A breath of fresh air for hydraulic fracturing workers
Since 1997, the American workplace has been left with no direction for appropriate protections regarding crystalline silica. Now, long-awaited guidance for protections from exposure to crystalline silica for hydraulic fracturing (fracking) workers will help those in the industry breathe a little easier, Public Citizen said.
OSHA and NIOSH issue hazard alert for silica exposure in fracking operations
In response to results of the recently released National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) field studies that found workers at hydraulic fracturing operations exposed to high levels of respirable crystalline silica, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and NIOSH have issued a Hazard Alert. The alert outlines the health hazards associated with hydraulic fracturing and focuses specifically on exposures to airborne silica, saying that “employers must ensure that workers are properly protected from overexposure to silica.” It also describes a combination of measures that can be used to protect workers, including engineering controls, protective equipment, and product substitution.
Fracking concerns turn to worker health hazards and potential silica exposure
To-date, concerns surrounding hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as fracking, have been focused mainly on environmental risks. Now it appears federal agencies have concerns about worker health hazards in this fast-growing industry, specifically with regard to potential worker exposure to dust with high levels of respirable crystalline silica.
Billion dollar mining company hasn’t paid fine for safety violations in 2010 deaths of two workers
It’s been almost two years since Daniel Noel, 47, and Joel Schorr, 38, went to work at Barrick Goldstrike’s Meikle mine near Elko, Nevada, but never made it back home to their families. They were fatally crushed on August 12, 2010 in a mine shaft by tons of falling aggregate and pipe. As I wrote last year, management at this mine — an operation owned by the largest gold producer in the world, with a stock market value of tens of billions of dollars — had jerry-rigged a reset button with a broom handle and failed to replace missing clamp bolts and load-bearing plates on the aggregate carrying pipe system, factors directly contributing to the workers’ deaths.
Ground Zero workers may get cancer coverage, but the health disaster remains
More than a decade after the Twin Towers came crashing down, the disaster still weighs heavily on the bodies of workers and survivors. A federal panel’s recent decision on cancers related to 9/11 could bring some long awaited relief, as well as new challenges for sick survivors of Ground Zero. The panel’s analysis may open a channel for covering various forms of cancer through the healthcare fund of the federal Zadroga Act, which offers compensation for sicknesses resulting from the disaster.
Poisoning workers at the bottom of the food chain
Laboring in the blackberry fields of central Arkansas, the 18-year-old Mexican immigrant suddenly turned ill. Her nose began to bleed, her skin developed a rash, and she vomited. The doctor told her it was most likely flu or bacterial infection, but farmworker Tania Banda-Rodriguez suspected pesticides. Under federal law, growers must promptly report the chemicals they spray. The Environmental Protection Agency administers a Worker Protection Standard meant to regulate pesticides and protect workers and handlers. Yet the agency maintains no comprehensive database to track pesticide exposure incidents nationwide.
Heat safety in spotlight as AZ probes worker death
Roofing, landscaping, agricultural and construction companies typically start their workdays at dawn to avoid the hottest part of the day and take other steps to avoid heat-related illness. The danger remains, however, as evidenced by the death this week of a construction worker on the northwest side after showing symptoms of heat-related illness. The death of the worker, 44-year-old Mark Geise of Indiana, is under investigation by ADOSH, said Jessie Atencio, Tucson-based assistant director of the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH).
Feds to investigate dumbwaiter death
Federal workplace safety investigators are looking into the death of a Schenectady restaurant co-owner who died after his head became wedged in the kitchen dumbwaiter. Schenectady Fire Chief Michael Della Rocco says it appears Israel Silva was trying to repair the dumbwaiter at Bangkok Bistro early Saturday when it suddenly became activated. The small elevator is used to carry food from the basement kitchen to the first-floor dining room.