Author Archives: OH&S News

DOL to Host Event in Oak Ridge for Nuclear Weapons Workers

DOL to Host Event in Oak Ridge for Nuclear Weapons Workers The U.S. Department of Labor will host an event April 24 in Oak Ridge, Tenn., to discuss the benefits available to current and former nuclear weapons workers from covered facilities, and their families, under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act. Apr 19, 2019 The U.S. Department of Labor will host an event April 24 in Oak Ridge, Tenn., to discuss the benefits available to current and former nuclear weapons workers from covered facilities, and their families, under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act. Representatives from DOL, the U.S. Department of Energy, and NIOSH will present information on their roles in the program, and staffers will be on hand to answer questions, provide claim status updates, and help individuals file new claims. The location is the New Hope Center, 602 Scarboro Road. Presentations are scheduled to start at 10 a.m. EDT. The event is open to the public, and pre-registration is not required. Services are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Current and former workers at Y-12 or any other covered facility involved in nuclear weapons production are welcome. "The U.S. Department of Labor encourages all current and former nuclear weapons workers and their families living in Tennessee to attend this event and learn more about the benefits to which they may be entitled," said the department's Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Director Rachel P. Leiton. "Attendees may either file a claim at the event or check the status of existing claims." Current and former employees of the Y-12 Plant in Oak Ridge may qualify for a presumption of causation if they are included in a designated Special Exposure Cohort class of employees and diagnosed with one of 22 specified cancers. The change comes after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services amended its Special Exposure Cohort in March 2019. A presumption of causation can help nuclear weapons workers applying for compensation under the act, which provides compensation and medical benefits to employees who became ill as a result of working in the nuclear weapons industry. Survivors of qualified workers also may be entitled to benefits. The Special Exposure Cohort now includes all employees of the Department of Energy, its predecessor agencies, and their contractors and subcontractors who worked at the Y-12 Plant for 250 or more work days during one or more of these periods: Jan. 1, 1958 – Dec. 31, 1976 (new) Jan. 1, 1948 – Dec. 31, 1957 March 1, 1943 – Dec. 31, 1947 For more information about the event or to schedule an appointment for claim-filing assistance, contact the Oak Ridge Resource Center at 866-481-0411. Let's block ads! (Why?)

British Columbia Assessing Safety Progress Following Sawmill Explosions

British Columbia Assessing Safety Progress Following Sawmill Explosions British Columbia provincial officials have hired Vancouver lawyer Lisa Helps to assess how WorkSafeBC implemented worker safety recommendations following two dust-related sawmill explosions in 2012 and 2014 at Babine Forest Products and Lakeland Mills. Apr 19, 2019 British Columbia provincial officials have hired Vancouver lawyer Lisa Helps to assess how WorkSafeBC implemented worker safety recommendations following two dust-related sawmill explosions in 2012 and 2014 at Babine Forest Products and Lakeland Mills. The province's announcement said Helps also will provide advice on potential legislative changes to improve safety for B.C. workers. Coroner's inquests were conducted into the deaths of four individuals who died in the Jan. 20, 2012, Babine Forest Products sawmill explosion and the April 24, 2012, Lakeland Mills explosion. The provincial government commissioned two other reports in 2014 — the Dyble Report and Macatee Report. These reports and the 2015 coroner's verdicts included recommendations for improvements. The mills' owners appealed hefty fines issued by WorkSafeBC after investigating both explosions. Helps will seek input from stakeholders and staffers in WorkSafeBC and the ministries of attorney general, public safety and solicitor general, and labour. She will also invite workers affected by the explosions and their families to share their perspectives on the issues under review. Her report is to be delivered to the attorney general by mid-July 2019. After review, the attorney general will make public any recommendations related to improving processes or legislation. Let's block ads! (Why?)

