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A CDC study on occupational asthma deaths in the United States finds an estimated 3,664 to 6,994, or approximately 204 to 389 annually from 1999 to 2016, that could be attributable to occupational exposures and were therefore potentially preventable. Published Jan. 19 in MMWR, the study indicates the highest asthma death rates were among adults ages 55–64 and that asthma mortality was significantly elevated among men in food, beverage, and tobacco products manufacturing, other retail trade, and miscellaneous manufacturing, and among women in social assistance.

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Tagged in: asthma deaths CDC

Did you know homicide is the fourth leading cause of a workplace death? Workplace violence is a serious occupational hazard, and it has ranked in the top four causes of death in the workplace for the past 15 years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), of the 4679 fatal workplace injuries that occurred in the United States in 2014, 403 were workplace homicides.

Workplace violence is defined as violence or the threat of violence against workers, and nearly two million American workers report having been victims each year. It can occur at or outside the workplace and can be any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation or other threatening disruptive behavior. Workplace violence can strike anywhere. Some occupations are at a higher risk, including workers who exchange money with the public, deliver passengers, goods or services, or work alone or in small groups during late nights or early mornings in high crime areas, but no one is immune.

Too often in today’s headlines, we hear stories of workplace and school shootings or the late night Uber rides that end up as tragedies, and we are left wondering what can be done. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act’s (OSH Act) General Duty Clause, employers are required to provide a safe and healthful workplace for their workers. This might be easier to accomplish when thinking about safely working equipment, being provided with safety gear such as gloves and hats or even being protected from toxic chemicals, but protection against workplace violence?

Well, there are steps that can be taken. First and foremost, the best protection employers can offer is to establish a zero-tolerance policy toward workplace violence against or by their employees as well as having a workplace violence prevention program. Workplace violence policies should be included into accident prevention programs, employee handbooks or the manual of standard operating procedures, and they should cover what conduct is unacceptable, what to do if they witness or are subjected to workplace violence, and how to protect themselves.

OSHA offers a fact sheet that covers how employers can help protect their employees, including securing the workplace and providing drop safes. Nothing can guarantee an employee will not become a victim of workplace violence, but the fact sheet covers some steps to hopefully reduce the odds, including learning how to recognize potentially violent situations and alerting supervisors of any concerns.

April is Workplace Violence Awareness Month, and Workplace Safety and Health Co. is ready to help your employees become more aware of the potential impacts of violence in the workplace and better equip themselves to help prevent, mitigate and respond to such incidents. Call us to learn about our workplace violence training program – 317-253-9737. We look forward to hearing from you.

Tagged in: workplace violence

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) recently published its newly revised version of ISO 31000, Risk management – Guidelines.

According to the organization, the ISO 31000:2018 is a shorter and clearer guide to help organizations improve planning and decision-making through the use of risk management principles.

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With winter weather (hopefully) behind us, April typically marks the beginning of road repair work in many states. It’s also a good time for motorists to remember their obligation to look out for the safety of those who share the roadways.

That’s a message that National Work Zone Awareness Week, which this year run from April 9-13, aims to highlight. Its theme, "Work Zone Safety: Everybody's Responsibility”, focuses the safety issues surrounding work zones and necessity of awareness and planning on the part of everyone they affect. That includes everyone from road and utility workers to police and emergency responders to pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.

In Indiana, for instance, road workers are more likely to be killed in motor vehicle crashes than from any other hazard on the job, including those involving workplace violence and machine-related accidents. Since 2014, at least 12 people on average have been killed each year in INDOT roadway work zone crashes. Eighty percent of those killed are motorists or their passengers.

That’s according to the Indiana Department of Labor (IDOL). The department’s website also mentions that the most common causes of collision noted by police include:
-Following too closely.
-Unsafe lane movement.
-Failure to yield right-of-way.
-Ran off roadway.
-Ran over object in roadway.
-Improper lane change.
-Driver inattention.
-Unsafe speed.

The most common types of collision from these cause are rear-end, same direction sideswipe, head-on between two motor vehicles, and leaving the roadway.

For more information on National Work Zone Awareness Week, visit

All 50 states, two U.S. territories, and Washington, D.C., are now all joined by FirstNet, a wireless broadband network to be dedicated to public safety. The statutory 90-day decision period for state governors to opt in or out of the FirstNet proposed Radio Access Network (RAN) buildout plan expired Dec. 28, and every state accepted the FirstNet deployment plan. Three U.S. territories – American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands – have until March 12, 2018 to make their decisions.

Congress passed legislation to establish the network in 2012. Since then, the First Responder Network Authority worked closely with public safety to develop customized plans for building the network in each state and territory.

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