Environmental and Occupational Health

More workers testing positive for drug use

Rate increases for the first time in ten years

The percentage of positive drug tests among American workers has increased for the first time in more than a decade, fueled by a rise in marijuana and amphetamines, according to an analysis of 8.5 million urine, oral fluid and hair workplace drug test results by Quest Diagnostics.


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AIHA cautions against indoor use of electronic cigarettes

New white paper examines potential exposures

The American Industrial Hygiene Association® (AIHA) has described the potential exposures and health risks associated with the use of electronic cigarettes in a new report. The report reviewed current scientific information and evaluated the effects of chemicals used in e-cigarettes and emitted from them.


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NIOSH speaker discusses Occupational Exposure Banding

Dr. Christine Whittaker Sofge of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) spoke on the subject of occupational exposure banding at the AIHA Fall Conference. Sofge, who is Chief of the NIOSH Risk Evaluation Branch in Cincinnati, OH, explored the question: “What to do when you don’t have a lot of data.”


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From Work in Progress, official blog of the DOL

Think child labor is a thing of the past?

This morning, Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez announced the release of the department’s “Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor” report. The report is prepared annually by the department’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs, and it assesses efforts by more than 140 countries to eliminate the worst forms of child labor.


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How one company limited spread of Ebola in its part of Liberia

CDC says strategies used by Firestone might work elsewhere

Innovative measures have limited the spread of Ebola in a part of Liberia where Firestone Liberia Inc. had established an effective health care infrastructure, according to a report in this week’s CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Similar measures may be helpful in slowing the Ebola epidemic in other parts of West Africa.


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Ebola: OSHA, NIOSH & health/safety pros off the national radar

“I had a reporter call me,” said an attendee at this week’s American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) annual Fall Conference, held in Arlington, VA. “He said he had spent three hours at the Congressional Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hearing last week, where CDC Director Tom Frieden was grilled, and not once was OSHA or NIOSH mentioned, according to this reporter. He wanted to know why.”


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CDC releases guidelines for healthcare workers treating Ebola patients

USA Today reports that “Hospital workers treating Ebola patients should wear double sets of gloves, disposable hoods with full face shields and special masks, according to strengthened guidelines issued” last night by the CDC. CDC Director Thomas Frieden “said all health workers also should undergo ‘rigorous training’ and practice in putting on and taking off PPE in a systematic way that reduces their risk of infection.


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What you need to know about PELs

On October 9, 2014 OSHA announced the publication of a Request for Information (RFI) on Chemical Management and Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) in the Federal Register. With this publication, OSHA launched a national dialogue on preventing occupational illness through improved approaches to managing exposures to hazardous chemicals.


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Offshore oil platform discharges oil, chemicals into Gulf

Owner to pay $1 million in penalties

A company charged with violating both the Clean Water Act and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) has agreed to pay a $1 million civil penalty and take corrective actions to prevent future discharges of oil and chemicals into the Gulf of Mexico.


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The business case for safety and health at work:

Cost-benefit analyses of interventions in small and medium-sized enterprises

From the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work: Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are often referred to as the backbone of the European economy as they account for 67 percent of employment. However, at the same time , they also account for 82 percent of occupational injuries.


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Scenes from the World of Safety

Sights, signs & symbols from the National Safety Congress & Expo held in San Diego, CA, September 15-18

12/11/14 11:00 am EST

Why Flame Resistant Workwear? Understanding Workplace Hazards and OSHA Compliance

By defining the leading causes of flash fires, electric arc and molten metal splatter, we will address the ways in which companies can better protect their employees from such hazards through proper staff outfitting. In the topic, we will discuss the benefits of – and recent developments to – flame-resistant workwear and what to consider when creating a program for your employees.

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2014 December

Check out ISHN's last issue of the year, which features articles about distance learning, foot protection and confined space.

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2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.