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OSHA Update 1.06.2013

OSHA Visionary, James Hodgson, DiesOSHA Logo

  • Hodgson was the 12th Secretary of Labor of the United States and was a visionary behind the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Current Secretary of Labor, Hilda L. Solis’ statement read, “”Under his leadership, the Occupational Safety and Health Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Nixon.” ‘Safety was extremely important in aircraft plants,’ the former Lockheed executive once said, ‘but as I went around looking at other industries, I was just appalled at the conditions I saw.’” Today, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration – the agency he envisioned and built – employs more than 2,200 people and strives to keep nearly 8 million U.S. workplaces safe and healthy through setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.”

Interactive Online Tool Developed to Assess Cadmium Exposure

  • OSHA has released a new interactive online tool that offers to protect workers exposed to cadmium. The Cadmium Biological Monitoring Advisor analyzes biological monitoring results provided by the user.
  • From the news release, “Cadmium is a soft, silver-white metal used in many industries including metal machining, plastics, ceramics, painting and welding operations. Workers may also be exposed from the smelting and refining of metals or from air in industrial plants that manufacture batteries, coatings or plastics. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry estimates that about 300,000 workers in the U.S. face exposure to cadmium each year. Short-term exposure to cadmium can cause weakness, fever, headache, chills, sweating and muscular pain. Chronic cadmium poisoning can cause kidney damage and cancer of the lung or prostate. Cadmium also is believed to cause pulmonary emphysema and bone disease (osteomalcia and osteoporosis).

New Members Announced for Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee (WPAC)

  • Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis announced the inaugural appointees to the Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee. WPAC serves to “improve the fairness, efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s whistleblower protection programs.”
  • From the news release, “”Protecting workers who identify wrongdoing is an essential cornerstone of the U.S. Department of Labor’s worker protection enforcement efforts,” said Secretary Solis. “The members of the whistleblower committee, who represents the interests of labor, management and the public, will utilize their expertise to provide valuable advice and recommendations to help OSHA strengthen and improve our whistleblower protection program.”
  • Appointees can be viewed at: http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=23421

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