Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Government Regulations (unlike loud pipes) SAVE LIVES!

From The Economic Policy Institute

Some have argued that America's shift away from manufacturing has driven most of this downward trend.  Not true.
This achievement does not result from the economy’s shift away from manufacturing, though indeed, we have far fewer manufacturing jobs today than in the 1980s. Surprisingly, manufacturing is not especially dangerous: the fatality rate in mining as of 2009 is about nine times higher, in construction it is four times higher, and even the service sector has a higher fatality rate of 2.9 deaths per 100,000 compared with 2.5 in manufacturing.
And lest we forget, most of what OSHA enforces was a direct result of the work of unions.  From Wikipedia:
Here are some of the changes in industrial safety regulation brought about by OSHA:
  1. Guards on all moving parts - By 1970, there were guards to prevent inadvertent contact with most moving parts that were accessible in the normal course of operation. With OSHA, use of guards was expanded to cover essentially all parts where contact is possible.
  2. Permissible exposure limits (PEL) - Maximum concentrations of chemicals stipulated by regulation for chemicals and dusts. They cover around 600 chemicals. Most are based on standards issued by other organizations in 1968 or before.
  3. Personal protective equipment (PPE) - broader use of respirators, gloves, coveralls, and other protective equipment when handling hazardous chemicals; goggles, face shields, ear protection in typical industrial environments
  4. Lockout/tagout - In the 1980s, requirements for locking out energy sources (securing them in an "off" condition) when performing repairs or maintenance
  5. Confined space - In the 1990s, specific requirements for air sampling and use of a "buddy system" when working inside tanks, manholes, pits, bins, and similar enclosed areas
  6. Hazard Communication (HazCom) - Also known as the "Right to Know" standard, was issued as 29CFR1910.1200 on November 25, 1983 (48 FR 53280), requires developing and communicating information on the hazards of chemical products used in the workplace.
  7. Process Safety Management (PSM) - Issued in 1992 as 29CFR1910.119 in an attempt to reduce large scale industrial accidents. Although enforcement of the standard has been spotty, its principles have long been widely accepted by the petrochemical industry.
  8. Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP)- In 1990, OSHA issued a standard designed to prevent health care (and other) workers from being exposed to bloodborne pathogens such as hepatitis B and HIV. (Note: I personally worked with an epidemiologist who was a key driver in this regulation. We estimated conservatively that updates to needle handling procedures reduced HIV exposure among healthcare workers by 90%)
  9. Excavations and Trenches - OSHA regulations[8] specify that trenches and excavations wherein workers are working 5 feet or more down must be provided with safeguards in addition to proper sloping and storage of excavated material in order to prevent collapses/cave-ins.[9]
  10. Exposure to asbestos - OSHA has established requirements in 29 CFR 1910.1001 for occupational exposure to asbestos. These requirements apply to most workplaces - most notably excepted is construction work. "Construction work" means work for construction, alteration and/or repair including painting and decorating. Occupational exposure requirements for asbestos in construction work can be found in 29 CFR 1926.1101.

1 comment:

  1. Hope you like my lab safety tune - The OSHA HAZCOM Song http://bit.ly/e88T9g