October 2014

News Briefs

Oregon students honored with Workers' Memorial Scholarships

Many children in Oregon have faced losing a parent to a workplace death or a life-altering injury. The loss can have a profound effect on a family's ability to finance higher education. The Workers' Memorial Scholarship program provides an opportunity to help surviving family members reach their educational goals.

Oregon OSHA honored recipients of the Workers' Memorial Scholarship during a public ceremony Aug. 20, 2014, in Salem.

The recipients include:

Marissa Parr, Jefferson

A 2011 graduate of Jefferson High School, Parr is studying social sciences at Willamette University.

Parr's father is wheelchair bound after suffering a debilitating back injury in 1991. Parr is receiving a $1,000 award and is a past scholarship recipient.

Kassandra McCabe, Eugene

McCabe is a 2014 graduate of Marist High School and plans to attend Oregon State University this fall. She hopes to become a surgeon or physical therapist and is majoring in pre-medicine.

McCabe's father became paralyzed and later blind following a logging accident in 2002. She is receiving a $1,250 award.

Two other award recipients want to remain anonymous.

Left to right: Marissa Parr, Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood, Kassandra McCabe, DCBS Deputy Director Jean Straight.
Left to right: Marissa Parr, Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood, Kassandra McCabe, DCBS Deputy Director Jean Straight.

"The award can never replace their loss but it is nice to provide some support to individuals who have suffered a family tragedy," said Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood.

Award recommendations are made by Oregon OSHA's Safe Employment Education and Training Advisory Committee, an advisory group with members from business, organized labor, and government. Oregon OSHA presents the awards annually to help in the postsecondary education of spouses or children of permanently and totally disabled or fatally injured workers. The 1991 Legislature established the Workers' Memorial Scholarship at the request of the Oregon AFL-CIO, with support from Associated Oregon Industries.

Applicants must be a dependent or spouse of a fatally injured worker, or the dependent or spouse of an Oregon worker who has incurred a permanent total disability and whose claim for workers' compensation benefits has been accepted.

Interest earned on a DCBS fund derived from Oregon OSHA civil fines and penalties funds the awards.  ▉

back to top

Former NASA astronaut speaks at safety conference in Bend

Retired NASA astronaut and keynote speaker Mike Mullane shared lessons learned from the space shuttle Challenger tragedy and safety best practices at the annual Central Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Conference in Bend on Sept. 24.

Mullane, who completed three space missions, entertained the audience with his personal anecdotes and messages around safety leadership.

The event also featured a series of workshops specifically designed for fire and emergency services, created in partnership with the Oregon Fire Chiefs Association. Dave Phillips, battalion chief with Clackamas County Fire, said the topics covered some critical areas for the industry.

"Because we have exemptions that allow us to respond to emergencies, we sometimes forget that other rules do apply to us," Phillips said.

Mike Mullane
Conference attendees shook hands with keynote speaker Mike Mullane

Other conference sessions included topics such as safety communication, confined space, and rule changes to the Global Harmonization System.  ▉

back to top

Oregon OSHA creates a new publication for the death care industry

A new guide is available for the death care industry on the occupational hazards of handling, lifting, and transporting bodies. The publication, created in partnership with experts in the mortuary industry, covers hazards related to exposure to tuberculosis and aspects of embalming, the cremation process, and the associated chemical and ventilation hazards.

The project arose out of an initial concern by the Oregon Health Authority, which was interested in learning more about tuberculosis exposures from experts in the mortuary business. The conversation later led to Oregon OSHA consultation activity at mortuaries and the need for a publication. The publication is available online at  ▉

back to top

Participate in our first Resource reader survey

Oregon OSHA wants to make sure the content of the Resource newsletter is useful and interesting to our readers. Please complete our brief reader survey to help us better plan future issues and find out what you enjoy reading.

Complete the survey (no names are required) by Oct. 24, 2014:

Thank you.  ▉

back to top

Full-color PDF version

Full version

If you want to receive the Resource Newsletter, sign up for future issues here.

Reprinting, excerpting, or plagiarizing any part of this publication is fine with us. Please send us a copy of your publication or inform the Resource editor as a courtesy. If you have questions about the information in Resource, please call 503-378-3272.

For general information, technical answers, or information about Oregon OSHA services, please call 503-378-3272 or toll-free within Oregon, 800-922-2689.