» Industrial safety

Excavation, Trenching and Shoring Safety

Construction work is dangerous; and work involving trenching and excavating activities tends to be the most hazardous in the industry. Yet, we see trenching and excavating work going on all around us. Excavations are needed for the installation and repair of utility lines, replacement of water and sewer lines, swimming pool construction, even grave digging. Excavation projects vary considerably, each with its own set of unique problems. Read More

Are You Prepared? A Guide to Emergency Planning in the Workplace

The tragic events in September of 2001 have increased feelings of vulnerability and uncertainty in this country. Thousands died at the World Trade Center and Pentagon, and in the airliner that crashed in Somerset, Pa., before reaching its destination. A few weeks later, the intentional contamination of mail with anthrax resulted in several deaths and serious illnesses. Psychological damage has accompanied the loss of life and physical harm. Read More

Safe Jobs Now: A Guide to Health and Safety in the Workplace

Deaths and injuries on the job are not random events. The dangerous conditions that cause fatalities, injuries, and illnesses can and should be corrected before tragedies happen. Staying alive and healthy requires action. Dangerous conditions in the workplace must be spotted and steps must be taken to get rid of hazards. Read More

AFSCME Health & Safety Fact Sheet: Workplace Violence

Violence in the workplace has become an epidemic. Not only is workplace violence increasingly common in those workplaces where violence is expected — for example, corrections, law enforcement and mental health — but in almost every occupation that deals with the public. Read More

AFSCME Health & Safety Fact Sheet: Workplace Inspections

The main purpose of the actual workplace inspection is for the inspector(s) to discover health and safety hazards and get them corrected before injuries or illnesses occur. A closely related purpose is to educate the workers about the hazards they face at work. Not only must union representatives take part in all inspections, but all employees should be aware that an inspection is taking place and feel free to tell inspectors of any problems they may be having. Read More

AFSCME Health & Safety Fact Sheet: Work Zone Traffic Safety

Each year AFSCME members die or are seriously injured when vehicles crash through traffic control devices and enter a work zone. Workers are also struck by equipment operating within the work area. Repairing streets and bridges, cleaning catch basins, and rebuilding manholes are examples of tasks that require workers to share the road with other vehicles. Read More

AFSCME Health & Safety Fact Sheet: Trenching and Excavation

A trench is a narrow channel that is deeper than it is wide. A trench can be up to 15 feet wide. An excavation is any hole or trench that is made by removing earth. Read More

AFSCME Health & Safety Fact Sheet: Staph Infection in the Correctional Facility

There are several types of staphylococcus bacteria that cause illness in people. The most common type is staphylococcus aureus, or staph aureus. It causes open sores (lesions) on the skin. If the infection is widespread, the skin lesions can lead to a variety of serious and even life-threatening conditions including pneumonia, lung abscess, sepsis (blood poisoning), meningitis (brain inflammation) or brain abscesses. Symptoms usually occur within 4 to 10 days, although the time is variable and indefinite. Read More

AFSCME Health & Safety Fact Sheet: Smallpox Vaccine: What Workers Need To Know

The federal smallpox vaccination policy is intended to inoculate health care workers and other emergency responders on a voluntary basis. It is a pre-event program, meaning the vaccinations are to be given before any smallpox cases appear. Approximately 500,000 health care workers are to be vaccinated in the first phase, followed by a second wave of an additional 10 million health care and other emergency responders. There has not been a smallpox case in the world since 1977, but the U.S. government has developed the vaccination program to protect against the possibility of an intentional release of smallpox. AFSCME has called for a delay in the vaccination program in order to address serious safety and workplace issues. Read More

AFSCME Health & Safety Fact Sheet: Silica

Silica causes disease when workers breathe in tiny silica particles that are released from rocks and ores. The particles are so small they can only be seen with a microscope. Read More


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