NSC Wants Workplace Policies for Painkiller Use

From the National Safety Council website:

“A new report by the National Safety Council examines recent court decisions in which injured workers died from an overdose of pain medications.

This report identifies:

– When opioid-related overdose is compensable.

– How to protect your injured workers from potential dangers of opioid pain medications.

– How employers can reduce the risk of compensable costs associated with opioid use or related to opioid use.

After sign-up, you will receive an email from customerservice@nsc.org with a link to view and download the report. If you do not receive the email within a few minutes, first check your junk mail folder or email us at rxsafety@nsc.org. Sometimes our emails get blocked or caught by your spam filter. Remember to add this email address to your safe sender list through your email provider to avoid updates being blocked or going to your junk mail.”

Download the report

Is the Pilot on your flight high?


Apparently, the last time you were on a plane, someone on that plane was possibly higher than everyone else on board; unfortunately we’re talking about the pilot.

A new study by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)  found that the use of potentially impairing medications was on the rise among commercial pilots. Of the 6,677 pilots who died between 1990 and 2012 several were found to have taken over-the-counter medications. None were found to have taken illicit drugs recently.

The conclusion of the study found that pilots were either unaware of the dangers of flying under the influence of antihistamines and other cold, flu and allergy medications or they felt that the impairment wasn’t severe enough to put anyone in danger.

The NTSB believes that education is the answer. They believe that properly informing pilots about the potential dangers of over-the-counter medications would cut down on pilots taking them prior to flying.

Safe Storage, Handling, and Management of Ammonium Nitrate by EPA

At the end of last week, August 30th 2013, the EPA put out its final advisory entitled “Chemical Advisory:Safe Storage, Handling, and Management of Ammonium Nitrate“.

Ammonium Nitrate, you’ll remember was the cause of the explosion in Texas that killed 15 people this past April. The advisory refers to this accident as well as to several others in the past to talk about why the advisory is needed and why changes need to be made. According to the 19 page document, here are some of the lessons learned from past accidents and explosions:

AN will self-compress/self-confine under some conditions, becoming much more likely to explode.
AN is at risk for explosion when stored near other material that can add fuel to the AN – such as grain, sugar, seeds, sawdust, and most especially petroleum fuels such as diesel.
AN is a powerful oxidizer and a rich source of nitrate, which provides energy to an explosion. Thus, the presence of fuel and/or heat (and especially both) near AN is a very high hazard situation.

Download and read about the proper storage, handing and management of Ammonium Nitrate at http://www.epa.gov/osweroe1/docs/chem/AN_advisory.pdf




Stats on Nonmedical Use of Prescription Pain Relievers by State

Oregon, Colorado and Washington head the list of abusers of “nonmedical use of prescription pain relievers” (Interesting that of these three states, two have now legalized marijuana) according to a new report released by SAMHSA’s (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) NSDUH Report (National Survey on Drug Use and Health) dated January 8th, 2013.

The study, which you can view or download online in PDF form lists each state and where it falls in percentage of drug abusers of pain killers.

The report further breaks down the percentage by age category (12-17, 18-25, 26 or older).

Comparisons with prior years show a decrease in certain states and, for a bit of good news, no increase in any of the 50 states.

Let’s hope that the next report shows further decreases.

On a personal note, I do believe that the bulk of the responsibility for this decrease will lie with doctors who perscribe pain killers easily and to almost anyone. Doctors need to realize how dangerous pain killers can be.