Occupational Hazards

Reports news and information on industrial safety, occupational health, environmental control, insurance, first aid, medical care, and hazardous material control. Coverage includes legislative, regulatory, and scientific developments; how-to articles; and

Articles from Vol. 66, No. 3, March

Budget: President Proposes Cuts to EPA Budget
One of the hardest-hit agencies in the Bush administration's 2005 budget request is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is facing a proposed reduction of 7.2 percent from fiscal year 2004 spending levels. EPA Administrator Michael Leavitt...
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Buyer Aware: Managing EHS Aspects of Facilities; EHS Professionals Should Be on the Front Line in Assuring That the Purchase and Renovation of Buildings Hold No Health and Safety Booby Traps
The purchase and development of a building or property is often conducted without thoroughly evaluating environmental, health and safety (EHS) concerns. Assessing facility-related EHS issues can reduce the potential for unforeseen costs, scheduling...
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Don't Let OSHA Be Quick to Call You a "Willful" Violator: The OSH Act Contains No Definition of a "Willful" Violation, but Recent Decisions by a Federal Appeals Court and the OSH Review Commission Make Clear That Negligence Is Not Enough
The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, prodded by an emphatic decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, has just held what should have been obvious all along--that an employer who commits an OSHA violation...
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Fighting Back against Information Overload: A Leading Organization Expert Offers Busy EHS Managers Five Paper Management Tips for Increasing Productivity and Peace of Mind
Most of us feel overwhelmed by the pile of paperwork and information flooding our desks. We are not alone! Research shows the average person spends 150 hours per year looking for misplaced information. The ability to accomplish tasks or meet goals...
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How to Survive an OSHA Inspection: Knowing What Is Likely to Trigger an OSHA Inspection and How to Prepare for One Can Make This Process Much Less Painful
While there's little upside to facing an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspection, it is possible to survive the ordeal unscathed. Here's what you need to know to be prepared for what is likely to happen should an OSHA inspector...
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In Defense of OSHA Enforcement: The View from the Top; Richard Fairfax, the Director of OSHA's Enforcement Program, Addresses the New York Times Articles Sharply Critical of OSHA Enforcement and What the Agency Is Doing to Bolster Its Inspection Programs
OH: According to the New York Times, since 1982 there have been 1,242 cases where a worker died because of a willful violation of OSHA rules, and only 7 percent of these were referred to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for criminal prosecution. Specifically,...
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Justice Dept. Drops Most Criminal OSHA Referrals
Critics in Congress and elsewhere have been hammering OSHA ever since a recent New York Times article revealed that over the past 20 years, the agency failed to seek criminal prosecution against 93 percent of the companies whose willful violations...
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Occupational Health: Nurses Release Public Policy Platform
The American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN) added a few new advocacy issues to this year's public policy platform, and several issues carried over from 2003 with a little tweaking. "This year, AAOHN has added health promotion/disease...
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OSHA Area Office Creates Brochure for Victims' Families
How to deal appropriately with surviving family members and friends after a worker dies on the job may be one of the most poignant challenges OSHA faces. Thanks in part to the efforts of Ron Hayes and the organization he founded, Families In Grief...
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Safety Board Calls OSHA's Inaction on Reactives "Unacceptable"
The Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has formally notified OSHA that it finds "unacceptable" OSHA's refusal to develop a reactive incident database and amend the Process Safety Management (PSM) standard to include reactive chemical hazards. The action came...
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Safety Community Mourns the Loss of Larry and Ruth Birkner
The murders of Larry and Ruth Birkner, long-time members of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) and the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), as well as contributors to Occupational Hazards magazine, have left a void that will...
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Safety Cultures in Need of Repair: At Some of the Most Critical Environments in the United States, the Federal Government Has Shown That It Needs Some Lessons in Building a Safety Culture
Physician, heal thyself. Since 1970, the Federal government has taken the lead role in developing safety standards for private industry. But in looking at some of the government's own efforts to oversee safety in the nuclear weapons and space programs,...
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Safety: Georgetown University Cancels Safety Summit
Citing a falloff in corporate contributions, the director of Georgetown University's Center for Business and Public Policy announced he is canceling the fourth annual Safety Summit. The center's director, Lamar Reinsch, said in a Feb. 12 interview...
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Safety Incentives: Why Cash Isn't King; When Employers Are Deciding on the Types of Incentives to Use to Motivate Safe Behavior in Workers, One Question Often Arises: Which Is Best, Money or Merchandise?
There seem to be as many incentive and motivational options out there as there are reasons to motivate employees. Trips, cars, watches, gift certificates, days off, lunches and dinners: you name it, and companies have used it to reward employees for...
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Safety Jackpot Is a Bright Spot at SunMar
As a risk manager in an industry that is plagued with an obscene amount of workman's compensation costs, Sharon Ostern knew that she was faced with one of the biggest challenges of her professional life. With over 2,200 employees and 21 locations,...
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Silica Tops the List of OSHA Challenges
The enormous increase in documented silica exposure over the life of OSHA's previous Strategic Plan (SP) is probably the clearest example in that document of a publicly stated goal the agency has failed to meet. Last month's installment in this two-part...
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The New York Times Series on OSHA: How Will It Affect OSHA Criminal Enforcement? Two Distinguished Management Attorneys Examine the Impact of a Newspaper Series Faulting OSHA's Infrequent Pursuit of Criminal Penalties
In late December 2003, the New York Times published a series of articles that was highly critical of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). (1) The articles recounted tragic workplace accidents that resulted in fatalities and willful...
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Voltage Awareness Devices Increase Electrical Safety: A Voltage Awareness Device That Is Wired into an Electrical Panel Main Isolator or Other Incoming Power Sources Will Increase Safety for Electrical Maintenance Personnel
Awareness is safety's "best friend." A device that provides constant flashing awareness of hazardous voltage within electrical panels will increase safety. Electricity has no taste, doesn't smell and can't be seen, so electrical maintenance personnel...
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Will a New ANSI Standard Rescue Fall Protection? Developing an Effective Fall Protection Program Has Not Been the Easiest of Tasks, Because Regulations Guiding the Process Are Confusing, Offer a Bare Minimum of Guidance and Are Considered Difficult to Implement. A New ANSI Standard Just Might Change All That
Falls remain the number one killer of workers in the construction industry and the number two killer of workers in private industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. One would think, given the numerous fall protection equipment manufacturers...
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