December 2017: COEH in the Media


John Balmes is quoted on Atlanta’s Channel 11: Near a Wildfire? Not Every Mask Will Help Keep Out Harmful Pollutants.

Gina Solomon is quoted in Chemical Watch: Proposition 65: Reducing the Burden?

Kirk Smith is quoted in the Seminole State College Newsroom: Engineering Hope: Students, Faculty Developing Life-Saving Indoor Air Quality Solutions in Peru.

Marc Schenker is quoted in the Desert Sun: Unions Hope to Recruit California Cannabis Workers, But Federal Regulations Could Get in the Way.


NYS Job Opening – Bureau of Occupational Health & Injury Prevention


The New York State Department of Health is seeking to fill a position which will oversee and direct many of its Occupational Health programs. A primary function of the position will apply the vast array of state data to conduct industry, occupation, and company interventions. Complete information is available at:  https://www.health.ny.gov/employment/06849.pdf.


Cal/OSHA Issues Advisory for Worker Safety in Wildfire Regions

News Release No.: 2017-114
December 6, 2017

Oakland—Cal/OSHA is advising employers that special precautions must be taken to protect workers from hazards from wildfire smoke.

Smoke from wildfires contains chemicals, gases and fine particles that can harm health. The greatest hazard comes from breathing fine particles, which can reduce lung function, worsen asthma and other existing heart and lung conditions, and cause coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing.

Cal/OSHA has posted materials that provide guidance for employers and workers on working safely in conditions with heavy smoke caused by the wildfires. Employers with operations exposed to wildfire smoke must consider taking appropriate measures as part of their Injury and Illness Prevention Program under Title 8 section 3203 of the California Code of Regulations and as required under section 5141 (Control of Harmful Exposure to Employees). Those measures include:

  • Engineering controls whenever feasible (for example, using a filtered ventilation system in indoor work areas)
  • Administrative controls if practicable (for example, limiting the time that employees work outdoors)
  • Providing workers with respiratory protective equipment, such as disposable filtering facepieces (dust masks).
    • To filter out fine particles, respirators must be labeled N-95, N-99, N-100, R-95, P-95, P-99, or P-100, and must be labeled approved by the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
    • Approved respiratory protective equipment is necessary for employees working in outdoor locations designated by local air quality management districts as “Very Unhealthy,” “Unhealthy” or “Hazardous.”
      • It takes more effort to breathe through a respirator, and it can increase the risk of heat stress. Frequent breaks are advised. Workers feeling dizzy, faint or nauseous are advised to go to a clean area, remove the respirator and seek medical attention.
      • Respirators should be discarded if they become difficult to breathe through or if the inside becomes dirty.

Cal/OSHA helps protect workers from health and safety hazards on the job in almost every workplace in California. Cal/OSHA’s Consultation Services Branch provides free and voluntary assistance to employers to improve their health and safety programs. Employers should call (800) 963-9424 for assistance from Cal/OSHA Consultation Services.

Employees with work-related questions or complaints may contact DIR’s Call Center in English or Spanish at 844-LABOR-DIR (844-522-6734). The California Workers’ Information line at 866-924-9757 provides recorded information in English and Spanish on a variety of work-related topics. Complaints can also be filed confidentially with Cal/OSHA district offices.

Members of the press may contact Erika Monterroza or Peter Melton at (510) 286-1161, and are encouraged to subscribe to get email alerts on DIR’s press releases or other departmental updates.


Wood Dust and Work-Related Asthma

WoodDustWork-RelatedAsthma Cabinet makers, construction workers, loggers, wood shop teachers, artists, and floor finishers are among the workers exposed to wood dust, which can cause or trigger asthma. An updated booklet published by the Work-Related Asthma Prevention Program (WRAPP) of the California Department of Public Health provides tips on preventing asthma when working with wood. See details: http://bit.ly/OHWDust.

Employment, Uncategorized

Tenure Track Faculty Positions at Murray State University

The Department of Occupational Safety and Health, Murray State University is seeking to fill two full-time, nine month, tenure track faculty positions. Consideration for rank will be given based on the candidate’s qualifications. Review of applicants to begin November 2017.  Preferred start date: August 2018.

Responsibilities:  Full-time teaching and advising of students in the occupational safety and health program. Related duties include recruitment of students, university service, scholarship/research, curriculum development, grant writing, and interaction with local industry.

Qualifications: Doctorate in occupational safety and health or related field required. ABDs with a documented plan of completion by appointment date will be considered. Candidate must be qualified to teach undergraduate and graduate level coursework in and related to occupational health and safety. Good oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills are essential to the successful candidate.

Preferred: Appropriate teaching experience in higher education or industrial training; online teaching experience; experience in occupational safety and health; professional certifications.

Application Deadline:   Open Until Filled

To apply please visit:   https://www.murraystatejobs.com/postings/7242

Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. Murray State University is an equal education and employment opportunity, M/F/D, AA employer.