Safety

Protecting our wildland firefighters

I heard a radio interview earlier this week about the challenges facing those fighting wildfires.  A journalist covering the topic shared her belief that it is inevitable that we will lose firefighters in our race to protect forests, structures and the public. Was I alone, wearing my safety professional hat, to be disturbed by this comment? Many of us have been in the safety business long enough to remember when we heard the same comment … Read More

Oregon Building Trades Council is 75!

Oregon Building Trades Council celebrated it’s 75th anniversary at the Portland Convention Center on August 20-21.  They are the second oldest building trades council in the US, representing about 25,000 construction workers in 30 affiliated local unions and district councils, and 6 regional councils. They celebrated their history with a book (pictured right) that depicts the leaders and activities over the decades, including construction projects Building Trades members have built such as the Tilicum Crossing bridge and the tram at OHSU. … Read More

Let’s avoid getting stressed over heat

OK – now that the extremely hot weather has (temporarily) passed, let’s not let our guard down about heat-related illness. Many workers do not have the option of getting out of the sun during the hottest time of the day, and it is important to remember that the best way to prevent heat-related illness is to keep workers cool and hydrated throughout the day. There are many risk factors that can affect a worker’s heat … Read More

Solutions for a better future for occupational health

Researchers, practitioners, students, and members of the occupational health and safety field got together in Seattle last week at the Future of Occupational Health Symposium, hosted by the University of Washington and organized by the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences (DEOHS). The Symposium was spurred by the changing occupational health landscape, which in a global economy, has moved toward a fragmented workforce consisting of more temporary, contract, immigrant, and vulnerable workers. Adding to … Read More

Pendleton hosts the Blue Mountain health and safety conference

The Pendleton, Oregon Convention Center was the site of the annual Blue Mountain Occupational Safety & Health Conference, held June 1 & 2, 2015. More than 200 participants from diverse industries, including agriculture, corrections, food processing, wood products, energy and more, registered for this conference. A variety of interesting and helpful sessions were available to attendees, who came away with an increased knowledge and enthusiasm for advancing safety and health in the workplace. Keith Bardney, … Read More

Moving ahead to protect temporary workers

Thanks to everyone who joined us at last week’s symposium – sharing both challenges and best practices to protect our temporary workforce. We were particularly pleased to have such meaningful discussions between a mix of professions; the staffing industry, safety and health professionals, regulators, insurers and the academic community. Here at the institute we select symposia topics that are emerging – often issues that don’t have simple fixes or interventions. We are hopeful that with … Read More

Oregon participates in the National Safety Stand-Down to prevent falls in construction

The stand down is part of OSHA’s ongoing national Fall Prevention Campaign that began in 2012. This year the Stand-Down coincided with National Construction Industry Safety Week. OR-FACE partnered with the Pacific Northwest OSHA Education Center, SafeBuild Alliance, AGC Oregon Columbia Chapter, Oregon Home Builders Association, and Oregon OSHA to encourage employers and workers to participate in the Stand-Down. On May 1, 180 individuals attended the SafeBuild Alliance Construction Industry Safety Week kick-off event with … Read More

National safety stand down event coming to Portland

Falls are the leading cause of death in construction, with more than 200 deaths and over 10,000 serious injuries each year in the US. In Oregon there were 71 deaths from falls during 2003-2013 and 29 were in construction. The annual weeklong National Safety Stand-Down and Fall Prevention campaign began in 2012. This year, during a two-week period (May 4 -15), leaders are encouraged to set aside time to have open discussions with workers about … Read More

Protecting temporary workers

Forty-six percent of U.S. employers intend to hire temporary workers in 2015 – an even higher rate than hired in 2014. Federal OSHA and NIOSH recently launched an initiative to improve safety for this often vulnerable workforce, with the recognition that temporary workers get hurt and die on the job more frequently than the permanent workforce. This initiative more clearly defines responsibilities for worker safety and health, as illustrated in this quote posted on OSHA’s … Read More

New pesticide fact sheets from ODA

Improper use of pesticides in the home, on the farm, or in a forest can harm people, animals and the environment. The Pesticide and Analytical Response Center (PARC), a program operated by the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Pesticides Division, and the Oregon Health Authority, have collaborated in the production of two fact sheets that explain what to do and who to call if you are concerned about an application or have actually been exposed to … Read More

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