Category Archives: Uncategorized

Postal Service Workers Concerned for their Health Amid COVID-19 Crisis

Postal Service Workers Concerned for their Health Amid COVID-19 Crisis Many postal service workers are growing increasingly concerned for their health and safety as they struggle to gain access to protective supplies like gloves and sanitizer. Mar 27, 2020 According to one NPR article, the United States Postal Service is one of the biggest employers in the country—with some 500,000 employers alone. Many workers at the postal service say, however, that they are not receiving the training or supplies they need to deal safely with the coronavirus. They fear “becoming carrier of another kind”—catching and spreading the virus. Like those working for Amazon or Whole Foods, their concerns are kept somewhat quiet for fear of retaliation. Still, they do not feel they have access to hygiene tools, especially when doing their mail routes. “The management isn't giving us gloves. They're not providing hand sanitizer, and there's no place on the street for us to wash our hands every so often,” says Beth, a letter carrier in the Midwest, who has a lot of big apartment buildings on her route. Beth says she fears that if she complains, she’ll be disciplined and maybe even lose her job. She also says the instructions she and her co-workers are receiving are not good enough: wash your hands and don’t come to work if you’re sick. “In the Postal Service, basically if you call in like more than three days in a row, you get a letter of warning,” Beth says. She fears that unofficial policy could encourage sick workers to come in and spread the virus. The Postal Service, though, has a different take. In an email to NPR, the Postal Service said the number of days an employee is absent has no direct correlation to discipline, and that employee safety is of top priority. It says it’s sharing the latest information with its workers—including flyers, videos, e-mails and talks about the virus—and that gloves and surgical masks are available upon request. Let's block ads! (Why?)

CoR ECONomic Bulletin: COVID-19 impact and response measures

27/03/2020 | Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); Entrepreneurship; European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI); Financial markets; Industrial policy; Internal market; Investment and EFSI; Long-term strategy for investment, growth and jobs (renewed Europe 2020); SME policy; State aid and competition; Sub-national finance; Taxation; Trade (incl. TTIP) Let's block ads! (Why?)

NSC Hosts Leading Indicator Wellbeing Webinar

NSC Hosts Leading Indicator Wellbeing Webinar On April 1, 2020, the National Safety Council will host a free virtual event for community and public health. Don’t miss it! Mar 26, 2020 The National Safety Council (NSC) will host a virtual event to look at physical wellbeing as well as community and public health. Tune in on April 1, 2020, at 12 p.m. ET, 11:00 a.m. CST, 10 a.m. MST and 9:00 a.m. PDT. Beyond Safety: Leading Indicators for Health and Wellbeing will be accessible online and over the phone. Access instructions will be provided after registration. The webinar will explore many perspectives on wellbeing and general community health. The Campbell Institute Health & Wellbeing Workgroup wanted to create a list of leading indicators that were most inclusive of wellbeing (physical, mental, emotional and financial) and provide indicators that employers in particular can implement and track to improve health and safety outcomes. The speaker will be research director and author Joy Inouye. Health and wellbeing of employees should always be a top priority for employers—but you can’t do it alone. In this ever-changing world, it’s best to keep learning and adapting with the times. Let's block ads! (Why?)

Local and regional leaders welcome EU decision to start accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania

The European Union's formal decision on 25 March to start accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania has been welcomed as "the right decision for the EU and an excellent opportunity for the Western Balkans".The chair of the CoR's commission for external relations, Mark Speich, Secretary of State for Federal, European and International Affairs for North Rhine-Westphalia, reiterated the long-standing message of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), about the importance of preparing regions and cities in Albania and North Macedonia for membership.He said: "I warmly welcome the opening of EU accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania. The European Committee of the Regions has called for this important decision for years, and both countries have undertaken major reforms. The start of accession talks reflects a commitment to a shared agenda of deeper relations based on European cooperation and values. This is the right decision for the EU and an excellent opportunity for the Western Balkans as a whole to renew its reforms. Giving a sign of hope to the Western Balkans is doubly important in these difficult times, with a global pandemic causing economic uncertainty across Europe."The CoR has been working with regional and local authorities from both countries for the past decade, addressing political challenges and working with them on administrative issues of particular concern for them, such as waste management.Jasna Gabrič (SI/Renew Europe), mayor of Trbovlje and co-chair of the Joint Consultative Committee for North Macedonia, said: "This is a positive and overdue decision in difficult times, showing that the EU is keeping its enlargement policy alive despite this unprecedented situation. Indeed, we stand even more firmly in solidarity with the region of the Western Balkans in this moment of crisis."Nikola Dobroslavić (HR/EPP), Prefect of Dubrovnik-Neretva County and Chair of the CoR's Working Group for the Western Balkans, which has dealt with relations with Albania to date, said: "The people of North Macedonia and Albania already know that it is not easy to join the EU. But, as someone from a country that joined only recently, Croatia, I know the value of being in a club and in developing good cooperative relations with others across Europe. I say: keep up the good work, and you will be rewarded. The reform process should strengthen your democracy, your economies, and your resilience. Work together and invest in local democracy."The CoR also has political contacts and a working relationship with other candidates and potential candidates for EU membership. Each year, politicians from EU local and regional authorities meet their counterparts from across the Western Balkans and Turkey at the Enlargement Day conference organised by the CoR. Contact:Andrew GardnerTel. +32 473 843 [email protected]​Let's block ads! (Why?)

