Environmental and Occupational Health

First draft of ISO 45001 available

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The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has announced the completion of the committee draft stage of ISO 45001, Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems—Requirements. The standard, which is available for purchase, gives stakeholders a chance to review it before its publication is finalized, which is slated for late 2016.


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Europe puts chemical database online for workers

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European workers can now access detailed information about the chemicals they use in the workplace through an online database put in place by the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) and the Spanish Trade Union Institute ISTAS.


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Alcohol use disorders linked to decreased 'work trajectory'

Women's careers more likely to be disrupted by alcohol, study suggests
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Workers with alcohol use disorders (AUDs) are more likely to have a flat or declining "work trajectory," reports a study in the July Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).


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A NIOSH Science Blog post:

Workplace Exposures and the National Action Plan for Infertility

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Infertility is a significant health issue in the U.S. as well as globally. In addition to the large health and fiscal impacts of infertility, the inability to conceive can be devastating to individuals or couples.


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Obese workers get tired faster

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U.S. workplaces may need to consider innovative methods to prevent fatigue from developing in employees who are obese. Based on results from a new study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (JOEH), workers who are obese may have significantly shorter endurance times when performing workplace tasks, compared with their non-obese counterparts.


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Five things employers should know about prescription painkiller use

NSC calls on companies to take actions to combat the nation's fastest growing drug epidemic
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The number of people overdosing from opioid prescription painkillers is staggering, killing 45 people each day. Twenty-three percent of the workforce has misused prescription painkillers, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, making opioid use a serious threat to employee safety. Even when employees are taking opioid painkillers at the correct dosage with a valid prescription, subtle impairment may compromise workplace safety.


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NBC news interview with OSHA boss Dr. David Michaels

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It’s not often the OSHA chief is interviewed by one of the Big 3 TV Networks. But that’s what happened recently when NBC’sSeth Freed Wessler interviewed OSHA boss Dr. David Michaels.


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OSHA focuses on outdated permissible exposure limits

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In what has to be the first sign that the federal government truly recognizes the problem of outdated Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs), Federal OSHA has begun an effort to provide more guidance and information to employers and workers to compare some of the many different exposure limits being used.


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NIOSH answers FAQs about Control banding

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Why is control banding useful? The occupational exposure limit (OEL) is the marker that shows the level of control needed for a chemical. Repeated daily exposure by inhaling a chemical at an airborne concentration below its OEL is unlikely to lead to harm in most workers. However, many thousands of chemicals are in use, and it is not possible to have an OEL for every chemical, chemical mixture, fume, or emission.


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OSHA offers resources on nanomaterials exposures

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Employees who use nanomaterials in research or production processes may be exposed to nanoparticles through inhalation, dermal contact, or ingestion, depending upon how employees use and handle them. Although the potential health effects of such exposure are not fully understood at this time, scientific studies indicate that at least some of these materials are biologically active, may readily penetrate intact human skin, and have produced toxicologic reactions in the lungs of exposed experimental animals.


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