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In this week’s Newsletter
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2011 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index
The annual Workplace Safety Index identifies the top causes of serious non-fatal workplace injuries based on information from Liberty Mutual workers compensation insurance claims, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
(BLS), and the National Academy of Social Insurance. Using injury event definitions developed by the BLS, researchers collect data about injuries that cause the employee to miss six or more days from work, and rank those injuries by total workers compensation costs. The latest Workplace Safety Index provides statistics for injuries that occurred in 2009, the most recent year for which data are available. The top five injury causes – overexertion, fall on same level, fall to lower level, bodily reaction, and struck by object – accounted for 71.7 percent of the total 2009 cost burden. Overexertion maintained its first-place rank. This event category, which includes injuries related to lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying, or throwing, cost businesses $12.75 billion in direct costs and accounted for more than a quarter of the overall national burden. Fall on same level ranked second as a leading cause of disabling injury. With direct costs of $7.94 billion, this category accounted for 15.8 percent of the total injury burden. Fall to lower level ranked third at $5.35 billion in costs. Bodily reaction, which includes injuries resulting from free bodily motion such as bending, climbing, reaching, standing, sitting, and slipping or tripping without falling, ranked fourth at $5.28 billion. Struck by object took the fifth-place ranking at $4.64 billion.
CLICK HERE for the entire report.
Vapor cloud formation: Experiments and modeling
A reverse look at Facility Siting and Change Management
Ever since the 2005 BP Texas City tragedy, refineries and chemical plants have been working diligently to review “facility siting” risks for their facilities. As with all of the PSM elements, many of us took this new focus as a learning opportunity. We had all done something we called “facility siting” in our Process Hazards Analysis, but in the early 1990’s many of us “did not know what we did not know” in regards to what a real facility siting analysis was suppose to look like. These days, there are single facility siting projects being done in such detail that they cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. These studies look at very specific scenarios as they relate to process location and it’s impacts to neighboring process units, control rooms, contractor/maintenance shops, administrative buildings, etc. In other words we have come a LONG WAYS in the past seven years with how we conduct facility siting analysis. But we may be overlooking something in our facility siting analyses that I come across quite often in my work around the world and this is what I want to present. Too long to post in the newsletter CLICK HERE
Dust from industrial-scale processing of nanomaterials carries high explosion risk
With expanded industrial-scale production of nanomaterials fast approaching, scientists are reporting indications that dust generated during processing of nanomaterials may explode more easily than dust from wheat flour, cornstarch and most other common dust explosion hazards. Their article in ACS' journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research indicates that nanomaterial dust could explode due to a spark with only 1/30th the energy needed to ignite sugar dust — the cause of the 2008 Portwentworth, Georgia, explosion that killed 13 people, injured 42 people and destroyed a factory. Paul Amyotte and colleagues explain that dust explosions are among the earliest recorded causes of industrial accidents — dating back to a 1785 flour warehouse disaster — and are still a constant threat at facilities that process fine particles of various materials. Despite significant research, there is still much for scientists to learn about the risks of dust explosions in industry, especially of so-called "nontraditional" dusts (such as those made of nanomaterials), and a constant threat exists. That's why the researchers decided to probe the explosibility of three types of nontraditional dusts: nanomaterials; flocculent (fibrous or fuzzy) materials used in various products, such as floor coverings; and hybrid mixtures of a dust and a flammable gas or vapor. After reviewing results of studies that exist on the topic, the researchers concluded that the energy needed to ignite nanomaterials made of metals, such as aluminum, is less than 1 mJ, which is less than 1/30th the energy required to ignite sugar dust or less than 1/60th the energy required to set wheat dust aflame. Flocking is often made with a process that generates static electricity, which could set off an explosion of flocculent dust, they point out. And the addition of a flammable gas or vapor to a dust as a hybrid mixture increases the chance that the dust will explode. The researchers warn that precautions should be taken to prevent these materials from exposure to sparks, collisions or friction, which could fuel an explosion.
