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Work related injuries more common among new workers

While previous studies have found that recently hired workers face higher injury rates, this Toronto-based Institute for Work and Health research finds that the higher risk of work injury among new workers has persisted over the past ten years. This suggests workplaces need to do more to ensure new workers get the training and supervision they need to stay safe on the job. According to the study, employees working their first month on-the-job have three times the risk of a lost-time injury than those who have been on the job more than a year.

Commercial truck passengers must use seatbelt

While federal rules have long required all commercial truck drivers to use seat belts, their passengers will now have to wear them starting August 8 whenever the vehicles are operated on public roads in interstate commerce. The final rule is a revision of existing Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations.

NIOSH launches 'PPE info' database

NIOSH has developed a database for searching "relevant standards, associated product types, target occupational groups, basic conformity assessment specifications and accredited lab information" related to personal protective equipment. It includes regulations and consensus standards and is intended for developers, manufacturers, purchasers and end users of PPE.

Nearly 90% of comp treatment denials upheld on review - California

According to a study from the California Workers' Compensation Institute, nearly 90% of independent medical reviews for California workers' compensation claims uphold utilization review medical decisions that deem a service for an injured worker as medically unnecessary. This consistently high uphold rate shows that the vast majority of the disputed modifications and denials made by utilization review physicians continue to be found to be in line with the evidence-based medicine guidelines.

Ergo for miners: NIOSH releases assessment app

NIOSH has developed a mobile app to help miners assess the ergonomics of three mining tasks: bagging, maintenance and repair, and haul truck operations.

ErgoMine asks users questions to determine ergonomics issues related to these tasks. Users can complete all or some of the modules for each audit. The app then makes recommendations for ergonomic improvements, which can be viewed on the device or emailed. The app is available for Android phone users.

FAA releases final rule on commercial drone operation

The risks posed by drones have spurred the Federal Aviation Administration to issue its first operational rule for routine commercial use of drones. Safety professionals are looking to drones to conduct industrial inspections that can help avoid exposing workers to danger in high-risk sectors. The FAA forecasts that by 2020, the commercial drone fleet will grow to 540,000, with industrial inspections being the largest market.

Some of the requirements in the final rule include:

Some states making progress on curbing long-term opioid use

Longer-term use of opioids among injured workers decreased in several states, according to the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) in the study, "Longer-Term Use of Opioids, 2nd Edition." The study examined trends across twenty-five states and found: