Labor Day and the war on workers. (1/95)

We celebrate Labor Day every year with barbecues and picnics, rarely remembering that the holiday was born in the midst of tremendous labor struggles to improve working conditions. In the last century, 16-hour workdays and 6- and 7-day workweeks led to terribly high injury rates in the nation's mines and mills. Thousands upon thousands of workers died, caught in the grinding machinery of our growing industries. Today, despite improvements, thousands of workers still die in what has been described as a form of war on the American workforce. This commentary reminds us of the historical toll in lives and limbs that workers have paid to provide us with our modern prosperity. It also reminds us that the continuing toll is far too high and that workers who died and continue to die in order to produce our wealth deserve to be remembered and honored on this national holiday.  (+info)

Risk assessment for heart disease and workplace ETS exposure among nonsmokers. (2/95)

In 1994 the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) published a study of risk assessment for heart disease and lung cancer resulting from workplace exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) among nonsmokers. This assessment is currently being revised. The present article considers different possible approaches to a risk assessment for heart disease among nonsmokers resulting from workplace ETS exposure, reviews the approach taken by OSHA in 1994, and suggests some modifications to that approach. Since 1994 the literature supporting an association between ETS exposure and heart disease among never smokers (sometimes including long-term former smokers) has been strengthened by new studies, including some studies that have specifically considered workplace exposure. A number of these studies are appropriate for inclusion in a meta-analysis, whereas a few may not be due to methodological problems or problems in exposure definition. A meta-analysis of eight relative risks (either rate ratios or odds ratios) for heart disease resulting from workplace ETS exposure, based on one reasonable selection of appropriate studies, yields a combined relative risk of 1.21 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04-1.41). This relative risk, which is similar to that used by OSHA in 1994, yields an excess risk of death from heart disease by age 70 of 7 per 1000 (95% CI 0.001-0.013) resulting from ETS exposure in the workplace. This excess risk exceeds OSHA's usual threshold for regulation of 1 per 1000. Approximately 1,710 excess ischemic heart disease deaths per year would be expected among nonsmoking U.S. workers 35-69 years of age exposed to workplace ETS.  (+info)

Prevention of youth injuries. (3/95)

There are four categories of causes responsible for the majority of injuries in youth 10-19 years of age: 1) motor vehicle traffic; 2) violence (intra-familial, extra-familial, self, pregnancy-related); 3) recreational; and 4) occupational. This article presents data from the National Center for Health Statistics mortality data and the National Pediatric Trauma Registry morbidity data. Nationwide, the pediatric injury death rate is highest among adolescents 15-19 years of age. Motor vehicle-related deaths account for 41% and firearm-related deaths account for 36% of injury deaths in this age group. For youths aged 10-14 years, motor vehicle-related deaths account for 38% and; firearm-related deaths account for 26% of injury deaths. For both age groups, occupant motor vehicle-related deaths account for the majority of deaths and underscore the need for seat belt use. Using theoretical principles based on the Haddon matrix and a knowledge of adolescent development, proposed interventions to decrease injuries and deaths related to motor vehicles and firearms include graduated licensing, occupant restraint, speed limits, conflict resolution, and gun control. Occupational injuries, particularly injury associated with agricultural production, account for an estimated 100,000 injuries per year. Preventive strategies include OSHA regulations imposing standards for protective devices and further study for guidelines for adolescent work in agriculture. Injuries related to recreation include drowning and sports injuries. Preventive strategies may include proper supervision and risk reduction with respect to use of alcohol/drugs. The data presented support the use of primary prevention to achieve the most effective, safe community interventions targeting adolescents.  (+info)

Nevada State plan; final approval determination. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), U.S. Department of Labor. Final State plan approval--Nevada. (4/95)

