States, not feds, take up occupational safety measures
Although occupational safety and health legislative activity is "stalled" on the federal level, a number of states are pursuing regulatory and legislative agendas related to workplace safety.
That's the assessment of Aaron K. Trippler, Government Affairs Director for the American Industrial Hygiene Association.
In his monthly "Happenings from the Hill," Trippler said the real action is taking place at the state level:
• California is set to enact legislation that would require the adoption of a patient protection and health care worker back and musculoskeletal injury prevention plan to include a safe patient handling component to protect patients and health care workers in health facilities.
• Additionally, the California Industrial Hygiene Council is preparing to submit comments to the state on the CA Green Chemistry Hazard Traits. "The AIHA Risk Assessment Committee and the Stewardship and Sustainability Committee were asked to review the proposal and provide comments," noted Trippler, who said that several members responded to the request.
• New York state has enacted legislation that provides for an extension of the safe patient handling demonstration program.
• In Michigan, meetings with all stakeholders have been held regarding legislation to require licensing for sanitarians. "AIHA had serious concerns that such licensing would infringe on the IH and safety professions," said Trippler. "Looks like our recommendations have been accepted and a new bill will be introduced that would include exemptions for the IH and safety professions."
• In Virginia, AIHA is keeping an eye on the Department of Business Regulation and the regulations that provide for individuals to be licensed if they have an interest in mold abatement. "AIHA was not successful in having CIHs recognized as qualified to become licensed but no other professions were exempt either," said Trippler. "Everyone will be required to take a training course and pass an examination."