Friday, March 29, 2013

ANSI Requests Comments on Proposed OH&S Standard

A new proposal for an international standard submitted by The British Standards Institution would specify requirements for an occupational health and safety (OH&S) management system. ANSI invites the public to submit comments on the proposed standard by Friday, April 26, 2013. ANSI reports that the standard would create requirements for an OH&S system, ultimately providing organizations with more control over OH&S risks, which would result in improved performance.

Scaffolding Safety: 5 Tips

Construction is among the most hazardous industries, and falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry, according to OSHA. In 2010, there were 774 total fatalities in construction, with 264 due to falls. Scaffolding was the third most frequently cited OSHA standard in 2012, with the fall protection topping that list.

To help contractors, Kee Safety has compiled the following five important scaffolding safety tips for keeping construction projects safe while still maintaining productivity.

Tip #1: Slow Down, or Consider Efficiency Building Alternatives
Consider organization, communication and time management training to ensure efficient working methods are being used. For smaller jobs, seek products that are cost effective and quicker alternatives to safe access platforms.

Tip #2: Keep the Workplace Organized
Make sure tools are not left in random places to help reduce the risk of tripping incidents. Systemize tool placement or consider equipment that facilitates out-of-the-way organization.

Consider access platforms or
systems with hoists so that workers
don't have to carry windows or
skylights up a ladder.
Tip #3: Identify Hazards
Evaluate both the site and the project to determine the most likely hazards, and consider potential solutions before construction starts. If scaffolding will need to be moved during the project, analyze the plan before erecting a time consuming scaffolding piece. If hoisting awkward to carry materials such as windows or skylights to a second floor or roof, consider access platforms or systems equipped with hoists to lift windows or solar panels into place so workers don’t have to carry them up ladders.

Tip #4: Proper Training
Ensure that workers are trained in the most recent OSHA requirements and know the procedures for dealing with potential hazards. Properly trained and knowledgeable workers will be better able to set up and take down equipment safely and efficiently.

Tip #5: Review the Site
It is important not only to identify hazards but also to review the worksite during construction. Quick reviews by informed workers can keep things running smoothly and help maintain project safety, particularly as workers get more comfortable on the job and may neglect safety in favor of speed.

To ensure scaffolding safety, one should make an effort to be efficient, rather than simply working fast. Safety and efficiency can go hand in hand. With the proper training and equipment, Kee says, working safely and swiftly need not be mutually exclusive.

Six Steps to Reducing the Impact of a Bloodborne Pathogen Incident

To protect employees from the spread of bloodbourne pathogens (BBP) and reduce substantial OSHA fines, Cintas Corporation is offering customers free BBP training with the purchase of any of it’s instructor-led training courses. 

Cintas recognizes the importance of educating employees, particularly first responders, on proper protocols for handling and limiting exposure risk to BBPs. They have identified six essential steps for reducing the impact of a BBP emergency:

1. Create an exposure control plan that outlines occupational risks, and prevention techniques, like the use of PPE and emergency procedures.

2. Offer annual BBP training for any employee who may come into contact with blood or other bodily fluids as part of their duties.

3. Provide and encourage the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as gloves, eye shields, gowns and masks. 

4. Keep clean-up kits onsite for first responders. Kits should be visible and include instructions, additional PPE, paper towels and antiseptic wipes, biohazard bags and absorbent powders or pads. 

5. In the event of an incident call for immediate medical support.

6. Clean affected work areas - Remove blood or other bodily fluids from work areas with absorbent materials, then properly disinfect the area and dispose of waste. 

For more information on the free Bloodborne Pathogens training, please visit

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Report Analyzes Trends in Energy & Mining Workforces

National Research Council (NRC) recently published a report focusing on the future of the energy and mining industries. "Emerging Workforce Trends in the U.S. Energy and Mining Industries: A Call to Action," is a joint effort from the Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory and NRC to study the state of the energy and mining workforces and to ensure that they have a skilled, sufficient future workforce.

NRC reports the future is bright for these two industries, but challenges exist. "The nation will have to overcome a looming retirement bubble and low number of prospective employees skilled in science, technology, engineering and math to address future expertise needs and ensure sufficient access to both energy and mineral resources," the agency says.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Nominate a Colleague for ASSE's New Triangle Award

The ASSE Triangle Award will honor an occupational SH&E professional for his/her outstanding heroism and dedication to fellow employees and the profession. The award was created in honor of the 146 victims of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York City, NY. The first-ever presentation of this award will take place at the 2013 NAOSH Week kick-off event scheduled for May, 6, 2013, at the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, DC. Visit ASSE's NAOSH Week website to nominate someone today.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Methylene Chloride Hazards for Bathtub Refinishers

“In February 2012, a worker using a product containing methylene chloride to refinish a bathtub was found dead, slumped over a bathtub in an unventilated bathroom.”

OSHA and the NIOSH- supported FACE program have linked at least 14 worker deaths with stripping agents containing methylene chloride since 2000.

OSHA and NIOSH released a Hazard Alert, encouraging employers to use alternative, less hazardous chemicals or methods to eliminate the use of methylene chloride, when possible. They also offer suggestions for using safe work practices, such as using adequate ventilation, supplying workers with respiratory protection as well as protective clothing and equipment and providing workers with training
in accord with OSHA’s Methylene Chloride standard (29 CFR 1910.1052) and other applicable standards, such as the Hazard Communication standard (29 CFR 1910.1200) and the Personal Protective Equipment standard (29 CFR 1910.132).

Methylene chloride, is a volatile, colorless liquid with many industrial uses, such as paint stripping, metal cleaning and degreasing. Exposure to the chemical can be risky, since the smell is only detectable when the level in the air is higher than OSHA’s permissible exposure limits (PELs). 

Learn more.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Aon Hewitt Survey Finds Incentives Play Important Role in Wellness Efforts

According to a survey by Aon Hewitt, incentives are playing a larger role in encouraging employees to improve their health. The survey of nearly 800 large and mid-size U.S. employers found that 83% offer incentives to workers who participate in programs that help them become more aware of their health status. Of the 83% of employers that offer incentives:

  • 79% offer incentives in the form of a reward;
  • 5% offer incentives in the form of a consequence;
  • 16% offer a mix of rewards and consequences.

“Employers recognize the first step in getting people on a path to good health is providing employees and their families with the opportunity to become informed and educated about their health risks and the modifiable behaviors that cause those risks," says Aon Hewitt’s Jim Winkler.

Read more here.

AIHA White Paper Describes Silica Competent Person Requirements

AIHA's Construction Committee Silica Competent Person Project Team has released a white paper, "Recommended Skills and Capabilities for Silica Competent Persons." The paper discusses the minimum body of knowledge needed by a person to provide worker protection from silica. AIHA reports that the white paper provides a list of recommended subject-specific skills and objectives that a silica competent person must have to perform the job.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Is Workplace Betting Appropriate?

With NCAA's March Madness in full swing, EHS Today recently ran the article, "Place Your Bets: Wagers in the Workplace Gaining Acceptance," which discusses a survey that reveals office betting might be becoming more acceptable. The Vault 2013 Office Betting Survey revealed that 79% of the respondents think it is appropriate to participate in office betting, and that it is seen as a way to connect with coworkers and raise morale. Of course, the other side to the story is that some might see office betting as a drain on the company's productivity.

Whether you're a human resources professional or not, leave a comment and tell us what you think. Is there a place for friendly wagers in the workplace?

In addition, if you're interested in discussing the issue or any other human resources issue with a member of ASSE's Human Resources Branchconnect with the branch today.

ESPN Anchor Shares Burn Injury Story, Urges All to Read Grill Safety Instructions

In a recent interview with NFPA Journal, ESPN Anchor Hannah Storm shares her story of how she received first- and second-degree burns from a gas grill explosion. The incident occurred December 2012, at her home when she went outside to turn on the grill. According to Storm, she noticed the flames had been blown out by the wind, so she turned off the gas, then turned it back on and hit the igniter. At that moment, the grill blew up. "It was an explosion, a fireball, just like you see in the movies," she recalls. Storm suffered first-degree burns to her face and neck, and second-degree burns to her chest and hands.

Storm urges everyone to read the instructions to their gas grills before operating. "I didn't read my grill safety instructions," she says. "I didn't know. . . . I assumed that the propane has dissipated into the air immediately." After the incident, she notes her grill instructions say to wait at least 15 minutes to turn the gas back on. "First thing—I should have sat down and read how do you operate this. Busy life, don't bother doing it. Look what happened," she says.

