Home > Publications & Resources > The Synergist > Industry News Industry News Page ContentIndustry-related news of relevance to industrial hygienists and occupational and environmental health professionals appears in the NewsWatch section of The Synergist. The latest news appears below. For AIHA news, see the AIHA news page. The complete current issue of The Synergist is available to AIHA members through the AIHA.org Member Center and includes articles on: management systems: risks and opportunities formaldehyde in flooring workplace violence in healthcare methylene chloride fatalities Latest News NIOSH: Aerosolized Medications Not Always Handled SafelyA new NIOSH study shows that safe handling precautions for aerosolized medications are not universally practiced in healthcare settings.NIOSH, Co-sponsors to Host Total Worker Health WorkshopAn upcoming workshop will evaluate the current state of knowledge on integrated approaches to worker safety, health, and well-being and help plan future research.OSHA Emphasizes Crowd Management as Holiday Shopping BeginsOSHA is urging retail employers to take precautions to protect workers throughout the upcoming holiday shopping season, especially during major sales events like Black Friday.Fact Sheets Outline Protections for Agricultural, Shipyard WorkersNew OSHA fact sheets provide information on protecting agricultural workers from tractor hazards and protecting shipyard workers from hazards associated with the repair and maintenance of refrigeration systems on vessels.OSHA to Update Safety and Health Program Management GuidelinesOSHA seeks public comment on an updated version of its voluntary Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines, which are intended to help employers establish safety and health management plans at their workplaces.Congressional Budget Deal Paves Way for Potential Fine Increases for OSHAAn amendment included in the budget deal that President Obama signed into law earlier this month would allow OSHA to increase its fines annually based on the consumer price index.TERA Seeks Comment on OARS-WEEL for Chemical D5Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment (TERA) is now accepting public comment on the OARS-WEEL for the chemical decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (D5). OSHA Rule Addresses Whistleblower Complaints from Railroad, Transportation WorkersA new final rule issued by OSHA establishes final procedures and timeframes for handling whistleblower complaints from workers in the railroad and public transportation industries.CSB to Increase Advocacy around Flammable Chemicals in the ClassroomIn response to a lab fire that injured five students and a teacher at a Virginia high school on Oct. 30, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board is renewing its efforts to prevent accidents related to the use of flammable chemicals in classroom demonstrations.New "Mini-baghouse" Controls Dust Emissions at Fracking SitesNew NIOSH-designed technology called the "mini-baghouse" helps protect oil and gas extraction workers from exposure to silica dust at hydraulic fracturing (fracking) sites.NIOSH Recommendations Help Keep Workers Healthy, Safe in Cold Environments A NIOSH case study provides recommendations for improving the health and safety of employees who work in moderately cold environments such as in the food preparation and processing or cold storage industries.NIOSH: Healthcare Workers' Exposure to Hazardous Surgical Smoke ContinuesA new NIOSH study shows that healthcare workers continue to be exposed to hazardous surgical smoke "despite the existence of evidence-based practices and recommended controls available to protect them."NIOSH's "Workplace Medical Mystery" Blog Series Focuses on Fire Training Officer's ExposuresEarlier this year, NIOSH launched the "Workplace Medical Mystery Series" on its Science Blog, which features posts on a variety of workplace safety and health topics from NIOSH researchers.OSHA Seeks Nominations for Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and HealthThe Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health advises the secretary of labor and the assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health on standards affecting the construction industry and related policy matters.First Responders to Mine Emergencies Honored on Mine Rescue DayMSHA designated Oct. 30 as Mine Rescue Day to promote the importance of mine rescue teams and to recognize those who have responded to mine emergencies.NIOSH Reorganizes Respiratory, Mining DivisionsNIOSH has announced the reorganization of its respiratory and mining divisions. The changes affect the Division of Respiratory Disease Studies