The calendar may record the first day of summer as June 21, but Mother Nature has a mind of her own. In the Midwest, we have already broken heat records. While that may be nice if you’re spending the day hanging out at the lake, it can be dangerous for those who work in hot temperatures.
Workers exposed to hot and humid conditions are at risk of heat-related illness, especially those doing heavy work tasks or using bulky or non-breathable protective clothing and equipment. Some workers might be at higher risk than others if they have not built up a tolerance to hot conditions, or if they have certain health conditions.
About 700,000 Americans will have a new or recurrent stroke this year. Many people mistakenly think of strokes as only affecting the elderly, but 25 percent of all strokes occur in those under age 65. Not only is stroke the third-leading cause of death among Americans, it is also a leading cause of serious, long-term disability.
What is a stroke?
Also called a brain attack, a stroke is as serious as a heart attack. It most often occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked by a clot. The brain cells in the immediate area begin to die because they are prevented from receiving the oxygen and nutrients they need to function. There are two kinds of stroke, each with a different cause. In an ischemic stroke – the most common type – a clot blocks a blood vessel in the brain. A hemorrhagic stroke is caused by a blood vessel that breaks and bleeds into the brain.
Some risk factors are genetically determined, while others are the result of certain lifestyle choices.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued a memorandum outlining the initial enforcement of the standard for respirable crystalline silica in general industry and maritime. Most provisions of the standard become enforceable on June 23, 2018. The standard establishes a new 8-hour time-weighted average permissible exposure limit, action level, and associated ancillary requirements.
During the first 30 days of enforcement, OSHA will offer compliance assistance for employers who make good faith efforts to comply with the new standard. OSHA intends to issue interim enforcement guidance until a compliance directive on the new standards is finalized.
OSHA’s Small Entity Compliance Guide for the Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for General Industry and Maritime discusses methods of compliance, such as using engineering and work practice controls, assessing exposure levels, respirator use, medical surveillance, and written exposure plans.
Workplace violence is a serious safety and health issue. While no federal law specifically addresses violence in the workplace, several laws impose a duty on employers to maintain a safe workplace.
For example, the federal civil rights laws require employers to keep the workplace free from threats of violence. In addition, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) imposes a general duty on all employers to provide employees with a workplace that is free from hazards.
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