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. 70, No. 10, October

Anatomy of a Tragedy: On March 23, 2005, Tragedy Struck BP's Texas City, Texas, Refinery When a Cloud of Hydrocarbon Vapor Exploded, Killing 15 Workers and Injuring More Than 180 Others
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Time after time, those of us in the safety community read about workplace injuries and fatalities that were completely preventable. "Had Company X just followed basic workplace safety requirements," the investigating agency...
Asbestos Becomes a Menace: Once Widely Hailed as a "Miracle" Fiber, Asbestos Is Shown to Be as Deadly as It Is Versatile
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Dr. Irving J. Selikoff told more than 400 scientists at the Conference on the Biological Effects of Asbestos in October 1964 that asbestos was killing workers. "Dr. Selikoff's meeting in 1964 is the most important thing that...
Bhopal's Legacy: New Vigilance in the Chemical Industry: An Immense Human Tragedy Changes the Face of Chemical Safety in the 1980s and Beyond
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Chemical industry experts consider the tragic events of 14-years ago in Bhopal to be the biggest wake-up call of all time. Chemical companies undertook a massive reexamination of their safety practices when a Union Carbide...
Doing the Right Thing: (And Doing It Successfully): For Many People, the Very Word "Compliance" Conjures Up Negative Feelings
Some EHS professionals strongly object to the amount of regulation in their industry, or to specific requirements. Others are frustrated by the hoops that must be jumped through to prove compliance. A fairly common attitude is that compliance is a...
Fighting Two Wars: America Battles a Terrible Occupational Disease and the Threat to War Production of Workplace Injuries
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] It was the known as the "king of occupational diseases," said Gerald Markowitz, a professor of history at John Jay College in New York. In the mid-1930s, Congress held hearings on the problem, and Secretary of Labor Frances...
First Responders and the Importance of Conflict Resolution
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In addition to responding to emergencies, first responders often are called upon to deflate stressful situations and resolve conflicts. When first responders reach the site of an emergency that is in progress, it often...
Five California Letter Carriers Deliver On-the-Job Heroics
Five letter carriers who helped rescue nearly 100 people from a three-alarm fire at a senior citizens' apartment building in Oakland, Calif., have been selected as winners of the 2008 "Hero of the Year" Award of the National Association of Letter Carriers....
Good Times Take Their Toll: From 1949 to 1958, There Was Mostly Good News for the Nation and for the Safety Field. However, Serious Safety Problems Remained and Major Health Hazards Were Beginning to Take a Toll
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Americans entered the late 1940s and early 1950s as the heroes of World War II. Patriotism and democractic fervor were at an all-time high. The economy was booming, technology advancing and the work force growing. The safety...
House Hearing Focuses on "Secret" DOL Rule
A Sept. 17 House Workforce Protections Subcommittee hearing considered the impact of the Department of Labor's (DOL) worker health risk assessment proposal, a rule critics say was developed in secret and that could weaken and delay the enactment of...
I Say Hello (and I Say Good-Bye)
Hello to the 70th Anniversary Issue of Occupational Hazards. We're extremely proud of the rich tradition of this magazine. We've had a great year, as witnessed by the five national editorial and design awards our editorial team has picked up. Their...
ISEA Milestones 1933-2008
Since its founding, ISEA has been dedicated to the business needs of its member companies, developing product standards, representing them before Congress and government agencies, providing the forum for cooperative activities to grow their markets...
ISEA Symposium Will Gaze into the Future of Worker Protection
As you know from this issue of Protection Update, the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) marks its 75th Anniversary this year. But we are not just reflecting on the old days. In fact, ISEA is looking forward--25 years into the future...
Making Safety a Matter of Principle(s): More Than Ever, Senior Executives Today Are Questioning Conventional Safety Wisdom and Approaches. These 10 "Principles of Safety Excellence" Can Help Organizations Achieve World-Class Safety Performance
Karl Albrecht, quality guru, says: "When one starts with wrong assumptions, applies quick-fix reasoning and then delegates to a committee, it is hard to arrive at sound conclusions." Yet this is the typical approach to safety in many organizations....
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...