DOT Completes Review of Draft EA for DC-Baltimore Loop Project

DOT Completes Review of Draft EA for DC-Baltimore Loop Project The Boring Company's website for the project indicates the two tunnels would be constructed at least 30 feet below ground and the project initially would be a high-speed underground public transportation system in which passengers are transported in autonomous electric vehicles traveling at up to 150 miles per hour. Apr 19, 2019 The U.S. Department of Transportation on April 17 announced the availability of a draft Environmental Assessment for the Washington, D.C. to Baltimore Loop Project. This is the first step in a joint federal-state review of what is envisioned as a non-traditional transportation technology. The Boring Company, of Hawthorne, Calif., is proposing a privately funded underground high-speed tunnel facility to help alleviate traffic congestion. The proposed project would consist of two tunnels approximately 35.3 miles long between Washington and Baltimore, partly following the right-of-way under the Baltimore Washington Parkway. Proposed station terminals would be located on New York Avenue, northwest of Union Station, in the nation's capital and in the Camden Yards area of downtown Baltimore. The Boring Company's website for the project indicates the tunnels would be constructed at least 30 feet below ground and the project initially would be a high-speed underground public transportation system in which passengers are transported in autonomous electric vehicles traveling at up to 150 miles per hour. "The publication of a draft environmental assessment for this unique project demonstrates the department's commitment to preparing for the future of transportation across all modes," U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao said. Comments on the draft Environmental Assessment may be submitted online at https://www.dcbaltimoreloop.com. There will be a 45-day public comment period. DOT (through the Federal Highway Administration) and the Maryland Department of Transportation (acting also on behalf of the District of Columbia) are seeking public review and comment on environmental considerations for the proposed project, with final governmental approvals depending on the outcome of the review and comment process and any subsequent modifications. Both agencies noted operational safety issues will be addressed in future studies, as will the ultimate engineering and design details. Let's block ads! (Why?)

MSHA Announces Availability of Up to $400,000 in Grants for Mine Safety Education, Training

MSHA Announces Availability of Up to $400,000 in Grants for Mine Safety Education, Training MSHA announced Tuesday the availability of up to $400,000 in funding to support education and training to help identify, avoid, and prevent unsafe mining work conditions. Apr 18, 2019 The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) announced Tuesday the availability of up to $400,000 in funding to support education and training to help identify, avoid, and prevent unsafe mining work conditions. The funding is part of its Brookwood-Sago grant program. Brookwood-Sago grants focus on powered haulage safety, emergency prevention and preparedness, examinations of working conditions at metal and nonmetal mines, or other programs to prevent unsafe working conditions in and near mines. The program was established by the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response (MINER) Act of 2006. It promotes mine safety in honor of the 25 miners who died at the Jim Walter Resources #5 mine in 2001 in Brookwood, Alabama, and in 2006 at the Sago Mine in Buckhannon, West Virginia. Grant recipients will be able to use the funding to develop training materials, provide mine safety training or education, recruit mine operators and miners for training, and conduct and evaluate the training. Special emphasis will be given to programs and materials that target miners at smaller mines, including training for workers and employers about new agency standards, high-risk activities, or MSHA-identified hazards. The closing date for grant applications is June 9, 2019, and MSHA will award grants on or before Sept. 30, 2019. Grant applications can be found here. Let's block ads! (Why?)

Coast Guard Performs First Landing at Virginia Hospital’s Rooftop Pad

Coast Guard Performs First Landing at Virginia Hospital's Rooftop Pad The MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter's crew and hospital personnel participated in the training to practice safely transferring patients from the aircraft to the emergency department. Apr 18, 2019 A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew performed the first landing at one of Sentara Norfolk General Hospital's new helicopter landing pads on April 10. The hospital has recently built two new rooftop helicopter landing pads in order to quickly move patients to needed care. The Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City-based MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew performed the first landing on the larger pad, which is 269 feet off the ground, above any obstacles. The crew and hospital personnel participated in the training to practice safely transferring patients from the aircraft to the emergency department. "The new pad will help us streamline patient care from the Coast Guard team to the Sentara team," said Denise Baylous, program manager of the Nightingale Regional Air Ambulance at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. Hospital officials expect that the pad designed to accommodate military helicopters will be ready for full operation in May 2019. Sentara Norfolk General Hospital is one of just five Level 1 trauma centers in Virginia and is home to the Nightingale Regional Air Ambulance system. Let's block ads! (Why?)

ASSP Seeking Safety 2020 Presenters

ASSP Seeking Safety 2020 Presenters Just five weeks after the Safety 2019 conference and expo winds up in New Orleans is the July 17 deadline to submit a proposal, if you're interested in presenting at the 2020 conference. Apr 18, 2019 It's already time to be thinking about submitting a proposal to present a session at the American Society of Safety Professionals' Safety 2020 Professional Development Conference, which is set for June 22-25, 2020, in Orlando. Just five weeks after the Safety 2019 conference and expo winds up in New Orleans on June 12 is the July 17, 2019, deadline to submit a proposal, if you're interested in presenting at the 2020 conference. Notifications of acceptance will be mailed by Nov. 8, 2019. Sessions are either one hour or an hour and 15 minutes long, including 15 minutes for Q&A. Details and instructions for submitting a proposal are available here. Let's block ads! (Why?)

