Wednesday, January 20, 2010

When the Well Has Gone Dry and Distracted Driving

Contributed by Eric Tofte, Director of Training, Evergreen Safety Council
Got a dry well that your employees do confined space entry into? If you do, is the air monitored (yes, in a dry well).

On January 12, 2010 OSHA announced that it had completed inspections prompted by a June 29, 2009, triple fatality at a Jamaica, N.Y., recycling facility. An employee of S. Dahan Piping and Heating Co., of South Ozone, N.Y., was fatally overcome by hydrogen sulfide gas while cleaning a dry well at Regal Recycling Co. Inc. The owner of S. Dahan Piping and Heating, who was also the worker's father, and a Regal Recycling employee also succumbed while trying to rescue him from the dry well.

OSHA's inspection found that S. Dahan Piping and Heating should have monitored the air quality in the dry well to determine if there was a lack of oxygen or the presence of another breathing hazard before any of its employees entered the dry well to perform their duties. If a hazard was found, protective measures would need to have been implemented prior to employee entry. OSHA defines a confined space as a space that has limited or restricted access of entry or exit, is large enough for a worker to enter and work in, but is not designed for continuous occupancy. Regal Recycling failed to post signs warning its employees of hazards that may be present in a confined space, such as the dry well.

To read the compete press release, go to this link.

Distracted driving prevention: New DOT Projects
Research shows that nearly 6,000 people died in 2008 in crashes involving a distracted or inattentive driver, and more than 500,000 were injured. On any given day in 2008, more than 800,000 vehicles were driven by someone using a handheld cell phone.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and National Safety Council President Janet Froetscher announced the creation of FocusDriven, the first national nonprofit organization devoted specifically to raising awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.

FocusDriven’s new website hosts information on distracted driving and ways to get involved in the project.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recently launched a federal website with comprehensive information on distracted driving and a national PSA, featuring Secretary LaHood, to raise awareness about this dangerous driving behavior.

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