Cancer Still Not Covered for World Trade Center Responders

 
After the New York City World Trade Centers fell, images of responders rushing in unprotected to help victims of the terrorist attach Sept. 11, 2001, are burned into the memories of every American.
 
 
Discussion loomed immediately about toxins in the air from particulate matter, burning materials, airplane fuel and more. Of course there was nothing victims could do to protect themselves and first responders, in a rush to help as quickly as possible, did not stop to assess the danger they put themselves in.
 
 
Now, a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) report indicates there is not enough evidence to link the collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC) towers to cancer in responders and survivors. The study means those groups will not be able to collect federal money for treatment or compensation
 
 
However, the report also does not indicate evidence of the absence of a causal association. And another review is scheduled for early 2012.
 
 
Under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, there must be periodic reviews of scientific and medical evidence. If a causal association were established, recovery workers and others with cancer diagnoses could be compensable.
 
 
The Zadroga Act provides funds for a specific list of illnesses, such as asthma and other respiratory diseases linked to the 911 attacks. Cancer could be included if a link was found.
 
 
The initial review was based on three information sources, according to NIOSH:

1.     
A systematic search of peer-reviewed findings on exposure and cancer resulting from the terrorist attacks that have been published in the scientific and medical literature between Sept. 11, 2001, and July 1, 2011.

2.     
Findings and recommendations related to cancer from the WTC Clinical Centers of Excellence and Data Centers, the WTC Health Registry at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the New York State Department of Health.

3.     
Information from the public solicited through requests for information published in the Federal Register earlier this year.
 
 
The report said there was little evidence because few published research studies on the attack mention cancer and only a small number of those are peer-reviewed. Further, cancer is a common disease, making linkage difficult, the report said. (WCxKit)
 
 

Author Rebecca Shafer
, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing, publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
 
 
 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Workplace Precautions for Handling Hazardous Drugs to Healthcare Workers

Hospital and health care employers were reminded recently that hazardous drugs such as antineoplastic drugs could pose serious job-related health risks to workers if proper precautions are not used in handling the drugs.
 
 
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and The Joint Commission highlighted the need for safe practices in a letter to hospitals in the U.S. (WCxKit)
 
 
Drugs used for chemotherapy, antiviral treatments, hormone regimens, and other applications have potential for serious adverse occupational health effects, the agencies said. Irreversible effects from work-related exposures even at low levels, without taking appropriate precautions, can include cancer, reproductive and developmental problems, allergic reactions, and others.
 
 
"Potent therapy drugs can have great benefit for patients when used in proper regimens, where doses are controlled and risks are minimized. But they can also have serious consequences to the workers who handle, dispense, mix, apply, and dispose of them without proper controls and training," said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. "We are pleased to join with our partners to remind hospital employers that protecting the health of their employees is vitally important."
 
 
Substances that present a potential health hazard to workers must be included in an employer's hazard communication program, and it should be readily available and accessible to all including temporary workers, contractors, and trainees, added David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA. “We encourage employers to address safe drug handling by committing their management staff to taking a leadership role identifying and remediating hazards, offering employee training, and evaluating workplace injury and illness prevention programs for continuous improvement.”
 
 
In their letter to hospital employers, NIOSH, OSHA, and The Joint Commission encouraged employers to:
 
 
  1. Commit their management staffs to taking a leadership role in worker safety and health.
  2. Offer opportunities for meaningful employee participation in efforts to identify and remediate hazards, develop and offer training, and evaluate the hospital's injury and illness program for continuous improvement.
 
 
A list of hazardous drugs can be found in a NIOSH document, "NIOSH List of Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Healthcare Settings, 2010" (www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2010-167/) . The list was updated as part of an earlier document, "NIOSH Alert: Preventing Occupational Exposures to Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Healthcare Settings," which provides guidance on protecting healthcare employees from hazardous exposures (www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2004-165/).
 
More information on identifying hazards, determining appropriate controls, and applying safe practices can be found in a NIOSH webpage on hazardous drug exposures in healthcare (www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/hazdrug/) and an OSHA webpage on hazardous drug safety and health at www.osha.gov/SLTC/hazardousdrugs
 
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact:Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com .

 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com

American Society of Safety Engineers Sent Bill to Congress for Review for 100th Anniversary

Key congressional leaders recently received draft legislation to address needed reforms in the federal occupational safety and health laws to help improve workplace safety and health in the United States from the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE).
 
