Howard, Michaels Congratulate NSC on Century's Accomplishments

The NIOSH director and the OSHA administrator also discussed construction falls, silica exposures, GHS, and incentives during their joint keynote Oct. 23 at the National Safety Congress & Expo.

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The heads of NIOSH and OSHA began their keynote speeches Oct. 23 by congratulating the host National Safety Council on its achievements during its first century of existence, which this year's National Safety Congress & Expo is celebrating.

"When you think about the workplace of 100 years ago, I think it is no exaggeration to say there was carnage in the workplace," OSH Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels said. "We've made great progress in workplace safety and health. . . . We certainly look forward to another 100 years [of progress]."

Dr. John Howard, NIOSH's director, also congratulated the council for reaching the centennial milestone. His speech focused on the two-year campaign to prevent construction fall fatalities, principally those in which roofs, ladders, and scaffolds are involved. Construction fall prevention is the number one goal in the NORA construction goals, Howard noted, and roofs are involved in 33 percent of them, while ladders and scaffolds are involved in 16 percent apiece, he said.

Michaels discussed GHS, grain engulfments, incentives, silica exposures, and his hoped-for Injury and Illness Prevention Programs standard. He said OSHA's recent decision to require residential construction contractors to have workers use fall protection PPE was sorely needed after 15 years when OSHA allowed contractors to use alternatives. "It was time to change; everybody should be protected the same way," Michaels said.

He also said OSHA is currently looking at how workers involved in natural gas fracking work can be protected against silica exposures. When the agency has figured that out, it will be able to issue is planned silica exposure standard, he said.

About the Author

Jerry Laws is Editor of Occupational Health & Safety magazine, which is owned by 1105 Media Inc.

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