|New OSHA Enforcement Initiatives
DOL Secretary Hilda Solis has announced several new initiatives by OSHA to enhance training comprehension and help identify violations. Effective April 28, Secretary Solis explained, that "OSHA will (insure) that its Compliance Officers check and verify not only that the training has been provided, but that it was provided in a format that the workers being trained can understand." For example, given in the language they best understand, at a level of complexity best suited to their comprehension, and in a manner that allows for the testing of comprehension.
The Secretary also announced a new pilot program where OSHA will work with local building inspectors in ten US cities to assure worker safety and health protection. In construction, the four leading causes of worker deaths are falls, electrocution, being crushed or caught between, and being struck. Inspectors participating in this pilot program will notify OSHA when they observe unsafe work conditions leading to these four major causes of workplace fatalities.
|SENSOR-Pesticides on Wikipedia
Get the scoop on NIOSH's SENSOR-Pesticides Program on Wikipedia in an entry written by Jessica Keralis, a NIOSH Fellow. The article, which has reached "Good Article" status (meaning that it is vetted by Wikipedia as being balanced, well-referenced, reliable, and of good quality), describes the program and its impact on occupational health, public health, and pesticide awareness.|
|Training Materials from OSHA Added On-line
For the first time, work products of the OSHA-funded Susan Harwood training grants are being made available for use by employers. The list is short, but growing. To check out the topics currently covered, click here. |
|Study Finds High Burden From Incidents in Wholesale and Retail Trades
A new peer-reviewed article by NIOSH scientists finds that the wholesale and retail trades sector accounts for a disproportionately high percentage of all work-related injuries and illnesses in private industry. "Occupational Fatalities, Injuries, Illnesses, and Related Economic Loss in the Wholesale and Retail Trade Sector," by Anderson et al., explores factors that pose work-related risks, estimates the high costs of these occupational injuries and illnesses, and identifies areas for potential safety and health interventions. An abstract of the article is available from the American Journal of Industrial Medicine by clicking here. |
|OSHA Needs Help
If you wonder why OSHA is asking building inspectors to report safety violations and is doing much greater outreach to employees, here's the answer. OSHA only has about 1,000 inspectors. States running their own state plans have about the same number. That means it would take more than 130 years to inspect every single one of the 8 million workplaces in this country just once. So, the request for input goes out and the "bad actors" get targeted.
|CDC Has Bilingual Cards and Posters on Disposable Respirator Use
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now has bilingual posters and cards to show how to properly use a disposable respirator. The poster version is available in English or Spanish. The card version of How to Properly Put On and Take Off a Disposable Respirator can be downloaded by clicking here. |
|National Work Zone Awareness Week
The 11th annual National Work Zone Awareness Week will be observed April 19-23. This year's theme is "Work Zones Need Your Undivided Attention." Click on the following web sites for ideas and resources for promoting work zone awareness: the Federal Highway Administration, NIOSH work zone safety research, American Traffic Safety Services Association, and a national resource for work zone safety. |
|Brochure for Workers Who Perform Soldering Using Rosin-Core Solder
Workers in many industries use rosin-core solder to make electrical connections. When rosin-core solder wire is heated by a soldering iron, fumes are produced that contain a wide variety of chemicals, including aldehydes, terpenes, and resin acids. Inhalation of these fumes can aggravate existing asthma or lead to new onset asthma, and can cause irritation of the upper respiratory tract and the eyes, and dermatitis can result from skin contact.
The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services' (NJDHSS) Work-Related Asthma Surveillance and Intervention Project has identified 13 workers since 1990 who have experienced the development or aggravation of asthma as a result of exposure to solder flux fumes. On-site industrial hygiene investigations revealed that local exhaust ventilation systems are often lacking or improperly used.
NJDHSS developed a concise brochure intended to alert solderers of the fume hazard and methods for preventing exposure. Click here
to get a copy of the brochure.
The United Kingdom's Health and Safety Executive has published more detailed safety and health information on solder flux fumes. That document can be downloaded by clicking here