Along with NFPA, Storm is spreading the message of grill safety. Visit NFPA's site to view a video of Storm's interview and to learn more about grill safety.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Investigative Series Explores Worlds Deadliest Jobs

GlobalPost has published an in-depth investigative series that explores the world's most dangerous jobs that are in part responsible for killing more than 6,000 people every day. From shipbreaking in Asia and radiological cleanup in Japan, to stone polishing in India and bus driving in Guatemala, the series paints a descriptive portrait of the workers in these industries, the jobs they endure and the varied hazards they face every day.

In horrifying detail, the series offers a glimpse into the daily lives of the world's laborers. "Every day, millions of people submit themselves to risks that most urban Americans would consider inconceivable," writes David Case in the introduction to his interview with labor and human rights advocate Charles Kernaghan.

Read the GlobalPost series, Dead Men Working, here.

OSHA schedules Third Stakeholder Meeting

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has scheduled a third stakeholder meeting to discuss the crane operator certification requirements in the Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard. The third meeting will be held April 3, from 1:30-4:30p.m., and will focus on the effectiveness of crane operator certification.

OSHA seeks the publics’ opinion on 1) the usefulness of certifying operators for different capacities of cranes, and 2) the risks of allowing an operator to operate all capacities of cranes within a specific type.

All meetings will be held at the U.S. Department of Labor. Individuals interested in participating in, or observing, the stakeholder meeting must pre-register by calling OSHA’s Directorate of Construction at 202-693-2020. For more information, visit

NRC Report Recommends Improving Self-Rescue Efforts for Underground Coal Mines

According to a report from National Research Council, despite advances in research, practices and rescue strategies to improve safety and health for underground coal miners, more coordinated planning and training are needed to better prepare workers to escape in the event of a mine emergency. The committee that wrote the report says for self-escape, miners need working knowledge of their surroundings, appropriate equipment and technology. Successful self-escape is not a solo effort, the committee says, and begins well before an emergency occurs with coordinated planning, training, technology use and research strategies across mine operations.

The committee identifies several areas that would help improve self-escape capacity: technology, decision making, safety culture training and existing escapeway drills. It also recommends actions by operators and federal agencies to promote miners’ abilities to escape an emergency.

A prepublication copy of the report, “Improving Self-Escape from Underground Coal Mines,” is available from National Academies Press as a free PDF download.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

CDC Study Finds Drivers More Distracted in U.S. Than Europe

A study published in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, found that mobile device use while driving is more common among drivers in the U.S. compared to drivers in Europe. European countries included Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the U.K. Drivers aged 18 to 64 were surveyed and the overall results show that about one in three drivers in the U.S. read or send text/e-mail messages while driving. In addition, the study found:
  • 69% of U.S. drivers talked on their cell phone while driving within 30 days before they were surveyed compared to 21% of drivers from the U.K. 
  • 31% of drivers in the U.S. reported that they had read or sent text messages or e-mails while driving, compared to 15% in Spain.
  • Among U.S. drivers, there were no significant differences between men and women in terms of cell phone use or reading or sending text/e-mail messages while driving.
For more information and resources to help prevent distracted driving, visit CDC's website.

Garment Industry Fires Are a Call to Action

"Fatal Fashion," a report from Center for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) and Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC), describes the fires that ravaged garment plants in Pakistan and Bangladesh. “Hundreds of workers were killed in horrendous circumstances, and many others were severely injured,” the groups say. “Substandard buildings, poor emergency procedures, blocked fire exits, overcrowded workplaces, and vastly inadequate control and auditing practices resulted in an extremely high death toll.”

According to SOMO and CCC, the two cases are symptomatic of an ailing system, and are indicative of an industry notorious in the developing world for low wages, and demanding and unsafe working conditions. The report discusses the duties and responsibilities of the different actors involved in the cases—manufacturers, brands, retailers, audit firms, certification bodies and governments.

This report comes on the heels of “Promoting Occupational Safety and Health Through the Supply Chain,” a report by EU-OSHA that examines occupational safety and health in the supply chain and discusses the actions corporations must take to ensure that their vendors/contractors are operating in a safe manner. Download that report here.

