» Industrial safety

Vermiculite Hazard Update

A two-page report. Some concern has been raised recently about vermiculite containing asbestos, and the potential impact of weatherization work in the areas of the home where it is present. The federal government has launched a national consumer awareness campaign on vermiculite. Read More

Electronic Library of Construction Occupational Safety & Health

The Electronic Library of Construction Occupational Safety and Health was developed and is maintained by CPWR – Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) with support from grants CCU317202 and 1 U54 OH008307 from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). eLCOSH is intended to provide accurate, user-friendly information about safety and health for construction workers from a wide range of sources worldwide. Read More

Safety in the Wind Industry

Numerous tasks in the construction, operation and maintenance of a wind turbine require strict safety guidelines and well-designed equipment. A wind technician may be required to work in a space the size of a bathroom sitting on an 80-meter tower the size of an elevator shaft 20 stories tall (though they may not have service lifts), with massive mechanical and high voltage electrical equipment filling much of the space, many miles from the closest town, at a site exposed to some of the strongest winds – and harsh weather – around. A technician may be required to inspect the front hub and blades of the turbine – from the small space inside, or, in some cases, while being suspended along the blade on the outside. And that’s just the job of the operation and maintenance technician. The construction crew had to work at the same site first, erecting the tower, turbine and rotor using some of the tallest mobile cranes in the crane industry, as well as installing underground electrical lines and access roads across harsh terrain. The foundation may require excavating a column 2 ½ stories deep, adding to safety challenges. Read More

The Family and Medical Leave Act: AFSCME's Comprehensive Guide

After more than 11 years since passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act, questions still arise from affiliates about workers’ rights under FMLA and management’s implementation of the law. The AFSCME Guide to the Family and Medical Leave Act: Questions & Answers, remains the most requested publication of the International’s Women’s Rights Department. Also, over time, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and some courts have clarified FMLA requirements. Read More

Facts at Your Fingertips: Health and Safety

AFSCME manual on worker safety and health laws, regulations, issues, and compliance. Read More

OSHA Laws & Standards

AFSCME members are protected by a variety of safety and health laws, most of which follow standards issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Read More

Keys to Healthy Computing: A Health and Safety Handbook

The Information Age has certainly arrived. Tremendous energy and creativity have been unleashed to find new applications for computers. Unfortunately, much less attention has been paid to the effects these machines are having on those who work with computers. Read More

Technical and Bargaining Assistance

AFSCME health and safety staff also provides information or assistance to address specific health and safety problems and advice on enforcing OSHA Standards. Some of these requests are handled by a fact sheet, others by a letter, and, in some situations, AFSCME health and safety staff will conduct site visits and meet with the employer and/or government agencies. Read More

Risky Business: A Guide for Water and Wastewater Workers

AFSCME represents over 40,000 water and wastewater treatment workers. They face exposure to flammable, explosive or poisonous gases, hazardous confined spaces, infectious diseases, temperature extremes, slip and fall hazards, excessive noise and unsanitary workplaces. According to the National Safety Council (1996), water and wastewater treatment workers suffer disabling injuries and illnesses at almost five times the rate of the average industrial worker. These figures do not tell the whole story on the dangers for these workers as they do not include the close calls. Read More

Needle Points: An AFSCME Guide to Sharps Safety

There are an estimated 600,000 to 800,000 needlesticks and other skin punctures or cuts among health care workers each year. About half of these incidents are not reported to employers. A needlestick or other exposure from a used needle or other sharp device carries the risk of infection with serious and even deadly diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis. Read More


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