Friday, February 27, 2015
OSHA Short Takes

Safety activists raise alarm on Boston-area weather hazards

Safety and health advocates in Massachusetts are raising concern about dangers facing workers in cleanup operations and other activities in the torrential snowstorms of recent weeks in the Boston region, as OSHA also steps up . . .

OSHA warns employers of seasonal hazards

OSHA is warning employers about the possibility of injuries arising from winter weather and refers them to a web page dedicated to the issue, potentially signaling enforcement activity stemming from cold stress and slips on . . .

CSB renews pressure on OSHA concerning explosive dust

Federal chemical safety experts cite their findings in the probe of a 2012 flash fire that burned seven workers at an ink plant in New Jersey as bolstering a new call for OSHA to move . . .

Striking U.S. refinery workers team with European allies on safety

The United Steelworkers (USW) said Monday that a delegation of striking refinery workers in the union will bring their "campaign for a safer oil industry" to Europe this week, meeting with allies from labor unions . . .

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Safety, Health Agencies Lodge Concern On Silica Exposures In Countertop Manufacture

OSHA and NIOSH are voicing concern about exposures to respirable silica dust in stone countertop manufacturing, as OSHA continues analyzing data toward a potential final rule on silica before the end of the Obama administration.

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OSHA Tells Lawmakers Silica Data To Be Carefully Reviewed As Rulemaking In Limbo

The Obama administration is trying to reassure congressional appropriators of OSHA's intent to exhaustively review the wide array of data it has collected over the years as it attempts to move forward with a crystalline silica rulemaking, but the move is also generating deep concern among organized labor officials that detailed analysis could derail the rulemaking once Obama leaves office.

CSB Points To California Process Safety Proposal As Model For Oil Refineries

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) is pointing to a California plan for strict process safety measures for oil refineries, saying the state's proposed requirements for analysis and use of safer technologies could serve as model for to improve facility safety, as OSHA and the Environmental Protection Agency explore the concept under a presidential executive order.

OSHA Advances Fall Protection Initiative, Plans To Extend Training Program

OSHA continues to strongly emphasize fall protection in the building industry and said Wednesday (Feb 18) it would again hold a national safety "stand-down" to provide information to employers and workers on the issue, in concert with NIOSH and other expert partners.

CDC Calls For Silica Exposure Prevention As OSHA Accelerates Reg Effort

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), through a new report from NIOSH scientists, cites continuing rates of silicosis in urging "primary prevention" and medical monitoring of workplace silica exposures through a range of measures recommended by federal health agencies, perhaps adding further data OSHA could use in the agency's recently accelerated effort on a rulemaking to reduce silica risks.

Campaign Under Way In Multiple States For Safety, Health Licensing In Public Contracts

Contractors carrying out publicly funded projects with the state -- or early bidders on those jobs -- would be subject to occupational safety and health licensing or qualifying requirements under bills being pushed in several states in a national effort set in motion by Public Citizen, with Maryland possibly on the verge of enacting such legislation.

MD Bill Crafted To Give Employers Notice Of Coming Inspections Under State OSHA Plan

A bill recently introduced in the Maryland legislature, and drawing sharp criticism from safety and health activists, would require the state's OSHA inspectors to give notice to many employers of inspections about to be initiated, unless the visits are based on concern about an imminent danger -- but the proposal appears stalled for the immediate future.

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OSHA Redesigns Whistleblower Page, Calls It More User-Friendly

OSHA has revamped the web page of its whistleblower protection program in an effort to make it more user-friendly. OSHA states that the site features "improved navigability that makes it easier to find program information . . .

NIOSH Expresses Concern On Silica Exposures

NIOSH advises health care providers to be aware of quartz surfacing materials as a source of silica exposure, saying they might advise reassignment of patients with silicosis to jobs without silica dust exposure, and report cases . . .

CDC Calls 'Primary Prevention' Of Silica Exposures Crucial

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says "effective primary prevention through elimination of exposure to respirable crystalline silica is critical" in heading off new silicosis cases, stressing the issue in its Morbidity and . . .

OSHA Raises Concern On Fumigants In Grain Industry

OSHA recently issued a hazard bulletin warning the grain handling industry of potential health hazards arising from the use of fumigants. The bulletin, which OSHA says does not create new legal obligations, updates a similar . . .

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