States, Europe, Australia and New Zealand—came together in Toronto to participate in the symposium. The aim was to provide a forum to discuss the social, economic and policy implications of using financial incentives as a mechanism for preventing workplace injuries.

Source : http://www.iwh.on.ca/prevention-incentives-2012/proceedings/

Occupation and Leukemia in Nordic Countries

Objective: We studied occupational variation of the risk of acute myeloid leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and other leukemia in Nordic countries. Methods: The study cohort comprised 15 million persons older than 30 years who participated in the population censuses in1960, 1970, 1980/1981, 1990, or all of these years in five Nordic countries. Standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) were estimated for 53 occupations and one group of economically inactive persons. Results: Significantly increased risks were observed for acute myeloid leukemia among drivers (SIR = 1.16; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.07–1.26) and food workers (SIR = 1.13; 95% CI, 1.01–1.27); for chronic lymphocytic leukemia among farmers (SIR = 1.09; 95% CI, 1.04–1.14) and clerical workers (SIR = 1.07; 95% CI, 1.01–1.14); and for other leukemia among seamen (SIR = 1.24; 95% CI, 1.04–1.49), “other health workers” (SIR = 1.22; 95% CI, 1.02–1.47), chemical process workers (SIR = 1.18; 95% CI, 1.01–1.38), and sales agents (SIR = 1.15; 95% CI, 1.06–1.25). Conclusion: Observed modest occupational variation of leukemia risk might be associated with occupational or lifestyle factors.

Source : Talibov, Madar; Kautiainen, Susanna; Martinsen, Jan Ivar; Kjaerheim, Kristina; Lynge, Elsebeth; Sparen, Per; Tryggvadottir, Laufey; Weiderpass, Elisabete; Pukkala, Eero. Occupation and Leukemia in Nordic Countries. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: December 2012 - Volume 54 - Issue 12 - p 1527–1532. http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182664885



Determining safety inspection thresholds for employee incentives programs on construction sites

The goal of this project was to evaluate approaches of determining the numerical value of a safety inspection score that would activate a reward in an employee safety incentive program. Safety inspections are a reflection of the physical working conditions at a construction site and provide a safety score that can be used in incentive programs to reward workers. Yet it is unclear what level of safety should be used when implementing this kind of program. This study explored five ways of grouping safety inspection data collected during 19 months at Harvard University-owned construction projects. Each approach grouped the data by one of the following: owner, general contractor, project, trade, or subcontractor. The median value for each grouping provided the threshold score. These five approaches were then applied to data from a completed project in order to calculate the frequency and distribution of rewards in a monthly safety incentive program. The application of each approach was evaluated qualitatively for consistency, competitiveness, attainability, and fairness. The owner-specific approach resulted in a threshold score of 96.3% and met all of the qualitative evaluation goals. It had the most competitive reward distribution (only 1/3 of the project duration) yet it was also attainable. By treating all workers equally and maintaining the same value throughout the project duration, this approach was fair and consistent. The owner-based approach for threshold determination can be used by owners or general contractors when creating leading indicator incentives programs and by researchers in future studies on incentive program effectiveness.

Source : Sparer EH, Dennerlein JT. Determining safety inspection thresholds for employee incentives programs on construction sites, Safety Sci. 2013; 51(1): 77-84. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2012.06.009


The role of the judiciary in occupational health and safety prosecutions: institutional processes and the production of deterrence

Drawing on interviews with judicial officers in two Australian states, this article examines the role of judges in sentencing occupational health and safety offenders. Specifically, it focuses on the deterrent impact of occupational health and safety prosecutions, including judges' understanding of deterrence and the judicial role in deterring serious breaches of occupational health and safety legislation. Judges thought that occupational health and safety prosecutions had some deterrent impact on prosecuted offenders, but were sceptical as to whether prosecutions led to lasting improvements in workplace safety, both in relation to the prosecuted offender and the wider community. Judges' scepticism related to the fact that they viewed deterrence as a complex process involving a range of social institutions, including occupational health and safety regulators and the media. Further, the judiciary's influence over sentencing outcomes was constrained by key elements of the judicial role, including the requirement that judges remain impartial and detached from other actors in the prosecution process. However, judges do play an important role in preventing workplace deaths and injuries, especially in relation to the constitutive or communicative effects of prosecution. By sentencing offenders, the judiciary acts as a key component in institutional processes that construct employers as bearing primary responsibility for the prevention of workplace deaths and injuries.

Source : McCallum R, Schofield T, Reeve B. J. Ind. Relat. 2012; 54(5): 688-706. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0022185612454956

New website on site work and silica

The US based Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), has launched a 'Work safely with silica' website. CPWR, an organisation working closely with US construction unions, says as well as giving details of US silica regulation and official research, the new resource includes other research, articles, and training materials, as well as responses to frequently asked questions. Central features of the new site include a 'Know the hazard' section, geared for anyone interested in learning more about why silica is hazardous, the risk, who's at risk, the health effects, and steps workers and contractors can take to work safely with silica. Exposure to silica is linked to serious and potentially fatal occupational diseases, notably silicosis and lung cancer.

Source : http://www.silica-safe.org/

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