Tag Archives: CALOSHA

It’s Official – Put Your Cellphone Down!

About 95 percent of Americans own a cell phone, and 12 percent rely on their smartphones for everyday Internet access, the health department said. In addition, the average age when children get their first phone is now just 10, and a majority of young people keep their phones on or near them most of the day and while they sleep. “Children’s brains develop through the teenage years and may be more affected by cellphone use,” Smith said.

Other tips for reducing exposure to radio frequency energy from cellphones: Keeping the phone away from the body, reducing cellphone use when the signal is weak, reducing the use of cellphones to stream audio or video or to download or upload large files, keeping the phone away from the bed at night, removing headsets when not on a call, and avoiding products that claim to block radio frequency energy because they may actually increase your exposure.

It’s only temporary – smartphone blindness

Smartphone habits may force doctors to ask patients a few more questions when diagnosing vision or neurological problems. “I think if a person experiences a temporary loss of vision in one eye, that’s potentially a very important problem for which they should seek medical attention,” says Mayo Clinic neurologist Dr. Dean Wingerchuk. “But, it doesn’t always mean there’s an abnormality.”

Mayo Clinic

Torque Tool Use

09/06/17        Maureen Graves Anderson

Homer Simpson Tool Safety poster for article, orque Tool UseRecently I was asked about safe torque levels when using electrically, pneumatically, or hydraulically powered screwdrivers or wrenches. These tools are often used in assembly jobs in the manufacturing industry.

Basically, torque is a measure of the turning force on an object. A person holds the tool in place while the tool delivers a specified amount of force, measured in English units, inch-pounds (Newton-meters [nM] in the metric world). As the tool delivers the force, the body braces against the force. When the specified force is reached, the machine stops abruptly. It is this jerking reaction force that causes the problem – over time this repeated force can cause musculoskeletal disorders (MSD). How much force, torque in this case, can a person safely handle? The amount of torque force that a person can tolerate over the course of day varies greatly. Overall, strength, age, sex, posture, grip size and type are all factors that determine tolerance to torque forces.

For healthy adults, we know the range of the maximum voluntary contraction (MVC), the measure of strength for this type of force. But that tells us only the maximum a person can generate. This is not a good indicator for someone repeatedly doing this type of work. For that, we need to modify the MVC with a percentage. 14% of MVC is used for intermittent static contractions and 8% for continuous static contractions over the course of day. So doing the math, I calculate that for 95% of women, the range is 6.7 inch-pounds to 14.6 inch-pounds, with 10.66 inch-pounds being the average. For 95% of men, the range is 13.6 inch-pounds to 21.3 inch-pounds, with 17.6 inch-pounds being the average.

What do you do if the torque tool generates more force than a person can comfortably handle over the course of the day? There are two approaches: engineering controls and administrative controls. Engineering controls should be the first line of defense. Here are a few options:

  • Reaction arm for conventional tool: When a torque tool reaches its specified force, it abruptly stops. A reaction arm transmits the force to the frame rather than the human body. It is interesting that the industry recommends torque reaction arms for forces greater than 12 pounds; this is a pretty good estimate for males. For women, I recommend using these torque reaction arms for forces greater than 10 inch-pounds. There are many on the market, click here for an example.
  • Pulse tools: These tools apply the force by pulsing, and are very quiet and do not require a reaction arm. However, they are more expensive upfront and require more maintenance. In the long run, they may be cost-effective depending upon how they are used.


2 Must Have Concepts For Your Injury Response Message

By ReduceYourWorkersComp.com 11/14/2016
In Case of Workplace Injury poster from Central Coast IndustrialCare in Santa Maria, CA

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Central Coast IndustrialCare has “In the Event of Work Injury” laminated posters and wallet cards available in English and Spanish.
Just email our Client Services Manager, Susan Berban.
High quality, and simple. High quality, and simple. High quality, and simple. Those two concepts are the cornerstones of the clothing brand Patagonia’s business philosophy.

High Quality & Simple

I’m Michael Stack with Amaxx, and I was recently up in Freeport, Maine with my wife celebrating our eighth year anniversary on a little getaway. Now, she needed a raincoat so we spent some time in the Patagonia outlet, and I picked up the book written by their founder Yvon Chouinard. As I was reading it that day and later following to finish it, these two concepts resonated throughout the 258-page book for their business success and the foundation of that company.