and the NIOSH Mine Safety and Health Research Program. NIOSH: Rates of Occupational Pesticide-related Illness, Injury Likely UnderestimatedA NIOSH report on illnesses and injuries from occupational exposure to conventional pesticides notes that the published counts and rates, which cover the years 2007–2010, are likely to be underestimates.EU Agencies Call for Action on Final REACH Deadline in 2018EU agencies are urging OHS professionals to ensure that their employers are prepared to meet the final deadline under the EU's Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH).OSHA Regional Emphasis Program Prompts Employers to Protect Poultry WorkersThe new program, which will begin with a three-month period of education and prevention outreach activities by OSHA, will target facilities in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi, states that are among the largest chicken producers in the U.S.CSB Finds Regulatory Gaps in Safety Oversight of Petroleum Storage FacilitiesIn a final investigation report approved last week, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board urges OSHA and EPA to address regulatory gaps in safety oversight of petroleum storage facilities.Study: Low Doses of Ionizing Radiation Increase Cancer RisksProtracted exposure to low doses of ionizing radiation in the workplace can increase the risk of death from solid cancers, according to the results from a study published in The BMJ on Oct. 20.OSHA Updates Guide on Trenching, Excavation Safety in ConstructionOSHA recently published an updated version of its guide that describes "key elements" of the agency’s applicable standards and the associated requirements for excavation and trenching operations.OSHA Chief Updates Congress on Challenges of Changing Structure of WorkAssistant Secretary of Labor David Michaels testified before the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, updating members of Congress on the agency’s activities and describing recent challenges related to the changing structure of work.Preliminary Study Results Show Persistence of Ebola Virus in Body FluidsPreliminary study results indicate that some men who survive the Ebola virus still produce semen samples that test positive for the disease for at least nine months after the onset of symptoms.NTP Requests Information on Substances Nominated for Inclusion in Report on CarcinogensThe nominated substances include flame retardants tetrabromobisphenol A and pentabromodiphenyl ether mixture; water disinfection byproducts dibromoacetonitrile and di- and tri-haloacetic acids; fluoride; and vinylidene chloride.NIOSH Launches Virtual Center to Promote Lifelong Worker Well-beingNIOSH's new National Center for Productive Aging and Work will focus on the safety of workers of all ages, lifetime well-being, and "productive aging."NIH, Partners to Fund Occupational, Environmental Research Hubs in Developing CountriesNIH and U.S. and Canadian partners are set to invest nearly $21 million over five years to establish seven "Global Environmental and Occupational Health Hubs" in low- and middle-income countries around the world.Study: Prenatal Exposure to PBDEs May Contribute to Attention ProblemsA recently published study indicated a positive trend between prenatal exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), a class of flame retardants, and attention problems in early childhood.Confined Spaces in Construction Guide Helps Small Businesses Comply with New OSHA StandardA new OSHA publication intended to help construction employers and small businesses comply with the agency’s new Confined Spaces in Construction standard describes common compliance issues in plain English.NIOSH Releases New Skin Notation Profiles for Ten Chemicals, Including Nicotine, ChlordaneNIOSH's skin notation profiles provide information supplemental to chemicals’ skin notations, including summaries of all relevant data used to help determine the hazards associated with skin exposures.OSHA Urges Hazard Awareness during Hurricane Joaquin CleanupHurricane cleanup work may involve hazards related to restoring electricity, communications, and water and sewer services; demolition activities; debris cleanup; hazardous waste operations; and emergency response.CSB: Flawed Safety Features, Design Problems Contributed to Deaths at Insecticide PlantCSB investigators have found that flawed safety procedures, design problems, and inadequate planning contributed to the fatal chemical release at the DuPont insecticide plant in La Porte, Texas, on Nov. 15, 2014.OSHA Extends Comment Period for Rule Clarifying Recordkeeping ObligationsOSHA has extended the comment deadline for its proposed rule that clarifies employers' ongoing