DuraLabel's Weekly Safety News

Blog Author Angelique Sanders

Weekly safety news. Stay in touch with regulations from OSHA, NFPA, and other safety codes. Find out about other companies' best and worst practices. We scour the internet to provide you with helpful training resources and the latest safety information.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Safety News Briefs - Health Hazards of Green Buildings

A regular news feature summarizing workplace safety related news.

We scan newspapers, magazines and the internet for safety news that isn't being reported elsewhere. The following are links to safety-related news and articles that came out during the past week. If you have any safety news tips, send them to: duralabelpro@gmail.com.

OSHA Inspected Philadelphia Building Collapse Site, but Did Not Shut It Down

Working In These Times newsletter reports that that OSHA knew about safety problems at the site, but did not shut down the work.

The newsletter article states: "federal authorities may also have also played a role in enabling the accident. According to Pat Gillespie, the business manager for the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council, union workers employed at a construction site across the street from the collapsed building called OSHA on four different occasions to report problems at the site."

OSHA responded that there is an on-going investigation and thus they could not comment.

Read the news article here.

The Philadelphia Inquirer has followed up with more details about OSHA, as well as inspectons by city inspectors. The article reports that: "Although the city began fielding citizen complaints about the Center City project as early as May 7, city inspectors reported no problems at a May 14 visit and did not follow up."

Read the Philly.com story here.

OSHA issues FY 2014 Budget justification

Lexology, the journal of the Association of Corporate Consel, takes a look at the 1309 pages of justification of the 2014 OSHA budget and reports on what they found.  Two areas are highlighted

1. "In FY 2014, OSHA proposes to continue its aggressive enforcement posture."

2. "OSHA also seeks an increase in funding for its standard setting activities, including an increase in $2 million dollars for contract support for the agency’s rulemaking efforts to protect workers from complex and dangerous hazards."

Read the article here.

The article notes that OSHA references a 2012 study that looked at worker's compensation costs of employers who had been inspected by CalOSHA vs. who had not been inspected. The OSHA justification included a statement that: "the average employer saved $355,000 as a result of an OSHA inspection.”

The study is only available to subscribers of Science. It's authors conclude that the study has limitations in that it has some build-in assumptions and only looked at a limited number of workplaces. The author's recommend that additional studies be conducted.

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work Publishes Safety Guide For Green Buildings

The EU recognizes that green buildings present unique safety hazards because of what has been done to make them green.  A new safety guide for green buildings addresses the hazards resulting from re-insulating or retrofitting older buildings. Going green in this case can result in workers being exposed to a variety of respiratory hazards.

Read the article in Environmental Protection

Related past posts:
Safety News Briefs - Union Reports OSHA's Resources Lacking

Safety News Briefs - OSHA's Severe Violator Enforecement 
Safety News Briefs - Do Employees Make Bad Decisions

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posted by Steve Hudgik
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