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Worker safety influences quality of customer service

Injury rates and safety climate at an organization may influence customer service, according to a study from the University of Central Oklahoma. Researchers surveyed 821 workers at an electric utility company and analyzed safety data and customer satisfaction surveys.

Results indicated that customers were less satisfied with the service they received from work units that had more employee injuries, states the study abstract. A correlation also was found between positive safety climate and better customer service.

The study was published in the December 2012 issue of the Journal of Safety Research.

Obese motorists more likely to die during a crash: study

Obese drivers are more likely to die in a motor vehicle crash than normal-weight drivers, according to a new study from the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of West Virginia.

Motorists with low-level obesity (BMI between 30 and 35) were 21 percent more likely to die in a severe crash than normal-weight individuals (BMI between 18.5 and 24.9); motorists with mid-level obesity (BMI between 35 and 39.9) were 51 percent more likely to die; and severely obese individuals (BMI greater than 40) were 80 percent more likely to die.

Researchers suggested improper safety belt use could explain some of the differences in fatality risk. They recommended vehicle designers take into account larger-size occupants when developing safety belts and other safety systems.

The study was published online Jan. 21 in Emergency Medicine Journal.

NIOSH issues hex chrome document

A new document from NIOSH reviews hazards associated with hexavalent chromium exposure in the workplace. The criteria document (.pdf file) discusses the potential for exposures, studies on human health effects and quantitative risk assessments.

Retail group launches SDS initiative

The Retail Industry Leaders Association has launched an initiative that it says will streamline the process of providing chemical hazard information to retailers.

The initiative includes a Safety Data Sheet template (.pdf file) conforming to requirements under OSHA's updated Hazard Communication Standard.

Special journal issue highlights research from safety symposium

A new special issue of the Journal of Safety Research focuses on 15 research projects presented at the 2011 National Occupational Injury Research Symposium.

Study findings include:

Wet concrete cutting lowers silica concentration: study

Airborne crystalline silica concentrations are reduced by more than three-quarters when using wet concrete cutting rather than dry cutting operations, according to a study from the Center for Construction Research and Training, which is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

The study was published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene.