Reactions to the final silica rule issued last week by OSHA have been sharply – and predictably – divided. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said that millions of workers “can literally breathe easier knowing that they will not have to sacrifice their lungs and their lives by working in deadly silica dust. The new OSHA silica rules—nearly 20 years in the making—will save hundreds of workers’ lives a year.”
After issuing a historic final rule on silica exposure limits last week, OSHA continues its burst of regulatory activity this week by publishing a final rule that updates requirements for personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers in general industry, shipyards, longshoring, marine terminals and construction.
When he was a kid, Tom Ward thought his dad was Superman, especially because he worked with his hands. When I sat down with Tom a few weeks ago, he talked about how heroic and invincible his father seemed, about his athleticism and his work ethic. But years of working as a sandblaster had taken their toll. They turned out to be this Superman’s kryptonite.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration today announced a final rule to improve protections for workers exposed to respirable silica dust. The rule will curb lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease in America's workers by limiting their exposure to respirable crystalline silica.
Falling 25 feet to the ground from a roof, being struck in the head by a steel beam as it is transported across a worksite, or getting hit by a vehicle moving supplies–these are only a few examples of why the construction industry has the greatest number of both fatal and nonfatal traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) among U.S. workplaces.
South Progress LLC apparently isn't making much progress in protecting its employees from fall hazards. OSHA inspectors, acting under the agency’s Regional Emphasis Program on Falls in Construction*, found South Progress employees doing framing work without fall protection at a residential community in Santa Rosa, Florida.
When followed, safety standards save lives and painful injuries. In the construction industry, ignoring them can lead to disaster, as it did for 54-year-old Gary Berthelot as he helped rebuild a Mississippi restaurant damaged by Hurricane Isaac.
With its rapid turnover, high rates of uninsured and unusual concentration of multi-employer health insurance plans, the construction industry is one of the most complex health insurance markets in our nation.