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Occupational Exposures at Electronic Scrap Recycling Facilities

Categories: Environment/Green Jobs, Lead

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Employee manually dismantling cathode ray tubes from televisions. Photo by NIOSH.

Go Green! Recycle! We have all heard the call to be more environmentally conscious. However, not everyone is aware of the many health and safety hazards facing employees who handle the recycling of electronics. Many recycled electronics can contain hazardous materials such as lead, cadmium and other toxic metals. In 2011, the U.S. e-scrap recycling industry contributed approximately $90 billion to the U.S. economy, compared with less than $1 billion in 2002 [ISRI 2014]. The ‘e-scrap’ recycling industry is also called ‘e-waste’ or ‘e-cycle.’ This industry sector generated about 138,000 direct jobs in 2011, up from 6,000 employees in 2002, and recycled more than 130 million metric tons of materials in 2010 [ISRI 2014]. To better document the hazards, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has completed exposure evaluations at several electronics recycling facilities and conducted a survey of electronics recycling facilities across the United States.

NIOSH Celebrates National Farm Safety and Health Week

Categories: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing

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September 21-27, 2014, is National Farm Safety and Health Week. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) marks this year’s theme, Safety Counts: Protecting What Matters, by announcing the new Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing directory page.

The new page provides a one-stop entry to all of NIOSH’s agriculture, forestry and fishing resources, making it easier than ever to access data, information, and publications for research and action. The directory page is coordinated by the Office of Agriculture Safety and Health (OASH) in the NIOSH Director’s Office. OASH provides leadership to prevent work-related injuries and illnesses among the nation’s agriculture, forestry and fishing workers. OASH sets strategic directions for, supports, and monitors and reports progress on safety and health research and public health practice activities, both intramural and extramural. OASH also bridges internal and external activities by facilitating research integration, partnership development, and research to practice.

Climate Change and Occupational Safety and Health

Categories: Environment/Green Jobs

 

cc4Weather and climate patterns are changing, causing increasingly frequent and severe heat waves, drought, flooding, and extreme weather events, as well as a rise in sea levels, a report released in May by the U.S. Global Change Research Program concluded (National Climate Assessment). Global climate change has become one of the most visible environmental concerns of the 21st century and these changes have the potential to affect human health both directly and indirectly.

Accurate and Efficient Assessments of Working Posture

Categories: Ergonomics

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Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) account for roughly one-third of workplace illness and injuries in the United States. According to Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, overexertion injuries, which include those from work-related lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying, or throwing, cost U.S. businesses $14.2 billion in direct costs in 2013. To address the burden of preventable musculoskeletal and overexertion injuries, practitioners in the fields of Occupational Safety, Industrial Hygiene and Ergonomics need workplace assessment methods that are both accurate (valid) and time efficient.

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