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Welding without proper ventilation is a health-risk Image: FreeDigitalPhotos

Welding without proper ventilation is a health-risk
Image: FreeDigitalPhotos

OSHA finds Imperial Industries ignores rules to prevent toxic exposure

Workers welding stainless steel and other alloy steels containing chromium metal at a Wisconsin bulk storage tank manufacturer were exposed to hazardous levels of hexavalent chromium.

At high levels, hexavalent chromium can cause lung cancer and respiratory, eye and skin damage.

After a complaint, U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors visited Imperial Industries in Rothschild and identified two willful and 12 serious safety violations.

Proposed penalties total $161,100.

“Each year 50,000 workers die from exposures to hazardous substances like chromium during their careers. Failing to take steps to limit exposure to this dangerous substance is inexcusable,” said Robert Bonack, area director of OSHA’s Appleton office.

“Workers pay the price when companies don’t follow standards to reduce injuries and illnesses. Imperial Industries needs to take immediate steps to comply with safety and health standards.”

Inspectors determined employees were exposed to hexavalent chromium at levels exceeding permissible exposure limits while welding steels containing chromium metal. Chromium is added to harden alloy steel and help it resist corrosion.

Additionally, the company failed to implement engineering controls to reduce and monitor exposure levels among workers.

The November 2014 investigation also found workers endangered by amputation and struck-by hazards because machines lacked safety mechanisms.

Numerous electrical safety hazards were also identified, and workers were found operating damaged powered industrial vehicles.

Imperial Industries manufactures heavy gauge metal industrial tanks that are typically mounted to commercial trucks.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees.

OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.

Source: OSHA

Concerned about exposure to toxic chemicals and gases at your workplace? Electrocorp has designed a wide range of indoor air cleaners with activated carbon and HEPA filters that remove dangerous chemicals, gases, fumes, odors and particles from the ambient air. Source capture units are also available.

Check out Electrocorp’s welding fume extractors or browse other industrial and commercial applications. For more information, contact Electrocorp by calling 1-866-667-0297 or e-mailing sales@electrocorp.net.

Diesel exhaust could affect your health.

Exposure to diesel fumes could be causing cancer at a greater rate than previously known, researchers say.

A new long-term study by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that miners exposed to diesel engine exhaust are three times more likely to contract fatal lung cancer, and that commuters on busy highways in smoggy, urban areas might face a similar risk.

The study was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

While diesel exhaust is currently classified as a “probable carcinogen”, health authorities will review this classification in the months to come.

A change in classifications could mean tighter regulations as well.

The study looked at 20 years of data on miners exposed to diesel exhaust and showed significant increases in the risk of lung cancer deaths with higher level of exposures, especially in miners working more than 5 years.

The study authors warn of the risks to Americans living in urban areas as well, although the risk is lower for lower doses of diesel exhaust.

Drivers getting stuck on long highway commutes may be exposed more than people standing on the sidewalk because of wind tunnel effect, experts say.

Commuters can help protect themselves by

  • Leaving windows closed on busy highways and streets
  • Setting the air on “recirculate” to keep pollutants out
  • Having a HEPA filter installed in the car

Newer diesel cars are much cleaner than older models, experts say, but many older models are still being used on the streets.

Source: The Sun

Reduce indoor air pollution with air cleaners

When the air outside is polluted, pollutants make their way indoors – where they can build up to unsafe levels if not handled properly.

That is why the air in many workplaces could expose workers to higher levels of pollutants that can affect their health and well-being.

Electrocorp offers portable and powerful air cleaners with activated carbon, HEPA and other filters to remove the widest range of indoor air contaminants.

The air cleaners work 24/7 to provide cleaner, healthier air and they can handle airborne chemicals, gases, odors, VOCs, particles, dust, bacteria, viruses and mold.

Contact Electrocorp for more information and more options.

Italian court sentences two men to prison and to pay damages.

An Italian court on Monday sentenced two men to 16 years in prison over thousands of asbestos-related deaths.

The Swiss billionaire and Belgian baron were major decision makers in a company making Eternit fiber cement and were found guilty in failing to comply with safety regulations.

As part of their sentence, they were ordered to pay damages to civil parties that could add up to millions of dollars.

The trial piqued worldwide interest since it could be a potential precedent for similar trials.

Exposure to asbestos fibers continues to affect former workers and nearby residents, with many developing cancer and lung disease.

The company went bankrupt six years before asbestos was banned in Italy in 1992.

Asbestos was a widely used material in building insulation and other building materials because of its ability to absorb sound and to resist fire.

However, the material has been banned in Europe and North America because the inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause lung inflammation and cancer, sometimes only 20 years after the exposure.

