Making Workers Safer around the Nation

Occupational Hazards, October 2008 | Go to article overview

Making Workers Safer around the Nation


From the U.S. occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)--www.osha.gov--are free safety and health evaluations for small businesses. Visit OSHA's On-Site consultation program web page to get valuable information on how this program helps employers provide a safer working environment. The service is provided only at employers' request and is delivered at no cost.

New OSHA communications products include:

* Guidance for the Identification and Control of Safety and Health Hazards in Metal Scrap Recycling.

* A revised Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response booklet.

* Preventing Skin Problems from Working with Portland Cement.

* A Web page showcasing free occupational safety and health information related to flood and tornado cleanup and recovery. The page offers more than 40 fact sheets and easyreference QuickCards, in English and Spanish.

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From the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)--www.bls.gov--comes word that a preliminary total of 5,488 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States in 2007, a decrease of six percent from the revised total of 5,840 fatal work injuries reported for 2006.

"This is continuing evidence that the initiatives and programs to protect workers' safety and health, designed and implemented by this administration, are indeed working," said Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao. The final results for 2007 will be released in April 2009.

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New from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Institute for occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)--www.cdc.gov/niosh--is a new guide to help emergency responders navigate between various agencies' protection and performance level ratings for personal protective equipment (PPE).

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The guide is intended to provide comparison information between OSHA/EPA protection Levels A, B and C, and Department of Homeland Security-adopted PPE performance-based standards for response to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear hazards as a result of a terrorist attack.

Also new from NIOSH is an online library housing resources from around the world related to the prevention of road traffic injuries and deaths while at work. The resources are stored in an online library at www.roadsafetyatwork.org. Contact Jane Hingston at jhingston@cdc.gov for more information or to contribute to the online library.

New communications products from NIOSH include:

* A study that examines important aspects of work-related fatalities among Hispanic workers in the United States and recommends interventions to prevent such deaths.

* Water Spray Control of Hazardous Dust When Breaking Concrete with a Jackhammer, Publication No. 2008-127.

* Recent submissions to the NIOSH docket 129, "Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Healthcare Workers" action plan.

* Guidance on Emergency Responder Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Response to CBRN Terrorism Incidents, Publication No. 2008-132.

* First Responders: Protect Your Employees with an Exposure Control Plan, Publication No. 2008-115

* First Responders: Encourage Your Workers to Report Bloodborne Pathogen Exposures, Publication No. 2008-118.

* "Faces of Black Lung" video, Publication No. 2008-131.

* Exposure to Stress: Occupational Hazards in Hospitals, Publication No. 2008-136.

* Explosion Hazards from Methane Emissions Related to Geologic Features in Coal Mines, Publication No. 2008-123.

* Topics pages on "Tick-Borne Diseases" and "Welding and Manganese: Potential Neurologic Effects."

New from the U.S. chemical Safety Board (CSB)--www.csb.gov--are two computer-animated videos detailing explosions that could have been prevented by following proper safety procedures, as follows:

* "Blast Wave in Danvers Depicting Massive Explosion that Shook Boston Suburb in 2006, Illustrates Lack of Safety Systems at Destroyed Ink Plant;"

* "Death in the Oilfield," which details an explosion that led to the deaths of three contractors at the Partridge-Raleigh oilfield in rural Raleigh, Miss. …

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