OSHA Data Collection Initiative for 2002
Crane and Derrick Safety Construction Standard Headed for Revision
New Construction Partnership in New York City
Alliances Formed with SWRI and National Arborist Association
Construction Safety in St. Louis Area Garners OSHA Recognition
Fact Sheet on Whistleblowers and Corporate Fraud
Turner Construction Company Receives OSHA's Top Safety Award
Safety and Health "Add Value" Brochure
Voluntary Protection Program Activity
Job Safety & Health Quarterly-Winter 2003
OSHA has alerted about 14,200 employers throughout the country that their injury and illness rates are above average, and that the agency can offer assistance to help lower them. The notifications were made in letters from OSHA Administrator John Henshaw based on data reported by approximately 93,000 employers surveyed by OSHA last year (the survey collected injury and illness data from CY2001). "The data collection initiative gives us a clearer picture of those establishments with higher than normal injury and illness rates," said Henshaw, "and helps us plan outreach
and compliance assistance programs where they will benefit the most, and place our inspection resources where they're most needed."
Using a negotiated rulemaking process, OSHA announced Feb. 26 it would go forward in revising the crane and derricks standard. The agency published a proposed list of members to serve on the rulemaking advisory committee in a Feb. 27 Federal Register notice, and is asking for public comment by March 31 on that list. The final committee will negotiate issues associated with the development of a proposed revision of the existing standard, first published in 1971.
In negotiated rulemaking, a proposed rule is developed by a committee composed of representatives of government and the interests that will be significantly affected by the rule. The process allows for better communications among agency officials and parties representing different interests.
Construction workers in midtown Manhattan will be safer at work thanks to a site safety and health partnership formalized last month. OSHA's Regional headquarters in New York joined with contractor Turner Construction Company, the Building Trades Employers' Association, and the Building and Construction Trades Council in the partnership that covers the construction project at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and includes construction of two buildings.
Scheduled for completion in December 2005, the partnership gives OSHA an opportunity to assist the contractor in developing a workplace culture that focuses on safety and health, including participating in the contractor's safety and health meetings.
An international trade association that represents the commercial sealant, waterproofing and restoration construction industry, joined with OSHA Feb. 20 in an Alliance to reduce workplace injuries and illnesses. The Sealant Waterproofing and Restoration Institute (SWRI) will work with the agency to reduce and prevent exposures to lead and silica, while emphasizing safety concerns in the areas of confined spaces and fall protection. SWRI's members include contractors, manufacturers and design professionals.
The National Arborist Association also joined with OSHA last month to stress safety and health efforts for reducing tree service hazards, focusing on such topics as struck-by prevention, fall protection, and electrical hazards during tree removal.
OSHA's Regional Headquarters in Kansas City, MO, recognized various construction organizations in the St. Louis area last month for their on the job safety records during FY02, a record which included "zero" construction-related fatalities. OSHA's Regional Administrator Charles E. Adkins presented awards to the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of St. Louis, the Building and Construction Trades Council of St. Louis, the Carpenters' District Council of Greater St. Louis and Vicinity,
and PRIDE of St. Louis, Inc. (a voluntary labor-management organization) during AGC's Annual Safety Awards Banquet, Feb. 26. Approximately 40,000 craft workers are employed in St. Louis and the surrounding counties.
OSHA recently published a new fact sheet describing special whistleblower protections for workers employed by publicly traded companies or their contractors, subcontractors or agents. Included in the fact sheet is a description of one's rights as a whistleblower, as well as instructions on how to file complaints. The special whistleblower protection dealing with corporate and criminal fraud accountability is provided by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, one of 14 laws with whistleblower protections administered by OSHA.
Assistant Secretary John Henshaw presented the VPP Star Demonstration Award to the Cincinnati office of Turner Construction Company, Feb. 5, marking the company as the first builder operating nationwide to receive the honor. OSHA's Mobile Workforce Demonstration Program is a special component of VPP designed for construction and service industries. Turner's Cincinnati office has worked with OSHA since 1992 on partnership programs including the development of the Mobilized Alliance for Safety, Teamwork, Education and
Results (MASTER) program that included the construction of Cincinnati's Paul Brown Stadium in 2000. (Four other companies have achieved VPP status under this program: Century Construction, Cincinnati, OH; Space Gateway Support, Kennedy Space Center, FL; LPR, Loveland, CO; and E&K, Omaha, NE).
OSHA has been emphasizing the "Add Value" theme since Assistant Secretary Henshaw first announced it during a speech last October to the National Safety Council's Congress and Exposition in San Diego. The message that safety and health "add value…to your business…to your workplace…to your life" is highlighted on OSHA's homepage. A description of the "add value" philosophy is now available in brochure form and can be downloaded from the agency's website.
The following companies were approved recently for new or continued participation in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP): PPL Martins Creek, LLC, Bangor, PA (Cont. Star); General Electric Industrial Systems, Plainville, CT (Cont. Star); Infineum USA LP, Linden, NJ (Cont. Star); and Infineum USA LP Linden Business & Technology Center, Linden, NJ (Cont. Star).
"Protecting Workers through Strong, Fair, and Effective Enforcement," is the cover story in the latest issue of Job Safety & Health Quarterly. The article focuses on OSHA's enforcement program and how it complements other agency programs and services to help reduce workplace injuries and illnesses. The winter issue also includes articles on OSHA's alliance program, the agency's role on the U.S. National Response Team, the agency's programs to help protect young workers, and a feature on the newest law with whistleblower protections
administered by OSHA--the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
Editor: Bill Wright, OSHA Office of Public Affairs, 202-693-1999