ILO Says Urgent Action Needed to Better Manage E-Waste

ILO Says Urgent Action Needed to Better Manage E-Waste "Workers handling e-waste have no voice, no bargaining power, and they are breaking hazardous materials by their hands," said worker vice-chairperson James Towers. "Moreover, these workers are unaware of the many risks associated with handling e-waste." Apr 17, 2019 The International Labour Organization is calling for urgent action to better manage electric and electronic waste (e-waste) produced around the world so it can be turned into a valuable source of decent work. Representatives of governments and workers' and employers' organizations agreed at an April 9-11 meeting at the ILO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, that governments should increase and promote investments in waste management infrastructure and systems at all levels to manage the rapidly growing flows of e-waste. They also agreed on the urgency of protecting people working with e-waste, which is toxic and hazardous to both workers and the environment. "Workers handling e-waste have no voice, no bargaining power, and they are breaking hazardous materials by their hands," said worker vice-chairperson James Towers. "Moreover, these workers are unaware of the many risks associated with handling e-waste."<!----> Just 20 percent of e-waste is properly recycled, ILO reported. "There is great business opportunity in the e-waste sector," said employer vice-chairperson Patrick Van den Bossche. "We need to step up our efforts in creating decent and sustainable jobs, fostering an enabling environment for sustainable enterprises, offering new products and new services, and adding value through enhancing the circular economy." "In my own country, Nigeria, and in several other African countries, e-waste is littering our landscape," said government vice-chairperson Aniefiok Etim Essah. "Our youth possesses the creativity and potential for learning skills to manage e-waste, giving us the opportunity to increase youth employment." ILO is a member of the UN E-Waste Coalition, which was formed to increase collaboration, build partnerships, and more efficiently provide support to help states address the e-waste challenge. Let's block ads! (Why?)

BOP Conducts Test of Cellphone Jamming Technology

BOP Conducts Test of Cellphone Jamming Technology Contraband cellphones are a safety and security concern both for the public and for correctional facilities nationwide, according to the bureau, which reported contraband cellphones have been used by incarcerated inmates to run criminal enterprises, distribute child pornography, and facilitate the commission of violent crimes. Apr 17, 2019 The Federal Bureau of Prisons recently conducted a pilot test of micro-jamming technology at the Broad River Correctional Institution in Columbia, S.C. The test was the first collaboration of this kind in a state corrections facility and was done to determine whether micro-jamming could prevent wireless communication by inmates using contraband cellphones in a housing unit. Two earlier tests took place at a federal corrections facility in Cumberland, Md. Contraband cellphones are a safety and security concern both for the public and for correctional facilities nationwide, according to the bureau, which reported contraband cellphones have been used by incarcerated inmates to run criminal enterprises, distribute child pornography, and facilitate the commission of violent crimes. South Carolina officials attributed an April 15, 2018, prison riot partly to contraband cellphones, for example. "While I served as United States Attorney of Maryland, my office prosecuted an inmate who used a smuggled cellphone to order the murder of an innocent witness," U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said. "Contraband cellphones in correctional facilities pose a grave danger. We stand ready to help our state and local partners in their efforts to prevent inmates from using contraband cell phones in jails and prisons." "Offenders should not be able to continue to threaten the public from behind bars. Because the majority of our country's inmates are housed in state facilities, it is crucial that we work with our state and local partners to test and determine what solutions work best," said Assistant Attorney General Beth Williams. Currently, only federal agencies can obtain authorization to jam the public airwaves -- state and local prisons cannot. The test was a joint operation by BOP and the South Carolina Department of Corrections and was authorized by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and coordinated with the Federal Communications Commission. Two NTIA engineers attended the test and performed measurements of the micro-jamming equipment's radio emissions. After the test is complete, NTIA will analyze the data and prepare a report. Let's block ads! (Why?)

