Monday, July 3, 2017

Earn your Masters in Public Health (MPH) in Occupational Safety and Health at the Rutgers School of Public Health.

Rutgers School of Public Health is accepting students for the new MPH in Occupational Safety and Health.  The program is designed to prepare graduates to effectively manage workplace safety and health hazards in diverse work environments.  http://sph.rutgers.edu/departments/ENOH/index.html 
Please contact Dr. Koshy for further information at koshyko@rutgers.edu

OSHA to hold public meeting to solicit suggestions for strengthening the Voluntary Protection Programs

OSHA will hold a stakeholder meeting July 17, 2017, in Washington, D.C., to discuss the future direction of the agency’s Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP). The discussion will include comments and suggestions from the public on potential avenues for action.
OSHA is seeking to reshape VPP so that it continues to represent safety and health excellence, leverages partner resources, further recognizes the successes of long-term participants, and supports smart program growth. Some of the questions OSHA invites stakeholder input include:
  • What can the agency do to enhance and encourage the efforts of employers, workers and unions to identify and address workplace hazards through the VPP?
  • How can the agency support increased participation in VPP while operating with available resources and maintaining the integrity of the program?
  • How can the agency modify VPP to enhance the efforts and engagement of long-term VPP participants?
  • How might the agency modify Corporate VPP for greater leverage and effectiveness?
  • How can the agency further leverage participant resources such as Special Government Employees?
The meeting will be held July 17, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Frances Perkins Building, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20210. Those wishing to attend must register by July 10 at VPP Stakeholder Meeting Registration.  Attendees can choose from several levels of participation in the discussion.
For those who may not be able to attend in person, a docket has been opened to receive comments. You can provide your input and/or read others’ comments here https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=OSHA-2017-0009. The docket closes Sept. 15, 2017.
We anticipate hosting a second stakeholder meeting tentatively scheduled to occur in conjunction with the VPPPA National Conference the week of August 28th in New Orleans.
For more information about the stakeholder events, click here. We look forward to hearing from you about this important discussion.

Employers share their tips for keeping workers safe in extreme heat

Employers and safety professionals were asked how they are keeping workers safe from extreme heat. Below are a few examples of the responses received. 
Water. Rest. Shade. OSHA's Campaign to Keep Workers Safe in the Heat

Land of Lincoln Goodwill Industries in Springfield, Ill., implements a buddy system within shifts so that workers can keep an eye on each other and report to their supervisor if they notice symptoms of heat illness. It is the company’s policy that new and/or transferred employees be acclimated to the environment by getting frequent breaks during their first two weeks on the job and during heat waves. The company also equips workers with cooling caps and bandanas, and provides earlier shifts and additional breaks, water and sports drinks on days when temperatures are expected to be especially high. Throughout the summer the company sends text messages/emails, and gives posters and toolbox talks to keep workers alert to the hazards of heat exposure.
Ballard Marine Construction uses canopies equipped with hoses to provide its workers with shade and cooling mist that protect them from the heat.
Ballard Marine Construction uses canopies equipped with hoses to provide its workers with shade and cooling mist that protect them from the heat.
Ballard Marine Construction is a marine infrastructure and utility contractor serving international clients in the nuclear, hydroelectric, salvage, pipeline, and submarine cable industries. The company sets up portable shade canopies outside its dive control vans, with misting hoses woven throughout the frames to cover workers with a fine spray of water throughout the day. The company has also installed misters on its barges and used misting fans to keep its workers cool in high temperatures.
Granite Construction, one of the 25 largest construction companies in the U.S., uses a variety of methods to keep its workers safe from the heat. These include: providing each jobsite supervisor with a portable canopy sun shade; equipping workers with evaporative, cooling neck towels and shades that attach to the back of their hard hats to protect their necks from sun exposure; monitoring the OSHA-NIOSH heat safety app and following its recommendations; and conducting training sessions on heat exposure, how to recognize and treat heat-related illness, and proper hydration.

OSHA promotes safety in fireworks industry ahead of July 4 festivities

fireworks displayWith Independence Day celebrations approaching, OSHA is encouraging the fireworks and pyrotechnics industry to protect workers from hazards while manufacturing, storing, transporting, displaying and selling fireworks for public events. OSHA offers information on common hazards and solutions, including downloadable safety posters for workplaces.

