News Digest 11-19-2020

Flash: Emergency Regs Do Not Meet Basic Standards

In this commentary the Standards Board is alerted to serious problems with the emergency standard it appears about to pass. Putting a safety standards in an Injury and Illness Prevention Program – IIPP – is not what the authorizing statute intended nor allows. This reg will hamper California safety professionals and business. Cal-OSHA Reporter

Massachusetts electrician succumbs to injuries
An electrician from Peabody, Massachusetts died last week from injuries suffered in an accident last month at the site of a new office tower under construction near TD Garden in Boston. Fed-OSHA is investigating. Salem News

Teenage employee dies in forklift accident at Oklahoma worksite
An 18-year-old man was riding on the side of a forklift when he fell off and was fatally run over at a Madill, Oklahoma manufacturing plant on Monday. He reportedly only had been working at the plant for two months. KTEN


Kentucky OSHA fines school district $9K in bus driver COVID-19 death investigation
Kentucky’s Fayette County Schools Transportation Department has been fined $9,000 for two cited violations, after 19 employees tested positive for COVID-19 at one school bus garage last spring and one died. Lexington Herald-Leader


No COVID-19 noncompliance fines issued to southern Nevada businesses in latest report
Nevada OSHA issued one citation last week to a Carson City business for violating COVID-19 safety measures last week, but no citations during that time period to employers in southern Nevada. Last week, officials conducted 257 initial visits across the state, reporting 99 percent compliance. KLAS (Las Vegas)


Oregon: New COVID rules affect HR
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act says employers can’t share delicate health information about an employee without his or her consent, but a new guideline from Oregon OSHA requires employers to disclose positive coronavirus cases to all employees. Fox 26


Fed-OSHA issues guidance on ventilation
Enclosed spaces with poor ventilation and airflow can make it more likely for employees to be exposed to potential coronavirus infection. Fed-OSHA is recommending employers work with heating, ventilation, and air conditioning professionals to look at ways to improve building ventilation as a way to address the potential hazard of exposure to COVID-19. The agency has offered a list of tips to reduce such risks, writes Raymond Perez of Counsel, Jackson Lewis P.C. National Law Review


The right way to wash your hands
Frequent hand-washing is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick and spreading illness. Click here for information from the Mayo Clinic on effective handwashing. Mayo Clinic


MSHA has failed to protect miners from silica: Report
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of the Inspector General has released a report that found the Mine Safety and Health Administration has not sufficiently protected coal miners from respirable crystalline silica exposure. Noting recent studies that found large clusters of miners with less than 20 years of mining tenure in West Virginia, Kentucky and Virginia with progressive massive fibrosis, the OIG found that MSHA’s silica exposure limit is out of date as the agency has maintained essentially the same limit established in the 1960s. Charleston Gazette-Mail