Center for Safety and Health Sustainability, a collaborative formed by ASSE, AIHA and IOSH, has also done some work in this area. Learn more about the center's efforts here.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Perez Tapped as Next Labor Secretary

President Obama has nominated Thomas E. Perez to be the next secretary of labor. If confirmed, he would replace Hilda Solis who resigned in January. Perez currently is a U.S. assistant attorney general heading the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.

In making the nomination, Obama said Perez is proof that "you can make it if you try." "Like so many Americans, Tom knows what it's like to climb the ladder of opportunity," Obama said, adding that Perez's story illustrates “this country’s promise, that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, what your last name is, you can make it if you try.”

Coverage here, here, here and here highlights the mixed reactions thus far to the nomination.

Monday, March 18, 2013

National Poison Prevention Week, March 17-23

     The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) encourages parents, grandparents and caregivers to learn the dangers of poisonings and how to keep children safe.

“About half of all poison exposures reported to poison centers involve children younger than 6, most often occurring when parents are busy preparing meals, caring for other children, or completing everyday household chores. Poisonings also occur when the normal routine changes – during holidays or while moving, visiting or traveling,” Baeza said. “National Poison Prevention Week is the perfect time to poison-proof your home to keep your children and grandchildren safe.”

Since 1962, the third week in March has been designated National Poison Prevention Week. It draws national attention to the dangers of poisonings and how to prevent them

That in mind, experts at America’s 57 poison centers urge parents, grandparents and caregivers to take the following steps to keep children safe from poisonings:
  • Inspect your home and garage to make sure medicines, cleaning products, pesticides and fertilizers are stored up high, away and out of sight of children.
  • Tell children what medicine is and why you must be the one to give it to them. Never call medicine “candy” to get them to take it.
  • Don’t leave medicines or vitamins on counters, window sills, bedside tables or the refrigerator top.
  • Take your medicine where children can’t see you; they may try to imitate you.
  • Teach children to always ask an adult before eating, drinking or touching anything.
  • Keep cleaning products and household chemicals in their original containers with their original labels intact.
  • Keep batteries out of a child’s reach. Call your local poison center right away if a child swallows a battery.
  • Keep magnetic toys and other magnetic items away from small children. Call your local poison center right away if you think a child has swallowed a magnet.
  • Know the name of all household plants in your home; remove any poisonous plants from your house and yard.
  • Remember that child-resistant is not child-proof. Layer the protection: re-seal and lock up, out of sight and reach.
For more information about the American Association of Poison Control Center, or about National Poison Prevention Week, visit

Friday, March 15, 2013

Total Performance Safety

In his article “Total Performance Safety” from the latest issue of the Mining Practice Specialty’s publication Inside Global Mining, Randy DeVaul maintains that safety programs that begin with great intentions often turn into a paper-tracking nightmare or the documentation becomes the ends to the means.

To ensure that a product or service is delivered on time and that employees do their assigned tasks in a safe and productive manner, DeVaul suggests using performance safety, which can keep production numbers up and injury numbers and costs down.

Performance safety is an ongoing review of processes, procedures and individual/team practices through workplace examinations, observation and task analysis. Click here to learn how you can integrate performance safety into your production processes.

Conference Board to Host Sustainability Webcast, Journey to World-Class Safety

The Conference Board is hosting a webcast, “Journey to World-Class Safety,” April 24, at 3:00 p.m. EST, sponsored by that group’s Chief EH&S Officers’ Council. Based on a survey conducted last fall with follow-up input from council members, the webcast will provide relevant information on how top-tier EHS programs are managed, and how to identify challenges to reaching and staying in the top tier.

Speakers include Greg Hale, Vice President and Chief Safety Officer, Disney Parks and Resorts; Roseanne T. Danner, Director, Global Business Productivity, DuPont Sustainable Solutions; and Robert S. Krzywicki, Global Practice Leader, Employee Safety, DuPont Sustainable Solutions.

The Chief EH&S Officers’ Council is a forum for sharing ideas and best practices, and for integrating EH&S into global business strategies. The council consists of senior officers engaged in setting corporate or business unit EH&S strategy and policy.

