ehs wire



blog horizontal banner

Environmental Health and Safety Blog | EHSWire

Learning from H1N1 – Employers Need to Consider Continued Pandemic Threats

Posted by Shivi Kakar

May 3, 2010 4:48:24 AM

Genya Mallach - CSP
Most recently, we have had to educate ourselves on the wide-spread outbreak of influenza virus, H1N1, and the precautions necessary to break the pandemic, which is far from over. Not to downplay the risk of the H1N1 virus, a virulent, drug resistant form of Tuberculosis (TB) has appeared in the United States. This disease is so ancient that it has been found in the spine of a 4,400-year-old Egyptian mummy. Tuberculosis is still the top single infectious killer of adults worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, it lies dormant in one out of three people. Of those, 10 percent will develop active TB, and about 2 million people a year will die from it.

It was just six months ago that word was leaked to the public of a case of TB that was originally diagnosed in 2007, and has greatly alarmed the medical community. Oswaldo Juarez, a then 19-year old Peruvian visiting US to study English was diagnosed with XXDR (Extremely Drug Resistant) TB. This is a strain of TB that had never before been seen in the U.S.

Dr. David Ashkin, one of the nation’s leading experts on tuberculosis, described this form of tuberculosis as so rare that only a handful of people in the world are thought to have had it.The treatment of an XXDR TB is an equivalent to aggressive chemotherapy, requires strict quarantine and costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to treat.

The questions we must now ask are: Should we consider testing of TB in the work environment? Should periodic testing of all workers be required? Should we be worried of another pandemic?
Read More

Topics: indoor air quality, health and safety, General Industry H&S, Emergency Response, H&S Training, worker safety, Occupational Health, emergency response training, Exposure, hygiene standard

Top 10: Chemical Hygiene Standards

Posted by Shivi Kakar

Aug 11, 2009 9:16:44 AM

Top Ten Things You Need to Know about the Chemical Hygiene Standard

Laurie de Laski

1. The OSHA Standard for regulating safety in research and development laboratories is: Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories (29 CFR 1910.1450). The standard does not apply to production or QA/QC labs (see definition in #9).

2. The employer must develop and maintain a Chemical Hygiene Plan for each lab

3. The employer must designate a Chemical Hygiene Officer (an individual or group of individuals responsible for implementation of all requirements of the lab standard)

4. The employer must provide a formal training program for all employees that will work in R&D laboratories, to be provided prior to initial assignment AND whenever a new chemical, hazard, or task is introduced.

5. Training should include a review of the Chemical Hygiene Plan, location of MSDS’ and reference materials, chemical use and hazard information, standard operating procedures and emergency procedures, chemical labeling system, and proper storage.

6. An Up-to-date inventory maintained for all hazardous materials must be maintained

7. Hazardous Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) must be maintained and all employees must know the location of MSDS' and related reference material

8. All chemical containers must have an appropriate label based on the labs labeling/identification system

9. Workplaces covered by the laboratory standard are determined by their conformance with the laboratory use and laboratory scale criteria, as defined in the standard terms as those operations involving:

  • use of chemicals in relatively small quantities and multiple chemical procedures

  • chemical containers of such a size that can be easily and safely handled by one person

  • small scale research procedures (investigative scale), and not production processes (industrial scale)

  • use of protective laboratory practices and equipment (e.g., fume hoods)

10. R&D Lab facilities may have other support operations (shipping/receiving, warehouse) where the OSHA Hazard Communications Standard 1910.1200 applies.
Read More

Topics: OSHA, General Industry H&S, H&S Training, HazCom, Hazardous Materials, Lab Safety & Electrical, MSDS, Occupational Training, Lab Safety, hygiene standard

Subscribe to!


Latest Posts

Posts by category