Members Share Views on Value They Find in the Association
For 75 years, ISEA and its members have been united in the common goal of developing products that protect the health and safety of people exposed to potentially harmful work environments. Today, the ISEA membership numbers 78 companies that rely...
Members the Lifeblood of ISEA
Work on the job provides a livelihood and professional pride. Work around the home gives satisfaction while adding beauty, comfort and pleasure to life. Work cannot be done without the right tools. Most are purchased. They can be lost or damaged....
MSHA Makes Crandall Canyon Mine Criminal Referral
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] On Sept. 3, MSHA announced it has made a criminal referral of issues relating to the Crandall Canyon Mine to the United States attorney for the District of Utah in a motion filed with the federal Mine Safety and Health Review...
New Protection for Workers
FOR THE WHOLE PERSON Look for garments from ISEA members that meet ANSI/ISEA 101-1996 (R2008) --American National Standard for Limited-Use and Disposable Coveralls--Size and Labeling Requirements, or ANSI/ ISEA 107-2004--American National Standard...
OSHA Cites Three Contractors in Connection with Fatal NYC Crane Collapse
OSHA issued citations to three contractors with proposed penalties totaling $313,500 for alleged violations of safety standards after investigating the catastrophic March 15 collapse of a tower crane in New York City that killed seven people. The accident...
Reform and Reinvention: Buffeted by Opposing Reform Efforts, OSHA Fights for Survival and Greater Relevance in a Global Economy
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The November 1994 congressional election marked a dramatic turning point in the political fortunes of OSHA. For years, powerful Democratic committee chairmen had sheltered OSHA from calls from conservative politicians in both...
Report Evaluates NIOSH Injury Prevention Program
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] A new report by an independent scientific panel gave the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) research program for preventing traumatic occupational injuries high ratings for its relevance to national...
Report: When the Going Gets Tough, OSHA Reduces Fines
A new report from ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest, proves that the old adage "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again," works just as well for reducing OSHA fines as...
Seven Decades of Safety: Occupational Hazards Began Its Life as Occupational Hazards & Safety in 1938. It Ends Its Life This Month-As Occupational Hazards, an Award-Winning Publication-At Age 70
The magazine's first publisher, Irving Hexter, noted in the first issue of Occupational Hazards and safety, "Each stride of modern industry towards faster, better manufacture of old products, or towards development of new ones, has created additional...
TECO Employees Flip for Safety Coins: Worth More Than Gold, Custom Coins Help Remind Employees That Safety Is a Core Value
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] TECO Peoples Gas in Florida employs nearly 600 workers. Since many of these employees work with natural gas, their jobs inherently are dangerous. So, safety is very important. In fact, safety is so important that it is one...
The Birth of OSHA: The Federal Era of Occupational Safety and Health Begins with a Bitter Legislative Battle between Industry and Labor
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The end of the 1960s was a rare mixture of rage and hope in the United States. While the Vietnam War continued to drag on and divide the nation, Lyndon Johnson's idealistic Great Society programs did battle with poverty, racism...
Watch Out: The Importance of Protecting Your Eyes in the Industrial Workplace: Each Day, about 2,000 U.S. Workers Have a Job-Related Eye Injury That Requires Medical Treatment, and Thousands of People Are Blinded Each Year from Work-Related Eye Injuries That Could Have Been Prevented
To anyone who thinks eye protection may not be a crucial component of PPE in the workplace, think again. Nearly three out of five injured workers were not wearing eye protection at the time of the accident or were wearing the wrong kind of eye protection...
Welcome to a Very Special Protection Update
Dear Protection Update Readers: Seventy-five years ago, a small group of safety equipment industry pioneers came together to form an association to advance their businesses and the cause of worker protection. The Industrial Safety Equipment Association--as...
Workers' Comp: A People Business
The concept of workers' compensation as a "people business" seems simple, but too often, it's difficult to execute--especially given our reliance on technology and mass communications. But according to workers' comp provider Key Risk, the following...
Workplace Safety, the Constitution and the Courts: Did Early Court Battles over OSHA's Authority Contribute to the Culture of Confrontation That Imperils Safety Progress Today?
The prominent role of the nation's courts has been a central theme, for better or worse, in the evolution of occupational safety and health in the United States. The OSH Act spurred the coming of age of the safety and health profession. It also had...

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