Cal/OSHA is encouraging employers and workers at risk of exposure to the hepatitis A virus to review preventive measures posted online. Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver disease, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe, and can be fatal in some cases. Outbreaks have been reported in San Diego, Santa Cruz, and Los Angeles counties.
“Employers must take steps to prevent or reduce the spread of the hepatitis A virus,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. “Preventive measures are essential to protecting workers at risk of exposure.”
In outbreak locations, workers who have direct contact with persons who are homeless or use illicit drugs have an increased risk of hepatitis A exposure in settings that include the following:
- Health care and laboratory
- Public safety and emergency medical services
- Sanitation and janitorial
- Homeless services and substance use treatment facilities
You can be exposed to the hepatitis A virus after coming into contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by an infected person. Employers should maintain a clean and sanitary workplace and provide proper handwashing facilities and protective equipment. Training on new hazards is required for at-risk workers in outbreak locations to understand how hepatitis A is transmitted and how to prevent infection.
Mobile, Alabama, RCRA and DOT Training
Register for Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course in Mobile, AL, on October 24–26 and save $100. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 800-537-2372.
Atlanta RCRA/DOT Update, IATA, and SARA Training
Register for RCRA and DOT Annual Update and Refresher in Atlanta, GA, on October 31 and get the refresher training you need in one day. Learn how to ship dangerous goods by air at IATA: How to Ship Dangerous Goods by Air on November 1, and ensure you understand your reporting obligations at the SARA Title III (EPCRA) Workshop on November 2. To register for these courses, click here or call 800-537-2372.
San Diego Hazardous Waste and DOT Training
Register for California Hazardous Waste Management and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course in San Diego, CA, on October 31–November 2 and save $100. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 800-537-2372.
OSHA Resumes Regular Enforcement in Texas and Louisiana
OSHA suspended most programmed enforcement actions following Hurricane Harvey on October 10, 2017. The agency has ended the suspension and normal enforcement has commenced in Texas and Louisiana.
Following Hurricane Harvey, OSHA provided compliance assistance and outreach to employers and workers in a number of counties and parishes in Texas and Louisiana. This action enabled OSHA’s staff to provide faster and more flexible responses to hazards facing workers involved in the cleanup and recovery operations. Thousands of crews and individual workers received job safety and health technical assistance. OSHA retained the right to inspection cases involving fatalities, catastrophic accidents, employee complaints, and employers who repeatedly exposed employees to serious hazards during cleanup and recovery operations.
“We are now able to resume regular enforcement operations in most of the impacted areas,” said OSHA’s Region VI Administrator Kelly Knighton. “For those areas most heavily impacted by Hurricane Harvey, we will continue to provide employers and workers with compliance assistance and outreach. We will be monitoring these areas closely, and as they transition from cleanup and recovery to normal operations so will OSHA’s enforcement.”
Employers and employees working in these areas may call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or visit the agency’s website to reach Texas representatives who can provide on-site assistance.
OSHA and American Society of Safety Engineers to Provide Resources to Those Affected by Hurricane Harvey
OSHA and the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) have partnered to organize and distribute protective equipment and other resources to those affected by Hurricane Harvey. OSHA offices in Houston and Corpus Christi will work with the ASSE Region III leadership to coordinate donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) and distribute information on safety and health issues during recovery efforts.
“Our joint resources are aimed at helping businesses, especially small business employers, protect workers as they go back to work, especially in hurricane recovery and rebuilding efforts,” said OSHA’s South Houston Area Director Mark Briggs.
OSHA staff is distributing PPE to area businesses and recovery workers as part of their effort to provide support to the many companies and contractors involved in cleanup and recovery. ASSE members are also distributing donations to the community to aid in the cleanup of residential locations.
“After Hurricane Harvey, we want the employers and the community at-large to have resources to assist them now and in the future if necessary,” said ASSE Region III Vice President Steven Gray. “Safety, health, and environmental professionals all along the Gulf Coast are urging businesses to plan now for any type of contingency situation that could occur—especially when people and communities are at risk.”
To prepare for crisis situations, OSHA and ASSE urge everyone to integrate emergency preparedness and recovery plans into personal and business efforts to recover from natural disasters and emergencies. Information on specific home and business safety plans can be found on the ASSE Region III website and on OSHA’s Emergency Preparedness and Response page.
For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov/, or call the OSHA South office at 281-286-0583 or OSHA North office at 936-760-3600.
OSHA Alliance to Promote Worker Safety and Health in Lehigh Valley
AOSHA, PA-OSHA Consultation Program, and HealthWorks’ Safety Peer Group—a consortium of Lehigh Valley area employers—have established an alliance to enhance workplace safety and health.
The alliance will focus on reducing and preventing exposure to ergonomic hazards, environmental health-care conditions, and chemical hazards. Alliance members will also emphasize injury and illness prevention programs and effective safety training.
“Our alliance is a collaborative effort to prevent work-related fatalities and injuries by controlling or eliminating serious workplace hazards,” said OSHA Area Director Jean Kulp, in Allentown. “Together, we can positively impact hundreds of businesses and workers by making workplaces safer throughout the Lehigh Valley.”
Through its Alliance Program, OSHA works with companies, unions, consulates, trade or professional organizations, faith- and community-based organizations, educational institutions, and others. OSHA and the groups work together to develop compliance assistance tools and resources, share information with workers and employers.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance.
MIOSHA and ASAM Sign Alliance to Promote Workplace Safety and Health
The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) and the American Subcontractors Association of Michigan (ASAM) signed an alliance agreement formalizing a mutual commitment to workplace safety and health. MIOSHA is part of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).
"We’re pleased to sign this alliance that brings together our organizations to expand education, outreach and information sharing throughout the state,” said MIOSHA Director Bart Pickelman. “We particularly look forward to engaging smaller contractors to assist them in developing an appropriate safety and health program for their job sites.”
ASAM members will also gain a greater understanding of the rights of workers and the responsibilities of employers under the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act (MIOSH Act). The team will meet at least three times per year to track and share information on activities and results in achieving the goals of the alliance. The alliance will remain in effect for three years from its date of signing.
“The ASAM safety committee is grateful for MIOSHA’s willingness to form an alliance to help ASAM better serve its membership, their employees, and the general contracting/construction management community,” said Potter.
MIOSHA alliances enable organizations committed to workplace safety and health to collaborate with MIOSHA to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses. Alliances are open to all groups, including trade or professional associations, businesses, labor organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies.
There are many benefits to participating in an alliance with MIOSHA, including:
- Building trusting, cooperative relationships
- Networking with others committed to workplace safety and health
- Exchanging information about best practices
- Leveraging resources to maximize worker safety and health protection
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