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OSHA Going Green

OSHA Going Green
The Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs recently hosted an informational session for small occupations titled as the “Green Jobs: Safety and Health Outlook for Workers and Small Employers” at the Department of Labor. The session was conducted with a purpose to describe OSHA’s Green job efforts, to discuss the work site hazards that associate with green jobs, challenges posed by green jobs as well as the opportunities, review the best work practices and the strategies for small scale businesses to reduce safety and health hazards in green jobs. However, the session was that up to the mark.

What OSHA can do when it comes to Green Jobs?

They can frame the issue within the social, economical,and environmental or occupational health context. They can define the tern Green Industry or Job and Green Manufacturing in terms of the environmental health and safety,workers health and safety, economic drivers, politics and policy, social well-being for workers,quality of life for consumers and social equity.

Specify the occupational health risks that are common or associated with “green industry” and then link it with the current Federal and state policies, regulations and programs. Those risks which are unique to the green industry must be highlighted. They should clearly describe a strategic plan to handle these risks.

They can use the freshness of “the green industry to improve the existing Federal as well as state worker safety and health policies, regulations and programs. Most of the risks involved like confined space, lockout/ragout, hazard communication, heat stress, crane and derricks, powered industrial trucks, machine guarding and fall safety are not new. They can leverage this great opportunity to improve the OSHA safety training programs, sites and data collection efforts for hazards and exposures of “green industry”. OSHA has mandated OSHA training courses for worker in other industries and now they can focus on this green industry.