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Safety & Health
Director: Jim Tomaseski

202 728-6040

What's New in Safety & Health:

UV Safety Month: Tips to Help Keep Your Health On Track! - July 25, 2011

Since July is UV Safety Month, summer is the one of the best times to be aware of the
dangers of UV (ultraviolet) rays and the importance of protecting your skin...


Radio Frequency Radiation Hazards

You cannot see it, you cannot hear it, you cannot smell it – but exposure to radio frequency (RF) hazards can be harmful to humans. New cellular antennas and other RF emitting devices are being installed as quickly as possible. There are currently over 500,000 operating devices in the United States alone. That number is expected to double in the very near future as the demand intensifies for more powerful wireless devices.

Most third party workers are not trained in the proper procedures for working in the vicinity of RF emitting devices. With “stealth sites” becoming something of the norm, most workers do not even know the devices are present in their work area, because the devices are hidden from the public. Will this be the next occupational disaster similar to asbestos exposure?

Click on the following link to learn more about RF hazards and what you can do to help:

Radio Frequency Radiation: Problem & Solution

The Mesothelioma Cancer Center has the most comprehensive information on asbestos exposure & mesothelioma and is THE web authority on mesothelioma treatment and pleural mesothelioma.

IMPORTANT: Ladder Recalls!

Louisville Ladder: Certain Type IA, Type I and Type II “D” Rung Fiberglass Extension Ladders...

Michigan Ladder: Certain Type IA, Type I and Type II “D” Rung Fiberglass Extension Ladders...

IBEW Journal: Employers Must Pay for Protective Equipment, OSHA Says

OSHA regulation on Employer Payment for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Federal Register Rules and Regulations:
Dept Of Labor: Occupational Safety and Health Administration
29 CFR Part 1910, Electrical Standard - Final Rule

About the Safety & Health Department:

The Safety and Health Department is assigned responsibilities related to safety and health involving all trade jurisdictions of the IBEW.  The department’s primary focus is occupational safety, although home, community, and personal safety and health issues frequently require departmental attention.
Regular department duties include:

    • maintaining a database of IBEW member related on-the-job accidents, including reporting significant accident trends to OSHA and other government agencies

Local unions are required to report serious lost time accidents and fatalities using the web based accident reporting system


    • processing IBEW Life Saving Awards submitted by local unions
    • representing IBEW interests on national consensus committees relevant to IBEW member safety and health such as the National Safety Council, ANSI & NFPA
    • serve as the liaison for the IBEW to OSHA, MSHA, FAA and other government agencies responsible for safety and health matters affecting IBEW members
    • coordinate common safety and health interests with the AFL-CIO, the Building and Construction Trades, and affiliated unions
    • coordinate safety and health issue with others departments in the International Office
    • responding to local union requests associated with safety and health topics

Safety and Health Resources

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)           www.osha.gov

Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)                       www.msha.gov

National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health      www.cdc.gov/NIOSH/

Center for Disease Control                                                       www.cdc.gov

Department of Health and Human Services                                www.hhs.gov

Federal Emergency Management Agency                                  www.fema.gov

Department of Homeland Security                                             www.dhs.gov

American Red Cross                                                                www.RedCross.org

American Heart Association                                                      www.americanheart.org

Center  for Construction Research and Training (CPWR)          www.cpwr.com

Electronic Library of Construction Occupational                       www.elcosh.org
Safety and Health (ELCOSH)

Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program (EEOICP)

National Safety Council (NSC)                                     www.nsc.org

AFL-CIO Safety and Health at Work                                       www.aflcio.org/issues/safety/

American National Standards Association (ANSI)                    www.ansi.org

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)                www.nfpa.org

National Electric Safety Code                                                   http://standards.ieee.org/nesc/

The Construction Safety Council                                               www.buildsafe.org

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOSH)            www.ccosh.ca

Electrical & Utilities Safety Association (EUSA)                        www.eusa.on.ca

IBEW Safety Caucus

The IBEW convenes an exclusive IBEW-only safety caucus twice yearly. Both meetings are held in conjunction with the National Safety Council Labor Division’s regularly scheduled meetings - first in the spring, and again in the fall. The spring meeting program is set for one and a half days, and because of time constraints the fall meeting program is scheduled for one day. The safety caucus provides the 100-plus IBEW members that regularly attend the caucus necessary time to discuss issues that are critical in furthering occupational safety and health for IBEW members. 

The caucus met earlier this year in Louisville, Kentucky. Over one hundred thirty delegates attended the spring caucus, making this meeting the largest since the inception of the caucus in 2002. Attendance at the caucus continues to grow with each meeting. The Director of Safety and Health from the International Office provided a detailed discussion on regulatory and legislative subjects focused on matters affecting safety and health of IBEW members. Additionally, caucus delegates were given the opportunity to attend training/informational sessions on the following subjects:

  • Scissors lift operations
  • Bucket truck rescue
  • Powder Actuated Fasteners
  • Carl Potter – motivational safety speaker
  • Industry breakout sessions
    • Construction – inside
    • Utility/Outside
    • Telecommunications
    • Manufacturing

The industry breakout sessions met for approximately two and one-half hours each. These breakout sessions are designed to give IBEW members in those specific industries a forum to discuss issues and ideas unique to their environments. The breakouts are always a success and delegates are usually rushing to keep on schedule. The caucus reconvenes when the breakouts conclude to summarizing the discussion for each industry sector.

International President Hill continues to affirm the commitment from his office to the future of the caucus, and directs delegates to align their focus toward an advisory role to the international office on safety matters affecting IBEW members.

The next IBEW safety caucus is scheduled for Thursday, October 22, 2009, in Orlando, Florida.  The National Safety Council Labor Division will meet following the caucus on October 23, 24, & 25..

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently published a new edition the Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards. The document is intended as a source of general industrial hygiene information on several hundred chemicals/classes for workers, employers, and occupational health professionals. The information found in the guide should help users recognize and control occupational chemical hazards. Both a web-based and a spiral bound version of the guide are available at:


There are also new guidelines for CPR and the use of AED units:

New Guidelines Poster...





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