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Not All SSHASPS Are Created Equal

  
  
  
Site-Specific Health and Safety Plan

As a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager who has authored and reviewed 100s of Site-specific Health and Safety Plans per year, I can assure you—they are not at all cut from the same cloth! I find that particularly curious, because a SSHASP should meet a list of required elements. My experience tells me that a SSHASP that is not put together properly can result in project delays as the SSHASP is subjected to reviews and comments by the entities involved in the project.   If a poor SSHASP is put into play, it can be reused over and over again —just with a new location and new names. 

OSHA Releases New Resources to Protect Hospital Workers and Enhance Patient Safety

  
  
  
OSHA Enhance Safety

On January 16, 2014, OSHA released the details of a new initiative which will help hospital workers and patients maintain better safety. According to research that conducted in 2012, U.S hospitals reported over 250,000 work related injuries of which nearly 60,000 caused individuals to miss work. As a result, workers compensation claims cost hospitals over $2 billion in annual expenses. According to OSHA, a majority of injuries were caused by moving and lifting patients, needle sticks, exposure to infectious diseases, slip and falls, workplace violence, and exposure to hazardous chemicals and medications. 

NIOSH Study Shows Healthcare Workers Need More Training In Hazardous Chemical Handling

  
  
  
healthcare_workers_need_more_training

According to the CDC, the healthcare industry is the fastest-growing sector of the U.S. economy—employing over 18 million workers.  These workers face a range of job hazards such as back injuries, exposure to human pathogens and stress. Many are unique to this industry, such as needle/sharps sticks, latex allergy, or injuries due to patient violence.  The CDC states that while many industry sectors have experienced reductions in occupational injury and illness, healthcare workers continue to experience incidents in the workplace, and cases of nonfatal occupational injury and illness among to healthcare workers are among the highest of any industry sector. 

As Summer Arrives—Make Sure Temporary Workers Receive Proper Health & Safety Training

  
  
  
summer sun

Schools are out and many organizations bolster their staffs with temporary or seasonal help.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the American Staffing Association recently signed an alliance to work together to further protect temporary employees from workplace hazards.  OSHA has been monitoring and reporting on the state of temporary worker safety through its National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health's (NACOSH) Temporary Worker workgroup very closely as this sector has grown. ASA, founded in 1966, serves as the voice of the U.S. staffing and recruiting industry. With more than 1,600 members, ASA advances the interests of staffing and recruiting firms through advocacy, public relations and education.

OSHA Issues Final Rule Addressing Electric Power Work

  
  
  
electric power work

This April OSHA updated its 40-year-old electric power construction standard rule to be more consistent with the corresponding general industry standard (last updated in 1994), to better protect workers performing electric power generation, transmission and distribution work. OSHA's Assistant Secretary of Labor Dr. David Michaels explained, "This long-overdue update will save nearly 20 lives and prevent 118 serious injuries annually." The new standards are far-reaching since they apply to all in the construction sector. Here's a summary of the main implications of this new rule, most of which will take effect this summer unless noted otherwise.

NIOSHs Top Indoor Environmental Air Quality Contaminants and Their Acute Health Effects

  
  
  
niosh  logo

In their publication on Office Environment & Worker Safety & Health, NIOSH published that “Maintaining a healthy office environment requires attention to chemical hazards, equipment and work station design, physical environment (temperature, humidity, light, noise, ventilation, and space), task design, psychological factors (personal interactions, work pace, job control) and sometimes, chemical or other environmental exposures.

Asthma Awareness Month: Positive Trends in Toxic Air Emissions

  
  
  
asthma awareness

Since 1996, thousands of companies submit annual toxic chemical release data to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required under Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). The information submitted by facilities is compiled in the Toxics Release Inventory. TRI helps support informed decision-making by industry, government, non-governmental organizations and the public. The EPA has also complied comparative reports to look for trends since EPCRA became law.

Work-Related Asthma: A Preventable Disease

  
  
  
work asthma resized 600

Work-related asthma (WRA) is an occupational lung disease associated with serious adverse health and socioeconomic consequences.   However, after years of study and collection of data, it is evident that there are many opportunities for intervention and prevention—especially among workers with similar occupational exposures.

Obama and Noise at the Tappan Zee Bridge Project

  
  
  
obama tappan zee bridge

On May 14th, only 50 yards from where President Obama gave his speech in the shadow of the Tappan Zee Bridge, a state-of-the-art environmental monitoring station measured dust, noise, and vibration—all part of the plan for this infrastructure improvement project—to ensure public, personnel, and environmental safety.  

Improving Indoor Environmental Air Quality in Newly-Built Structures

  
  
  
improving indoor air quality resized 600

Everyone loves that 'new car smell'. Most people do not realize however, that the smell comes from the off-gassing of the materials used to build the car. These gases are often a wide assortment of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released by the plastic, rubber, adhesives, and fibers used in the interior of the automobile.  Exposure to these should be minimized. 

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