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Savings / Safety Tips for April 2016 from All Safety Products, Inc.

OSHA's Final Rule to Protect Workers from Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica

Rule requires engineering controls to keep workers from breathing silica dust

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a final rule to curb lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease in America's workers by limiting their exposure to respirable crystalline silica.

The rule is comprised of two standards, one for Construction and one for General Industry and Maritime.

OSHA estimates that the rule will save over 600 lives and prevent more than 900 new cases of silicosis each year, once its effects are fully realized. The Final Rule is projected to provide net benefits of about $7.7 billion, annually.

About 2.3 million workers are exposed to respirable crystalline silica in their workplaces, including 2 million construction workers who drill, cut, crush, or grind silica-containing materials such as concrete and stone, and 300,000 workers in general industry operations such as brick manufacturing, foundries, and hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.

Responsible employers have been protecting workers from harmful exposure to respirable crystalline silica for years, using widely-available equipment that controls dust with water or a vacuum system.

Key Provisions

Reduces the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an 8-hour shift.

Requires employers to:
  • use engineering controls (such as water or ventilation) to limit worker exposure to the PEL;
  • provide respirators when engineering controls cannot adequately limit exposure;
  • limit worker access to high exposure areas;
  • develop a written exposure control plan, offer medical exams to highly exposed workers, and train workers on silica risks and how to limit exposures.

Provides medical exams to monitor highly exposed workers and gives them information about their lung health.

Provides flexibility to help employers - especially small businesses - protect workers from silica exposure.

Compliance Schedule

Both standards contained in the final rule take effect on June 23, 2016., after which industries have one to five years to comply with most requirements, based on the following schedule:

Construction - June 23, 2017, one year after the effective date.

General Industry and Maritime - June 23, 2018, two years after the effective date.

Hydraulic Fracturing - June 23, 2018, two years after the effective date for all provisions except Engineering Controls, which have a compliance date of June 23, 2021.


The U.S. Department of Labor first highlighted the hazards of respirable crystalline silica in the 1930s, after a wave of worker deaths. The department set standards to limit worker exposure in 1971, when OSHA was created. However, the standards are outdated and do not adequately protect workers from silica-related diseases. Furthermore, workers are being exposed to silica in new industries such as stone or artificial stone countertop fabrication and hydraulic fracturing.

A full review of scientific evidence, industry consensus standards, and extensive stakeholder input provide the basis for the final rule, which was proposed in September 2013. The rule-making process allowed OSHA to solicit input in various forms for nearly a full year. The agency held 14 days of public hearings, during which more than 200 stakeholders presented testimony, and accepted over 2,000 comments, amounting to about 34,000 pages of material. In response to this extensive public engagement, OSHA made substantial changes, including enhanced employer flexibility in choosing how to reduce levels of respirable crystalline silica, while maintaining or improving worker protection.


Some simple clues can indicate a tornado

There are some simple clues that indicate a tornado may be on its way.

First, notice the sky. A dark, greenish storm sky or a cloud that lowers itself down in the sky -- a wall cloud-- could indicate a tornado.

If you are in the middle of a storm, with hail and high winds that suddenly stop and all becomes quiet, this could mean a tornado is imminent. Hail forms above rotating winds so it is a serious sign of trouble.

Many people go outside in the quiet period to collect hail or marvel at the sudden stillness, but this could be a bad move. Instead, make everyone in the family put on long pants, sturdy shoes and discuss your tornado plan.

According to, about 50 percent of injuries from tornados come after the storm has passed when people are injured by debris, downed wire or leaking gas.

Dust devils swirling in fields or streets could mean rotating winds have already formed above in storm clouds. Make your plans to take cover.

If you hear a continuous roar, rumble or train-like sound, it means a tornado is near. Move immediately to an inside room or basement. Sometimes sheltering under a mattress will help.

If you are driving and you see a tornado, do not attempt to shelter under a bridge or overpass. There are no handholds on overpasses and the wind tends to be stronger. Those who survive, tend to have vicious injuries, losing limbs and fingers.

