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

Arturo Archila of United Steelworkers (USW) Local Union 4-406 and Luzdary Giraldo of Local 4-406 were the next two SERTs on the ground. After arriving on Wednesday, the SERTs spent the following day confirming scheduled training, connecting with existing and new contacts, and preparing training materials. The SERTs continued their outreach efforts into Friday.

On Saturday, the SERTs collaborated with AFL-CIO representatives to conduct a two-hour mold awareness training for members of the community, including community leaders, union members and more. About 100 participants attended, and the SERTs distributed 90 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 in English and 10 in Spanish. Later Archila and Giraldo attended a relief concert for the community and distributed 20 more booklets. On Sunday the SERTs met with Chip Hughes of NIEHS to discuss upcoming training opportunities. They also distributed 10 more booklets in English and two in Spanish.

Archila and Giraldo kicked off Monday with a meeting including members of NIEHS and other prominent organizations in the area which are similarly grant-funded. The SERTs conducted another two-hour mold awareness training at a nearby church after, and then distributed 80 more NIEHS booklets.

On Tuesday the SERTs visited United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local Union 1208 conducted small workshops for union members and distributed 200 NIEHS booklets in English and 20 in Spanish. In the afternoon, they facilitated a two-hour mold awareness course and distributed 120 more booklets. Archila and Giraldo concluded their first full week of deployment on Friday with a meeting with members from Manos Unidas.

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

Lynne Hancock, USW Communications

The Triangle of Prevention (TOP) program was born out of worker deaths and injuries.

During the 1980s and 1990s numerous catastrophic fires, explosions and toxic releases plagued the U.S. petrochemical industry, causing workers to suffer horrific deaths and injuries.

TOPOne of the landmark occupational health and safety incidents was the Oct. 23, 1989 explosion and fire at the Phillips 66 Company’s Houston Chemical Complex facility near the Houston Ship Channel in Pasadena, Texas, that killed 23 people and injured 314 others.

“Blame-the-Worker” company-driven health and safety programs were unable to reveal the root causes of these incidents and prevent them from reoccurring. So, in the mid-1990s the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union (OCAW) enlisted a team of rank-and-file members who were health and safety activists to develop a worker- and union-driven program to replace ineffective behavior-based safety (BS) programs, said John Scardella, the program administrator for the Tony Mazzocchi Center (TMC) that administers TOP.

He explained the program’s history to those attending the Sept. 26-28 TOP conference at Local 10-1’s union hall.

Limited Focus

OCAW member Glenn Erwin was one of the activists who formed TOP and later headed the program for PACE and the USW until he retired in 2012.

He and other members of the team knew the BS programs focused on slips, trips, falls, and worker behavior as a cause of incidents. Managers usually blamed workers for incidents, and prevention focused on wearing personal protective equipment instead of hazard elimination.

The team also saw how companies usually ignored how work processes contributed to a dangerous work environment.

“Glenn and his team saw that companies only focused on process safety when fires and explosions happened,” Scardella said. “There was also a failure to share lessons learned.

“Plus, companies used a low OSHA recordable rate to show how safe a plant was, which did not capture true safety,” he added.

The team wanted to create a pro-active health and safety program.

“Glenn Erwin knew that to prevent incidents from reoccurring, workers had to be involved in health and safety and control it along with management,” Scardella said. “The program puts workers in roles as trainers, investigators and leaders.”

Worker InvestigatorsTOP

TOP is composed of three sides: Systems of Safety Training and Investigations, Comprehensive Tracking of Results, and Union Design & Leadership.

The program requires everyone in a plant, including managers and non-represented staffers, to be trained on health and safety. Workers are trained to be trainers, to investigate incidents, to measure and track incidents and near misses, and to take a leadership role.

Employers agree to a no-discipline policy for reporting or being involved in a near miss. Plus, workers investigate incidents in conjunction with management and government agencies.

Scardella said it is essential for any TOP investigation process to use the logic-tree diagram method to find the root causes of incidents. If a worker made a mistake on the job that resulted in an incident or near miss, the logic tree is used to find what contributed to the worker making an error.

Locals have used logic-tree diagrams to settle grievances when companies wanted to discipline workers involved in an incident, Scardella said.

“Anyone can learn to use this method, and it can’t be manipulated. The logic tree is fact-based no matter the outcome,” he said. “Identifying accidents is not enough. Finding and fix-ing hazards is not enough. You need to identify root causes.”

Erwin and his team also made capturing lessons learned and passing them on a key part of TOP.

“It is important that we recognize TOP’s history,” Scardella said. “We are proud of that history. We stand here today on the shoulders of those who put the program together.”

View the original news article here.

PHOTOS

Top: Jim Dannelley from USW Local Union 9-265 at the Shell Saraland, Ala., refinery makes a point during a TOP presentation. Photo by Mike Hancock, Local 9-562 retiree.

Bottom: TOP conference participants engaged in a small group activity to provide feedback on a new TOP training manual. They answered questions in the manual and discussed them. Photo by Mike Hancock, Local 9-562 retiree.

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