Weekly news round-up
Here are the week’s top occupational health and safety stories from www.ISHN.com:
Hyatt boycott gains momentum
Housekeeping staff has injury rate among highest in industry
High ergonomic injury rates among the workers who clean the guest rooms at Hyatt Hotels are at the center of a global boycott of the chain – a boycott that picked up a new coalition member last month.
The 60,000-member Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) voted unanimously to support Hyatt workers after its Executive Board heard testimony from Baltimore Hyatt Regency Hyatt employees such as Charlotte Knox, a housekeeper with 34 years of service, who said that subcontracting at her hotel has reduced the housekeeping staff by more than 75% since she started working at the hotel. Knox also spoke about her difficulty paying medical bills for her recent hip replacement surgery under Hyatt’s medical plan and low wages.
Individuals and groups who sign on to the boycott pledge not to…Read more>>
US Labor Department’s MSHA awards $1.25 million in Brookwood-Sago mine safety grants
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration has awarded $1,250,000 in grants through its Brookwood-Sago program to seven organizations that provide education and training within the mining industry. The funding will be used to develop and implement training and related materials for mine emergency preparedness, as well as for the prevention of accidents in underground mines.
“We can never over-emphasize the importance of training, especially in the area of mine emergency response,” said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. “These grants will enable organizations that are dedicated to mine safety to develop programs that may one day save miners’ lives.”
James R. Thornton honored with annual AIHA Smyth Award
The American Industrial Hygiene Association® (AIHA) has announced the 2012 recipient of the Henry F. Smyth, Jr. Award. James R. Thornton, CIH, CSP, will be recognized at the 2012 AIHA Fall Conference held October 27 - 31 in San Antonio, TX. The annual Fall Conference is presented by AIHA’s Academy of Industrial Hygiene.
“The Smyth Award is reserved for a special individual who has made significant contributions to the practice of industrial hygiene that have enhanced the health and safety of workers,” stated Perry Logan, PhD, CIH, President of the Academy. “Over his distinguished career, Mr. Thornton has been a…Read more>>
Environmental pioneer Barry Commoner passes away
Dr. Barry Commoner, the man dubbed by Time magazine as “the Paul Revere of Ecology” has died in Manhattan at the age of 95.
Commoner was as well known for his scientific accomplishments as he was for the activism he used to bring environmentalism into the public arena. A Harvard- and Columbia-trained biologist, Commoner was a passionate – and early -- opponent of nuclear testing and a pioneer in the sustainability movement. He wrote extensively about the ecological effects of above-ground nuclear testing, and did groundbreaking work documenting levels of strontium 90 in the teeth of thousands of children – data which contributed to the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty adopted in 1963. It would not be the last time Commoner affected public policy…Read more>>
One a day: Florida’s workers die at a high rate
It may have year-round sunshine and play host to “the happiest place on earth,” but Florida’s dismal work-related fatality statistics reveal another side of the state.
A recent report issued by Florida’s Department of Health, Occupational Health and Safety Program (OSHP) based on 2007 data (the most recent figures available), the state ranked third nationally for work-related fatalities. The 363 workers who died in Florida that year represented nearly one death per day.
Using figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) and the BLS Current Population Survey, the OSHP found that the most common fatal incident types were those involving transportation accidents (38%), assaults and violent acts (19%—predominantly shootings), and…Read more>>
Report: No evidence for charges of excessive regulations
A new report issued by a government watchdog group says there is little difference between the Obama administration and past administrations in their overall level of regulatory activity, nor is there evidence that a "flood" of new rules will be unleashed after the November elections.
OMB Watch, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization that examines activities by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), blames the perception of excessive government regulation on escalating rhetoric by “business interests and their allies on Capitol Hill.”
The report, “The Regulatory Tsunami That Wasn't,” does show an increase in the number of significant rules approved during the first 42 months of the Obama administration relative to a…Read more>>
MSHA, Labor Dept. lower the boom on chronic violator D&C Mining Corp.
After ten impact inspections in the last two years, the D&C Mining Corp. of Ky “still hasn’t gotten the message,” says Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. An inspection conducted last month of the company’s Harlan County mine resulted in the MSHA issuing five 104(d)(2) unwarrantable failure orders, one 104(b) withdrawal order and 10...Read more>>
Flammable vapor cloud release gets paint co. gets 26 violations
OSHA has cited Ohio-based Yenkin Majestic Paint Corp. for 26 health violations after a cloud containing flammable vapors was released from the company's Columbus facility, which operates as OPC Polymers, on March 21. The vapor cloud was caused by a copolymer reaction of flammable chemicals when over-pressurization occurred in the..Read more>>
A strange indifference to highway carnage
The political rhetoric over health care this election season may leave voters confused, but they can be sure of at least this much: One of America’s more egregious public health afflictions, deaths and injuries in car crashes, is being massively ignored...Read more>>
Foundation to study prevention of cooking-relating fires
The Fire Protection Research Foundation will be examining three main area of cooking-related fires, and developing an action plan towards improving overall cooking fire safety – thanks to a grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
Cooking equipment-related fires are the leading cause of U.S. fire loss, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). During the five-year-period of 2006-2010, cooking equipment was involved in an average of 157,300 reported home structure fires, with associated losses of 380 civilian deaths, 4,920 civilian injuries and $794 million in...Read more>>