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Things you should know

Employers plan to pass along added costs of health care reform
Over 85% of mid-and large-sized organizations are likely to reduce benefits to pay for any additional costs as a result of health care reform: 38% plan to increase prices for customers, 30% plan to reduce headcount, and 27% plan to reduce salaries and compensation. Only 11% indicate they will accept reduced profits. The findings are from a survey conducted by the professional services firm Towers Perrin, Health Care Reform Plus Survey.

MSDS: Helpful website
Anything and everything you need to know about a chemical is found on that chemical’s Material Safety data Sheet (MSDS). The language can be complicated; for help in decoding an MSDS, visit.

HIPAA enforcement rule revised to reflect increased penalties
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services amended its Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) enforcement regulations in an Oct. 30, 2009, interim final rule. The new regs reflect higher penalties for HIPAA rules violations that were included in the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.

» Learn more

OSHA: Road construction workers must wear hi-vis in all work zones
A new letter of interpretation from OSHA requires hi-vis apparel on all highway and road construction workers, regardless of whether the Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices mandates them.

OSHA issues crowd-control tips for retailers
Nearly one year after the trampling death of a Walmart employee during a "Black Friday" sales event, OSHA has issued crowd-control tips.

Among OSHA's guidelines:

  • Have trained security or crowd management personnel or police on-site when a large crowd is expected.
  • Set up barricades or rope lines in advance of customers arriving at the store.
  • Do not restrict egress, and do not block or lock exit doors.

Daylight savings time change increases injury risk
A study published in the September 2009 issue of Journal of Applied Psychology found that when people lose an hour of sleep as a result of the switch to daylight savings there is a significant increase in serious injuries. On the Monday following the switch to daylight savings time, workers had 5.7% more injuries and missed 67.6% more workdays because of injuries than on other days. Switching back to standard time in the fall had no significant effects.

Researchers suggest scheduling dangerous work on other days, scheduling extra safety monitors on days following the hour advance, and adjusting the start time of employee work shifts.