Archive for June, 2010

Combustible Dust: Identifying and Addressing the Hazards

Filed in Safety by on June 29, 2010 4 Comments
Combustible Dust: Identifying and Addressing the Hazards

In the processing of a number of goods including food, grain, plastics, wood, paper, rubber,  textiles, metals, as well as during fossil fuel power generation, combustible materials –  and some materials normally considered noncombustible – can burn rapidly when in a finely divided form. Given the right concentrations and conditions, this dust can become highly […]

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Combustible Dust: Definition and Determination of Covered Facilities

Filed in Safety by on June 29, 2010 1 Comment

At the previous OSHA combustible dust stakeholder meetings there was considerable discussion about how OSHA should define combustible dust and how that definition could or should be used to determine what types of facilities would be covered under the scope of an OSHA standard. The consensus standards addressing combustible dust use varying definitions. Under its […]

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Combustible Dust: Performance and Specification Based Approaches

Filed in Safety by on June 29, 2010 3 Comments

During the stakeholder meetings, there was considerable discussion as to whether OSHA should take a performance versus a specification based approach towards regulating combustible dusts.  OSHA is aware that employers want compliance options but is interested in your opinions about how best to provide regulatory flexibility. OSHA is considering a balance of performance based and […]

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Combustible Dust: Building on the Grain Dust Standard?

Filed in Safety by on June 29, 2010 0 Comments

OSHA already has a standard that addresses combustible dust in large portions of grain handling facilities. Several groups participating in OSHA’s combustible dust stakeholder meetings argued that the OSHA’s grain dust standard has been highly successful in reducing combustible dust explosions and recommended that OSHA continue to regulate the grain industry under that standard and […]

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Combustible Dust: Minimizing Costs without Sacrificing Safety

Filed in Safety by on June 29, 2010 3 Comments

What kinds of costs and benefits do you foresee from a proposed rule?What alternatives should OSHA consider that could minimize costs without sacrificing safety? How will a possible rule affect existing businesses? How will it affect new businesses trying to start up? How can impacts (especially for small businesses) be minimized without sacrificing safety?

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Sometimes, It Takes an Interpretation

Filed in Workplace Rights by on June 25, 2010 1 Comment
Sometimes, It Takes an Interpretation

A colleague of mine in the Obama administration sparked a political controversy about 15 years ago when she wrote about the impact a village can have in raising a child. While I’m sure many are disappointed that the politics guiding that debate remain much the same, there is little doubt that caring for a child […]

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The Affordable Care Act: Bringing Relief to Americans

Filed in Workplace Rights by on June 23, 2010 2 Comments

When President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act in March he ushered in a new day for every American family that has seen its wages and dreams eroded by a health care system that worked for the insurance companies’ bottom line — and at the expense of regular people. To me, reforming America’s health care […]

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Beyond Basic: Training Veterans for Careers in the Clean Energy Economy

Filed in Workforce Development by on June 15, 2010 1 Comment

No one pays a higher price for our freedom than our nation’s veterans. They deserve our support long after they return from the fields of battle. Unfortunately, many of these brave men and women struggle with the process of re-adapting to civilian life, and they have difficulty reentering the very workforce they left behind to […]

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The Hardest Working 90 Year Old at the Department of Labor

The Hardest Working 90 Year Old at the Department of Labor

On June 5, 1920, two months before women received the right to vote, Congress established the Women’s Bureau within the Department of Labor to shed light on the status of working women and improve their conditions.  Since then, the Women’s Bureau has championed the interests of working women nationwide and sought to advance women’s opportunities […]

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