Recent Blog Posts

Contractors could be liable for wildfire smoke impacts on workers’ health

By | Blog, Phylmar | No Comments

Construction firms may have legal exposure if workers become sick during unhealthy or hazardous air quality days, according to attorney Michael Zisa, as reported in Construction Dive. “Contractors are not experts in air quality, safety standards or disease control,” Zisa said in an email. “When confronted with ambiguous standards or requirements, contractors are left to determine on their own how to balance…

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OSHA resolves only 2 percent of retaliation; slow equipment portends EPA problems

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Report: OSHA has resolved only 2% of reports of retaliation against COVID whistleblowers The National Employment Law Project (NELP) report’s findings highlight how OSHA is handling reports of retaliation against COVID whistleblowers.  The NELP analyzed OSHA’s public data on the 1,744 COVID-19-related retaliation complaints filed by workers from the beginning of the pandemic through August 9.  The report found that…

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Methods to prevent suicide among your workers

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From 2007-18, more than 2,800 suicides occurred in the workplace, an average of 284 each year. This is in addition to the approximately 44,000 nonoccupational suicides that occur in the U.S. each year. EHS professionals can take steps to foster a more open and supportive work environment where people are more willing and able to discuss this difficult and personal subject, and the…

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CDC updates “How COVID is Spread” webpage

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CDC has issued updated guidance to its How COVID-19 Spreads website, which includes information about the potential for airborne spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. CDC continues to believe, based on current science, that people are more likely to become infected the longer and closer they are to a person with COVID-19. The update acknowledges the existence of some published reports showing…

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Sustainability top of mind for fashion leaders despite COVID-19

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New research from the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) reveals the extent of the global fashion industry’s commitment to sustainability, with 60% of fashion, retail and textile leaders surveyed stating implementing sustainability measures as a top strategic objective for their business. Leaders report they are introducing sustainability measures throughout the supply chain, from sourcing sustainably produced raw materials (65%), introducing…

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Consider a “pandemic pod” as seasons change

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As the seasons shift, the temperature drops and the days get shorter. Outdoor activities are harder to come by as the cool air and decreased sunlight cause people to drift indoors, according to news from Indiana University. This part of the calendar could be more problematic now because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC says that wearing masks, keeping 6…

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Apple iPhone accessories scrapped, McDonald’s has better beef and cup supply

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Sustainability experts welcome Apple’s move to scrap iPhone accessories  Apple’s decision to remove the charger and headphones from iPhone 12 boxes has been well received by environmentalists, although the tech giant has been pressed to go much further in reducing its impact on the environment. Apple recently announced that all of the four upcoming iPhone 12 models will not include a charging…

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Steps for averting pandemic-induced workplace violence

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As states and municipalities reopen more, businesses are reviving in-person operations leaving employers to confront myriad state and local requirements, industry-specific guidelines, and commonsense health practices to operate a business in a post-COVID-19 world, according to Law360. A thorough return-to-work strategy addresses at least one aspect of health and safety other than the illness itself: the increased potential for incidents…

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Researchers are engineering better masks with improved design and safety

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Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory want to make better masks. They’ve been working on ideas since the early days of the pandemic. And now they’re ready to roll them out. Research is being conducted on the 1700-acre campus in a Chicago suburb. Jeff Elam PhD. and his colleague Anil Mane PhD. work with chemical coatings and materials. “The masks you…

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Calif. bill requires employers to notify every employee of potential workplace COVID-19 exposures

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The California Legislature has passed Assembly Bill (“AB”) 685, requiring employers to notify every employee of potential COVID-19 exposure at the workplace. Governor Newsom signed AB 685 into law and it will go into effect on January 1, 2021. AB 685 will bring the following changes to employers in California: AB 685 expands Cal/OSHA’s authority to issue Stop Work Orders for workplaces…

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