Posted in 'OSHA'

Duronda Pope, U.S. Department of Labor Blog

April 28 is Workers’ Memorial Day, a day set aside to mourn the dead and fight for the living.

But that’s every day for me.

For 10 years, my job with the United Steelworkers has been to jump in to help when a member of the union has been killed or permanently injured on the job. I’ve been there for hundreds of families at the lowest times in their lives, when they have to imagine going on without their wife or husband, parent or child. ... more

Duronda Pope serves as the Emergency Response Team (ERT) Coordinator for the United Steelworkers (USW).

Posted In: Health and Safety, OSHA, USW

Participants from worker centers affiliated with the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) successfully completed the OSHA 500 course, and are now authorized OSHA Outreach worker-trainers within the construction industry. This new cadre of trainers are from not only California but Illinois, Washington, Arizona, Texas, Florida and Alabama.

The OSHA 500 class was conducted at the UCLA Labor Center in Los Angeles, Calif., April 25-28, 2016. Hector Escarcega of Dominguez Hills California State University facilitated the course. Dominguez Hills served as the sponsoring OSHA Training Institute.

“The training was intense,” Rodrigo Toscano said. “The students had to study a whole lot to prepare. They also had to prepare to teach. Each student taught a specific topic like electricity or scaffolds or slips and falls.” Toscano, who works at the Labor Institute, is the program liaison between the Tony Mazzocchi Center partnership and worker centers.

As a prerequisite to this course, NDLON members previously finished the OSHA 510 class on April 1, where they gained knowledge of Occupational Safety and Health Administration policies, procedures and standards as well as construction safety and health principles.

OSHA 500 graduates - April 28, 2016

The Tony Mazzocchi Center for Health, Safety and Environmental Education is a project of the United Steelworkers (USW), Communications Workers of America (CWA), Labor Institute, Make the Road New York (MRNY) and National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON). TMC training programs reach more than 20,000 workers from more than 20 industry sectors across the nation annually. Funding is in support by awards through the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the National Institutes of Health (NIEHS, NIH). Training reported in this article is supported by the NIEHS, NIH under award number UH4ES009761. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIEHS, NIH.

Posted In: Mazzocchi, OSHA

From the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration:

OSHA Trade News Release
U.S. Department of Labor
OSHA, Office of Communications

March 28, 2016
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: 202-693-1999

WASHINGTON - The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has published a final rule that updates requirements for personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers in general industry, shipyards, longshoring, marine terminals and construction.

The final rule reflects current national consensus standards, and ensures that workers can use up-to-date eye and face protection. ... more

Posted In: OSHA

From the American Public Health Association (APHA):

Date: Mar 24 2016
For more information, contact Daniel Greenberg at 202-777-3913 or

Washington, D.C., March 24, 2016 — The American Public Health Association applauds the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration for finalizing a rule today to reduce occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica. This rule protects an estimated 2.2 million U.S. workers whose jobs expose them to silica, a carcinogen that leads to harmful and often deadly lung diseases, chronic renal diseases and autoimmune disorders.

“APHA has long championed measures to reduce the significant toll silica takes on our workforce every day,” said APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD. “We know that silicosis alone kills 200 workers and harms 7,300 more each year. This is a life-saving public health victory, and we thank the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for making it happen.” ... more

Posted In: Health and Safety, OSHA

From the United Steelworkers (USW):

(Pittsburgh, March 24, 2016)  – The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today issued long-awaited final rules sought by the USW to protect workers from the deadly dangers of silica dust.

The new rules, the first update to regulations governing silica dust in four decades, are expected to curb lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease. ... more

Posted In: OSHA, USW

Dr. David Michaels Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor Blog

In January 2015, we started requiring employers to report any work-related severe injury – such as an amputation or an injury requiring hospitalization – within 24 hours. In the first year, we received 10,388 reports, or nearly 30 a day.

Each report told the story of a man or woman who went to work one day and experienced a traumatic event, sometimes with permanent consequences to themselves and their families. But the reports also created opportunities for OSHA to engage with employers in ways we had never done before, and to ensure that changes were made to prevent similar incidents from happening to others. ... more

Posted In: OSHA
February 08, 2016

Frank Mirer professor in the CUNY School of Public Health in New York, The Synergist

Lead exemplifies the advance of authoritative conclusions about workplace hazards, especially potency, against the backdrop of no advance in regulatory protections. For lead, the advances in interpretation come from population studies rather than the pre-1975 occupational studies that are the basis of the OSHA regulation. The OSHA lead-in-air (LIA) limit, 50 µg/m3, is intended to limit employees’ body burden of lead, as indicated by lead in blood (LIB), to less than 50 µg/dl (100 grams of blood). The standard was promulgated in 1978, and was constrained by feasibility of engineering controls in the most difficult industry sector, smelters, as well as the health data of the time.

The 2012 authoritative review by the National Toxicology Program notes “sufficient” evidence for decreased glomerular filtration rate; the association of maternal lead-blood levels with reduced fetal growth at < 5 µg/dl in adults; and increased blood pressure, risk of hypertension, and incidence of essential tremor at <10 µg/dl. (This exhaustive collection of data, which was subjected to extensive peer review, noted other effects with “limited” evidence.) The issue for IHs should be adjusting the LIA limit to the more protective LIB criteria. ... read more

Posted In: Health and Safety, OSHA

From the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration:

WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has scheduled a public hearing on the agency’s proposed rule to amend its existing exposure limits for occupational exposure in general industry to beryllium and beryllium compounds. The hearing will be held Feb. 29, 2016, in Washington, D.C.

The proposed rule, published on Aug. 7, 2015, would dramatically lower workplace exposure to beryllium, a widely used material that can cause devastating lung disease. This hearing will provide the public an opportunity to testify or provide evidence on issues raised by the proposal. ... more

Posted In: Health and Safety, OSHA

From Safety+Health Magazine:

Washington – Every worker has the right to a safe and healthy workplace, and OSHA has revised its webpage on worker rights to help convey that information.

The updated page is divided into three parts that address worker rights, when to file a complaint and how to contact OSHA. The page also includes a “frequently asked questions” section that covers what to do if injured on the job, the complaint process, and worker rights during an OSHA inspection, among other issues. ... more

Posted In: Health and Safety, OSHA

Contact: James Frederick (412) 562-2586,

(Pittsburgh) – The United Steelworkers (USW) today commended the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for moving forward with its proposed rule on occupational exposure to beryllium.

The proposal was announced during a meeting today by Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels, Richard J. Hipple, President and CEO of Materion Corporation, and USW International President Leo W. Gerard.

“We applaud the release of this proposed rule,” said Gerard. “When it goes into effect, it will save not only the lives of USW members, but all workers exposed to beryllium.”

The USW represents thousands of workers who manufacture or use beryllium alloys and beryllium-containing products in a number of industries.

“Beryllium is a highly useful metal, but beryllium dust and fume can cause severe, debilitating and sometimes fatal lung disease,” said USW Health, Safety and Environment Director Mike Wright. “This rule has been long in coming, but we can finally see the finish line.”

The USW has been involved in beryllium rulemaking since 1977, when OSHA first proposed a new standard. It took 35 years, including the time when political pressure forced cancellation of the rulemaking.  In 2012, however, a collaborative effort between Materion Corporation, the world’s largest beryllium producer, and the USW resulted in a draft model standard that was presented to OSHA.

Following the publication of the proposal in the Federal Registrar, there will be a 90-day comment period. The USW hopes that when the comment period comes to a conclusion, the agency will move swiftly to ensure that this proposal becomes law.

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:

Posted In: USW, OSHA
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