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July 9, 2013

July Workplace Safety News and Notes

New Injury and Illness Prevention Programs Fact Sheet from OSHA.
A new OSHA Fact Sheet describes common elements of Injury and Illness Prevention Programs and how to implement them. Such programs allow employers to find and fix workplace hazards on an ongoing basis before workers are hurt or become ill. The fact sheet explains elements of an effective program: include management leadership; worker participation; hazard identification, assessment, prevention and control; education and training and program evaluation and improvement. Download the fact sheet here (pdf) or visit the Injury and Illness Prevention Programs Web page for more information.

OSHA Webinar on Protecting Temporary Workers - July 18.
OSHA will co-moderate a webinar with the American Staffing Association at 3 p.m. EST on Thursday, July 18, to discuss best practices for protecting temporary workers. This is part of OSHA's new effort to protect temp workers, who generally suffer workplace injuries at higher rates than permanent workers. Register for the webinar here, or read more on the new OSHA initiative here.

New National Emphasis Program on Isocyanates.
Isocyanates commonly are used to produce polyurethane polymers, which are components of materials such as polyurethane foams, thermoplastic elastomers, spandex fibers and polyurethane paints. Isocyanate exposure can cause occupational asthma, irritation of the skin, eyes, nose and throat, and cancer. Deaths have occurred. The 3-year OSHA program will focus on general workplaces, construction and maritime industries that use isocyanate compounds. Read more about the emphasis program here, or visit the OSHA isocyanates page here.

OSHA and Canada to Align Hazardous Communication Standards.
OSHA and the Department of Health of Canada will collaborate on implementing the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling in their respective jurisdictions, as well as any future developments of the GHS. Under the agreement, OSHA and HECS will work together to reduce barriers between the systems responsible for workplace chemical safety, and collaborate to reach common ground on proposed updates to the system, among other goals. Read a news release here.

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