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Although it might always feel like it (particularly in the depths of mid-winter), February is the shortest month.

For many kinds of workplaces, it’s also time to post workplace injury summaries from the previous calendar year.

The federal administration requires companies to post Form 300A from Feb. 1 through April 30 each year. The form shows a summary of the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred over the previous year. The form also shows the annual average number of employees and total hours worked during the calendar year.

The form must be displayed in a common area where notices to employees are normally posted.

Required on the summary is the total number of work-related injuries and illnesses that occurred last year and that were recorded on OSHA Form 300, Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses.

What if an organization had no recordable injuries last year, you ask? That’s always good news, but it must still be reported, simply by placing zeroes on the total lines.

Exempt from federal OSHA injury and illness posting requirements are companies with 10 or fewer employees and employers in certain industries in the retail, services, finance, insurance and real estate sectors. For more on this, visit https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/ppt1/RK1exempttable.html.

How can you recognize whether an injury or illness is considered work-related by OSHA? If an event or exposure in the work environment caused or contributed to the condition or significantly aggravated a pre-existing condition, it’s work-related. A work environment includes the establishment and other locations where one or more employees are working or are present as a condition of their employment.

For more information on posting requirements, contact the recordkeeping coordinator at your OSHA Regional office (refer to https://www.osha.gov/html/RAmap.html). If your workplace is in a state with its own occupational safety agency, reach out to the state plan office (visit https://www.osha.gov/dcsp/osp/ for a directory).

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration recently published "Technical Considerations for Additive Manufactured Medical Devices," a guidance document for industry and the FDA staff and said it is the world's first agency to provide a comprehensive technical framework to advise manufacturers creating medical products on 3D printers.

The document, available at https://www.fda.gov/downloads/MedicalDevices/DeviceRegulationandGuidance/GuidanceDocuments/UCM499809.pdf, addresses a range of issues, from design, software, and materials (both starting materials and reuse of materials) to post-processing, device testing, biocompatibility, and labeling.

Read entire article - https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm587547.htm

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Prolonged blasts of arctic air throughout much of Eastern United States in December and January have reminded us just how severe and dangerous winter weather can be, especially for those who find themselves outdoors in it.

Anyone exposed to extreme cold, such as in a work environment, may be at risk of cold stress – when body heat is lost faster than it can be produced. What constitutes cold stress and its effects can vary from region to region. That means that in places typically unaccustomed to wintry weather, even near-freezing temperatures are considered factors for cold stress. Such weather-related conditions may lead to serious health problems.

OSHA's Cold Stress Guide at https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/emergencypreparedness/guides/cold.html offers a number of tips for avoiding cold stress on the job, while reminding employers of their responsibility to keep workers safe under Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.

According to the guide, “Employers should train workers on how to prevent and recognize cold stress illnesses and injuries and how to apply first aid treatment. Workers should be trained on the appropriate engineering controls, personal protective equipment and work practices to reduce the risk of cold stress.”

Some of these are common sense practices, like wearing inner and outer layers of clothing to stay both dry and warm, donning a hat and/or hood, and putting on waterproof and insulated gloves and boots.

Others involve taking frequent breaks in a warm area, working in pairs so either one might spot danger signs, and notifying a supervisor or calling for medical help immediately if a worker has signs or symptoms of hypothermia or another cold-related illness or injury.

Still others involve engineering controls like providing radiant heaters to warm workers in outdoor security stations, and where possible, shielding work areas from drafts or wind to cut down on wind chill.

Perhaps the two most salient points in OSHA’s Cold Stress Guide are recommendations that both employers and employees be proactive and alert, both good practices for dealing with winter – and workplace safety – in general.

There were a total of 5,190 fatal work injuries recorded in the United States in 2016, representing a 7-percent increase from the 4,836 fatal injuries reported in 2015. That’s according to the most recent Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

This marked the third consecutive increase in annual workplace fatalities and the first time more than 5,000 fatalities have been recorded by the CFOI since 2008. The fatal injury rate increased to 3.6 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers from 3.4 in 2015, the highest rate since 2010.

Read entire article - https://www.bls.gov/news.release/cfoi.nr0.htm

CDC has deactivated its emergency response for the Zika virus and will resume normal program operations. A team of experts from across the agency, called the Zika Coordination and Operations Transition Team (ZCOTT), will lead the transition from EOC activation to routine, long-term activities and will ensure timely coordination and collaboration on scientific, communication, and policy activities.

The agency activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on January 22, 2016 in response to the devastating effects of Zika virus infection during pregnancy.

Read entire article - https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2017/p0929-eoc-deactivation-zika.html

 

 

 

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