Health and Safety

Safety Hazards in the Office

NOTE: This UE Steward has not been updated since it was first published over a decade ago. Some information may no longer be accurate.

Safety Hazards in the Office

In 1990 OSHA began a process that was supposed to end with the issuing of rules on workplace ergonomics to deal with many various forms of Cumulative Trauma Disorders (CTD). The issuing of these new rules has been stalled in Congress for 8 years by pro-business republicans and democrats.

Union Health and Safety Programs

Every UE workplace should have a Health & Safety Committee or a Union Program for Health & Safety. Funding for OSHA has been cut severely and so no workers should rely on OSHA to make inspections.

No matter what the boss says, it is the right and the duty of the union to deal with health & safety issues even if there is no specific language in the contract.

Stress in the Workplace

How often have we heard coworkers complain that coming to work makes them sick? How many times has a steward had to intervene on behalf of a worker who blew up at a boss or walked off the job? How often do people continue to work at full speed, despite suffering from pain or injuries because they are afraid of losing their job? These are symptoms of workplace stress.

How To Read a Material Safety Data Sheet

Hosea Hudson was worried about a new solvent his boss had provided him for cleaning parts. It smelled strong and made his eyes water with just a little whiff of it. Hosea and his union steward approached the boss. “Is this stuff safe?” the Steward asked. “How should I know,” the boss replied, “you can read about it for yourself.” Hosea and the Steward went over to where he was pointing and found a large manual full of sheets labeled “MSDS.” Now what to do?