Millions of Domestic Workers Worldwide Are Excluded from Workplace Protections

A new report from the International Labour Organization examines the labor abuses and workplace health and safety conditions of the world’s more than 52 million domestic workers. At least 52 million people around the world – mainly women – are employed as domestic workers, according to the first research of its kind conducted by the International Labour Organization (ILO). Despite the size of the sector, many domestic workers experience poor working conditions and insufficient legal protection. Domestic workers account for 7.5 percent of women’s wage employment worldwide and a far greater share in some regions, particularly Asia and the Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean. Between the […]

Workplace Safety Gets Boost in Abu Dhabi through New Safety Strategy

Abu Dhabi Officials from the Abu Dhabi EHS Center and the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) joined together in November 2012 to develop the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Strategy, the first such strategy addressing workplace safety in Abu Dhabi. The strategy aims to help the Abu Dhabi EHS Center, sector regulatory authorities, government and private entities and other relevant stakeholders ensure sustained and substantial improvement in Abu Dhabi’s occupational safety and health performance over the next decade. “We have been working with Abu Dhabi officials for years on the importance of preventing workplace injuries and illnesses and are pleased that not only have they developed a […]

Surveys Find Physicians Don’t Feel Prepared to Respond to Disasters

Physicians have an ethical obligation to prepare themselves to respond to natural disasters in their communities, writes the editor-in-chief of the Southern Medical Journal in a special issue dedicated to disaster preparedness. Surveys suggest that while most U.S. physicians are willing to play a role in responding to natural and manmade disasters, but most do not feel adequately prepared to fulfill that role. The January Southern Medical Journal, the official journal of the Southern Medical Association, offers a special issue on disaster medicine and physician preparedness. The special issue includes 22 reviews and original papers on preparing for the medical response to disasters and catastrophic events. “I take […]

Transocean Agrees to Plead Guilty to Environmental Crimes in Deepwater Horizon Settlement

Transocean has agreed to pay $1.4 billion in criminal and civil fines related to its role in the Deepwater Horizon oil rig blowout at the Macondo well site. Transocean Deepwater Inc. has agreed to plead guilty to violating the Clean Water Act (CWA) and to pay a total of $1.4 billion in civil and criminal fines and penalties for its conduct in relation to the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The criminal information, and a proposed partial civil consent decree to resolve the U.S. government’s civil penalty claims against Transocean Deepwater Inc. and related entities, were filed in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Louisiana.

 “This resolution of […]

New Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee to Meet Jan. 29

The first meeting of the Department of Labor’s Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee (WPAC) will convene Jan. 29 in Washington, D.C., to make discuss, among other recommendations, improving regulations governing OSHA investigations. The WPAC was created in 2012 to advise, consult with and make recommendations to the secretary of labor and the assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health on ways to improve the fairness, efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of OSHA’s whistleblower protection programs. “Protecting workers who identify wrongdoing is an essential cornerstone of the U.S. Department of Labor’s worker protection enforcement efforts,” said Solis. “The members of the whistleblower committee, who represents the interests of labor, management and […]

Talking to Teens about the Dangers of Distracted Driving

Parents should emphasize the importance of safe, cell-phone-free driving to their teens, according to Purnima Unni, Pediatric Trauma Injury Prevention Program coordinator at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn. The only call teens should make while behind the wheel is in emergency situations – and only then after they’ve pulled over and turned off the engine. Otherwise, they may put their lives and others at risk. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,092 people were killed in 2010 due to crashes involving a distracted driver, and an estimated 416,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver. Recent studies show that cellular […]

Oh, My Aching Back!!

I research and write about musculoskeletal pain and injuries several times a year, so you’d think I’d know how to avoid pain related to overuse, both on and off the job. As someone who could not stand up straight this morning, I obviously do not take my own advice. I’m not exactly a weekend warrior. I don’t go out on Saturdays and play flag football or broom hockey. Like many people, I’m active in the summer – gardening, walking, hiking, swimming – and much less so in the winter. Inspired by a New Year’s marathon of Extreme Hoarders episodes, I decided to organize the attic. When we first moved in, […]

America’s Safest Companies Well Represented in IndustryWeek’s 2012 Manufacturing Hall of Fame

Four of the nine honorees named to IndustryWeek’s Manufacturing Hall of Fame have ties to companies that have been recognized by EHS Today as America’s Safest Companies. Coincidence? Not if you believe many experts, who note the direct correlation of safe production to enhanced productivity rates. Manufacturing Hall of Fame inductees are selected by IndustryWeek editors from reader-nominated candidates. Nominations are based on one or more of the following criteria: Significantly improving manufacturing industry efficiency and productivity through process and/or technology innovations. Establishing widely accepted manufacturing best practices in operational areas such as (but not limited to) management, product development, safety, purchasing, quality and supply chain and logistics. Creating manufacturing […]

This January, Test Your Home for Radon

A winning entry in the 2013 National Radon Poster Contest, sponsored by Kansas State University in partnership with EPA. When Eddie Metcalfe got a CAT scan to check for kidney stones, doctors found something much more troubling: lung cancer. “I hadn’t smoked in 22 years. How could this happen to me?” Metcalfe asked. The answer was invisible and potentially deadly: radon. “I literally left the doctor’s office, got a [radon] test kit, put it in the house, and our result was 39.8. The upper limit is four,” Metcalfe explained in a public service announcement video. “I think everybody should have their house tested.” You can’t see, smell, or […]

Smokers, Recommit to Your Quit Every Monday

A new campaign, Quit & Stay Quit Monday, offers free tools to help smokers make a weekly recommitment to their goal of going cigarette-free in 2013. The campaign’s Quit Line counselors, online forums and Monday motivator messages, which can be sent through email, SMS or social media, provides smokers with the extra boost they need to stay smoke-free. Employers can join in by promoting their smoking cessation programs every Monday and making use of the campaign’s materials. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 70 percent of American smokers would like to kick the habit. Even so, the majority of those who resolve to quit as a […]