New Safety Education Feature for Flatwork Ironers

Tingue, Brown & Co., laundry product supplier, unveils the Ironer Safety center, to help support laundry mangers and workers in promoting safe operation of flatwork ironers. The center, available for free online, addresses many of the most common unsafe issues and practices involved in flatwork finishing, and offers recommendations for: waxing, cleaning and lubrication; lockout-tagout for ironer maintenance; dust and lint control; ergonomic laundry feeding and handling; proper guide tape installation; and corresponding preventative maintenance checks.

Guide Helps Parents Keep Kids Safe in the Car

DOT's booklet, A Parent's Guide to Playing It Safe With Kids & Cars, provides information about current vehicle safety features, car seats and how to keep kids safe in and around vehicles. The booklet includes a list of vehicle makes and models and their safety features, along with illustrations of safety features. A guideline for choosing a proper car seat, an evaluation of car seat features and tips for installing car seats are also available.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Working Safely at Heights

Access Industry Forum (AIF) has added five videos to its Video Toolbox Talks (VTT) series, focusing on work at height equipment. You can view the short 10-minute VTTs here. The videos include an online test to ensure that viewers have understood their content--and as a “pass” can be printed when they are successfully completed. Topics covered are planning an emergency rescue using mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs), preventing entrapment using an MEWP, ladder inspection, best practices for steeplejacks, and maintaining and testing safety nets.

NTSB Safety Alerts Address General Aviation Safety Concerns

NTSB has issued a series of general aviation safety alerts that address the most frequent types of general aviation incidents. According to the agency, each year, about 475 pilots and passengers are killed and hundreds more are seriously injured in general aviation incidents in the U.S., putting general aviation on NTSB’s most wanted list.

The agency says that in many of the 1,500 incidents it investigates each year, pilots did not have adequate knowledge, skills or training to fly safely. An added concern is glass cockpit displays, which present a new layer of complications for general aviation pilots.

The safety alerts address low-altitude stalls, spatial disorientation, controlled flight into terrain, mechanical problems and risk mitigation. NTSB says it plans to release a video to accompany each alert, featuring air safety investigators sharing their experiences, observations and advice on how pilots and mechanics can avoid tragic mistakes.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

OHIP Summer Internship Deadline: March 18

The Occupational Health Internship Program (OHIP) is a NIOSH-funded national summer internship program designed to help students learn more about the occupational safety and health (OSH) field. Through this field-based learning experience, students work with labor unions and community-based organizations on OSH issues. Interns have the opportunity to interview and observe workers to better understand the complexity of the work environment from the workers’ perspective, and explore safety and health concerns raised by workers.

Application deadline for the summer 2013 program is March 18, 2013.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

DOL Celebrates 100 Years

U.S. Department of Labor celebrated its 100th anniversary on March 4, 2013. To commemorate the milestone, it's produced a website that provides various information and a historical timeline of the past 100 years. The historical information includes a centennial video, archived resources, news articles and images. The site also includes a section on present information, which includes current initiatives and resources. A section devoted to the future of the department also provides a calendar of centennial events.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Cuyahoga River Fire

During the Industrial Revolution, the Cuyahoga River in northeast Ohio became a dumping ground for waste materials and debris created by factories, steel mills and other businesses located along its banks. Over the years, the river also became polluted with oils and industrial byproducts until it eventually caught fire in 1969.

According to Mark J. Kovasity, author of “The Cuyahoga River Fire” from the latest issue of the Environmental Practice Specialty’s publication, EnviroMentor, the Cuyahoga River Fire is important for three reasons: 1) it brought national attention to the issue of environmental pollution; 2) it brought awareness that economic prosperity should not be fostered at the expense of natural resource demise; and 3) it led to the creation and passage of the Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1972.

Click here to read more about the Cuyahoga River Fire and the lasting effects of CWA.