Asbestos continues to be used in developing countries.

Source: Radio Netherlands Worldwide

Take precautions when dealing with asbestos

Even though asbestos has been banned for some time, it can still be found in many older buildings and homes.

The AirRhino can go from particle-only to odor and chemical air scrubber on site.

During renovation and remodeling projects, it can become a risk factor to human health, if the asbestos-containing material is being disturbed and sets free tiny asbestos fiber that can be inhaled by workers and building occupants.

It’s important to rely on professional asbestos remediation services whenever asbestos is involved.

Additional help with industrial-strength air cleaners can assist in removing asbestos fibers as well as other particles, dust and chemicals linked to the construction work.

Electrocorp offers portable and powerful air cleaners for mold and asbestos remediation with highly effective particle filters as well as activated carbon filters to remove the widest range of indoor air contaminants.

Contact Electrocorp for more information and options.

The medical community agrees that asbestos can scar the lungs and cause illness.

This is a guest post from Mesothelioma Center.

Air contamination occurs when unwanted or hazardous materials, such as asbestos, affect the air around us.

Asbestos is odorless, tasteless and the fibers are invisible to the naked eye. In comparison to a human hair, an asbestos fiber is about one ninth of the width.

Exposure to asbestos fibers can cause severe health problems including mesothelioma cancers, lung cancer and asbestosis, as well as other conditions.

Airborne asbestos fibers are the most dangerous because they can be easily inhaled into the lungs. The fibers can become lodged in the lining of the lungs and are unable to be broken down or expelled by the body’s natural defenses.

There are no immediate symptoms of an asbestos-related disease, in fact mesothelioma symptoms may take 20-50 years to develop.

Could you be at risk for exposure?

Asbestos was widely used as a building material for insulation and fireproofing up until the late 1980’s.

Rooms with poor ventilation keep fresh air from circulating in, making it hazardous for people entering into rooms with asbestos such as attics and basements. Also, workers that installed asbestos-containing products are at a greater risk due to the large disturbance of loose fibers.

Concentration of fibers in homes, schools, or other buildings can range from 30 to 6,000 fibers per cubic meter. It is important to know if the buildings you spend time in contain asbestos.

The presence of loose or disturbed asbestos in your work or home creates a larger danger since you generally spend the majority of your time in those places.

Home renovations on houses built before the 1990’s can be another potential dangerous situation due to the likelihood of asbestos being present.

If you are conducting a home renovation remember to keep your working area well ventilated, and if you come across a substance that might be asbestos or contains asbestos, stop and get it inspected. Asbestos removal should be performed by a professionally trained contractor.

As you can see, air contaminated with asbestos poses severe risks to your health. No amount of asbestos exposure is safe.

Feel free to learn more about asbestos and mesothelioma at the Mesothelioma Center and visit them on Facebook and Twitter.

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Lawsuits prove that companies need to keep workers' health and safety in mind - or they may face costly litigation.

The widow of a man who recently died of lung cancer has filed a lawsuit against the company that employed him for exposing him to asbestos.

According to an article in The Record in April, Katherine Jackson filed a lawsuit in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Illinois Central Railroad, alleging that the exposure caused her deceased husband’s fatal condition.

Jackson alleges her recently deceased husband, Claudy Jackson, worked as a fireman for the railroad company from 1948 until 1951.

During that time, Claudy Jackson was exposed to asbestos, diesel exhaust, environmental tobacco smoke, silica, welding fumes, toxic dusts, gases and other fumes, according to the complaint.

As a result of his exposure, Claudy Jackson experienced great pain, disability, mental anguish and nervousness and incurred medical costs, the suit states, and on April 26, 2008, Claudy Jackson died after a battle against lung cancer.

His wife claims the company did not follow proper health and safety procedures and is seeking a judgment of more than $200,000, plus costs.

Source: The Record

The dangers of asbestos exposure

The WHO identifies asbestos as one of the most dangerous occupational carcinogens, declaring the need to eliminate asbestos use and associated health damages. An estimated 107,000 people worldwide die from asbestos-related diseases.

Asbestos is a mineral fiber commonly used for insulation in constructions. It is relatively affordable, which makes it attractive in developing countries.

Asbestos-related lung diseases, particularly mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis (asbestos induced lung fibrosis), typically develop after decades of lag time from first exposure.

Protect workers’ health and safety with powerful air cleaners

Air purifiers and major air filtration systems from Electrocorp designed for mold and asbestos abatement projects can help keep the indoor air clean by removing chemicals, particles, fibers and gases from the air with a large activated carbon filter and a HEPA filter.

Electrocorp’s air cleaners use only safe and proven filtration technologies.

Contact Electrocorp for more information.

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