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Oregon OSHA: Small Biz Safety Committees, Silica Dust Dangers, and Fall Protection Regulations

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Oregon’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OHSA) August newsletter is out.

Three noteworthy stories:

1) “A fine danger: Controlling silica dust, by Melanie Mesaros (page 4):

Rustic stone fireplaces and contoured granite countertops may look beautiful, but workers creating such masterpieces face a real risk. Silica, a naturally occurring mineral, is found in rock and sand all across the world and can lead to tissue damage, scar tissue, and even lung cancer….” (read full story)

2) This Q & A:A question came up regarding the regulations or law concerning whether it is a requirement to periodically test retractable fall protection devices. If so, what are the requirements?” For the answer, see page 10 of the newsletter.

3) Rule change for all small employers to take effect in September (page 14):

After an extended phase-in period, the rule revision requiring all employers to have a safety committee or hold safety meetings with their employees takes effect on Sept. 19, 2009, for small employers (10 or fewer employees) not in construction.

Under the new rules, all employers will need either to have a safety committee or to use the less formal option of safety meetings to involve their employees in addressing jobsite safety….” (read full story)

And, did you know there was an Oregon Ombudsman for injured workers?