Posted in 'Health and Safety'

A new National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) tool will help users assess areas of dampness in buildings and prioritize remediation of problems areas. Users will be guided to assess how moisture causes indoor mold to multiply on building materials and surfaces, and learn how people may be exposed to microbes and their structural components, such as spores and fungal fragments. The resource provides information about the assessment cycle, and detailed instructions on how to use the data collection instrument. (via the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Clearinghouse for Worker Safety and Health)

…..

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NIOSH:

The health of those who live, attend school, or work in damp buildings has been a growing concern through the years due to a broad range of reported building-related symptoms and illnesses. Research has found that people who spend time in damp buildings are more likely to report health problems such as these:

  • Respiratory symptoms (such as in nose, throat, lungs)
  • Development or worsening of asthma
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis (a rare lung disease caused by an immune system response to repeated inhalation of sensitizing substances such as bacteria, fungi, organic dusts, and chemicals)
  • Respiratory infections
  • Allergic rhinitis (often called “hay fever”)
  • Bronchitis
  • Eczema

Dampness and Mold Assessment Tool – General Buildings [PDF – 870 KB]

Suggested Citation

NIOSH [2018]. Dampness and Mold Assessment Tool for General Buildings – Form & Instructions. Cox-Ganser J, Martin M, Park JH, Game S. Morgantown WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2019-115, https://doi.org/10.26616/NIOSHPUB2019115External.

Read the original post here.

Posted In: Health and Safety

John Murawski, The News & Observer

WILMINGTON – More than four months after Hurricane Florence battered the state, rivers of waste are still flowing to landfills in eastern North Carolina in volumes that their managers say they have never before seen.

Uprooted trees, broken furniture, sodden carpets, soggy sheet rock, smashed fencing, crushed carports and moldy clothing make up the mix of items destroyed by the September storm and subsequent flooding. … read more

Posted In: Environment, Health and Safety

From the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission:

Name of product:
DEWALT DWD110 and DWD112 drills

Hazard:
The drill’s wiring can contact internal moving parts, posing a shock hazard.

Remedy:
Repair

Recall date:
February 5, 2019

Units:
About 122,000 (in addition, about 8,000 were sold in Canada)

DeWALT recalls drills due to shock hazard 1DeWALT recalls drills due to shock hazard 2

Photo left: Recalled drill, the DWD110 and DWD112 drills are similar in appearance. Consumers should check the label to determine their specific drill.

Photo right: Recalled DWD112 Drill showing location of model number and date code. The date code pictured is not within the recall range.

For more information regarding the recall, click here.

Posted In: Health and Safety

Shared from the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH):

Job Announcement: Associate Director

The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health is seeking an Associate Director to direct safety and health education, training, research, and advocacy work in the Metropolitan New York area. Candidate must be a self-starter, able to work independently and have a background in safety and health and labor.

The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health is a coalition of over 200 local unions and 350 individual safety and health activists in the New York metropolitan area. NYCOSH uses training, education, advocacy, and organizing to improve health and safety conditions in our workplaces and our communities. The job will based in New York City, with regular travel to Long Island and Albany; and national travel required.

Required Qualifications

  • Experience working with unions, workers, and/or community organizations
  • Managerial and supervisory experience
  • Occupational safety and health background and knowledge
  • Grant-writing and administration experience
  • Experience working with budgets
  • Organizational and program development skills
  • Excellent writing and communication ability


Desired Qualifications

  • Five years’ experience in a supervisory position within a labor/social justice organization
  • Five years’ experience working within the labor movement
  • Successful demonstration of program/campaign work
  • Demonstrated ability to develop curricula and educational materials
  • Experience working in the New York Metropolitan area
  • Availability for evening, weekend work
  • Written and verbal Spanish language capacity


Responsibilities

  • Direct NYCOSH development, campaigns, and oversee programmatic activity
  • Supervise, and evaluate staff
  • Oversee organizational meetings and staff development
  • Assign work regarding occupational safety and health training to appropriate staff
  • Build NYCOSH’s organizational base and relationships
  • Develop resources and new programming for the organization
  • Grant writing and administration

Employees will receive a generous salary and a full benefits package.

Please email resumes and detailed cover letters to nycoshjobs@gmail.com by Friday, January 25, 2019. Impersonal cover letters will not be considered.

Posted In: Health and Safety

Shared from Gravitec Systems Inc.:

“3M Fall Protection has received a series of inquiries regarding the use of dorsal D-ring extenders with Leading Edge SRL's in environments where sharp edges are present. Examples of 3M dorsal D-ring extenders are shown below, but the concern applies to all dorsal D-ring extenders, regardless of the supplier/manufacturer.” - 3M Fall Protection

D-Ring Extenders

Please click here for detailed information on this advisory.

Posted In: Health and Safety

USWTMC Specialized Emergency Response Trainers (SERTs) initiated deployment to North Carolina in response to Hurricane Florence. The SERTs are on the ground to provide guidance and training to union members, workers, communities and volunteers, who are recovering from the destruction. Those who are recovering, cleaning up and rebuilding face a myriad of hazards associated with hurricanes and flooding such as mold, infectious disease transmission and more.

Week one: Sept. 23-29, 2018

Week two: Sept. 30 to Oct. 6, 2018

Week three: Oct. 10-17, 2018

Week four: Oct. 18-24, 2018

Arturo Archila of United Steelworkers (USW) Local Union 4-406 and Luzdary Giraldo of Local 4-406 continued their deployment in North Carolina, beginning with facilitating two mold awareness training sessions on Thursday, Oct. 18. They distributed about 40 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) booklets with health and safety information on protecting oneself while facing hazards associated with floods, hurricanes and mold exposure.

