Issue No. 3 | July 2020 | 12th Volume

Issue No. 3 | July 2020 | 12th Volume

Asbestos

  • Texas licensed consultant
  • Management planners
  • Project managers
  • Inspector
  • Air monitors

Maritime

  • Air monitoring
    • Benzene, H2S, LEL, etc
  • Respirator use
  • Fit-testing and training
    • Qualitative
    • Quantitative

WE ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS

Industrial Hygiene

  • Workplace assessment
  • Air monitoring
  • Noise
  • NORM
  • Ventilation

Indoor Air Quality

  • Microbial
  • Bacterial
  • Bio aerosol

Safety

  • Risk assessment
  • Written program development

A r t i c l e 1

OSHA’S COVID-19 INFORMATION AND NEW FACE MASK AND RESPIRATOR GUIDELINES

COVID-19 frequently asked questions and answers.

A r t i c l e 2

Survey Finds Many Americans Do Not Use Sun Protection

The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. leaving outdoor workers at a higher risk to develop skin cancer if appropriate action to reduce risk is not taken.

A r t i c l e 3

American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) in the News

Back to work safely.

A r t i c l e 4

Thoughts on Occupational Health & Safety

It’s important to recognize that the COVID 19 challenge is in addition to, and not a replacement for, our day to day OH&S challenges.

OSHA’S COVID-19 INFORMATION AND NEW FACE MASK AND RESPIRATOR GUIDELINES

OSHA has a wealth of information available on their website pertaining to the current COVID-19
pandemic. Not only can you find an overview of information for both workers and employers regarding the evolving pandemic, you will also find ongoing updates, FAQ’s, hazard recognition and current standards. People unaccustomed to face masks will find the FAQ section especially enlightening as the information is focused on various questions and concerns involving face masks.

  • What are the key differences between cloth face coverings, surgical masks and respirators?
  • Are employers required to provide cloth face coverings to workers?
  • Should workers wear a cloth face covering while at work, in accordance with the Centers for
    Disease Control and Prevention recommendation for all people to do so when in public?
  • If workers wear cloth face coverings, do employers still need to ensure social distancing
    measures in the workplace?
  • If I wear a reusable cloth face covering, how should I keep it clean?
  • Are surgical masks or cloth face coverings acceptable respiratory protection in the construction industry, when respirators would be needed but are not available because of the COVID-19 pandemic?

If you are searching for additional medical information such as how COVID-19 is diagnosed, treated, control and prevention, or if you are at a high risk to develop complications once diagnosed with COVID-19, you can find it along with much more on OSHA’s website.

Survey Finds Many Americans Do Not Use Sun Protection

Would you agree sun protection is an important and healthy habit? If you agree that sun protection is important, do you wear it yourself regularly, not just when going swimming or working in your yard on the weekend? The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) conducted a survey and found that “76% of Americans agree that sun protection is an important healthy habit, yet only 41% report regularly protecting themselves outdoors…28% of respondents admit they rarely or never use sun protection…” (PSJ) Workers in industries where they spend much of their time outdoors in the sun, are exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays which are known to cause skin cancer. “The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.” (PSJ) leaving outdoor workers at a higher risk to develop skin cancer if appropriate action to reduce risk is not taken. Some ways the AAD says people can reduce their risk are by:

  • “Seeking shade when appropriate…”, (PSJ)
  • “Wearing sun-protective clothing, such as a light-weight and long-sleeved shirt, pants, a widebrimmed hat and sunglasses with UV protection, when possible.”, (PSJ) and
  • Applying a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sun-screen with an SPF of 30 or higher to all skin not
    covered by clothing. Apply every two hours or after swimming or sweating.” (PSJ)

American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) in the News

On May 7th the AIHA released their new Back to Work Safely initiative. A dedicated website, BackToWorkSafely.org, contains guidance documents for many business sectors.

To learn more about the AIHA’s Back to Work Safely efforts, visit their website – https://www.aiha.org/about-aiha/communication-center/aiha-media-outreach-regarding-covid19-pandemic.

The AIHA’s Coronavirus Outbreak Resource Center is updated daily. Visit this site for relevant and interesting information that you may use, including white papers and guidance documents.

Thoughts on Occupational Health & Safety

BY: Frank M. Parker, III – CIH, CSP, PE, BCEE

The COVID 19 pandemic has presented the Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) professional many new challenges. COVID 19 itself is a new challenge in the work place, but also in the home. How do we protect our workers, their families and continue to function as an enterprise? This issue of the Caliche Connection provides resources to address the COVID 19 challenge. And, there are many other sources available on the internet and your local health experts.

It’s important to recognize that the COVID 19 challenge is in addition to, and not a replacement for, our day to day OH&S challenges. We cannot neglect our normal programs. Unfortunately, it appears that many are focusing on COVID 19 at the expense of our other OH&S programs. History tell us that programs ignored are quickly forgotten. Maintaining OH&S program continuity in this COVID 19 environment is a major challenge.

Today the work force is conducting business significantly different than six months ago. In the plant there isless  supervision present, including the OH&S professional. There are fewer, if any, audits conducted and fewer process and procedure reviews. Training also tends to be put off. Respirator fit testing and exposure monitoring are skipped or delayed. Annual worker OH&S refresher training for H2S, etc. are cancelled. And don’t forget the OH&S professional. They also need education and training in order to hone their professional skills and increase their value to their organization.

Proper OH&S behavior does not come naturally to us humans. It is behavior that is instilled via constant training, supervision and audits. Then there are the OH&S issues associated with our workers working from home. An environment that we already know can be hazardous. Many of our at home workers are exposed to hazards they were not exposed to in our plants and offices. Ladders and ergonomics are but a few of the hazards that come to mind. How do we get worker behavior at home consistent with their behavior at work?

Challenges, Challenges, Challenges! Nobody ever said the OH&S was boring!

 

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