Environmental and Occupational Health

At what point does safety become overly intrusive?

January 21, 2014

With the rising costs associated with healthcare, an aging workforce more likely to require treatment for chronic illness, and the simple fact that people in good physical condition tend to be injured less severely than those who are out of shape,  organizations are increasingly able to argue that what you do on your own time is indeed their business.


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Protect yourself and your family from debris smoke

January 17, 2014

Natural disasters, such as hurricanes and floods, can leave a lot of debris. Some of this debris may be burned during cleanup. Smoke from these outdoor fires is unhealthy for you to breathe. Smoke may cause you to cough. It can cause shortness of breath or tightness in the chest. It also can sting your eyes, nose, or throat.


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Company policies may contribute to health impact on the bottom line

Insurance, time off affect business outcomes
January 15, 2014

Human resources policy in areas such as health insurance benefits, paid time off, and compensation are important "missing variables" in studies connecting health and business outcomes, according to a report in the January Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).


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What you should know about ozone

January 14, 2014

Ozone is a gas that you cannot see or smell. Ozone occurs naturally in the sky about 10 to 30 miles above the earth's surface. Sometimes, this ozone is called "good ozone" because it forms a layer that protects life on earth from the sun's harmful rays. Ground-level ozone, on the other hand, can be bad for your health and the environment.


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Tests on W. Virginia water show improvement

CSB to investigate chemical spill
January 13, 2014

Tests done this morning at a West Virginia water treatment facility show some improvement in water quality – a sign that area residents may soon be able to drink water from their own taps.


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OSHA to hold live web chat about silica rule

Ask questions, get details in tomorrow’s online event
January 13, 2014

Want to learn more about OSHA’s proposed rule on occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica? The agency will host a live web chat tomorrow from 1 – 1:30 p.m. EST to discuss it.


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Older firefighters more resilient than younger ones

New study finds long-term heat adaptation due to repeated occupational heat stress exposure
January 13, 2014

Older firefighters who are chronically exposed to heat stress on the job may be more heat resilient over time. A recent study published in the December issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (JOEH) found that older firefighters may be able to tolerate more challenging or arduous work environments before they feel affected by the heat, compared to non-heat-exposed workers who would need to stop work prematurely. 


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West Virginians still waiting in line for drinking water

Company reported toxic chemical spill four hours after residents complained of smell
January 13, 2014

State and federal authorities continue to descend on Charleston, West Virginia in the wake of a devastating chemical spill Thursday that has left 300,000 residents of nine counties unable to drink tap water and has forced the closure of schools and businesses.


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Demolition co. knew about asbestos, didn’t protect workers

Thompson Building Wrecking specializes in asbestos removal
January 9, 2014

OSHA personnel who followed up on a complaint and inspected a Georgia elementary school that was being demolished found that Thompson Building Wrecking Co., Inc. was knowingly exposing workers to asbestos-containing debris being moved by a skid steer loader with a grapple attachment. The debris had been allowed to accumulate on the ground.


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New Year’s resolutions for safety professionals

January 8, 2014

Resolution #1: Less Focus On Preaching More On Teaching. Awareness campaigns are important for the unaware. But most workers who ultimately get hurt do so knowing something they know is dangerous, or at very least that they suspected COULD be dangerous. 


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