Occupational Health & Safety

Category archives for Occupational Health & Safety

Top notch job by OSHA staff to globally harmonize labels and datasheets for chemicals

Earlier this week, Lizzie Grossman reported here at The Pump Handle on revisions to OSHA’s Hazard Communication standard which align the agency’s 30 year old rule with a globally harmonized system for classifying and labeling chemical hazards. In “Moving from Right-to-Know to Right-to-Understand,” we learn how the changes stem from a 2002 United Nations resolution…

by Elizabeth Grossman His job, the Metalworkers Alliance of the Philippines union leader told us, was assembling the electronics – the wire- or cable-harnesses – that go into cars. The work involved soldering, using flux, along with epoxies, and various degreasers or solvents. He and his co-workers didn’t know the actual names of the substances…

Keeping transportation dollars from worker-safety violators, such as Thomas Industrial Coatings

The $109 billion transportation bill passed last week in the Senate has a title that doesn’t even mention roads or highways. It’s called the ”Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act” (MAP-21) The 74 Senators who voted in favor of the bill (S. 1813), including 22 Republicans, described their support in terms of…

This Sunshine Week, still waiting for OSHA to improve worker fatality info

To mark Sunshine Week, the annual initiative to promote freedom of information and government openness, I’m examining OSHA’s performance in disclosing information about worker fatality cases. My interest in this particular transparency issue stems back to the first year of the Obama Administration, when in October 2009, a new feature appeared front-and-center on federal OSHA’s…

Work hours, sleep, and safety

National Sleep Awareness Week might have been last week, but many of us are feeling the importance of shuteye this week, as we struggle to drag ourselves out of bed at what feels like an inappropriate hour. While Daylight Saving Time may get the blame for sleepiness this week, though, there are important year-round factors…

by Elizabeth Grossman Nurses face many hazards on the job, and one that clearly demands more detailed analysis than it’s received to date is the effect of occupational chemical exposures on nurses’ reproductive health. A recent study by researchers at the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Harvard School of Public Health, and…

Occupational Health News Roundup

In the latest issue of EHS Today, Terence Milford lays out the case to employers for investing in ergonomics: In 2002, a survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor reported that employees suffering from repetitive stress injuries incurred in the workplace took a median of 23 days off work, while those who experienced a…

Congressman Donald Payne remembered as defender of the powerless, advocate for justice

I was saddened to read that Congressman Donald Payne (D-NJ) died yesterday from colon cancer. Just a month ago, the 77-year old Member of Congress announced he was undergoing treatment for the disease. An estimated 51,700 individuals in the U.S. will die this year from cancers of the colon and rectum. “I am heartbroken to…

Back in December, the Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division published a proposed rule that would extend minimum-wage and overtime pay protections to the home care workers who assist elderly and disabled patients with their daily needs. The Fair Labor Standards Act requires that nonexempt workers be paid minimum wage (currently $7.25 per hour)…

Lung cancer risk of diesel-exposed workers reconfirmed, kudos to MSHA for addressing hazard 10 years ago

The Center for Public integrity’s Jim Morris was the first to report that two long awaited cancer mortality studies of US workers exposed to diesel exhaust finds significantly elevated levels of lung cancer. Researchers with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) proposed the studies two decades…