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. 69, No. 3, March

5 or 5 Million? More Than Any Other Issue in Years, This Issue of Occupational Hazards Represents a Journey
Often, the seeds of a feature article in this magazine are sown long before you read it. Story-ideas meetings take place months in advance of an issue. Contributors come to me with a kernel of an idea, eventually growing it into an article for the...
Climbing Higher: For Small Businesses Seeking to Take Their EHS Program to New Heights, There Are Plenty of Low-Cost (and No-Cost) Resources
In today's global economy, safety consultant Jonathan Klane of Fairfield, Maine, has found that most business operations have been "downsized to a lean and mean state." That's especially true, Klane says, for smaller businesses. "The person running...
Containing Spilled Liquids: Since a Spreading Spill Sends Employees Scattering in All Directions, Prepare Your Spill Response Plans in Advance
Watching a spill spread kicks most people into high gear as everyone scrambles for supplies to get the mess cleaned up. Preparing spill response plans in advance, stocking the proper spill containment tools in a convenient place and training workers...
Court Orders DOL to Respond to Lawsuit
A federal appeals court on Feb. 16 ordered the Department of Labor to file a response to a lawsuit that seeks to compel OSHA to promulgate its proposed employer-payment-for-PPE standard. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit...
Directing Attention to Boost Safety Performance: Attention Is Critical to High-Level Performance in Safety and in Leadership. This First Article in a Two-Part Series Examines Some of the Causes and Consequences of Diverted Attention in the Workplace
Safety professional Greg Hamish starts the day the same as many of us. He gets up, has his eye-opening cup of coffee, showers and eats, then leaves for work. During his drive in, he's thinking ahead: first, to his morning staff meeting with the plant...
DoD: Making Peace with Safety: The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) in 2003 Was Given the Difficult Task of Dramatically Reducing Non-Combat Accidents for Military and Civilian Personnel and Their Families. Can a Culture Fashioned for War Conquer Safety?
When most people think of safe places to work, the U.S. military doesn't come to mind. Even during times of peace, when things are calm injury and fatality rates for its personnel--both civilian and military--are high. In 2003, former Secretary...
Elevating Safety to New Heights: While Working with Personnel Workbaskets and Powered Industrial Trucks Can Be Risky, There Are Ways to Reduce the Risk of Falls and Injuries
Two workers were injured, one fatally, in a tragic fall at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds during the installation of a banner in the food court, approximately 16 feet off the ground. The two men were working together in the personnel "basket" affixed...
Federal Employers Accused of Neglecting Safety
Two federal employers--the Architect of the Capitol and the Department of the Interior--are under fire for allegedly exposing workers to serious environmental, health and safety hazards. Alleging that they must work amidst falling concrete, excess...
Foulke: Bush Budget Boosts OSHA's Mission
President George W. Bush has proposed a fiscal year 2008 budget of $490.3 million for OSHA, which the agency said includes an increase of nearly $18 million for federal enforcement and federal compliance assistance. "The president's budget for the...
Help Is a Click Away: With the Relaunch of Business.gov, the Small Business Administration Aims to Provide a One-Stop Web Resource for Federal Compliance Resources
Small-business owners are the unsung heroes of industry. Firms with fewer than 500 employees represent 99.7 precent of the 24.7 million businesses in the United States. In the past decade, small businesses annually generated 60 to 80 percent of net...
Labor Department Applauds Agencies' Safety Efforts
Five federal agencies achieved "exemplary" performance during the first 3 years of the presidential Safety, Health and Return to Employment (SHARE) initiative, which is extended through fiscal year 2009. In a Feb. 15 awards ceremony in the Labor...
Leading with Safety: What Motivates Leaders to Improve Safety?
Throughout the 1990s, many organizations focused their safety efforts on the front-line employee--and many became good at engaging the field and the shop floor in active safety roles. In recent years, we've seen the focus shift to the safety leader--including...
Lighting: Code vs. Common Sense: Adding Photoluminescent Lighting in Commercial Buildings Can Pay Huge Safety Dividends
When thinking about ways to make your facility safer--improved maintenance of equipment, better ventilation, stronger safety process and programs, increased training for employees--consider photoluminescent lighting. The power failure in 2003 that...
Lockout/tagout Prevents Workplace Injuries and Saves Lives: Lockout/tagout Is Easy to Accomplish. So Why Is It One of OSHA's Most-Violated Standards and Why Are Employees Continuing to Be Injured by Energized Equipment?
Picture yourself working inside an enormous machine, tending to its maintenance. You are comfortable with this task: You've done it dozens of times before. But this time, the machine suddenly springs to life, powerful metal gears grinding around you,...
One SHARP Company: DeBourgh Manufacturing Has Found That It Pays to Get SHARP-And Stay SHARP
DeBourgh Manufacturing Co. is one of OSHA's small-business success stories. In 2000, the La-Junta, Colo.-based manufacturer of custom athletic, corridor and industrial wardrobe lockers was accepted into OSHA's Safety and Health Achievement and Recognition...
OSHA and Small Businesses: A Winning Combination: When Small Businesses Tap into OSHA's Many Resources, Everyone Benefits
When it comes to reducing injuries, illnesses and fatalities in the workplace, more and more businesses are turning to OSHA for help. Just ask Kelly Olivier, environmental, health and safety coordinator at Anthony Forest Products, an integrated...
OSHA Brings Electrical Rule Up to 'Current' Practice: For the First Time since 1981, the Agency Is Updating Its General-Industry Electrical Installation Standard
OSHA's revisions to Subpart S of 29 CFR Part 1910 "draw heavily from the 2000 edition of the National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) Electrical Safety Requirements for Employee Workplaces (NFPA 70E) and the 2002 edition of the National Electrical...
OSHA Unveils Pandemic Flu Guidance
OSHA administrator Edwin Foulke Jr. on Feb. 6 unveiled new guidance that details ways employers and employees can prepare for an influenza pandemic. "Proper planning and preparation now will enable employers to better protect their employees and...
Respiratory Protection and OSHA's New Hexavalent Chromium Standards: You Have Questions. We Have Answers
On Feb. 28, 2006, OSHA published final standards for occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium (Cr[VI]). The new permissible exposure limit (PEL) for Cr(VI) is 5 micrograms of Cr(VI) per cubic meter of air (5 [micro]g/[m.sup.3]) as an 8-hour time-weighted...
Staying Safe-The Importance of Effective Safety Signage and Labeling: Some Things That We Take for Granted Because We See Them So Frequently-Signs and Labels, for Example-Have a Big Impact on Workplace Safety
Imagine a plant containing radioactive hazardous materials with no warnings posted and nothing identified. A key contributor to a safe work environment is an informed work force. Proper facility identification through the use of effective signage...
Values and Value Threats: Many of Us Have Been through the Exercise of Generating Mission, Vision and Values Statements. Even More of Us Have Seen the Abandonment of Mission, Vision and Values as the Realities of Day-to-Day Business Take Over
Navigating the maze of hall-ways and meeting rooms at city hall, I took a moment to read over the posters adorning the walls. I saw letters of commitment, pledges to employees and citizens and the all-important mission, vision and values statement....
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