This document amends OSHA's regulations to reflect the Assistant Secretary's decision granting final approval to the Nevada State plan. As a result of this affirmative determination under section 18(e) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, Federal OSHA's standards and enforcement authority no longer apply to occupational safety and health issues covered by the Nevada plan, and authority for Federal concurrent jurisdiction is relinquished. Federal enforcement jurisdiction is retained over any private sector maritime employment, private sector employers on Indian land, and any contractors or subcontractors on any Federal establishment where the land is exclusive Federal jurisdiction. Federal jurisdiction remains in effect with respect to Federal government employers and employees. Federal OSHA will also retain authority for coverage of the United States Postal Service (USPS), including USPS employees, contract employees, and contractor-operated facilities engaged in USPS mail operations.  (+info)

Elevated blood lead levels among adults in Massachusetts, 1991-1995. (5/95)

OBJECTIVE: Lead poisoning, the oldest recognized occupational disease, remains a danger for children and adults. Data collected for 664 cases reported to the Massachusetts Occupational Lead Registry in 1991-1995 were summarized in a 1998 state report. Here, the authors present some of the key findings from that report for a wider audience. METHODS: The authors summarize key findings of the 1998 state report. FINDINGS: Construction workers, in particular licensed deleaders and house painters, accounted for almost 70% of occupational cases involving blood lead levels > or = 40 micrograms of lead per deciliter (mcg/dl) of blood. Among 100 workers with the highest blood lead levels (> or = 60 mcg/dl), 29% were house painters. Hispanic workers were over-represented in the Registry. A small proportion of cases were non-occupational, typically associated with recreational use of firing ranges or do-it-yourself home renovations. CONCLUSION: Lead poisoning is a preventable disease, yet these data indicate that additional prevention efforts are warranted.  (+info)

Evaluating OSHA's ethylene oxide standard: exposure determinants in Massachusetts hospitals. (6/95)

OBJECTIVES: This study sought to identify determinants of workplace exposures to ethylene oxide to assess the effect of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) 1984 ethylene oxide standard. METHODS: An in-depth survey of all hospitals in Massachusetts that used ethylene oxide from 1990 through 1992 (96% participation, N = 90) was conducted. Three types of exposure events were modeled with logistic regression: exceeding the 8-hour action level, exceeding the 15-minute excursion limit, and worker exposures during unmeasured accidental releases. Covariates were drawn from data representing an ecologic framework including direct and indirect potential exposure determinants. RESULTS: After adjustment for frequencies of ethylene oxide use and exposure monitoring, a significant inverse relation was observed between exceeding the action level and the use of combined sterilizer-aerators, an engineering control technology developed after the passage of the OSHA standard. Conversely, the use of positive-pressure sterilizers that employ ethylene oxide gas mixtures was strongly related to both exceeding the excursion limit and the occurrence of accidental releases. CONCLUSIONS: These findings provide evidence of a positive effect of OSHA's ethylene oxide standard and specific targets for future prevention and control efforts.  (+info)

Occupational injury and illness recording and reporting requirements. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), U.S. Department of Labor. Final rule. (7/95)

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is revising its rule addressing the recording and reporting of occupational injuries and illnesses (29 CFR parts 1904 and 1952), including the forms employers use to record those injuries and illnesses. The revisions to the final rule will produce more useful injury and illness records, collect better information about the incidence of occupational injuries and illnesses on a national basis, promote improved employee awareness and involvement in the recording and reporting of job-related injuries and illnesses, simplify the injury and illness recordkeeping system for employers, and permit increased use of computers and telecommunications technology for OSHA recordkeeping purposes. This rulemaking completes a larger overall effort to revise Part 1904 of Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Two sections of Part 1904 have already been revised in earlier rulemakings. A rule titled Reporting fatalities and multiple hospitalization incidents to OSHA, became effective May 2, 1994 and has been incorporated into this final rule as Section 1904.39. A second rule entitled Annual OSHA injury and illness survey of ten or more employers became effective on March 13, 1997 and has been incorporated into this final rule as Section 1904.41. The final rule being published today also revises 29 CFR 1952.4, Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting Requirements, which prescribes the recordkeeping and reporting requirements for States that have an occupational safety and health program approved by OSHA under Section 18 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (the "Act" or "OSH Act").  (+info)

Increasing worker and community awareness of toxic hazards in the workplace.(8/95)