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Things you should know

Hair straightening products may release formaldehyde, OSHA warns

Hair salon owners and workers should be aware of potential formaldehyde exposure from certain hair smoothing products, according to an OSHA hazard alert issued April 11.

The alert summarizes OSHA's investigations into the products, health hazards of formaldehyde and protective measures. OSHA recommended that salon owners avoid using products containing formaldehyde and related chemicals. Owners who decide to use such products must follow OSHA's formaldehyde standard, which requires air monitoring, ventilation, worker training and protective equipment.

Final rule clarifies tip credit, comp time, fluctuating workweek

The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued final regulations updating the Fair Labor Standards Act. The final rule clarifies several confusing provisions of the law including tip credit, compensatory time for public employees, and fluctuating workweeks

NIOSH releases bulletin on asbestos

A Current Intelligence Bulletin on asbestos research provides a strategic framework for addressing unanswered questions about occupational exposure and toxicity of asbestos fibers and other elongated material particles. If inhaled, asbestos fibers can cause lung cancer and other serious diseases, according to NIOSH.

Study: preventing falls on slippery surfaces

While most safety advice suggests people should walk slowly and shuffle to prevent falling on slippery surfaces, new research  suggests that may not be the best advice after all. Researchers used guinea fowl, birds that react to slips and falls much like humans do, to study the walking mechanics that contributed to a fall. They found that birds moving quickly in a forward stance across slippery surfaces were less likely to fall than those moving slowly or shuffling. The study, published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, could shed light on better limb-control strategies that could be used by people to prevent falls.

SSA resumes no match letters

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has resumed sending employers no-match letters, but with little guidance for employers
. Employers should not ignore the letters. When the no-match letters come in, note the date they arrived and have an action plan on how to respond.