On Friday, the SERTs completed more outreach and distributed 15 more NIEHS booklets while also meeting with Chip Hughes of NIEHS. Saturday was a rest day. On Sunday the SERTs continued outreach and distributed about 90 more NIEHS booklets. They worked with previous contacts to translate training flyers from English to Spanish in order to reach a larger audience.

Archila and Giraldo met with Rev. Mac Legerton of the Center for Community Action (CCA), representatives of the Mexican consulate and representatives from the Farm Workers to serve as translators and invite members to upcoming training sessions on Monday.

The following day, the SERTs connected with members of USW Local Union 9-738 at their local union hall. They discussed training opportunities and left 30 NIEHS booklets at the hall. In the afternoon, Archila and Giraldo facilitated a two-hour mold awareness training session. The SERTs will end their deployment on Wednesday.

Posted In: AFLCIO, CWA, Environment, Health and Safety, Labor Institute, Mazzocchi, MRNY, NDLON, USW
United Steelworkers (USW) Local Union 9-675 and management at 3M, a Triangle of Prevention (TOP) site located in Guin, Ala., completed hands-on investigations during a recent training session.
TOP Representative Milton Simmons collaborated with worker-trainers to review incident investigation training and adapted it to enhance participation in safety and health at their site. They refreshed training participants with familiar materials such as near-miss reporting and investigator forms, and then decided to engage in formal TOP investigations around the facility.
“I had several near-misses that needed a formal TOP investigation, so we divided the class into groups of four and five (equally with salary and union members) and sent them on the investigation journey,” Simmons said.
Simmons and the other trainers checked in on each of the groups, interjecting with guidance when needed. After performing their investigations, the groups reported back to share their findings which included logic trees. The trainers provided feedback on the logic trees and worked through any barriers that the groups faced during the process.
“This worked out so well that it will be our pattern from now on when we conduct a new investigator class, or even a refresher,” Simmons said.
Information submitted by Milton Simmons, TOP representative, USW Local Union 9-675.
Posted In: Health and Safety, Mazzocchi, TOP, USW

United Steelworkers (USW) Local Union 2-1279 and management at Essity, a Triangle of Prevention (TOP) site located in Neenah, Wis., eliminated a hazard that resulted from an injury due to a design and engineering failure.

The TOP site was using a specific knife blade during a process in which the operators slab rolls of paper. The blade broke during the process, injuring an operator’s arm. The TOP investigation found that multiple blades were broken throughout the facility during this process. As a result of the investigation, the TOP representative worked with management to immediately remove all of these blades and knives from the facility and replace them with another by a different manufacturer.

The TOP representative and team are continuing to pursue the manufacturer of the defective blade, sharing with them the injury from the design flaw, in order to prevent others from facing the same risk of serious injury. The TOP representative from this site then shared this information with other sites within the paper sector and beyond, again, to prevent serious injury due to design failure.

Information submitted by Tim Hayward, TOP representative, USW Local 2-1279.

Posted In: Health and Safety, Mazzocchi, TOP, USW

From the New England Journal of Medicine by Nishant Kishore, M.P.H., Domingo Marqués, Ph.D., Ayesha Mahmud, Ph.D., Mathew V. Kiang, M.P.H., Irmary Rodriguez, B.A., Arlan Fuller, J.D., M.A., Peggy Ebner, B.A., Cecilia Sorensen, M.D., Fabio Racy, M.D., Jay Lemery, M.D., Leslie Maas, M.H.S., Jennifer Leaning, M.D., S.M.H., Rafael A. Irizarry, Ph.D., Satchit Balsari, M.D., M.P.H., and Caroline O. Buckee, D.Phil:

Abstract


Background

Quantifying the effect of natural disasters on society is critical for recovery of public health services and infrastructure. The death toll can be difficult to assess in the aftermath of a major disaster. In September 2017, Hurricane Maria caused massive infrastructural damage to Puerto Rico, but its effect on mortality remains contentious. The official death count is 64.

Methods

Using a representative, stratified sample, we surveyed 3299 randomly chosen households across Puerto Rico to produce an independent estimate of all-cause mortality after the hurricane. Respondents were asked about displacement, infrastructure loss, and causes of death. We calculated excess deaths by comparing our estimated post-hurricane mortality rate with official rates for the same period in 2016.

Results

From the survey data, we estimated a mortality rate of 14.3 deaths (95% confidence interval [CI], 9.8 to 18.9) per 1000 persons from September 20 through December 31, 2017. This rate yielded a total of 4645 excess deaths during this period (95% CI, 793 to 8498), equivalent to a 62% increase in the mortality rate as compared with the same period in 2016. However, this number is likely to be an underestimate because of survivor bias. The mortality rate remained high through the end of December 2017, and one third of the deaths were attributed to delayed or interrupted health care. Hurricane-related migration was substantial.

Conclusions

This household-based survey suggests that the number of excess deaths related to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico is more than 70 times the official estimate. (Funded by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and others.)

Read the full journal article here.

Posted In: Health and Safety, Environment

From the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC):

Name of product:
Fibre-Metal E2 and North Peak A79 hard hats

Hazard:
The hard hats can fail to protect users from impact, posing a risk of head injury.

Remedy:
Refund

Recall date:
April 24, 2018

Units:
About 82,500 (in addition, about 65,550 were sold in Canada)

View the recall alert here, which includes photos and more information.

Posted In: Health and Safety
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