July 2019 EHS news roundup

Welcome to our July EHS news roundup!

Top story: Deaths from asbestos exposure has reached its highest level in the UK, and the HSE expects this trend to continue for the rest of this decade.

In other news: preventing risks with workplace culture, raising awareness of UV protection, overworked Amazon employees, and finally, OSHA's drones for worksite inspections.

Read on for the full scoop.

Britain’s death toll from asbestos at crisis level, figures reveal

The Guardian

"The death toll from asbestos exposure has reached crisis levels in Britain, the Guardian has learned, as people pay the price for “criminal failings by industry and government” made decades ago.

Asbestos-related cancers can occur as many as 50 years after exposure and deaths are now thought to be reaching their peak, years after the widespread industrial use of the carcinogen between the 1950s and 70s." Read more »

How do you assess risks? It hinges on leadership & culture


"In my early 20s, I was working as a laborer on a construction site when I heard a story about a worker who jumped into a trench without appropriate protection. Not many people walk around throughout their day with a risk assessment in hand, unless of course it’s the one in their phone.

We should, however, always have an informal risk assessment tool in our mind that allows us to perform at least a cursory assessment until we can dig deeper or in a more formal way." Read more »

Raising awareness of UV protection

SHP Online

"UV protection should be a vital part of employees’ PPE, especially as we move into the hottest months of the year. The employer’s duty of care extends to this; here SC Johnson Professional expands on the risks and what can be done to raise awareness." Read more »

Prime Day = overworked Amazon employees


While consumers participate enthusiastically in Prime Day, a sales bonanza staged each year by Amazon, the company’s workers regard it with something less than enthusiasm.

The $5 billion in sales the world’s biggest online retailer is predicted to generate over the 2-day event is expected to exacerbate what are alleged to be already stressful conditions for the company’s employees." Read more »

It's a Bird. It's a Plane. It's... An OSHA Inspection Drone?


"We have for several years now heard about our military’s and intelligence agencies’ use of unmanned drones to conduct secret surveillance of our geopolitical adversaries and terrorists across the globe. We may even take comfort in the use of these high-tech mobile video cameras hovering above a terrorist hide-out to foil a plot against our country.

What may be less comforting to employers in the U.S., however, is that OSHA seems to have borrowed the playbook from our spy agencies to assist their inspectors in conducting inspections of U.S. workplaces." Read more »

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