Employee’s Bombarded With Information

It got me really thinking as I was reading this book, is how these two concepts can really be applied to Workers’ Compensation, particularly in the communication and the messaging to our employees. Because the reality is that employees today are just bombarded with information on a day-to-day basis of things that they need to understand, and a lot of times need to put into action. Continue reading 2 Must Have Concepts For Your Injury Response Message

California’s Non-Fatal Worker Injuries, Illnesses Stable In 2015

By WorkersCompensation.com – October 28, 2016

Fabulous California sign in the Las Vegas styleOakland, CA – The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) has posted California’s 2015 occupational injury and illness summary data on employer-reported injuries.

According to the estimates provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII), California’s overall incidence rate of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses remains unchanged at 3.8 cases per 100 workers for full time employees, the lowest rate in over a decade. Detailed case and demographic data for 2015 will be published on November 10.

“In California we review statistics to assist in focusing our regulatory and enforcement efforts,” said DIR Director Christine Baker.  “This preliminary data along with the case and demographic statistics to be published next month will help us refine and strengthen workplace safety and health regulations, training materials, and outreach and education efforts for employers and workers.”

The estimates show there were approximately 470,600 nonfatal reportable job related injuries and illnesses in 2015, with 77% occurring in private industry and 23% in state and local government sectors.

The total numbers of injuries and illnesses increased slightly year to year, which correlates to an uptick in the state’s employed labor force from 17.4 million in 2014 to 17.8 million in 2015.

The statewide all-industry rate of “lost time” cases, (referred to in the survey as “days away from work, job transfer, or restriction” (DART) cases) remained constant at 2.2 cases per 100 full time workers over the last three years surveyed, while the rate of days away from work cases (DAFW) has remained unchanged for the last seven years.

 Continue reading California’s Non-Fatal Worker Injuries, Illnesses Stable In 2015

New Workers’ Compensation Laws Will Reduce Treatment Delays and Fraud

By WorkersCompensation.com  

wc-fraudSacramento, CA  – Two newly signed laws will build upon California’s workers’ compensation reforms by addressing two critical issues—reducing treatment delays for injured workers and rooting out provider fraud and illegitimate liens.

Governor Brown signed SB 1160 (Mendoza) and AB 1244 (Gray and Daly), which build on the 2012 workers’ compensation reforms designed to increase benefits and improve medical care for injured workers, and to control costs for employers.

“Expedited and appropriate treatment in the critical first month of injury encourages the best outcome for injured workers and employers,” said Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). “In reforming the utilization review process used to contest care to injured workers and tightening controls on fraud, these new laws further the treatment and savings goals initiated by the Governor and the Legislature in 2012.”

SB 1160 reduces most utilization review in the first 30 days following a work-related injury. It also mandates electronic reporting of utilization review data by claims administrators to the Division of Workers’ Compensation, which will enable the division to monitor claim processes and address problems.
Continue reading New Workers’ Compensation Laws Will Reduce Treatment Delays and Fraud

Cal/OSHA Cites Company Operating 1,500-Foot-Long Zip Lines with No Emergency Brakes

By WorkersCompensation.com 09/15/2016

Zip Line Danger SignSan Bernardino, CA – Cal/OSHA has cited Big Pines Ziplines $85,000 for serious and willful safety violations uncovered following an unreported rider accident that resulted in a major injury.

Cal/OSHA investigators found that Big Pines let riders reach speeds of up to 55 mph on lines more than a quarter-mile long that had no effective emergency braking system. Cal/OSHA also learned that Big Pines continued to operate unsafe zip lines even after the division ordered them to stop.

On August 9, 2014, a member of the public suffered a broken leg while riding one of Big Pines’ zip lines in Wrightwood. Wrightwood Canopy Tour LLC, doing business as Big Pines Ziplines, never reported the injury to Cal/OSHA, as is required by law. Cal/OSHA learned about the injury in February of this year when contacted by an attorney for the injured rider. Also in February, a second patron riding the zip lines suffered a broken leg.

When Cal/OSHA contacted the business, the owner acknowledged the first accident and told investigators the zip lines were shut down. However, Cal/OSHA subsequently learned that the lines were in fact open to the public and operating. In March, Cal/OSHA opened an investigation and found numerous safety and regulatory violations.

“When zip line owners operate without appropriate safeguards in place, they jeopardize the health and safety of their patrons and their workers,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. “California law is clear about the requirements for zip line safety, and shortcuts are unacceptable.”
Continue reading Cal/OSHA Cites Company Operating 1,500-Foot-Long Zip Lines with No Emergency Brakes

OSHA’s Safety Stand-Down Throughout Southeast for Heat-Related Illness &, Injury Awareness

By WorkersCompensation.com

NOAA weather service heat index



For the summer season, OSHA offers tools to assist employers and workers:

• Heat-illness educational materials in English and Spanish, and a curriculum to be used for workplace training.

