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Summer sees increased pesticide use

Okay, no one really enjoys using pesticides. But in Summer, bugs crawl, weeds grow, mosquitos bite and…..well, people turn to using pesticides. So, since pesticide use is common in Summer, we all need to know how to use them in a manner that reduces health risks, to ourselves, our loved ones, to non-targeted species (e.g. pollinators) and to the general environment. Notice I didn’t use the word “safe”, because “safe” doesn’t belong in the vocabulary … Read More

Building a Total Worker Health ® Case for the Construction Industry

Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences attended the Pacific Northwest Apprenticeship Education Conference (PNWAEC) 2016, an event hosted by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI). The biennial conference brought together policy makers, educators, business leaders and professionals in the construction trades. The goal of the conference was to create, “a platform to strengthen Registered Apprenticeship, empower the skilled trades Workforce and connect business, government and education.” Jason Kyler-Yano and Kent Anger presented a … Read More

Oregon campaign to prevent falls in construction

On May 6 there were 60+ attendees at the Portland, Oregon Stand-Down event.  A few truly went the distance and traveled from Idaho and Washington.  Several local organizations (see April 29 blog) began collaborating in January to ensure an effective campaign during 2016 National Safety Stand-down week (May 2-6).  These partners, among many things, arranged for advertising on metro buses, presentations at safety meetings, distributed resources to association members, apprenticeship programs, and workers compensation safety consultants.  The May … Read More

Multiple agencies meet to discuss pesticide issues

Pesticides are a commonly used tool for the control of a variety of pests, including weeds, bacteria, insects, rodents and molds, and represent a potential health risk to those who use them. Oregon OSHA is actively involved in ensuring that safe work practices with pesticides are followed, and provides a variety of educational and consultation services in this regard. Last week, Oregon OSHA sponsored the 2016 Oregon Pesticide Symposium, which was held March 15-16 at the Chemeketa … Read More

AWWA is all about water

It is easy to take for granted the access to clean and safe water that we all enjoy. But without the experts who design, construct, operate and manage the utilities that provide our water, this luxury would not exist. This week, I had the privilege of addressing our regional water professionals at the 32nd annual American Water Works Association (AWWA) Pacific Northwest Section Cascade to Coast Short School, held March 13-16 at the Valley River … Read More

New OR-FACE hazard alert

OR-FACE published a new hazard alert, “Follow manufacturer’s instructions.”  The document summarizes three Oregon construction fatal stories.  Common to the three cases was failure to follow manufacturer’s instructions: Case 1:  A pile was held in a vertical position with the bottom of the pile resting on the ground. The clamp holding the top of the pile unexpectedly released. The pile was not rigged to the clamp housing or attached to the whipline.  It fell on the crane … Read More

Arsenic and cadmium air pollution found in SE and North PDX

Potentially unsafe levels of arsenic and cadmium have been detected in the air of Southeast Portland. The primary source was been localized to a glass production facility that has operated there for ~40 years. They have since terminated use of these metals in their process, so there is no current risk of continued airborne exposure from this source. A similar finding has been localized to a glass production facility in North Portland, who has also … Read More

New fatality report and upcoming rigging/signaling course

OR-FACE has published Fatality Investigation Report, “Crane operator killed by falling steel beam.”  A 40-year old crane operator was killed when a clamp holding the top  of the 35-foot, 5600 lb H-beam pile unexpectedly released the pile.  The pile was not rigged to the clamp housing or attached to the crane whip line, fell striking the crane cab.  For the complete report or other fatality investigation reports go to the OR-FACE website. Based on discussions about … Read More

Asian gypsy moth makes appearance in Portland

In 2015, Asian gypsy moths (AGM), a plant-eating invasive species, were detected in Portland’s Forest Park and northern part of the St Johns neighborhood. The moths were found during routine monitoring in traps placed throughout the region by the Oregon Department of Agriculture. A related species, the European gypsy moth (EGM), was also found. EGM is endemic to the northeastern United States, has defoliated millions of acres of trees and shrubs, and since the late … Read More

BOLI vendor meeting informs

Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) Apprenticeship & Training Division ODOT-BOLI Highway Construction Workforce Development Program “Promoting opportunities in Oregon’s highway construction trades” is a partnership to expand opportunities for diversity in employment, increase apprenticeship participation and increase training resources for individuals interested in highway construction careers throughout the State of Oregon. The Program held it’s quarterly vendor meeting at the Northwest College of Construction last week.  The meeting is pictured below. Vendors described available grants, loans at … Read More

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