Health & Safety news notes – asbestos, office seating, OSHA resources

April 13th, 2007 by Julie Ferguson

Federal workers exposed to asbestosEffect Measure points to the a story in the Washington Post about the plight of 10 employees of the Architect of the Capital who have been exposed to asbestos for a number of years. These workers toil in underground tunnels strewn with asbestos debris, and have complained about working conditions over a number of years. Now, in what they see as retaliation for their complaints, they are being transferred to an active asbestos removal project at a power plant. Hopefully, this public airing will help to provide some help for these workers, most of whom are demonstrating lung scarring from years of exposure. (Thanks to our friend Joe Paduda for the pointer.)
Addendum 4/17/07: a former New York City employee mailed this note to us related to the above:

“Thank you for posting the story of the workers for the Architect of the Capital. I have had the same experience as an employee of the city of New York. I worked for years removing asbestos from city hospitals. After being hospitalized with asbestos related lung disease and filing a claim for workers compensation, I was assigned to a more hazardous location and assigned to oversee asbestos abatement projects. I informed my employer that the conditions I was working under were further damaging my condition and attached a letter from my doctor to that effect. Their response was to leave me in a dangerous environment for another five weeks and then fire me for not being able to preform the functions of my job.”

Ergonomic seatingErgonomic Office Chairs Health Hub is a comprehensive resource on ergonomic office chairs and seating options, providing information on how to set up an ergonomic chair and computer workstation, and alternative seating options. It’s affiliated with, a peer reviewed medical journal for patients with back pain and spinal disorders, written by physicians who specialize in spine medicine. There are some good articles on related topics, such as choosing the right chair, tips for improving posture, and pain-free travel tips. We’ll add this link to our sidebar resources.
OSHA initiatives