OSHA and NIOSH team up to offer updated heat safety app

OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool app. Heat Index ?. Calculated. 95*F 55%. Minimal Risk, Low Risk, Moderate Risk, High Risk, Extreme Risk. Arrow pointing to High Risk. At 2:08PM  Feels like 109*F. Precautions. Conditions are hazardous. Heat Index, Hourly, Symptoms, First Aide, More. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and OSHA have collaborated to update OSHA’s original Heat Safety Tool. The updated app, available for both Android and iPhone, provides a clearer user interface, while still providing the same information to help keep workers safe when working outdoors in hot weather. Extreme heat causes more deaths than any other weather-related hazard; each year more than 65,000 people seek medical treatment for extreme heat exposure.
Employers should encourage workers exposed to hot and humid conditions to use the app to check the heat index and relevant protective measures. The app displays the heat index in the user’s location and shows the current risk level. The app also forecasts the hourly heat index throughout the entire workday, giving employers information they can use to adjust the work environment as needed to protect workers.
More than 450,000 users have downloaded the original app since it was launched in 2011. The original OSHA app will no longer function after September 30. To download the updated app and get more information on OSHA’s efforts to help protect workers from the heat, visit our heat campaign webpage.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Free webinars on preventing heat stress scheduled for May and June

With summer fast approaching, the North Carolina Dept. of Labor is offering a series of free 90-minute webinars on the hazards of heat stress in construction and general industry. Topics to be discussed include key definitions, causal factors, heat disorders, health effects, prevention, control, engineering controls, personal protective equipment, administrative controls, acclimatization, re-acclimating, work monitoring and training. At the end of the course, students should have a basic understanding of methods to prevent or minimize exposure to excessive heat in order to prevent heat stress. In addition, students will be able to recognize symptoms of heat stress along with tips on how to treat heat stress victims. The first webinar will be held on May 22, and six additional webinars are set for May and June. For more information or to register, see the webpage.

New videos and infographics provide facts on falls

The Facts on Falls: Falls are the leading cause of death among construction workers. 350 construction workers suffered a fatal fall in 2015. More than 1 in 3 fatal falls in construction in 2015 were just 15 feet or less. Almost 1 in 4 fatal falls were from ladders. BLS data 2015 OSHA.gov/stopfallsFalls are the leading cause of death for construction workers, accounting for 350 of the 937 construction fatalities recorded in 2015. These and other facts about fall hazards are highlighted in new resources from OSHA that employers can use in their discussions with employees during the National Safety Stand-Down. Two videos have been posted on the Stand-Down homepage and a series of infographics can be downloaded from OSHA's Fall Prevention Campaign webpage. We also encourage posting of the new videos and infographics on social media using the hashtag #StandDown4Safety.

Friday, April 21, 2017

NIOSH online network helps healthcare facilities address bloodborne pathogens and other hazards

Occupational Health Safety Network (OHSN)The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has established a web-based injury and exposure monitoring system available at no cost to healthcare facilities. This secure system enables participating facilities to analyze worker injury and exposure data that they already collect. Trends for traumatic injury and hazardous exposures are visualized using a chart function. The system allows facilities to track five common work-related injuries and exposures in healthcare: sharps injuries; blood and body fluid exposure; slips, trips, and falls; patient handling injuries; and workplace violence. Visit the OHSN webpage for more information and to begin the enrollment process.

Safety seminars available online

Ladder Safety SymposiumRecordings of two recent training seminars are available to watch online. One is a symposium on ladder safety hosted by the OSHA Education Center at the University of Texas, Arlington. The other is a webinar on "Communicating with Workers about Hazardous Materials" hosted by the American Staffing Association as part of its alliance with OSHA.

OSHA releases three new publications on Process Safety Management

Copyright WARNING: Not all materials on this Web site were created by the federal government. Some content including both images and text may be the copyrighted property of others and used by the DOL under a license. Such content generally is accompanied by a copyright notice. It is your responsibility to obtain any necessary permission from the owner's of such material prior to making use of it. You may contact the DOL for details on specific content, but we cannot guarantee the copyright status of such items. Please consult the U.S. Copyright Office at the Library of Congress http://www.copyright.gov  to search for copyrighted materials.OSHA has released three guidance documents to help employers comply with the agency's Process Safety Management standard. PSM is critically important to facilities that store highly hazardous chemicals. Implementing the required safety programs helps prevent fires, explosions, large chemical spills, toxic gas releases, runaway chemical reactions, and other major incidents. The new documents focus on PSM compliance for Small BusinessesStorage Facilities and Explosives and Pyrotechnics Manufacturing.