Source: American Chemical Society
OSHA extends temporary enforcement measures
OSHA will extend for six months its temporary enforcement measures in residential construction. The temporary enforcement measures, extended through September 15, 2012, include priority free on-site compliance assistance, penalty reductions, extended abatement dates, measures to assure consistency, and increased outreach. Fatalities from falls are the number one cause of workplace death in construction. Over the past year, OSHA has worked closely with the industry, conducting over 1,000 outreach sessions nationwide to assist employers in complying with the new directive. OSHA will continue to work with employers to ensure a clear understanding of, and to facilitate compliance with, the new policy. OSHA's Web page also has a wide variety of educational and training materials to assist employers with compliance. Multiple easy-to-read fact sheets, PowerPoint and slide presentations, as well as other educational materials are available on the Fall Protection in Residential Construction page.
How many threads of a bolt must be showing outside a nut to meet RAGAGEP?
Some may claim this to be a trick question. I assure you it is not meant to be, but as I will point out in this posting, having too much bolt extending beyond its nut can be an issue, as well as not having the bolt flush with the outer surface of the nut. Have you ever come across a nut and bolt assembly where something just did not look right? How about a pipe flange or a manway on a pressurized process where the nuts are just biting onto the bolt, clearly because either the wrong bolts were used or an incorrect gasket assembly is being used and not allowing the two flanges to meet their tolerances? And by the way, this article can apply to any bolt and nut assembly, not just pressurized systems or chemical processes. Me being a safety professional, I use the principle on my kids bicycles!!! The $60,000,000 question is... how far should a bolt pass through a nut in order for that assembly to meet the full ASME design rating? For my entire career in chemical process safety (nearly 20 years now) I was always told by my engineers that at least three (3) threads of the bolt should be showing on the outside of the nut. I also have a "Mechanics Pocket Guide" and this was the "general approach" offered in this publication and it is a GOOD ONE to follow, as it provides AMPLE safety factor in the design of the flange or manway. But what does ASME actually require if the bolt and nut assembly are on a ASME Coded Pressure Vessel and what does ANSI B31 require if the bolt and nut assembly are on a pressurized pipe flange? CLICK HERE for the rest of the story.
ACGIH® Board Ratifies 2012 TLVs® and BEIs®
ACGIH® The ACGIH® Board of Directors ratified the 2012 Threshold Limit Values (TLVs®) for Chemical Substances and Physical Agents and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs®) on December 9 and 15, 2011. The Board also approved recommendations for additions to the Notice of Intended Changes (NIC). For a listing of the substances that were acted upon, click here. The complete Annual Reports are online at the ACGIH®Online Publications Store.
New Legislation Targets Airport Scanner Safety
On 1/31/12, new legislation regarding the safety of airport scanners was introduced by members of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Senator Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) is the sponsor of the bill, Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced it, and Senators Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.) are cosponsors.
The legislation would require the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate to commission an independent study on the possible health effects caused by the X-ray radiation produced by some airport scanning machines. The study would be in consultation with the National Science Foundation (NSF). In addition, the bill would require signs that clearly inform travelers of alternative screening options available.
In her statement introducing the bill, Senator Collins said, “Scientific experts have warned Congress and the Administration of the potential public health risks posed by the x-ray backscatter machines. They note that, while the risk that someone might develop cancer because of their exposure to radiation during one screening by such an AIT [Advanced Imaging Technology] machine is very small, we do not truly know the risk of this radiation exposure over multiple screenings, for frequent fliers, those in vulnerable groups, or TSA employees operating these machines.”
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Safety and Health Tip
Bayco Products Flashlight Model Numbers XXP-5420B, XXP-5420G, XPP-5422B, and XPP-5422G were improperly labeled with the MSHA emblem making it appear they were MSHA approved products.
Civilian Fire Fatalities
On February 16, 2012, 7 residential fire fatalities were reported by news media throughout the United States
New Jersey Emergency Preparedness Association (NJEPA) Conference
April 30 - May 4, 2012
May 8-11, 2012
If you have a conference or an outing for your safety organization, let me now and I can help spread the message. And yes, posting is FREE!