Eric Emery, CEO of Bennett-Bowen and Lighthouse, a safety equipment distributor located in Santa Fe Springs, Calif, and the Safety Equipment Distributors Association's First Vice President, passed away on Wednesday, April 29 after a lengthy illness. He was 50 years old. Eric, a native of Iowa, is survived by his wife, Janet Emery; his sisters, Michelle Ault, Maureen Baker, Paula Purtzer, and Lisa McLarty, and his nephews and nieces.
George J. Hayward, 67, an icon in the tight-knit U.S. safety products industry, passed away on May 1, 2009, after a brief illness. George’s stature and influence extended far beyond the eight states served by the safety products manufacturers representatives of his company, United Sales Associates, founded by George in 1982 and based in Cincinnati.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the number of laboratory-confirmed cases of swine flu infection in the United States has reached 141 with one death attributed to the illness. Individual states report the following numbers of cases: Arizona (4), California (14), Colorado (2), Delaware (4), Illinois (3), Indiana (3), Kansas (2), Kentucky (1), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (2), Minnesota (1), Nebraska (1), Nevada (1), New Jersey (5), New York (50), Ohio (1), South Carolina (16), Texas (28), Virginia (2).
As health experts raised the threat level of the swine flu to five, indicating “a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent,” some U.S. businesses are just now beginning to look at ways to prepare for the potential health, social and economic impact of a flu pandemic, says a press release from the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA).
Witnesses who testified yesterday before the Workforce Protections Subcommittee of the House Education and Labor Committee said that a special worker health and safety program that targets employers who repeatedly put their workers at risk is not working and needs to be refocused, according to a press release.
In 2003-2006, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 7,900 home fires involving grills, hibachis, or barbecues per year, causing 120 reported injuries and $80 million in direct property damage, according to information from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
Brace yourself. The Occupational Safety and Health Act stands a better chance now of being seriously amended than at any time since it was first written in 1970. How so? The move by Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania to the Democratic Party combined with what seems to be the probable court-confirmed victory of Al Franken to take his seat on the Democratic side of the Senate would give the Democrats a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, plus a majority in the House and of course a Democrat in the White House.
On April 29, World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan announced that “based on assessment of all available information, and following several expert consultations, I have decided to raise the current level of influenza pandemic alert from phase 4 to phase 5.”