[ RadSafe ] High court backs 'sloshed' trucker - State justices: Hauler of OR waste disabled, due workers' comp

Cindy Bloom radbloom at comcast.net
Thu Dec 1 19:35:30 CST 2005


Your note emphasizes my points about putting risks in perspective and about 
following up with people who might be concerned about risks especially 
during nonroutine events.  Two weeks seems like a long time to find out if 
a shirt was contaminated.

Most of us, who have been involved with compliance issues, can readily 
attest to regulatory or self-imposed requirements that we wouldn't hesitate 
to violate under emergency circumstances and where we would consider any 
negative risks from associated exposures to be very, very low.  It is 
important to differentiate the difference between compliance requirements 
and health risk.  "All that safety stuff" is to help us avoid situations 
where it is "all that hazardous."

It is also very important to be available to discuss workers concerns and 
to routinely reassure them if need be (and if possible).  But it is also 
important to counsel those workers, who are extremely uncomfortable with 
the idea of a given risk, to consider looking/training for a type of 
employment that does not include the risk of concern.  It's important to 
remind people that worrying about risk can be a health risk in itself, too.

I will never be a race car driver and some people should not choose 
radiation work.


At 02:25 PM 12/1/2005 -0800, Mercado, Don wrote:

>Cindy Bloom
>This sure does underline the importance of training, putting risks in
>perspective and providing prompt as well as continuous information to
>workers who might be exposed to materials or environments that have a
>potential to cause harm if exposures are sufficiently high."
>Not really.
>I've been teaching classes on RF safety for years and cover
>*extensively* the relative risks and the worst case accidents that can
>happen with the devices we produce; a mild heating of the skin. This
>information is posted in many places and is reemphasized in the
>retraining as well. Still, we have had people who thought they were
>exposed (they weren't) and suffered from mental anguish. One guy felt
>ill just putting on his personal alarming monitor. Over the years we've
>added additional layers of "safety", not bec there is any hazard, but to
>assuage the employee's concerns. Now I'm getting, "If it wasn't that
>hazardous, we wouldn't have all this safety stuff!" Some people quit
>rather than work with RF. Can an employer be held responsible for an
>employee's phobias?

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