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January 2017 Archives

Apple sued over non-release of iPhone safety feature

Distracted driving accidents are becoming more common in Pennsylvania and around the country as smartphones continue to grow in popularity, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has asked the manufacturers of these devices to incorporate features that would make dangerous activities like texting and driving more difficult. Companies like Samsung and LG have yet to respond to the federal safety agency, but litigation filed in California indicates that Apple may already be in possession of such a feature.

Committee says some OSHA standards too static

Pennsylvania employees who work with hazardous materials may be interested in learning that some experts feel that OSHA standards on handling this material have not kept up to date with technology. As a result, instead of following OSHA's zero-risk blanket approach, the ANSI/ASSE Z244.1 committee is instead focusing on developing safety standards that are a better fit for the new technology. This includes rejecting OSHA's standard for lockout/tagout, which involves completely shutting down machinery.

Musculoskeletal disorders a risk in construction industry

Pennsylvania construction workers are more likely to suffer from work-related musculoskeletal disorders than those in other occupations. These injuries happen to nerves, joints, tendons and muscles. A study that was published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that the number of workers suffering from these types of injuries was down to about 18,000 in 2014. This is in comparison to a 1992 figure of approximately 55,000. However, researchers cautioned that the reduction might be due to underreporting and changes in recordkeeping as well as to continuous interventions.

Head injuries can increase the progression of Alzheimer's

Traumatic brain injury has been linked to an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease and other brain diseases, such as dementia. While most people associate concussions and traumatic brain injuries with sports injuries and car accidents, many workplace accidents also result in brain injury. Due to the cumulative effect of traumatic brain injuries, it is important that Pennsylvania citizens record even mild head injuries that occur in the workplace.

Increase in work-related deaths hit men the hardest

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the number of work-related deaths increased between 2014 and 2015. The statistics also showed that the most dangerous jobs were in male-dominated industries. Certain fields, many of which employ Pennsylvania workers, experienced significantly higher death and injury rates than other ones.

NHTSA urges driver mode for cellphones

Distracted driving is of increasing concern to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and it has released some recommendations with the second phase of its Driver Distraction Guidelines. One common distraction for Pennsylvania drivers is their cellphones, and the NHTSA suggests that in-vehicle systems be created that could lock down many mobile phone features.

Preventing suspension trauma in Pennsylvania

There are a number of jobs that require people in Pennsylvania to work from heights, and safety gear is worn by these workers to arrest their fall if they lose their footing. However, keeping someone from falling is just one part of preventing severe injury; people may also experience orthostatic intolerance, better known as suspension trauma, as a result of a fall.

Mines may be more dangerous in the winter

Miners in Pennsylvania face many hazards on the job, and winter can be an especially dangerous time. Some of the deadliest U.S. mining accidents have occurred during the month of December when cold temperatures and dry air create more hazardous conditions. In December 1984, a mine fire in Utah killed 27 miners, and in December 1992, eight miners were killed in an explosion in Virginia.

Using video to prevent worker injuries in Pennsylvania

One common source of injury in the workplace is repetitive motions. Repetitive hand motions, which are common in many manufacturing jobs, can lead to stress injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis. The way that companies attempt to prevent these injuries from occurring is to have experts make judgments based on a visual inspection of hand motions.