Tuesday Briefing

Study links up to 5 percent of road crashes to tire problems. A report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that underinflation — meaning tires 25 percent below their rated pressure — was the most common tire problem linked to crashes. A low tire reduces a vehicle’s stability even under ideal conditions, but it makes it significantly more difficult for a driver to maintain control in bad weather or during emergency maneuvers, such as swerving to avoid an obstacle in the road. Tire-pressure monitoring systems became standard in the 2008 model year, but the more basic version of the technology is prone to false alerts, possibly leading consumers to ignore the warnings. msnbc.com, The Detroit News

Regulators warn of possible hazards of multiple sclerosis drug. The Food and Drug Administration said Gilenya should not be given to patients who have suffered a recent stroke or certain heart conditions, or to those taking some medications to correct heart rhythm problems. The FDA conducted its safety review following a report last November of a 59-year-old dying less than 24 hours after taking the first dose of the drug. The agency also reviewed other data for the drug, including reports of patients who died of cardiovascular or unknown causes. The FDA couldn’t definitively conclude that Gilenya was related to the deaths but said it has concerns about the cardiovascular effects of the drug after the first dose. HealthDay, The Wall Street Journal

Highway crashes are the biggest cause of fatalities in the oil and gas industry. Experts blame many of the highway deaths — which totaled more than 300 over the past decade — partly on exemptions from highway safety rules that allow oil field truckers to work longer hours than drivers in most other industries. Many of the truckers say the exemptions are routinely used to pressure workers into driving after shifts that are 20 hours or longer. Last year, the National Transportation Safety Board  said it “strongly opposed” the exemptions because they raise the risk of crashes. The threat will grow substantially in coming years, safety advocates warn, amid the nation’s drilling boom. The New York Times

Three experts named to head mine safety research foundation. The foundation will be set up under a settlement Alpha Natural Resources reached with federal authorities to avoid prosecution in the Upper Big Branch mine disaster. Since that 2010 disaster in West Virginia, which took 29 lives, federal regulators have set tougher rules for mine operators and stepped up inspections. Alpha inherited liability for the Upper Big Branch disaster after buying the mine’s former owner, Massey Energy Co., last year. Alpha agreed to pay $209 million—including $48 million earmarked for the safety foundation—to resolve civil and criminal penalties stemming from the accident. The Wall Street Journal, The Charleston Gazette 

Accident that amputated a worker’s fingertips leads to proposed fines of $156,600. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is seeking the penalties against an Irvington, N.J., foam cup manufacturer, Plastico Products. The agency began its investigation after the November accident. OSHA cited the company for 28 safety offenses, including two willful violations, the agency’s most serious charge. OSHA said Plastico, among other things, failed to take steps to protect workers from unguarded machinery. OSHA put Plastico in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which monitors recalcitrant employers. The Star-Ledger, OSHA

Recalls: bicycles and bike equipment, SX and QH boys hooded jackets sold at dd’s Discounts

Compiled by Stuart Silverstein

Print Print  

Leave a comment