What's New from the Occupational Health Surveillance and Evaluation Program
Preventing falls in construction
Fall hazards are present in many occupational settings, but the construction industry has the highest frequency of fall-related fatalities. Falls account for one of every three deaths in construction. These deaths, and many injuries caused by falls, are preventable! A new web page from the California Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program highlights new fall prevention material: tailgate training cards, digital stories, fact sheets, and fatality investigation reports. National fall prevention resources are also included.
Preventing worker injuries and deaths from falls – new web page
Preventing palm tree trimmer fatalities
Tree trimming and pruning is dangerous work, and palm trees have unique risks. Inadequate or improper climbing techniques and equipment can cause fatal suffocation, falls, and electrocution. A new digital story (short video) from the California Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program explains the events that led to a palm tree trimmer being suffocated by palm fronds. Photographs from the FACE fatality investigation, and news clips, are supplemented with scenes recreated by tree trimmers. The videos (English and Spanish) highlight best practice climbing and trimming techniques.
Preventing palm tree trimmer fatalities – video in English
Prevención de fatalidades de podadores de palmeras – video in Spanish
Additional palm tree safety materials – new web page
FACE program digital stories – updated web page
Tracking work-related asthma in California
Work-related asthma (WRA) is under-recognized and often undiagnosed, but a new report estimates that nearly a million adults in California have had work-related asthma. “Asthma in California: A Surveillance Report” tracks asthma data for the state of California, and includes a chapter on WRA. The updated chapter includes rates of WRA by industry and occupation, types of exposure, measures of the impact of WRA, and data on the characteristics of people with WRA, such as gender and age.
View WRA chapter: Work-related asthma (PDF)
View entire report: Asthma in California: A Surveillance Report (PDF, 6 MB)
View executive summary: Asthma in California: Executive Summary (PDF)
For more information on OHB work in this area, see Tracking Work-Related Asthma
Preventing worker deaths from methylene chloride
Methylene chloride (dichloromethane) is a widely used solvent that can cause serious illness or death when used in enclosed spaces. It is a cancer-causing chemical used in paint strippers, in the production of polymer foams and as a degreaser. OHB investigated the deaths of two California workers due to methylene chloride overexposure. Now OHB is launching a web page on preventing worker deaths from paint strippers containing methylene chloride.
Preventing worker deaths from paint strippers containing methylene chloride – Safer alternatives web page
Occupational Health Surveillance and Evaluation Program (OHSEP) home page
Occupational Health Branch home page