Articles | Cases

Things you should know

OSHA gives residential roofing workers more safeguards against falls

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced on December 22 a new directive withdrawing a former one that allowed residential builders to bypass fall protection requirements. The directive being replaced, issued in 1995, initially was intended as a temporary policy and was the result of concerns about the feasibility of fall protection in residential building construction.

With the issuance of the new directive, all residential construction employers must comply with 29 Code of Federal Regulations 1926.501(b)(13). According to the news release, where residential builders find that traditional fall protection is not feasible in residential environments, 29 CFR 1926.501(b)(13) still allows for alternative means of providing protection.

Construction and roofing companies will have up to six months to comply with the new directive. OSHA has developed training and compliance assistance materials for small employers and will host a webinar for parties interested in learning more about complying with the standard. To view the directive and for more information, visit

NIOSH targets persistent work-related lead exposure

Higher blood lead levels remain a risk for many workers despite efforts to reduce exposure. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health warns that cases persist, and recent research suggests that adverse health effects are associated even with lower lead exposures.

It is especially prevalent in construction, mining, and manufacturing and is often used to make batteries, alloys and other metal products.

Breathing it in, ingesting it, or coming into contact with it can expose workers. Exposure can lead to impairment and damage to the body's nervous, hematologic, reproductive, renal, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems.

FMCSA launches CSA program

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration launched its Compliance, Safety, Accountability program, despite carrier appeals to not make inspection and crash data public.

The program, formerly called Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010, implements a new Safety Measurement System to analyze all safety-based violations from inspections and crash data to determine a commercial motor carrier’s on-road performance.

Institute releases free pocket guide for radiation emergencies

A quick reference guide for medical care providers who treat patients exposed to radioactive materials now is available from the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education.

A Department of Energy institute, Oak Ridge, TN-based ORISE, is offering free downloads of The Medical Aspects of Radiation Incidents.

Topics discussed in the guide include:

Drug use among fatally injured drivers increasing: report

Drug use by drivers involved in fatal crashes increased between 2005 and 2009, according to a new report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“Drug involvement” meant drugs were found in the driver’s system, and drug presence includes both illegal substances as well as over-the-counter and prescription medications.