The surprisingly high hazard food industry, an Ebola update, occupational safety-related arrests and a company is forced to reduce the risks of workplace violence to its employees. These were among the top stories posted on this week.

Health groups angered by U.S. Chamber's lobbying for tobacco industry

Five leading U.S. public health organizations are calling on members of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors to withdraw from the Chamber unless it stops fighting measures to reduce tobacco use around the world.


Continued to violate OSHA safety standards

Guillermo Perez and Elma Maldonado, president and vice president of GP Roofing & Construction, LLC, in Palm Coast, Florida, were arrested last month for failing to comply with a March 30 civil contempt order stemming from nine OSHA inspections of GP worksites.


While the EPA’s proposed rule to limit emissions from power plants has been delayed by the U.S. Supreme Court – which says cost-benefit analyses are needed – individual actions aimed at the same goal are still taking place.


Continued to use defective 500-pound press with a tendency to drop without warning

With a history of safety violations dating back 15 years, an El Paso metal stamping plant is no stranger to warnings from OSHA. In the latest action, the agency issued 13 safety and health citations to D&D Manufacturing Inc. following a recent inspection prompted by a formal complaint.


This week, the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) sent a letter in support of H.R. 2500, the “Voluntary Protection Program Act,” introduced by Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind. The Act would codify the Department of Labor’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), ensuring that the program would continue with adequate funding.



Reducing the risk of workplace violence

Corizon Health Inc., which provides medical, dental and mental-health services to inmates at correctional facilities nationwide, including the Rikers Island facility in New York City, will implement changes to reduce workplace violence hazards for employees at its locations.



'Farm-to-table' model shows occupational health risks in food industry

Work-related injury and death rates higher than in other industries

Workers involved in nearly every step of the modern food industry are at increased risk of occupational illness/injury and death, compared to other industries, reports a study in the July Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).



AIHA releases new formaldehyde technical guide and consumer fact sheet

The American Industrial Hygiene Association® (AIHA) has released two new educational materials focused on formaldehyde, specifically formaldehyde emissions from laminate flooring. The two documents, Laminate Flooring Outgassing: Technical Guidance and Formaldehyde: Is It a Problem in My Home?, were created by AIHA’s Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) Committee Task Force on laminate flooring formaldehyde outgassing.


CDC versus Ebola: The road to zero

The numbers are staggering. The Ebola epidemic that began in West Africa in early 2014 has so far claimed more than 11,000 lives out of 27,000 reported cases. Battling this scourge: more than 1,200 experts in various disciplines, dispatched to Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and surrounding countries by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its partners.


Although a worker in Yorkshire, England still suffers physically and mentally from a severe chemical burn at an oil refinery, co-workers were able to get him quickly to an emergency shower, and after that, to a hospital for treatment.


More than 200,000 users have downloaded the OSHA Heat Safety Tool since its launch in 2011. This spring, OSHA released a new version of the app for Apple devices, with full-screen color alerts, improved navigation and accessibility options.


Restaurants, movie theatres and big box stores that serve food like Costco and Target will get an extra year to add calorie information to their menus. In announcing the extension – to December, 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the extra time is necessary “for the agency to provide further clarifying guidance to help facilitate efficient compliance across all covered businesses and for covered establishments to come into compliance with the final rule.”


Eight people have died in construction-related accidents in 2015 thus far, according to the city’s Buildings Department, as many as in all of 2014; the year before, three died. Not since 2008, during the height of the last building boom, has the number of construction accidents been so high, when a rash of episodes, including two falling cranes, claimed 19 lives, according to an article in The New York Times.


Although hardhats are a fixture in construction work and are intended to keep construction workers safe, they do not always prevent accidents that lead to traumatic brain injury (TBI) on construction sites, according to the Brain Injury Society.


According to the Centers for Disease Control, the most common construction site injuries suffered by workers include: Burns and scarring – Burns are one of the most common construction site injuries around, mainly because of the likelihood of fires and explosions on build sites. Exposed wiring, dangerous chemicals, leaking pipes, and other items all pose a potential risk for fires, which if not handled properly, could endanger nearby workers.


A 32-mile stretch of interstate where construction began in June, 2014 to repair the interstate and widen it from two lanes to three lanes in each direction (a $261 million project) has gone hand in hand with a significant increase in crashes during the last year, according to local police, according to an article in the Toledo Blade.


A John Deere & Co. pipefitter who was fired after reporting several safety violations to OSHA would be reinstated with back pay, under the terms of a lawsuit filed by the agency. On three separate occasions, the worker filed complaints about the company’s Moline, Illinois facility with OSHA, each time resulting in violations against the company.