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OSHA Warns of Cleanup Health Risks- Writes Letter To BP

OSHA AREAS OF CONCERN: Workers without required training. BP failing to provide sufficient or timely date on injuries and illness, chemical sampling, monitoring data and training materials. Concerns that BP’s manager of workplace safety “does not appear to operate with the full support of the company, nor does he seem to have the authority necessary for the job which he has been tasked.” “We strongly suggest that BP place someone in this position who has the authority and the ability to make changes expediently in order to address the safety and health of cleanup workers.” BP’s failure to address heat stroke concerns. “There continue to be multiple heat-related incidents each day, some of which have been serious.” Additional Resources: BP ‘systemic failure’ endangers Gulf cleanup workers (McClatchy News)

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Hospitalized Fisherman Injured While Performing BP Cleanup Work Files Temporary Restraining Order Against BP

A hospitalized fisherman injured while performing BP cleanup work filed a temporary restraining order against BP. The restraining order requests that BP refrain from “altering, testing or destroying clothing or any other evidence or potential evidence” when workers become ill. The restraining order also requests that BP stop using dispersants like Corexit without providing “appropriate personal protective equipment” to workers. The Material Safety Data Sheet for Corexit states that people should “avoid breathing in vapor” from Corexit, and that masks should be work when Corexit is present in certain concentrations in the air. BP has not supplied workers with masks when they work near the oil and dispersants. Additional Resources: Fisherman files restraining order against BP

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Obama Orders Doctors & Scientists To Look Out For And Monitor Health Effects Of Spill On Workers & Residents

President Obama has ordered doctors and scientists be stationed across the five Gulf States to look out for people’s health and then to monitor any ill effects felt by cleanup workers and local residents. A system has been set up to track any ill effects and to ensure folks get the care that they need. Obama told BP that he expects BP to pay for these services. Additional Resources: President’s Remarks on the Oil Spill

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National Flood Insurance Program’s Authority To Issue New Policies Lapses At Midnight

The NFIP will not be reauthorized by Congress by midnight of May 31, 2010. Therefore, the Program will experience a hiatus – a period without authority to: issue new policies for which application and premium payment dates are on or after June 1, 2010, or issue increased coverage on existing policies for which endorsement and premium payment dates are on or after June 1, 2010, or issue renewal policies for which the renewal premium is received by the company on or after June 1, 2010, and after the end of the 30-day renewal grace period, until Congress reauthorizes the Program. While awaiting Congressional reauthorization, FEMA is issuing the guidance contained in the attached bulletin Within this bulletin, is a set of Frequently Asked Questions concerning NFIP authorization. The hiatus period is expected to end soon.

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