This week is National Engineers Week which is dedicated to ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) employs over 200 engineers and engineering technicians who identify, evaluate, develop, and implement engineering control technology to prevent occupational disease and injury.
The NIOSH Mining Program aims to eliminate mining fatalities, injuries, and illnesses through relevant research and impactful solutions. More than 65 engineers work in the NIOSH Mining Program representing many disciplines including chemical, electrical, mechanical, industrial, mining, software, and general engineering.
This month I’m pleased to share with you that 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of occupational respiratory disease research at the NIOSH facility in Morgantown. In 1967 the Appalachian Laboratory for Occupational Respiratory Disease (ALFORD) was established within the U.S. Public Health Service, and in 1971 it became part of NIOSH.
A Monroe, Wisconsin medical clinic failed to inform maintenance workers that they were being sent into areas containing asbestos – which the company had known about since 2008. The company also failed to provide the workers with equipment which could have protected them from asbestos hazards.
OSHA’s beryllium standard, published 11 days before President Trump’s inauguration, is one of the rules delayed 60 days by the Trump administration’s Jan. 20 regulatory freeze and review instructions. Federal agencies are to send no new rules to the Federal Register, withdraw rules sent but not yet published, and delay the effective date by 60 days of any rule published that has not taken effect.
The United Steelworkers (USW) are praising OSHA for its release last week of the final rule for occupational exposure to beryllium and beryllium compounds in general industry, construction and maritime.
“This has been a long time in the making,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard.
The Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking And Public Hearings that would amend its chronic beryllium disease (CBD) prevention program regulation by reducing the number of workers who are currently exposed to beryllium, minimizing the potential for and levels of worker exposure, and establishing medical surveillance to monitor the health of beryllium-exposed workers.
International Labour Organization (ILO) Director-General Guy Ryder: The news is punctuated periodically by intense coverage of dramatic, heartbreaking stories that capture global attention: health workers infected while caring for patients with deadly diseases, trapped miners who may or may not resurface, factory building collapses, plane crashes, explosions of oil rigs and nuclear accidents.