Lessons in EHS History: Constructing the Olympic Games

The Olympics have grown tremendously in size over the years since they first began. In the present day, preparing for the Olympics is a massive undertaking for any host country. The construction required to host the Olympics includes building sports venues, hotels, roads, and other major infrastructure – all for several weeks of Olympic sports. With the world’s eyes on that country, and the pressure to outdo previous host countries on everyone’s minds, the stakes are high, the projects are complex, and the timelines are tight. All of these factors pose a potential threat to worker safety and good EHS practices. In this month’s edition of Lessons in EHS History, we take a look at the evolution of the Olympics and its environmental, health and safety record.

The Origins of the Olympics

The first modern day Olympic Games were held in 1896, when less than 300 participants (all of … Read more...

Workers’ Compensation – The Small Picture: Does workplace culture impact health and safety costs?

This is the first in a three-part blog series on the relationship between workplace culture and the costs associated with occupational injury and illness.

When I started to write this series of posts on workers compensation, I thought what new information I could provide readers – information that isn’t easily accessible on innumerable website, blogs and other publications. I wanted to emphasize the real costs of workplace injuries and illnesses (both direct and indirect costs) as well as how employers can effectively manage their claims. 

I also reviewed the available statistics from various jurisdictions to identify key areas to focus on. Then it occurred to me that Workers’ Compensation is usually presented as the Big Picture when really it is a Small Picture – one injury, one person at a time. Yes, to effectively manage workers’ compensation an organized process is a necessity, with appropriate reporting mechanisms, structured … Read more...

New infographic digs into goal of GHS

With over 43 million people in the US currently working in environments that could expose them to hazardous chemicals, it is critical to put in place systems that will protect and prevent these workers from harm.

In an effort to reduce worker confusion, simplify international trade and reduce the costs associated with Government enforcement, The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) is a system for standardizing the labeling and classification of chemicals around the world. With the US currently in a 3-year transition that will see full compliance with the GHS in 2015, check out this infographic from EHS Today to learn more about this system. Click the image to see the full inforgraphic.


How to Deal with Asbestos Exposure in your Workplace – Advice for Industrial Building Owners

{Part three of a three-part series}

Building owners play one of the primary roles in preventing asbestos exposure at the workplace. When constructing a building – or leasing out an existing facility that contains asbestos – building owners can take several steps that ensure safety on the premesis.

Only purchase asbestos-free building materials for renovations or new construction. Despite its known health hazards, asbestos materials are still being produced. In 2004, the United States used more than 3,000 metric tons of asbestos for roofing products, coatings and compounds and other industrial applications. Facility managers must specify that they want asbestos-free materials when placing or approving orders for building materials. Be sure to verify manufacturer’s certifications before making the purchase.

Schedule asbestos surveys for your properties. To best protect the workers in the building, owners must schedule a comprehensive building survey from a licensed asbestos abatement company. This survey will indicate … Read more...

How to Deal with Asbestos Exposure in Your Workplace: Advice for Managers

{Part two of a three-part series}

Industrial mangers are faced with hundreds of responsibilities each day. Ensuring worker safety should be at the top of their priority list – especially when it comes to asbestos.

Do you work in management at a construction site or industrial occupation? Here’s what you can do to promote asbestos safety:

Conduct daily or periodic monitoring. Unless a manager can demonstrate that asbestos exposure at the worksite will remain below the permissible limit, they are required to perform daily monitoring for worksites where asbestos-containing materials are directly involved. Managers must perform periodic monitoring (at intervals determined by state legislature) for workers who perform other industrial operations that pose a risk for asbestos exposure.

Create controlled zones. Regulated areas must be created and thoroughly enforced wherever asbestos work is performed. Mangers must prohibit workers from entering without appropriate licensure or respiratory protection. Managers must also keep … Read more...

How to deal with asbestos exposure in your workplace: advice for industrial workers

At one point, more than 75 different industries exposed workers to asbestos. Even though these industries have been made safer by regulations from the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety, many workers still come in contact with asbestos products that remain at their jobsites.

Although most industrial employees face some form of asbestos exposure risks during their career, employees most at risk for asbestos exposure include:

  • Construction workers.
  • HVAC mechanics.
  • Electricians.
  • Chemical plant workers.

Do you work in one of these industrial occupations where asbestos exposure is still a risk? The following tips can help reduce the risk of you or your coworkers being exposed to asbestos and becoming at risk for an asbestos-causing cancer. 

Know which materials pose an asbestos threat – and know how to handle them. More than 3,000 industrial products were once made with asbestos. Many of these are still present in jobsites. Tiles, pipes, … Read more...

Special NAOSH edition of EHS This Week

In honour of North American Occupational Safety and Health Week (NAOSH), held from May 6 to 12 this year, EHS This Week is pleased to present this special edition of our EHS podcast.

Kristy and I sat down earlier today to reflect on what NAOSH week is all about, how it was formed, the key themes for this year’s week, and some of the events that are being held across the continent.

So check it out and let us know what you think. And don’t forget to check back on Friday evening for our regularly scheduled weekly program. Head to the NAOSH site for more on this annual event.

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