If you see a tornado while driving on a freeway, pull over to the side of the road, never stop on the road itself. This creates a dangerous situation for everyone on the road. Do not park your car under a bridge or overpass. Go to the nearest ditch, lie flat and cover your head. Do not shelter under your car.

The best idea is to find a building. But this may be impossible on a freeway.

If the road configuration allows it, drive at a 90 degree angle to the direction of the tornado. Don't put yourself in the position of trying to outrun a tornado. You likely won't win.

In the U.S., tornado season tends to move northward from late winter to mid-summer.

Healthy Tips

Studies: Fish oil capsules don't convey big benefits

Big studies show the impact of fish oil capsules is not as great as we hoped.

Fish oil is now the third most widely used dietary supplement in the United States, after multivitamins and calcium, according to the National Institutes of Health.

At least 10 percent of Americans take fish oil regularly, believing that the omega-3s in the supplements protect their cardiovascular health. But according to The New York Times, there is a big problem: Recent studies published in medical journals, such as Archives of Internal Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, and the British BMJ, show the impact isn't as powerful as once thought.

Partly because study participants take state-of-the-art medications, such as statins, blood thinners, and blood pressure drugs, the effect of fish oil supplements is negligible.

From 2005 to 2012, at least two dozen rigorous studies of fish oil were published in leading medical journals, most of which looked at whether fish oil could prevent heart attacks in high-risk populations.

All but two of these studies found that, compared with a placebo, fish oil showed no benefit. Yet during this time, sales of fish oil more than doubled, not just in the United States but worldwide, said Andrew Grey, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. He is also the author of a 2014 study on fish oil published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

It's all about omega-3s, the two fatty-acids in fish that our bodies can't make, DHA and EPA. Get omegas naturally. Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines are rich in the omega-3s DHA and EPA, which have roles in brain function, normal growth and development, and anti-inflammation. They have also been positively linked to cardiovascular disease, some cancers, arthritis, and other diseases.

But eating fish, the real thing, provides much more than just omega-3s. It also brings other nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Foods containing natural omega-3s include walnuts, pumpkin seeds, winter squashes, canola oil and flaxseeds.

Delicious Recipe

Skinny Gypsy Toast, yum, yum!

French toast has its humble beginnings in 4th century Rome, even before the Middle Ages (5th to 15th century) in Medieval Europe.

The Romans took their day-old bread, soaked it in an egg and milk mixture and fried it. They called it pain perdu "lost bread" and it is even mentioned in the ancient recipe book, Apicius.

Today the dish is known by many names including Eggy bread, Gypsy toast, and Spanish toast. Two slices of French toast, made with everyday white sandwich bread dunked in an egg-milk-cinnamon mixture and fried, racks up about 300 calories and 32 carbs without syrup or powdered sugar. That tally goes up with fancier breads like brioche and sugary toppings like jam, whipped cream or syrup.

But the dish can be made with far fewer carbs and calories and it makes a tasty, filling, no-guilt breakfast.

Skinny Gypsy Toast (makes 4 servings)

  • 8 slices of low-carb bread
  • 1/2 cup cream (Half the carbs of milk)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 teaspoon butter for frying
  • 1 teaspoon sugar substitute
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, milk, salt, cinnamon and vanilla.
  • Pour into a square cake pan to make dipping easier.
  • Place bread slices in egg mixture, flip once, after fully coated and soaked through.
  • Melt 1 to 2 teaspoons of butter in the pan over medium-high heat.
  • Fry bread slices until golden brown on both sides.
  • Add butter between batches.
For your trouble, your Skinny Gypsy Toast is delicious as is or with sugar-free syrup or jam (but topping will bring up the carb and calorie count.)

Estimated nutritional cost for one slice: 5 grams carbohydrates (net carb count: 5 g) 6 grams protein 3 grams fat 75 calories

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