Hazard Alert Follows Two Severe Injuries Involving Demolition Robots

Hazard Alert Follows Two Severe Injuries Involving Demolition Robots It recommends preparing a job hazard analysis with operators for each new job to identify and control hazards and using the manufacturer's safety instructions to establish the risk zone for the specific machine, attachment, and task. Apr 16, 2019 The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries has published a Hazard Alert about two severe injuries suffered by workers who were operating remote-controlled demolition machines, also known as demolition robots. One worker was a specialty trade contractor using a machine fitted with a shear attachment to demolish an HVAC system. According to the alert, the worker was wearing a waist-mounted remote controller attached to the machine by a wire. He repositioned the machine and then had to move the power cable before extending the outrigger. In the process he accidentally bumped the remote control against the machine, which moved and pinned him between the outrigger and a wall. He tried to free himself but lost consciousness. Co-workers had to cut power to the machine and try to push it over with a skid steer. The worker's chest was severely crushed, causing him to miss work for several months. The second case described in the alert involved the operator of a machine fitted with a breaker attachment to chip concrete during a generator installation project. The operator was standing in a tight location between the machine and an excavation wall; as he tried to apply more pressure on the tip of the breaker, the outrigger raised off the ground, and then the machine shifted forward and the outrigger came down, crushing the operator's foot. The alert says the employer in this latter case conducted a JHA that identified the swing radius of the machine's arm as a hazard but did not recognize the potential of being crushed under the outrigger. However, the manufacturer's safety instructions warned never to stand where there is a risk of being crushed. The alert makes these recommendations: Prepare a job hazard analysis with operators for each new job to identify and control hazards. Use the manufacturer's safety instructions to establish the risk zone for the specific machine, attachment, and task. Always stay outside the risk zone when the machine is in operation and do not enter until the machine is put into emergency stop mode or de-energized. Consider using a proximity warning system, such as those based on radio frequency identification (RFID), to maintain a safe worker-to-machine distance. Train operators to manage power cables and to continually monitor the process for hazards and redefine the risk zone. Ensure operators always read and follow manufacturer’s provided safety instructions. Consider using a spotter to assist the operator. Let's block ads! (Why?)

Cal/OSHA to Hold Heat Awareness Conference Call

Cal/OSHA to Hold Heat Awareness Conference Call "When it comes to preventing heat illness, employers with outdoor workers should not wait until it gets hot to review their procedures and ensure their training is effective," said Cal/OSHA Heat and Agriculture Program Coordinator David Hornung. "Workers should know the signs and symptoms of heat illness and what to do in case someone gets sick." Apr 16, 2019 Cal/OSHA will host a Heat Illness Prevention Network conference call on April 16 to review best practices for preventing heat-related illnesses among outdoor workers in the state. The agency held a news conference and training sessions on April 12 to help employers plan for and prevent such illnesses or deaths, as summer's warmer weather approaches. The agency's heat illness prevention model includes annual trainings statewide in English and Spanish, and partners in the effort include the Nisei Farmers League and nine other agricultural employers that co-sponsored training sessions on April 12 in both languages. This collaborative training has been held every year since 2008 to protect outdoor workers from heat illness and to highlight the requirements of the state's heat illness prevention standard. "When it comes to preventing heat illness, employers with outdoor workers should not wait until it gets hot to review their procedures and ensure their training is effective," said Cal/OSHA Heat and Agriculture Program Coordinator David Hornung. "Workers should know the signs and symptoms of heat illness and what to do in case someone gets sick. This helps prevent serious and fatal heat illnesses while working outdoors." California's heat illness prevention standard and its injury and illness prevention standard require employers to take these basic precautions: Train all employees and supervisors on heat illness prevention. Provide enough fresh water so that each employee can drink at least 1 quart per hour, or four 8-ounce glasses of water per hour, and encourage them to do so. Provide access to shade and encourage employees to take a cool-down rest in the shade for at least five minutes. They should not wait until they feel sick to cool down. Shade structures must be in place upon request or when temperatures exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Closely observe all employees during a heat wave and any employee newly assigned to a high heat area. Lighter work, frequent breaks, or shorter hours will help employees who have not been working in high temperatures adapt to the new conditions, the agency advises. Develop and implement written procedures for complying with the Cal/OSHA heat illness prevention standard, including plans on how to handle medical emergencies and steps to take if someone shows signs or symptoms of heat illness. Employees with work-related questions or complaints may contact DIR's Call Center in English or Spanish at 844-LABOR-DIR (844-522-6734). The California Workers' Information line at 866-924-9757 provides recorded information in English and Spanish on work-related topics. Let's block ads! (Why?)