OSHA Plans to Announce National Emphasis Program for Nursing Homes
Assistant Secretary Henshaw Briefs Lawmakers on Enforcement, Regulatory Efforts
OSHA's Mobile, AL Office Co-Sponsors Training to Reduce Amputations
OSHA Debuts New Consultation Publication
New Compliance Assistance Fact Sheet Available
OSHA Certifies Newest "SHARP" Companies
Web-based Training Tool Available for Eye and Face Protection
Voluntary Protection Program Activity
New CDC Director Named
OSHA is expected to announce today a program to help lower the injury and illness rates suffered by workers at nursing and personal care facilities. The National Emphasis Program (NEP) will focus outreach efforts and inspections on specific hazards associated with the industry, including ergonomics (primarily related to resident handling), exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials, tuberculosis exposure, and slips, trips, and falls. Approximately 1,000 facilities that reported 14 or more injuries or illnesses for every 100 full-time workers during 2000 will be inspected under the NEP. This NEP is not associated with the ergonomics guidelines for nursing homes announced on April 18.
OSHA Administrator John Henshaw told a Senate subcommittee July 11 that there are "many reasons for optimism" when looking at the state of occupational safety and health in the nation. Henshaw testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Employment, Safety and Training Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions to discuss OSHA's enforcement and regulatory efforts. He also provided an update on various programs, including the Voluntary Protection Program, partnerships, compliance assistance, education, and initiatives undertaken to assist foreign-born workers.
Assisting South Alabama employers to help eliminate workplace amputation hazards is the goal of a half-day training session in Mobile co-sponsored by the University of Alabama's SafeState Consultation Services, Small Business Development Centers and the Mobile OSHA Area Office. The session will be held at 8:30 a.m. on July 30 at the International Trade Center, 250 Water St., Mobile, AL. The session will focus on hazards associated with saws, shears, slicers, slitters and various mechanical power presses. OSHA recently published a fact sheet on amputations that identifies hazardous machine components and mechanical motions, lists particularly hazardous jobs, and points out safeguards that can protect workers.
Consultation Programs throughout the country began receiving a new educational tool this month to use locally with employers. The Consultation Kit is a new publication that describes OSHA's Consultation Services in language helpful for employers. The kit replaces the previous publication, Consultation Services for the Employer. Introduced in April at the 2002 Consultation Conference in Tucson, AZ, the kit generated about 100,000 orders from Consultation Programs across the nation.
OSHA recently issued a new information sheet that highlights the many programs that make up the agency's outreach programs. The OSHA Compliance Assistance fact sheet provides a brief reference to the variety of compliance assistance and outreach tools available, focusing on Consultation Programs, Voluntary Protection Programs, Strategic Partnerships and Alliances, and Compliance Assistance Specialists located in each OSHA Area Office.
OSHA certified eleven companies last month as Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) sites. SHARP recognizes employers who have demonstrated exemplary achievements in workplace safety and health by receiving a safety and health consultation visit, correcting all workplace safety and health hazards, and implementing effective safety and health management systems. The newest sites are: Hutchinson Company, Inc., Whitinsville, MA; C-Port II, Golden Meadow, LA; Wynhoven Health Care, Marrero, LA; Brown Minneapolis Tank-Midwest, LLC, Tulsa, OK; Arrowhead Rebar, Dallas, TX; Enderby Gas, Gainesville, TX; Huffins-Denton, Denton, TX; Medro Systems, Inc., McKinney, TX; Unity Manufacturing, Garland, TX; Hirschfeld Steel Co., Odessa, TX; and Texas Electric Cooperative, Inc., Georgetown, TX. OSHA also renewed the SHARP status of 15 certified participants in June.
(These additions reflect June data reported as of the date of this publication.)
OSHA recently developed a new electronic tool on the proper use and selection of eye and face protection. The training module includes information on selecting personal protective equipment, discusses OSHA requirements in providing eye and face protection, and also includes a list of frequently asked questions on the topic. OSHA's eTools are stand-alone, interactive, Web-based training tools on various occupational safety and health topics.
The following companies were approved this month for new or continued participation in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP): Jones, LG, LLC at Bristol-Myers Squibb, New Brunswick, NJ (New Star); Halliburton Energy Services, Alvarado, TX (Continued Star); Akzo Nobel Polymer Chemicals, Edison, NY (1 Yr. Star Conditional); Parkview Health Care Facility, Bolivar MO (Merit Re-approval); Hunter Douglas Window Fashions Divisions (HDWFD), Broomfield, CO (New Star); and Garrett Aviation Services, Springfield, IL (Cont. Star).
Dr. Julie L. Gerberding, an infectious disease expert, was named to head the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, headquartered in Atlanta. Dr. Gerberding had been acting principal deputy director of CDC and had also served as acting deputy director of the Center's National Center for Infectious Diseases. CDC includes 11 institutes, centers, and offices, including the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
Editor: Bill Wright, OSHA Office of Public Affairs, 202-693-1999