|QuickCards offer guidance on protecting outdoor workers from Zika virus
Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, like the one pictured, can become infected when they bite infected persons and can then spread the Zika virus to other persons they subsequently bite.
Outdoor workers may be at the greatest risk of exposure to Zika virus in areas where mosquitoes—the main route of transmission—are spreading the disease. OSHA's new QuickCards, available in English and Spanish, provide information for workers about how to protect themselves from mosquito bites when working outside. The QuickCards offer tips on wearing clothing to cover skin, and using insect repellent on exposed skin. The new guidance also links to the most up-to-date information on Zika from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, such as potential health outcomes and reproductive effects.
OSHA delays effective date for enforcing anti-retaliation section of injury tracking rule
OSHA is delaying enforcement of the anti-retaliation provisions in its new injury and illness tracking rule to conduct additional outreach and provide educational materials and guidance for employers. Originally scheduled to begin Aug. 10, 2016, enforcement will now begin Nov. 1, 2016. Under the rule, employers are required to inform workers of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses without fear of retaliation; implement procedures for reporting injuries and illnesses that are reasonable and do not deter workers from reporting; and employers are prohibited from retaliating against workers for reporting injuries and illnesses.
OSHA staff help ensure safety and health of workers, public performing flood cleanup in West Virginia
OSHA Compliance Safety and Health Officer Dan Hughes (second from left) speaking with workers in the process of rerouting a water line near Clendenin, W.V.
OSHA has deployed staff to flood-impacted West Virginia counties to ensure that employers, workers and others engaged in cleanup efforts avoid potential hazards and take steps to protect themselves. OSHA compliance assistance officers initially focused their efforts in the three hardest hit counties of Kanawha, Greenbrier and Nicholas, which President Obama declared federal disaster areas. OSHA staff have performed more than 45 interventions in hazardous situations, affecting nearly 1,000 workers. OSHA has also provided more than 500 workers with information and educational materials on topics such as heat stress, mold, personal protective equipment, fall hazards and powered industrial truck operations. Whether cleanup operations are being performed at a residential home or a business, homeowners and employers should request the assistance of a safety and health professional. For more information, see the news release.
Arkansas cold storage facility recognized for safety and health excellence
Zero Mountain Inc., an Arkansas-based company that provides frozen food storage and shipping, contacted OSHA's free and confidential On-site Consultation Program to improve its workplace safety and health practices. The company corrected hazards that were identified by the consultant, including missing machine guarding and inaccurately labeled chemicals, and also implemented a comprehensive safety and health management system. Its commitment to worker safety and health resulted in lower injury and illness rates, and it was accepted into OSHA's Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program. An additional benefit: Zero Mountain’s annual workers compensation costs were cut by about $175,000, to just under $100,000 a year. For more information, see the online success story.
OSHA, Chippewa Valley Technical College renew alliance to train and protect workers from job hazards
OSHA has renewed an alliance with Chippewa Valley Technical College to provide information and training resources to help protect the safety and health of workers in general industry, construction and agriculture. During the five-year agreement, the organizations will work cooperatively to prevent workers' exposure to struck-by, caught-between, fall and electrical hazards, and to encourage a better understanding of workers' rights and employer responsibilities. Read the news release for more information.
Pamphlet offers safety guidance on the deadly combination of tree care work and electricity
Contact with electricity is one of the leading causes of death for tree care workers. A new OSHA pamphlet intended for small business owners and front-line supervisors offers measures to ensure that workers know and are prepared for the risks of tree-trimming operations near sources of electricity. These include training workers about potential hazards, making sure workers maintain a distance of at least 10 feet from overhead power lines, and providing proper gloves and shoes for hazards present where tree work is being performed. The pamphlet is also available in Spanish.