Posted in 'Health and Safety'

Ginger Adams Otis, New York Daily News

New Yorkers gathered Friday to remember Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire — a tragedy that killed 146 workers, many of them young women.

The march 25, 1911 blaze at a factory near present-day New York University rocked the city — and galvanized the International Ladies Garment Workers Union to push for workplace safety rules still in place today. ... more

Posted In: Health and Safety

CAPT Chucri (Chuck) A. Kardous, MS, PE and Metod Celestina, B.Sc. EE, NIOSH Science Blog

Imagine if workers around the world could collect and share workplace (or task-based) noise exposure data using their smartphones. Scientists and occupational safety and health professionals could rely on such shared data to build job exposure databases and promote better hearing health and prevention efforts.  In addition, the ability to acquire and display real-time noise exposure data could raises workers’ awareness about their work environment and help them make informed decisions about potential hazards to their hearing.

The idea was so intriguing that in 2014, the NIOSH hearing loss team evaluated 192 sound measurement applications (apps) for the iOS and Android platforms to examine their suitability and accuracy in relation to professional sound measurement instruments (Kardous and Shaw, 2014). Of the 192 apps the team examined, 10 iOS apps met the outlined criteria for functionality, features, and calibration capability, and of those, 4 iOS apps met our testing criteria.  Read more about that study in the blog Read more about that study in the blog So How Accurate Are These Smartphone Sound Measurement Apps?more

Posted In: Health and Safety

Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH of Milken School of Public Health at George Washington University, The Pump Handle

Chronic beryllium disease is a horrible illness, as is lung cancer. Both diseases are the rationale for a new health standard issued by OSHA on January 9.

The rule is designed to protect the health of an estimated 60,000 workers in the U.S. who are exposed to the light-weight, super-strong metal: beryllium. This includes about 10,000 workers involved in electric-power generation; 9,000 workers in dental laboratories and dental offices; 8,400 in specialty construction trades; 5,600 in motor vehicle parts manufacturing; and 3,000 in the maritime industry who are welders and abrasive blasters. ... more

Posted In: Health and Safety, OSHA, USW

CONTACT Mike Wright: 412-562-2580, mwright@usw.org

(Pittsburgh) – The United Steelworkers (USW) today praised the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for the release of the final rule for occupational exposure to beryllium and beryllium compounds in general industry, construction and maritime.

“This has been a long time in the making,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “The USW has advocated for an OSHA rule since the early 1970s. This rule will protect workers who are exposed to beryllium in general industry, construction and shipyards and ensure that controls are put in place to prevent future occupational illness from developing.”

The USW represents several thousand workers who use beryllium alloys and beryllium-containing products in a number of industries.

The first occupational exposure limit to beryllium was set in 1949. OSHA first proposed a standard in 1975, but political pressure forced cancellation of the rulemaking. In 2012, a collaborative effort between Materion Brush, the world’s largest beryllium producer, and the USW resulted in a draft standard that the union and company jointly presented to OSHA.

“Although the process took decades, the result is a strong, protective worker health rule,” said Michael Wright, USW Director of Health, Safety and Environment. Wright’s first assignment with the union was to participate in the original rulemaking attempt. Even with the long lag, the USW never lost sight of the need for a new standard.

Under the new rule, permissible exposure limits are significantly reduced. The rule also includes provisions that require employers to assess exposure, implement methods for controlling exposure, provide protective clothing and equipment, perform medical surveillance, and continue the wages and benefits of workers who become sensitized to beryllium.

The final rule is effective 60 days after the publication of the proposal in the Federal Registrar.

The USW continues to fight for occupational safety and health regulations that affect workers’ lives and to promote recognition of occupational hazards.

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors. For more information: http://www.usw.org/.

# # #

View the USW Media Release here.

Posted In: Health and Safety, USW

3M Fall Protection (formerly Capital Safety) has identified a limited number of Lad-Saf X2/X3 sleeves with the locking lever not working properly. This condition can allow the sleeve to disengage from the cable during use. The assembly error is believed to affect only a limited number of units and has been corrected.

Click here to review the inspection notice.

Posted In: Health and Safety

From the National Safety Council - Safety+Health Magazine:

Thirty-four percent of workers in the United States do not feel they are well trained in emergency practices, including evacuation, according to the results of a National Safety Council poll. In light of this, NSC is calling on employers to review emergency processes and procedures.

“A disaster can occur at any time, without warning, and workers must be ready to respond,” John Dony, director of the Campbell Institute and director of environmental, health, safety and sustainability at NSC, said in a press release. “Employers are responsible for ensuring not only a safe work environment, but also the proper training so employees return home every day safe and sound.” … read more

Posted In: Health and Safety

The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health is seeking an industrial hygienist to provide technical services to workers throughout downstate Metropolitan New York. The job will entail working with a wide range of unions and worker organizations to provide technical assistance, industrial hygiene services, and training. Candidate must be a self-starter, able to work independently and have a demonstrated record of successful IH work.

For more information, including how to apply, please click here.

Posted In: Health and Safety

From Susan L. Polan, PhD, Associate Executive Director, Public Affairs and Advocacy, American Public Health Association (APHA):

On behalf of the American Public Health Association, I am thrilled to announce the call for applications for the 2017 APHA Public Health Fellowship in Government. This is the ninth year APHA is offering this fellowship, which has been described as an “amazing,” “phenomenal” and “life altering” experience by previous fellows.

For more information, including how to apply, please click here.

Posted In: Health and Safety

Joseph S. Pete, The Times

U.S. Steel agreed not to discipline steelworkers who report injuries later because they didn’t initially know they were injured.

The U.S. Department of Labor reached an agreement in a federal court case with the Pittsburgh-based steelmaker last week. U.S. Steel, which has mills in Gary, Portage and East Chicago, has updated its company-wide injury reporting policy so that steelworkers can report accidents after they become aware of their injuries. ... more

Posted In: Health and Safety, USW

The New Jersey Work Environment Council (WEC) is seeking a campaign organizer to organize and expand a dynamic grassroots advocacy campaign, Stop Runaway Inequality. The campaign focuses on addressing economic inequality, and the outsized influence of corporations, particularly Wall Street firms, which often thwarts progress on a range of policy demands on issues of public health, environmental protection, workers’ rights, civil rights, etc. The campaign organizer will work to build a broad-based alliance and coordinate a large education initiative to train thousands of people, feeding new activists into the movement.

For more information about the opening, including how to apply, please click here.

Posted In: Environment, Health and Safety
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