Monday, November 18, 2013

New course offered: Asbestos Training for Building Managers

A new course, “Asbestos Training for Building Managers” is being offered this December. Training will be held on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 from 8:00 am – 3:00 pm.   This 1-day course will identify major sections of current regulations regarding facility operation compliance.  Among those who should attend are building and facility owners/managers, project managers, construction managers, general contractors, engineering and maintenance managers, EHS personnel and environmental consultants.  Click here to register for this course offering.

New 2014 course catalog download available

The Rutger's School of Public Health, Centers for Education and Training 2014 course catalog is available for download. Students may enroll for courses online by visiting https://ophp.sph.rutgers.edu, or by contacting the registrar at (732) 235-9450

Retail employers reminded to manage crowds, protect workers during Black Friday

In advance of Black Friday and upcoming sales events, OSHA reminds employers of the importance of taking precautions to prevent retail worker injuries this holiday season. Eager crowds can overwhelm retail management and employers, causing injuries and even deaths. This year will mark the fifth anniversary of the death of Jdimytai Damour, a 34-year-old Wal-Mart employee who was trampled as shoppers rushed through the retailer’s doors to take advantage of an after-Thanksgiving Day “Black Friday” sales event.

In letters issued this week to firefighter and fire marshals associationsretail trade organizations, and chief executive officers of large retail companies, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels explained that crowd control and proper planning are critical to preventing injuries and death.
Crowd management guidelines should include on-site, trained security personnel or police officers, barricades or rope lines for pedestrians that do not start right in front of the store's entrance, no blocked or locked exit doors, and other emergency procedures in place to address potential dangers. Read the fact sheet for additional details.

OSHA proposes new rule to improve tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses

On Nov. 7, OSHA issued a proposed rule to improve workplace safety and health through improved tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses. The announcement follows the Bureau of Labor Statistics' release of its annual Occupational Injuries and Illnesses report, which estimates that three million workers were injured on the job in 2012. 

"Three million injuries are three million too many," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "With the changes being proposed in this rule, employers, employees, the government and researchers will have better access to data that will encourage earlier abatement of hazards and result in improved programs to reduce workplace hazards and prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities. The proposal does not add any new requirement to keep records; it only modifies an employer's obligation to transmit these records to OSHA."

The new proposal would require that establishments with more than 250 employees who are already required to keep records to electronically submit the records on a quarterly basis to OSHA. The agency is also proposing that establishments with 20 or more employees, in certain industries with high injury and illness rates, electronically submit their summary of work-related injuries and illnesses to OSHA once a year. For more information on the proposed rule, read the press release and visit the Improved Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses Rulemaking Web page.

The public will have 90 days, through Feb. 6, 2014, to submit written comments on the proposed rule. On Jan. 9, 2014, OSHA will hold a public meeting on the proposed rule in Washington, D.C. For information on how to participate, read the Federal Register notice.

New educational resources released to better protect workers from exposures to hazardous chemicals

Each year, tens of thousands of American workers are made sick or die from occupational exposures to hazardous chemicals. While many chemicals are suspected of being harmful, OSHA's exposure standards are out-of-date and inadequately protective for the small number of chemicals that are regulated in the workplace. To help keep workers safe, OSHA has launched two new Web resources.

The first resource is a step-by-step toolkit to identify safer chemicals that can be used in place of more hazardous ones. The Transitioning to Safer Chemicals toolkit provides employers and workers with information, methods, tools, and guidance on using informed substitution in the workplace.

OSHA has also created another new Web resource: the Annotated Permissible Exposure Limits, or annotated PELs tables, which will enable employers to voluntarily adopt newer, more protective workplace exposure limits. Since OSHA's adoption of the majority of its PELs more than 40 years ago, new scientific data, industrial experience and developments in technology clearly indicate that in many instances these mandatory limits are not sufficiently protective of workers’ health.
"From steel mills to hospitals, from construction sites to nail salons, hazardous chemical exposure is a serious concern for countless employers and workers in many, many industries, in every part of this nation," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. "With these new resources, OSHA is making sure that all business owners have access to information on safer exposure limits and safer alternatives to help protect their workers and their bottom lines." To learn more, read the press release and Dr. Michaels' new post on the DOL blog.