Are Your Workers Vaping?

Have you included e-cigarettes in your smoking policy? The federal government is discouraging vaping at work for a number of safety reasons. These reasons include a recent federal study that found a number of hazardous chemicals in the flavorings in e-cigarettes. The results of a BLR® human resources poll show that one-half of respondents (50%) […]

Five Essential Elements of a Total Worker Health Program

Each year in the United States, about 4,500 workers die from work-related injuries, and more than 50,000 die from work-related illnesses. More than 3 million suffer nonfatal occupational injuries or illnesses; 2.8 million are treated in the emergency department; and 140,000 are hospitalized. The price tag to employers reaches $250 billion each year. Although employers […]

Recognition of Tank Gauging Hazards Leads to Increased Liability

As late as 2014, workers who died during tank gauging and other activities that involved opening the thieves’ hatch on oilfield tanks were recorded as resulting from “natural causes.” As a result, surviving family members were not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. A recent court case out of Colorado could change that. Jim Freemyer, a […]

Protecting Oil and Gas Workers: The Latest Recommendations

In December, 2014, OSHA formed an Alliance with NIOSH and the National Service, Transmission, Exploration & Production Safety (STEPS) Network to identify hazards faced by oil and gas workers, and to make protective recommendations. Earlier this year, the Alliance issued a Tank Hazard Alert aggregating its findings on oilfield hazards and possible solutions. Some of […]

Oil and Gas Flowback Operations: Releasing a Killer

It was the deaths of the healthier oilfield workers that raised a red flag. The nine oilfield workers who died between 2010 and 2015 while performing tank gauging or sampling were initially ruled by medical examiners to have died of natural causes. But a lot of those workers were too young, and too healthy, for […]

Strategies for Obliterating Bronchiolitis obliterans

The hazards of diacetyl and related flavorings are increasingly of concern to employers across the food-processing industry. Although there is no federal standard or permissible exposure limit for diacetyl yet, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has weighed in with recommended strategies for controlling worker exposures. If your workers are exposed to […]

New NIOSH Resources Focus on Hispanic Workers

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently released a series of illustrated communication products targeted to Spanish-speaking immigrant workers to help them understand their rights to a safe workplace. The materials, titled Protéjase en el trabajo (Protect yourself at work), include four brochures, five short videos, […]

Popcorn Lung: It’s Not Just a Butter-Flavored Problem Anymore

It has been 13 years since the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) published the first reports of a potentially deadly lung disease in workers at a microwave-popcorn factory. The newly identified lung disease, sometimes called “popcorn lung,” was officially dubbed bronchiolitis obliterans for its devastating effect on the lungs. It was eventually […]

Bearded Men, Pregnant Women, and Respirators: What Workers Need to Know

Your workers have completed their medical evaluations and have been fit-tested; they know how to don and doff their respirators, how to keep them clean, and when to replace them. But do your workers know how their personal choices can impact safety when they’re wearing a respirator? Or do they just think they know? Workers […]