07/14/2009

Going Green: Safe and Healthy Jobs

Green jobsgood for the environment, good for the economy. But are green jobs
good for workers? The US-American National Institute for Occupational Safety
and Health (NIOSH) and its partners recently launched the Going Green: Safe and
Healthy Jobs initiative to make sure that green jobs are good for workers by
integrating worker safety and health into "green jobs" and environmental
sustainability.

Green jobs, which have been defined broadly as jobs that help improve the
environment and enhance sustainability, offer opportunities as well as
challenges for workers. Examples of green jobs include installation and
maintenance of solar panels and generators; construction and maintenance of
wind energy turbines; jobs related to recycling; jobs related to the
manufacture of green products; and jobs where green products are used in
traditional fields such as agriculture, healthcare, and the service sector. In
some instances, the hazards to workers may be similar to those in established
industries. For example, the safety and health issues involved in building wind
turbines may be similar to those for constructing a multistory building.
However, some green and sustainable practices may pose new health concerns for
workers, such as the introduction of green substitutes for cleaning solvents.

In developing a green economy in the United States, including efforts such as
the US-American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), new jobs are being
created in industries such as energy, utilities, construction, and
manufacturing. The new focus, coupled with the move in the U.S. toward energy
efficiency and more environmentally friendly practices known as environmental
sustainability, is resulting in changes to traditional jobs and the creation of
new kinds of occupations. As we make technological advances in industry, we
need to remain vigilant in protecting workers against emerging hazards. These
changes may also present us with the opportunity to eliminate hazards through
planning, organization, and engineeringa concept known at NIOSH as Prevention
through Design (PtD).

As the Nation acts quickly to train workers for new occupations and new ways of
working, we have unprecedented opportunities:

  • to enhance the safety and health protection of the American workforce.

  • to expand and apply our knowledge in occupational safety and health to new
    workplaces, processes, and products being formed each day.

  • to ensure the training and re-training of the workforce that will fill these
    new jobs include relevant safety and health information.


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AplusA-online.de - Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health