Friday, March 8, 2013

NAOSH Week Kids’ Poster Winners

Michael English, 12, Bel Air, GA.  NAOSH 2013  "Safety on the Job" Poster Contest Winner
Winners of the 11th annual ASSE “Safety on the Job” Poster Contest have been selected. Winning posters were chosen based on how well each child expressed safety on the job. The five first-place winners are:
  • Age 5-6 group: Bo Brooks, 5, Rome, GA;
  • Age 7-8 group: Celine Vo, 8, Riverdale, GA;
  • Age 9-10 group: Chantal Cyrier, 10, Marietta, GA;
  • Age 11-12 group: Michael English, 12, Bel Air, MD;
  • Age 13-14 group: Siddharth Dash, 14, Kuwait.
All first place winners will receive a $2,500 savings bond and have their artwork displayed on the NAOSH Week 2013 poster, distributed worldwide. NAOSH 2013, sponsored by SafeStart, will take place on May 5th-11th.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

ANSI Accepting Nominations for Its Leadership & Service Awards

ANSI has announced its Call for Nominations for its 2013 Leadership and Service Awards. The awards recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to voluntary consensus standardization and conformity assessment programs. Also, the agency is looking for nominees who have demonstrated a commitment to their industry, nation and enhancement of the global standards system.

Nominations are due June 28, 2013, and those interested can view the nominations brochure to get a better idea of the process. Visit ANSI's website to view the awards open for nominations.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

National Farm Safety Week: Vehicle and Machinery Safety

Seventy percent of agricultural fatalities are machine-related, according to the Canada Safety Council. The National Farm Safety Week, March 14-20, aims to raise awareness, provide recommendations and encourage all farming families, workers, and visitors to recognize the need for safety around vehicles and machinery on the farm.

Statistics show that Agriculture is the fourth most hazardous industry in Canada, including a higher than average risk for children. According to the Canadian Agricultural Injury Reporting, 248 children died from agriculture-related injuries between 1990 and 2008, 63 percent which were machine-related.

The Canada Safety Council offers some recommendations to make your farm a safer place:
  • Do not operate farm machinery or vehicles when impaired. Impairing substances include alcohol, some medications and drugs. Impairment can also take other forms. These include fatigue, emotional stress and distractions.
  • Always walk around your machinery or vehicle before starting the equipment. Children, pets, farm animals or debris may be hiding in your blind spots.
  • Know the terrain of the land that is being farmed. When possible, avoid steep ditches and other areas where rollovers are more likely to occur.
  • Use machinery and vehicles for their intended purposes only.
  • Do not carry more passengers on machines or vehicles than recommended.
  • Always keep your hands, feet and body in general clear of moving parts. Use safety guards and keep the machinery in good repair.
  • Keep work areas neat and clean.
  • Underage persons should not operate vehicles or machinery.
  • Teach children safety fundamentals. This includes clearly identifying where farm machinery and vehicles are operated, and where they may not play. Children need to develop a healthy respect for the potential dangers of being near a moving machine or vehicle, and learn how to stay safe.
  • If you are the owner/operator of a farm, clearly communicate to your staff that risk-taking involving machinery or vehicles is not allowed or tolerated. Your employees should understand that you expect them to always operate in a safe manner. This includes no speeding and no impaired or distracted driving. 
  • Make sure operators are competent, confident and capable when it comes to using machinery. If additional training or instruction is necessary, make safety the priority. Take the time to read manuals, ask questions and consult industry experts who can give you answers.
  • Have an emergency plan and review it often with anyone who is regularly at your farm. This plan should include contact information for local emergency responders, and contact information for friends or relatives who can be called if something goes wrong.
  • Motorists, give farm-machinery operators the room they need on the road. Be patient and pass with caution when it is safe to do so.  

Friday, March 1, 2013

Lower Asthma Incidence Among Polyurethane Foam Manufacturing Workers, Study Shows

An industry report of the foam manufacturing plant health and safety records found incidents of occupational asthma to be lower in flexible polyurethane foam plants than among the general adult population. The report, featured in a paper entitled, “A Survey of the Incidence of Occupational Asthma among Flexible Polyurethane Foam Slabstock Plants,” combines 24 years of data and surveys and suggests that that plant workers were “well-protected from chemical exposure by modern chemical exposure control technologies and training.”

The paper, sponsored by the Polyurethane Foam Association and analyzed by Washington, D.C. based law firm, McIntyre & Lemon, PLLC, suggests numerous workplace controls, such as aggressive ventilation systems, personal protection equipment (PPE), and risk-management training, have contributed a very low percentage of self-reported asthma amongst workers.

Copies of a presentation presented at a Polyurethane Foam Association Technical Program are available on the Polyurethane Foam Association website in the literature section (under technical proceedings).