OSHA to Warn Workers of Isocyanate Hazards
OSHA and the American Chemistry Council (ACC) established a two-year alliance to raise awareness of how workers are exposed to diisocyantes, and promote safe practices for their use in the polyurethane industry.
Isocyanates are raw materials used to make polyurethane products, such as insulation, car seats, foam mattresses, shoes, and adhesives. Exposure to isocyanates can cause irritation of the skin and mucous membranes, chest tightness, and difficulty breathing. More serious health effects include asthma and other lung problems.
The alliance calls for the creation of a web-based training program on the safe use of chemicals and the potential routes of exposure to users. It will also develop guidance on medical surveillance and clinical evaluation techniques for employers and workers using the chemicals. The agreement also calls for best practices seminars on health and safety procedures for OSHA, On-Site Consultation, and State Plan staff.
“OSHA’s new alliance with ACC will help ensure that employers and employees who work with the identified chemicals better understand the health hazards associated with these potentially hazardous chemicals, and the methods to control employee exposures,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt.
The ACC comprises the Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI), and the Diisocyanates and Aliphatic Diisocyanates panels. Members of these groups include manufacturers and distributors of chemicals and equipment used to make polyurethane. CPI serves as the voice of the polyurethanes industry, covering more than 220,000 workers nationwide.
Through its Alliance Program, OSHA works with unions, consulates, trade and professional organizations, faith- and community-based organizations, businesses and educational institutions to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries, and illnesses. The purpose of each alliance is to develop compliance assistance tools and resources and to educate workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities.
Spartanburg RCRA and DOT Training
Register for Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course in Spartanburg, SC, on October 3–5 and save $100. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 800-537-2372.
Chicago RCRA and DOT Training
Register for Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course in Chicago, IL, on October 10–12 and save $100. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 800-537-2372.
Los Angeles RCRA and DOT Training
Register for California Hazardous Waste Management and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course in Los Angeles, CA, on October 10–12 and save $100. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 800-537-2372.
Safety and Health Resources for Hurricane and Flood Cleanup and Recovery
In an effort to protect workers involved in Hurricane Harvey and Irma cleanup and recovery operations, OSHA has consolidated the key resources related to worker safety and health hazards and protective measures into a comprehensive resource list. This page allows employers, workers, and stakeholders in affected areas to find information on hurricane and flood cleanup and recovery specifically by hazards or topic.
COSH Resources for Safe Hurricane Cleanup
As communities in Texas and Louisiana begin recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, the Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) Network is acting to ensure that workers are protected during cleanup efforts. We know from experience after other disasters—9/11, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Rita—that recovery workers will be exposed to mold, sewage, toxic ash, chemical debris and other hazards. The COSH network offers a number of resources to help day laborers, construction workers, utility workers, and others prepare.
Disaster Preparedness Mobile App
The NIEHS/CPWR Disaster Preparedness Android mobile app allows workers exposed to hazards on disaster sites to access a full suite of awareness-level training resources with a simple tap of the screen. From within the app, users can select and download training materials on a variety of disaster types and related topics. Once downloaded, the materials can be accessed anytime, anywhere—no Internet connection required. Training topics include: Avian Influenza, Chemical Incidents, Debris Removal, Dirty Bombs, Earthquakes, Floods, H1N1, Hurricanes, Mold Cleanup and Treatment, Oil Spills, and Wildfires. Some training materials are available in more than one language.
Alliance to Protect Workers in Grain Handling Industry
OSHA recently formed an alliance with the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) with the goal of protecting the safety and health of workers in the grain handling industry. The two-year alliance will focus on preventing exposure to hazards associated with grain bin entry, machine guarding, respiratory protection, falls, heat exposure exposures, combustible dust, struck-by equipment, and lockout/tagout.
Alliance participants will share recommended practices or effective approaches for recognizing and preventing grain handling hazards with OSHA staff, and industry safety and health professionals. Participants also plan to support and promote events such as the Grain Industry Stand-Up, which focuses on engulfment prevention.
