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Weekly news roundup

September 15, 2012
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Weekly News Round-UpHere are the week’s top occupational health and safety stories from www.ISHN.com:

Teenage worker trampled while herding cattle

A Nebraska auction company ran afoul of the child labor laws when one of its teen employees was trampled by a 600 pound calf while herding cattle.

The 15-year-old girl was crushed against a metal gate by a stampeding calf – estimated to weigh between 600 and 700 pounds -- before being knocked to the ground and trampled, resulting in multiple injuries. She was airlifted to the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, where she remained hospitalized for 40 days.

The U.S. Department of Labor assessed a total of…Read more>>

ASSE backs recommended VPP changes

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) says the recommendations in OSHA's recently released ‘Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) Review’ report would help encourage the involvement of employers who have joined with their workers in a commitment to safe and healthy workplaces in VPP.

VPP promotes effective worksite-based safety and health by establishing cooperative relationships between management, labor, and OSHA in order to implement  comprehensive injury and illness prevention plans. VPP sets performance-based criteria for a managed safety and health system, invites sites to apply, and then assesses applicants against these criteria.

In his letter to Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels, ASSE President Richard A. Pollock, CSP, noted…Read more>>

Deadly fires prompt demands for safer Pakistan workplaces

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has called for national action to protect workers' health and safety, following the deaths of at least 240 workers in a garment factory in Karachi, Pakistan.

Seiji Machida, Head of ILO's SafeWork Programme, underlined the need for concrete action to prevent such tragedies. "We were shocked by the news we heard that well over 200 workers were killed in a factory fire today. Protection of workers' safety and health is a fundamental human right. We need to reinforce measures to protect workers' lives from hazards in the workplace. We would like to call for national action to improve the protection of all workers," he said.

According to media reports, many victims were trapped in a basement with no fire exits and…Read more>>

Study: Alzheimer’s death risk higher for former NFL players

A new study published by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) finds that National Football League (NFL) players may be at a higher risk of death associated with Alzheimer’s and other impairments of the brain and nervous system than the general U.S. population. These results are consistent with recent studies by other research institutions that suggest an increased risk of neurodegenerative disease among football players.

The paper published in the Sept. 5, 2012 issue of the journal Neurology®, the peer-reviewed medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, looked at 3,439 NFL players who played at least five seasons between 1959-1988. The study relied on death certificate information for causes of death; at the time of analysis only 10 percent of the participants had died. Of the 334 players who had died, Alzheimer’s, ALS and Parkinson’s Disease were listed for 17 of them.

While findings do not…Read more>>

New chem info database is by workers, for workers

A team comprised of the Industrial Division of the Communications Workers of America (IUE-CWA ), the BlueGreen Alliance (BGA) and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)  has launched a new internet database designed to help worker protect themselves from hazardous chemicals.

ChemHAT, the Chemical Hazard and Alternatives Toolbox, offers up easy to use information intended to answer two questions: “Can this chemical in my workplace affect my health?” and “Are there safer alternatives?”

A chemical can be looked up from a product or MSDS either by its chemical name or its CAS (Chemical Abstracts Services registration) number. Icons indicate the chemical’s potential to affect health,as well as…Read more>>

Leading scientists to Congress: Don’t block list of cancer-causing chemicals

More than 70 environmental health scientists are calling on Congress to reject an attempt to block a biennial government assessment of the cancer risks of posed by industrial chemicals and other agents. In a letter sent last week to key senators and representatives, the scientists urged lawmakers to resist efforts by the chemical industry and its allies in Congress to “delay and ultimately destroy” the federal government’s efforts to “provide the public with unbiased, authoritative scientific assessments” of such hazardous industrial chemicals as formaldehyde and styrene.

“Honest, hard-working Americans and their families rely on Congress to protect their right to know about…Read more>>

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