Welcome to the one-year anniversary of EHS This Week! For 52 full weeks we’ve been bringing you essential news on all aspects of workplace health and safety, EHS legislation and regulation, and environmental and climate issues from around the world, not to mention developments in renewable energy. We’ve been blown away by all the feedback we’ve received over the course of the past year and want to thank all our loyal listeners for providing us with tons of questions and feedback.
On this week’s edition of EHS This Week we’ve got the week’s top stories in environment, health and safety news:
The devastating Bangladesh garment factory fire that killed over 100.
The Department of Labour works to improve worker safety awareness and prevent exploitation of immigrant workers in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
The EPA faces the possibility of another lawsuit on emissions controls, and more.
Remember to write us with your suggestions, questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if you are an industry expert and ever want to take part in the program, we’d love to have you.
Until next week, enjoy the program!
So the U.S. Bureau of Labor released 2011 Statistics’ on workplace deaths. Turns out just over 4,600 American workers died from work-related injuries last year. Yes, this does indicate a slight decline from the previous year when more than 4,690 Americans died on the job, but in both cases that represents about 13 workplace deaths a day – and that’s too many.
In light of this, as reported over at EHS Today, the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSE) is asking one key question: “Where is the concern?”
ASSE President, Richard A. Pollock (pictured, noted that the 2011 rate of workplace fatalities, in spite of a marginal decline over 2010 numbers, “alarming” and “unacceptable.”
He emphasized three key things:
Businesses need effective management systems to proactively identify any health and safety issues before they lead to injuries and fatalities.
Health and safety issues are not solely associated with dangerous industries like manufacturing and construction and appropriate prevention strategies need to be applied to protect all workers across all industries.
The safety of U.S. workers is too often limited to discussion in circles of health and safety professionals when it should be a concern shared by everyone, including all individual Americans.
Brining the issue home, Pollock summarized the matter and the need for urgency: “These incidents can be prevented. We urge all companies and organizations to take measures now to make sure they have developed and implemented management systems of control that include effective occupational safety and health programs aimed at preventing worker fatalities, injuries and illnesses. Remember, these are 4,609 people who left for work in the morning and never returned home to their families.”
It’s NAOSH week! In terms of North American Health and Safety, NAOSH week is kind of a big deal. Hot on the heels of the International Day of Mourning for fallen and injured workers (April 28) as well as International Workers Day (May 1), North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) week is a great opportunity to raise awareness about occupational health and safety across the continent.
As we’ve discussed recently on the EHS This Week podcast, injuries and accidents continue persist in workplaces across Canada and the U.S., and as OSHA head Dr. David Michaels recently reminded us, every day 12 American workers go to work and never come home as a result of workplace fatalities. Most workplace injuries and accidents are entirely preventable, and this week is all about seizing opportunities to make North American work environments safer.
Jointly sponsored by the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) and the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE), NAOSH week means there is an array of events, activities and ceremonies happening in cities across North America. Find out what’s going on in your community and join in to help prevent workplace accidents and fatalities by checking out NAOSH’s events page and tuning into the Intelex blog for the rest of the week as we devote special coverage to NAOSH, including a mid-week EHS This Week Podcast.