“Grain handling operations pose numerous hazards that can cause serious, sometimes fatal injuries,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt. “We look forward to working with NGFA to find ways to reduce exposures to hazards and promote workplace safety and health.”
Founded in 1896, the NGFA is a non-profit trade association that represents and provides services for grain, feed, and related commercial businesses. The association has more than 1,000 member companies, which handle more than 70% of all U.S. grains and oilseeds used in domestic and export markets. Its activities focus on enhancing the growth and economic performance of U.S. agriculture.
Through its Alliance Program, OSHA works with unions, consulates, trade and professional organizations, faith- and community-based organizations, businesses, and educational institutions to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries, and illnesses. The purpose of each alliance is to develop compliance assistance tools and resources to educate workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities.
AJPH Special Issue on the Evolution of Public Health Emergency Management
The American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) published a supplemental issue of 17 original articles covering public health preparedness capabilities, including: biosurveillance, incident management, community resilience, information management, countermeasures and mitigation, and surge management. It assembles a collection from academia, public health departments, federal agencies, and public and private partnerships with first responders. The issue was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Alliance to Provide Training to Young Workers Renewed
OSHA and the David L. Carrasco Job Corps Center have renewed an alliance to provide young workers in El Paso with information, guidance, and training to enhance the center’s health and safety culture.
The three-year alliance will renew a commitment to promote the understanding of workplace safety and health rights, and responsibilities of workers and employers. The alliance allows the Center to expand and enhance its training curriculum to provide fundamental safety and health awareness to students in and around El Paso as they embark on their careers.
“Job Corps has been an excellent partner with OSHA, communicating safety and health information to their staff and students, and supporting workplace safety,” said OSHA El Paso Area Director Diego Alvarado Jr. “By recommitting to both our efforts, we are strengthening our ability to promote workplace safety and health to a new generation of workers.”
Through its Alliance Program, OSHA works with businesses, trade associations, unions, consulates, professional organizations, faith- and community-based organizations, and educational institutions to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries, and illnesses. For details on OSHA partnerships and alliances, please call OSHA’s toll-free hotline 800-321-OSHA (6742) or OSHA’s El Paso Area Office at 915-534-6251.
Alliance to Promote Worker Safety and Health in El Paso
OSHA and the El Paso Community College – Risk Management Institute have signed an alliance to provide workers, students, and employers in El Paso with information, guidance, and access to OSHA training classes.
The two-year alliance will expand access to OSHA’s 10- and 30-hour training courses to promote understanding of the workplace safety and health rights and responsibilities of workers and employers in the El Paso metro area. These rights and responsibilities are detailed in the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.
“Together, El Paso Community College’s Risk Management Institute and OSHA can help private industry, government, and small business understand the importance of workplace safety,” said OSHA Area Director Diego Alvarado Jr. “Through this alliance, we hope to reduce preventable injuries by providing hundreds of businesses and employees in the El Paso metropolitan area with access to the institute’s resources.”
Access Information Management Continues to Provide Workers with Safe Environment
Access Information Management, of Indianapolis, achieved recertification as a STAR participant in the Indiana Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). With an exceptionally low workplace incident rate, the Indianapolis branch of this nationwide company continues to cultivate a culture of workplace safety and health.
One of Access Corporation’s 60 facilities, the Indianapolis branch houses 36 employees who work with scanning, imaging and storing various types of documents for clients based on security needs. Access is a freshly certified participant of VPP, and was initially certified in June 2014.
“Keeping your employees safe in the workplace is very important, and we are happy to showcase those companies that understand this,” said Indiana Department of Labor Commissioner Rick J. Ruble. “We’re proud to recertify Access Information Management and look forward to continuing to work with them.”
For the Indianapolis branch, Access’s three-year Total Case Incidence Rate (TCIR) for the period of 2013 through 2015 is 0.56 per 100 workers (with only one recorded case in the three-year period). The facility’s TCIR is 14% below the industry average. The facility did not experience any Days Away/Restricted/Transferred (DART) incidents.
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