FY2004 Budget to be announced Feb. 3
Ergonomics Advisory Committee Meets in Washington
Shipyard Workers in San Diego Benefit from OSHA Partnership
Construction Advisory Committee Meeting Scheduled
Newest Alliance Focuses on Reducing Shipyard Safety and Health Hazards
OSHA Publishes Maritime Safety and Health Injury Prevention Sheets
Connecticut Partnership Centers on Nursing Homes and Personal Care Facilities
Oil and Gas Well Drilling and Servicing Training Tool
Voluntary Protection Program Activity
OSHA Strategic Partnership Program Activity
On the Road with the OSHA Administrator
The President's fiscal year 2004 budget for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will, for the first time, include additional funding for outreach to Hispanic and other non-English speaking workers. The administration's FY2004 budget for federal agencies will be announced February 3. Visit OSHA's website on Monday for details on the budget proposal.
The first meeting of the recently chartered National Advisory Committee on Ergonomics was held in Washington last month and focused on practical solutions to reduce ergonomic injuries in the workplace. Challenging the committee to help OSHA achieve that goal, OSHA Administrator John Henshaw told committee members "we need strategies that a plant manager, a front-line supervisor, or a small business owner can use right now to prevent musculoskeletal disorders…" The 15-member committee will meet two to four times annually over the next two years and advise the Secretary of Labor and the OSHA Administrator on ergonomic guidelines, research, and outreach and assistance.
The Port of San Diego Ship Repair Association (PSDSRA) is teaming up with OSHA to protect shipyard workers. A partnership was signed Jan. 17 between OSHA and PSDSRA to help eliminate the risk of catastrophic accidents and prevent serious injuries among workers represented by the association. PSDSRA represents more than 30 ship-repair companies at the busy West Coast port, performing about 95 percent of their work on U.S. Navy vessels.
Rosemont, IL, is the site of the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health's (ACCSH) next meeting, Feb. 13. A full day of discussion is planned on various issues, including highway work zone safety, power transmission and distribution, hearing conservation, silica, and assigned protection factors for respirators. The meeting is open to the public and will be held at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare in Rosemont beginning at 8:30 a.m. ACCSH is a continuing advisory body of 15 members who provide advice and assistance in construction standards and policy matters to the Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA.
The Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA) formalized an Alliance with OSHA Jan. 31 to help reduce injuries, illnesses and fatalities in the shipyard industry. OSHA Administrator John Henshaw said that injury and illness rates in shipyards were more than twice that of construction and general industry and the Alliance with SCA will help "continuously improve safety and health performance in shipyards."
Working in concert with the shipyard community, OSHA has created a safety and health document designed for employers and workers in the shipyard industry to assist in identifying the most frequent hazards and injuries in shipbuilding and ship repair work. The Safety and Health Injury Prevention Sheets (SHIPS) provide information on hazard awareness and controls and include photos from shipyards depicting hazards and recommended solutions.
The Connecticut Healthcare Workers' Compensation Trust has joined with OSHA in a partnership to improve the safety and health of workers in nursing homes and personal care facilities throughout the state. OSHA's Hartford and Bridgeport area offices will conduct outreach activities to introduce and promote the partnership among eligible employers who are members of the Trust-an employer mutual association of Connecticut health care employers.
OSHA has created a web-based training tool for employers and workers in the oil and gas industry. The eTool focuses on land-based operations and can be used as a resource in helping companies identify workplace hazards while providing possible solutions that may be relevant to safety programs. Information is currently available on general safety, site preparation, and drilling. Discussions on well completion, servicing, and plug and abandon will be added soon.
The following companies were approved recently for new or continued participation in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP): Valero Refining Co., Krotz Springs, LA (New Star); Halliburton Energy Services, Security DBS, Dallas, TX (New Star); Conoco Phillips, Ponca City, OK (New Merit); Sordoni-Barclay White Skanska Joint Venture, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Headquarters Project, Collegeville, PA (New Star); Motorola Inc., Global Telecommunication Solutions Sector, Arlington, Heights, IL (Cont. Star); Allegheny Energy Supply, Lincoln Generating Facility, Manhattan, IL (New Star); General Electric's Beaumont Coating Ctr., Beaumont, TX (New Star); ATOFINA Chemicals, Inc., Bristol, PA (New Star); Georgia Pacific Corp., Phillips, WI (Cont. Star); Zachry Construction Co., @ Conoco Phillips Refinery, Borger, TX (New Star); Zachry Construction Co., @ Chevron Phillips, Borger, TX
(Merit to Star); and United Technologies/Carrier Corp., Tyler, TX (Merit to Star).
OSHA's Aurora, IL, area office recently entered into a partnership with the Life Services Network in Illinois to help reduce injuries and illnesses in nursing facilities. The Network represents nearly 300 nonprofit nursing facilities in the state and encompasses 23,000 staff members. The partnership includes the On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, and will focus on reducing hazards from exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials, repetitive tasks, and resident handling.
OSHA Administrator John Henshaw will visit Cincinnati on Feb. 5 to participate in a Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star Demonstration ceremony for Turner Construction Company. The company is being recognized for its excellent safety and health management system as part of a special Mobile Workforce Demonstration project. On Feb. 11, he will deliver the keynote address at the 13th Annual Construction Safety Conference, sponsored by the Construction Safety Council, in Rosemont, IL, and will also attend the Feb. 13 meeting there of the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health.
Editor: Bill Wright, OSHA Office of Public Affairs, 202-693-1999