Can an Industrial Vacuum Solve Confined Space Hazards?

Can an Industrial Vacuum Solve Confined Space Hazards? From grain handling operations to heavy blast material, pit cleaning with vacuums allows workers to clean outside of confined spaces. By David KennedyMar 25, 2020 Two workers died this week and two will die next week, statistically speaking, in confined space-related accidents according to OSHA data that documents an average of 92 deaths and nearly 11,000 injuries per year. Of those 92 annual deaths, one-quarter of them occur during repair, maintenance, cleaning and inspection activities in enclosed spaces. Despite OSHA’s spotlight on confined spaces, the number of deaths remains relatively the same as it was 23 years ago. In November last year, the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) released NFPA 350: Guide for Safe Confined Space Entry to provide extended guidance and best practices to fill in gaps or confusion in relation to OSHA standard CFR 1910.146. Working in septic tanks, silos, reaction vessels, vats, boilers, holding tanks, pits or similar structures or enclosures qualifies as working in a confined space. According to NFPA 350, “all confined spaces have the potential to become OSHA-defined permit-required confined spaces, depending on the work to be performed and the inherent, potential, or introduced hazards in the space at the time of the entry.” OSHA standards designates a permit-required confined space when it has a hazard to health or life associated with it such as containing a hazardous atmosphere; material with the potential to engulf someone who enters the space; an internal configuration that might cause an entrant to be trapped or asphyxiated by inwardly converging walls or by a floor that slopes downward and tapers to a smaller cross section; and/or contains any other recognized serious safety or health hazards. Confined Space Procedures are costly in terms of the resources needed for evaluation, training and additional manpower to monitor confined space entry. Unfortunately, the safety procedure of providing a monitor frequently ends up putting additional workers at risk since anywhere between 40 to 60 percent of all confined space deaths include would-be rescue workers. Let's block ads! (Why?)

Earth Hour 2020: the Committees switch off their lights

​The European Economic and Social Committee and the European Committee of the Regions will take part in the worldwide Earth Hour initiative over the last weekend of March. The lights in their buildings will be switched off from 10 p.m. on Friday 27 March to 6 a.m. on Monday 30 March.For the 12th consecutive year, the Committees are responding to the call of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) by symbolically demonstrating their commitment to a global decrease in energy consumption. Their action will highlight the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and draw attention to climate change more broadly.The WWF is one of the world's largest grassroots movements for the environment, this year celebrating its 13th anniversary (see video). The Earth Hour initiative they launched in 2007 encourages everybody to turn off their lights and unplug electronic devices on Saturday 28 March between 8.30 p.m. and 9.30 p.m. Today, more than 180 countries and millions of people have taken part in the initiative, which is intended to prompt debate and collective action to protect our natural environment.Most of the European institutions' committment already go far "beyond the hour" by implementing the environmental management systems EMAS and/or ISO 14001, which continuously reduces their environmental impact throughout the year. Moreover, they exchange best practices striving for environmental excellence through inter-institutional environmental management groups (GIME and Greening Network), in line with the EU Green Deal towards a climate neutral Europe by 2050.For their part, the Committees have been EMAS and ISO 14 001-registered since 2011. Since 2009 they have reduced their gas and electricity consumption by 49% and 30% respectively. They obtain all their energy from renewable sources, and have installed 150m² of photovoltaic panels and 1 800m² of green roofs. Through these concrete energy saving actions, the Committees themselves implement the environmental practices they recommend in the political context.​For more information, read the Committees' Environmental Statement. You can also check the EMAS in EU Institutions webpage including EMAS stories and best practices.Let's block ads! (Why?)