• Online tools such as OSHA worker heat safety tips in a blog, Twitter posts, and at an newly updated heat campaign web page that now includes illustrations of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, an animated video, training resources, and links to an updated heat safety phone app.

#WaterRestShade, the official hashtag of the campaign, encourages employers to provide their workers with drinking water, ample breaks, and a shaded area while working outdoors.

• OSHA continues to work with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to raise awareness on the dangers of working in the heat through its Weather-Ready Nation campaign.

Atlanta, GA- In 2014, 2,630 workers suffered from heat illness while 18 died from heat stroke and related causes on the job – all of which was preventable.

To raise awareness about these dangers, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, employers and trade associations will conduct a one-hour Safety Stand-Down at construction sites and workplaces in eight Southern states from June 27 to July 1, 2016. Continue reading OSHA’s Safety Stand-Down Throughout Southeast for Heat-Related Illness &, Injury Awareness

Summer Job Season Approaching – Teens More Likely Than Adults to Get Hurt at Work

By WorkersCompensation.com
teen worker safety and injury statisttics
Tumwater, WA – As summer approaches, many teens are excited to have their first real jobs. Unfortunately, while working, some of them will be hurt — possibly seriously.

Parents, employers and youth all play a critical role in teen worker safety. That’s according to Josie Bryan, child labor specialist with the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I).

Young workers have a higher rate of getting hurt on the job than older adults. In Washington, 635 work-related injuries to teens age 17 and under were reported in 2015. The number of teen workplace injuries has been on the rise since 2010. Still, the total is significantly lower than the 2,336 cases reported in the year 2000.

“Teens new to the workforce may feel they have to say yes to every task they’re assigned,” said Bryan. “We want to make sure young workers get the training they should, know their rights and always ask questions, especially whenever they’re concerned for their safety.”

In July 2014, 19-year-old Bradley Hogue was killed by an auger while working inside the hopper of a bark-blower truck. It was his second day on the job. L&I cited and fined the company he worked for after an investigation found numerous safety violations.
Bradley’s dad and mom, Alan and Deanna Hogue, have a message for parents of teens entering the workforce. Continue reading Summer Job Season Approaching – Teens More Likely Than Adults to Get Hurt at Work

Is a “Safety Culture” Assessment Right for Your Organization?

By Terry Bogyo 2 hours 58 minutes ago

Creating Safety Cultures yellow diamond highway signSafety culture is a popular term in occupational health and safety articles.  There is no one universally accepted definition but the US OSHA describes Safety cultures this way:

Safety cultures consist of shared beliefs, practices, and attitudes that exist at an establishment.  Culture is the atmosphere created by those beliefs, attitudes, etc., which shape our behavior.  An organizations safety culture is the result of a number of factors such as:§  Management and employee norms, assumptions and beliefs;

•  Management and employee attitudes;
•  Values, myths, stories;
•  Policies and procedures;
•  Supervisor priorities, responsibilities and accountability;
•  Production and bottom line pressures vs. quality issues;
•  Actions or lack of action to correct unsafe behaviors;
•  Employee training and motivation; and
•  Employee involvement or “buy-in”

Safety culture is often summarized as “The way we do things around here”.

However you define it, a safety culture can only exist in a social context, in a community of individuals (specifically employees and management) organized around a work objective.  Safety culture in any particular organization at any given time is dependent on that context.  If the context is relatively stable then the safety culture is likely stable over time (absent interventions or events that disrupt the status quo).

Building a strong safety culture can make workplaces safer by extinguishing behaviours that put workers at risk, increasing adherence to safe work procedures, eliminating hazards, etc.


CA DIR Honors Workers’ Memorial Day

CA DIR Honors Workers’ Memorial Day and Cal/OSHA’s Commitment to Workplace Safety

By WorkersCompensation.com

Workers' Safety Day 2016 graphicApril 28, 2016, Oakland, CA –

Yesterday, on Workers’ Memorial Day 2016, the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) remembered the men and women who have lost their lives and renews its 43 year commitment to safe and healthful workplaces.

This international day of remembrance is held annually on April 28, the date Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 which promises every worker the right to a safe job.

“Worker deaths and injuries serve as poignant reminders about the critical importance of workplace safety measures,” said DIR Director Christine Baker.  “We are dedicated to working with workers and employers to prevent on-the-job injuries and deaths.”

Cal/OSHA, a division of DIR, was established in 1973 as a state-run program to enforce effective standards, help employers provide safe working conditions, and conduct research, education and training in occupational safety and health. It was the first in the nation to adopt an Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) standard in 1991 and the first to adopt a heat illness prevention regulation in 2005, followed by high-heat regulations in 2010 for industries that include agriculture, construction, landscaping, and oil and gas extraction.