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Published: August, 2017; Vol 14, Num 3


Health & Safety Headlines

LHSFNA Opposes Delay of OSHA’s Recordkeeping Rule

The LHSFNA recently submitted comments opposing the delay of OSHA’s recordkeeping rule until December 1. The Fund noted that OSHA’s ability to prevent injuries, illnesses and deaths to workers will improve substantially once employers start submitting higher quality data. The Fund also stated our belief that the rule will enable responsible employers to use safety as a competitive advantage by allowing them to compare their safety and health record with those of other companies. Lastly, the Fund went on record as opposing any effort to weaken the rule’s anti-retaliation provisions, which give workers the power to speak up for safety without fear of being blacklisted or fired.

Welding Fumes and UV Radiation Now Classified as Human Carcinogens

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) now classifies welding fumes and ultraviolet radiation from welding as Group 1 carcinogens. Previously the IARC classified these substances as “possibly carcinogenic” to humans, but enough evidence now exists to change this designation. LIUNA members can be exposed to welding fumes and UV radiation during demolition jobs or as bystanders when other workers perform welding operations nearby. LIUNA signatory contractors can order the LHSFNA’s Welding Fumes and Gases Health Alert for information on how to reduce worker exposures or follow OSHA’s Controlling Hazardous Fume and Gases during Welding Fact Sheet.

FDA Warns Against Giving Children Some Cough Syrups

The Food & Drug Administration is warning parents not to give cough syrup or prescription medications that contain codeine (such as Tylenol 3) or tramadol to children under the age of 12. These medicines can slow a child’s breathing and lead to death. Because these medicines can also be dangerous for children age 12-18 the FDA recommends that parents talk to their child’s doctor before giving them these types of drugs.

OSHA Proposes Changes to Construction’s Beryllium Rule

OSHA has proposed maintaining the lower permissible exposure limit and short-term exposure limit in the new standard while revoking several other provisions related to housekeeping, medical surveillance and personal protective equipment. Lifelines covered why these provisions are important for the health and safety of LIUNA members in our March 2017 article, “New Beryllium Rule Increases Workplace Protections.” OSHA is accepting formal comments on this proposal until August 28, 2017.

[Nick Fox]