 
According to the ASSE, the bill, entitled “Enhancing Occupational Safety and Health Protections in the 100th Year Act of 2011,” is intended to help improve OSHA and NIOSH capabilities and better encourage employer responsibility for worker safety and health. (WCxKit)
 
 
The comprehensive draft legislations a first for ASSE, which was celebrating its 100th anniversary as a society last week in Chicago, during their 44th annual Professional Development Conference.
 
 
“While the direct responsibility for saving lives and preventing injuries and illnesses in this nation’s workplaces rests with employers, we can all do a better job of helping them and encouraging them to meet that responsibility,” said ASSE President Darryl Hill in letters to the chairman and ranking members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. “For the past 100 years, ASSE’s member occupational safety, health, and environmental professionals have worked day and night in all industries to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses. They have seen results but at the same time know that more needs to and can be done,” Hill added.
 
 
Hill noted this is an important time for the profession and for ASSE. “That’s why, on this our 100th Anniversary, ASSE offers this draft legislation to build on what we have learned is missing in the way this nation oversees workplace safety and health. After 40 years of the OSHA Act and other decisions made following its passage in 1970, workers should be able to rely on a thoughtful reexamination of that Act’s effectiveness, which we hope our draft legislation encourages.”
 
 
In his letters, Hill notes that the changes to the OSHA  Act  ASSE offers are structural in nature, meant to help OSHA work better, be more effective in its outreach, and keep up with rapidly advancing knowledge about how to protect workers and workplaces. (WCxKit)
 
 
ASSE’s bill contains provisions on coverage of public sector employees; updating permissible exposure limits; advancing a risk-based regulatory approach; encouraging collaborative rulemaking; enhanced definition of competent person; encouraging OSHA consideration of voluntary consensus standards; enabling OSHA to update standards with voluntary consensus standards; relocation of NIOSH within the Department of Health and Human Services; increased criminal penalties for those responsible for safety culture in an organization; encouraging employer risk assessment through third party consultations; encouraging risk assessment through safety and health audit privilege; codification of the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP); and expanded access to VPP for small businesses.
 
 
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Respiratory Hazard Exposures Reduced by Testing

A pair of guidance documents, one for workers and one for employers, describing the use of spirometry testing to help reduce and prevent worker exposure to respiratory hazards has been developed by The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
 
 
Spirometry is a common pulmonary function test measuring how well a person moves air in and out of the lungs. Workers who inhale some types of dusts, gases or other air contaminants can, over time, experience lung damage. The spirometry test may detect breathing problems or significant changes in a worker’s lung function at an early stage. The information in these new guidance documents assists employers with identifying and eliminating hazardous workplace exposures and helping reduce or prevent the chances of workers developing lung disease. (WCxKit)
 
 
The new information sheet for employers clarifies what spirometry is, when it is needed, and critical elements employers can use to evaluate the quality of spirometry services provided to their workers. The sheet also describes how monitoring workers’ lung function over time can help individuals by identifying problems early and make the workplace safer by identifying when workplace respiratory hazards are causing problems that must be corrected.
 
 
The companion document, OSHA-NIOSH Worker Info, explains to workers the importance of taking a spirometry test, what to do during the test, their right to receive an explanation and copy of test results.
 
 
OSHA also recommends spirometry testing for workers exposed to diacetyl and diacetyl substitutes. Diacetyl is a by-product of fermentation and used to add flavor to some foods which may be dangerous to workers over a long period of exposure. The agency recently issued a bulletin and a companion worker alert on Diacetyl and Substitutes. (WCxKit)
 
 
These documents recommend employers include spirometry testing in their medical surveillance programs to identify workers experiencing adverse health effects from exposure to flavorings, including food flavorings containing diacetyl.

Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact:Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.
 
 
 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Professional Development Resource

Learn How to Reduce Workers Comp Costs 20% to 50%"Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%"
Lower your workers compensation expense by using the
guidebook from Advisen and the Workers Comp Resource Center.
Perfect for promotional distribution by brokers and agents!
Learn More

Please don't print this Website

Unnecessary printing not only means unnecessary cost of paper and inks, but also avoidable environmental impact on producing and shipping these supplies. Reducing printing can make a small but a significant impact.

Instead use the PDF download option, provided on the page you tried to print.

Powered by "Unprintable Blog" for Wordpress - www.greencp.de