Content related to ‘ASSE’

ASSE Urges Hazardous Materials Communication Rule Completion

ASSE Urges Hazardous Materials Communication Rule Completion Posted on:

The Hazard Communication proposed rule seeks to ensure that the hazards of all chemicals produced or imported are evaluated and communicated to employers and employees. Modifying OSHA’s existing HCS could harmonize chemical hazard communications worldwide, help U.S. employers compete in the international marketplace, and increase work safety.

Flu Infection Control Tips

Flu Infection Control Tips Posted on:

What should your workplace do to prepare for a possible flu pandemic? Keep informed, develop a plan, and implement public health programs are some of the tips offered to businesses by the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) Healthcare Practice Specialty group. Many occupational safety, health, and environmental practitioners on the front lines of protecting workers have expressed concern over outbreaks of bird/avian flu. The Healthcare Practice Specialty notes that a pandemic is a global disease outbreak; an influenza pandemic occurs when a new influenza A virus emerges for which there is little or no immunity in the human population and spreads easily from person-to-person worldwide. Recently, a virulent strain of the bird/avian flu, also known as H5N1, spread from Asia to Europe. The virus can infect humans as well as birds and can cause serious disease and death. “In the past, flu pandemics have led to thousands of deaths in the U.S.,” ASSE President Jack H. Dobson, Jr., CSP, said. “This information could help in controlling the spread of a possible flu outbreak.” Three strains of flu are most commonly discussed. The first form is seasonal flu, which happens every year in the U.S. and kills about 36,000 people annually. The second strain is bird flu or avian influenza, H5N1, which occurs among birds. However, in 1997, a lethal strain of H5N1 appeared among humans in Hong Kong hospitalizing 18 people and killing six people, according to officials. The victims had had close contact with poultry. As of December 2005, the H5N1 bird flu strain had only been transmitted from birds to humans, according to officials, who also note that there have been no reported cases of H5N1 passing from one person to another. The third form is pandemic flu. The H5N1 bird flu strain in Asia is causing concern about the possibility of a pandemic. If and when the H5N1 bird flu strain mutates to an H5N1 human pandemic strain, it could spread rapidly around the world within several weeks to months, according to officials. From a workplace standpoint, avian flu may be more threatening to employees of poultry farms, other farm workers, and animal handlers. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Guidance for Protecting Workers Against Avian Flu, it is these workers who are most likely to recognize an infected bird or animal. The avian flu can be transmitted in many ways. The World Health Organization (WHO) notes “In an agricultural setting, animal manure containing influenza virus can contaminate dust… …Read More…