obligation to make and maintain accurate records of all recordable work-related illnesses and injuries.IH Students, Recent Grads Encouraged to Apply for Federal FellowshipsThe U.S. Office of Personnel Management is seeking applicants for the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program. These two-year, paid fellowships match graduate students with federal opportunities.EPA Issues Significant New Use Rule for Brominated Flame Retardant HBCDEPA has issued a new final rule that designates the use of hexabromocyclododecane or 1,2,5,6,9,10-hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) in consumer textiles as a "significant new use."EPA Increases Agricultural Worker Protections against Pesticide ExposureEPA has finalized revisions to its agricultural worker protection standard that will bring health protections for agricultural workers in line with those already in place for workers in other industries.Small Companies, Contractors among NIOSH Research Priorities in Oil and GasA new draft strategic plan prioritizes NIOSH's occupational health and safety research and prevention activities for the agency's Oil and Gas Sector Program through 2025.Report Examines Exposure to Isocyanate Paint in Motor Vehicle Repair WorkersU.K. researchers addressed the "common poor workplace practice" within the motor vehicle repair trade of isocyanate paint sprayers lifting up their air-fed visors immediately after spraying to check the quality of the paint finish.BLS: Fatal Injuries Up in 2014, Including 17-Percent Increase in Mining, Oil and GasPreliminary results from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries show that fatal work injuries increased by 17 percent in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction from 2013 to 2014.Revised OSHA Manual Addresses Building Design, Emergency Responder SafetyNew content in OSHA's Fire Service Features of Buildings and Fire Protection Systems manual is intended to explain how firefighters and other responders can resolve incidents sooner and more safely if a building design is tailored to meet their needs.California to List Glyphosate, Three Insecticides under Proposition 65CalEPA's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment released a notice of intent to list glyphosate, an herbicide, and three insecticides as known to the state to cause cancer under Proposition 65.Updated IAQ Guideline Addresses Concerns about Ultrafine ParticlesThe 2015 version of ASHRAE's residential indoor air quality (IAQ) guideline recommends that higher-efficiency filters be considered to help filter out particles below 2.5 microns (PM2.5).NIOSH to Manufacturer: Improve Ventilation, Metalworking Fluid Maintenance During a Health Hazard Evaluation at an aircraft ejection seat manufacturer, NIOSH staff found a methoxypyrazine, a chemical that can be produced by bacteria, to be the likely cause of a lingering unpleasant odor.NIOSH Requests Feedback on Vapor Containment Performance ProtocolNIOSH requests public comment on a protocol for testing vapor containment performance of closed system transfer devices used during pharmacy compounding and administration of hazardous drugs. Study: Health, Safety Measures Lacking for Compounding Antineoplastic DrugsA NIOSH study published in JOEH found that healthcare employers and workers do not always follow recommended safe handling practices for compounding antineoplastic drugs.Upcoming Meeting to Focus on Prevention of Beryllium-induced IllnessesA meeting of the Beryllium Health & Safety Committee will feature technical presentations covering many topics related to beryllium, including discussion of OSHA's recent proposed rule on occupational exposure to beryllium.MSHA Proposes to Require Proximity Detection Systems on Coal-haulage EquipmentA proposed rule issued by MSHA is intended to protect miners from pinning, crushing, or striking accidents, and would require proximity detection systems on coal-hauling machines and scoops used in underground coal mines.John Howard Reappointed as Director of NIOSHJohn Howard, MD, has been reappointed as the director of NIOSH, effective Sept. 3, 2015, and is now the longest serving director of the agency.NIOSH Recommends LEV to Reduce Hazardous Dust Exposure in Highway ConstructionNIOSH recommends the use of local exhaust ventilation (LEV) dust control measures to reduce worker exposure to hazardous dust during dowel drilling, a task performed during construction of highways and concrete airport runways.Report Seeks to Improve Understanding of U.K. Nanomaterials IndustryA recently released report on the nanomaterials industry in Great Britain discusses employees' potential for exposure to airborne nanomaterials.