The “OSHA Listens” national hearing to solicit public input on the agency’s future agenda, scheduled for Wednesday, February 10, has been postponed due to this past weekend’s blizzard that buried DC in more than two feet of snow, and forecasts for more snow this week. The agency said a new date will be set.
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is deploying a seven-person team to the site of a fatal explosion at the Kleen Energy Plant in Middletown, Connecticut, according to an agency press release. The team is expected on site today.
Low-wage, low-skilled, and immigrant workers face disproportionately high risks for work-related injuries and illnesses in comparison with the U.S. workforce in general, according to a recent update from the National Institute for Occupation Health and Safety (NIOSH). They also encounter significant barriers in accessing training and education programs, health care systems, and legal protections that are critical for mitigating those risks.
According to a press release from the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), the group has joined with the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) and the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) in urging that a commitment to safe work be a focus in the Congressional Jobs Bill, HR 2847, now under consideration.
Anna Burger, chairperson of Change to Win, a partnership of five unions representing American workers, issued the following statement regarding the confirmation of Patricia Smith as the Labor Department’s Solicitor General.
To better understand if occupational health and safety training and education programs have a beneficial effect on workers and businesses, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in collaboration with the Institute for Work and Health (IWH), Ontario, Canada, conducted a review of some of the recent research in this area. Earlier this month NIOSH and IWH released "A Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Training & Education for the Protection of Workers."
Home healthcare workers are frequently exposed to a variety of potentially serious or even life-threatening hazards, according to a new NIOSH Hazard Review: Occupational Hazards in Home Healthcare (Publication No. 2010-125). These dangers include overexertion; stress; guns and other weapons; illegal drugs; verbal abuse and other forms of violence in the home or community; bloodborne pathogens; needlesticks; latex sensitivity; temperature extremes; unhygienic conditions, including lack of water, unclean or hostile animals, and animal waste. Long commutes from worksite to worksite also expose the home healthcare worker to transportation- related risks
On a 2-1 vote, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board has approved urgent safety recommendations on gas purging safety at a public meeting in Raleigh, following extensive testimony and public comment. The draft recommendations, which were approved as presented by the staff without amendment, urged the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), American Gas Association (AGA), and the International Code Council (ICC) to strengthen the national fuel gas code provisions on purging. Board Chairman John Bresland and Member William Wark voted to approve; Board Member William Wright voted to disapprove.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released action plans developed by 22 electric utility facilities with coal ash impoundments, describing the measures the facilities are taking to make their impoundments safer. The action plans are a response to EPA’s assessment reports on the structural integrity of these impoundments that the agency made public last September. Coal ash was brought prominently to national attention in 2008 when an impoundment holding disposed ash waste generated by the Tennessee Valley Authority broke open, creating a massive spill in Kingston, TN, that covered millions of cubic yards of land and river and is regarded as one of the worst environmental disasters of its kind in history. Shortly afterwards, EPA began overseeing the cleanup, as well as investigating the structural integrity of impoundments where ash waste is stored.
OSHA has cited O.S. Interior Systems Inc. for alleged workplace safety violations following a fatality at the company's worksite at 20555 State Highway 249 in Houston, says an agency press release. Proposed penalties total $112,000.