Environmental and Occupational Health

Public hearings on OSHA’s silica proposal get underway

Dozens of associations and experts scheduled to speak
March 20, 2014

OSHA’s effort to reduce the permissible exposure limits for silica began a new phase this week, with an intensive three week period of public hearings that wrap up on Friday, April 4. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels said his agency’s rulemaking is an open process, “and the input we receive will help us ensure that a final rule adequately protects workers, is feasible for employers, and is based on the best available evidence."


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Silica hazards from engineered stone countertops

A NIOSH Science Blog post
March 19, 2014

A new engineered stone countertop product known as “quartz surfacing,” was created in the late 1980s by combining quartz aggregate with resins to create a product for use in home building and home improvement.  Manufacturing of this material, including products such as CaesarStone™, Silestone™, Zodiaq™, or Cambria™ is a fast growing industry.


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How to protect vision in the workplace

March 18, 2014

The use of digital devices, including personal computers, tablets and cell phones, continues to increase.  And the impact of prolonged usage can often be felt in the eye. In fact, because of extended use of these devices, close to 70 percent of American adults experience some form of digital eyestrain, according to a new report from The Vision Council.


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Help OSHA evaluate its heat illness prevention campaign

March 12, 2014

With warmer weather hopefully on the way, OSHA wants to know how effective its heat illness prevention campaign website. The agency is gathering stakeholder input on the campaign using a brief survey to evaluate the website and and to identify possible modifications for next year.


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New toxic chemical bill would weaken protections, critics charge

March 11, 2014

Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) released a draft bill entitled the Chemicals in Commerce Act (CICA) on Thursday, Feb. 27 that provides no significant improvements in protecting public health and the environment from toxic chemicals. Many of the provisions in the draft bill maintain the already deficient approaches to health protections now included under the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), our nation's outdated and ineffective chemical safety law.


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Higher earners more likely to have paid sick leave

Data shows more than 41 million U.S. workers lack access
March 10, 2014

Income level, occupational type and gender all play a part in whether or not a U.S. worker gets paid sick leave, according to a new study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. “Paid sick days bring substantial benefits to employers, workers, families, and communities,” according to by Claudia Williams, Barbara Gault, Ph.D., authors of:Paid Sick Days Access in the United States: Differences by Race/Ethnicity, Occupation, Earnings, and Work Schedule


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ACGIH® releases 2014 editions of TLVs® and BEIs® Book and Guide to Occupational Exposure Values

March 10, 2014

ACGIH® has released its 2014 editions of the TLVs® and BEIs®book and the Guide to Occupational Exposure Values. The information in the user-friendly, pocket-sized TLVs® and BEIs®book is used worldwide as a guide for evaluation and control of workplace exposures to chemical substances and physical agents.


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AIHA comments on OSHA's proposed injury/illness tracking rule

March 7, 2014

The question of whether or not injury and illness data collected should be reported electronically is one that is difficult for AIHA to answer. While we support the use of technology that would make the reporting requirements much easier and timelier, AIHA is more concerned that the data collected is accurate and meaningful.


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Public health experts aim to reduce costs, improve worker health care

Initiative says certain tests, treatments are unnecessary - and some even harmful
March 4, 2014

Workers who perform safety-sensitive jobs, like operating motor vehicles, forklifts, cranes, or other heavy equipment, should not be prescribed opioids for treatment of chronic or acute pain.


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OHS going from reactive to proactive, survey finds

Even small firms are changing their approach
March 3, 2014

In a recent international survey of nearly 4,000 professionals, 76 percent said they go above and beyond what is required by law and regulations when it comes to managing health and safety at work. Fully 90 percent of respondents said OHS has become an integrated part of today’s corporate strategy.


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