OSHA Names New Construction Committee Members
OSHA Co-Sponsors Conference on Protecting Workers from Terrorism
Voluntary Protection Program Celebrates 20 Years
OSHA Administrator to Deliver Keynote Address at VPPPA National Conference
El Paso Compliance Officers Avert Potential Danger
Columbus Area Office Begins Partnership With Electrical Associations
Publication on Employers Rights and Responsibilities Following OSHA Inspections
OSHA Updates Three Fact Sheets
Upcoming Speeches for the Assistant Secretary
Five new names were added to the rolls of the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH), July 30. Additionally, two previous members were reappointed to the committee that advises the OSHA Administrator on standards, policies and practices related to the protection of construction workers. ACCSH consists of 15 members representing employees, employers, state safety and health agencies, the public, and the federal government.
John Miles, OSHA's Regional Administrator in Dallas, opened a two-day conference in Arlington, Tex., July 30 aimed at protecting workplaces against the threat of terrorist violence. More than 300 people from a variety of industries attended the conference, co-sponsored by OSHA and the Texas Engineering Extension Service. Workshops included emergency action plans, mail handling, employee background checks, visitor screening, and more. R. Davis Layne, Deputy OSHA Administrator, gave the keynote address, including a presentation on the agency's role at the World Trade Center Emergency Project. Other organizations participating included the FBI, U.S. Postal Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency, NIOSH, NASA, and various private sector companies.
OSHA kicked off the 20th Anniversary of the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP), last month. A joint meeting with the VPP Participants' Association (VPPPA) was held featuring opening remarks by Steve Brown, Vice Chair of the VPPPA; Paul Villane, Executive Director of the VPPPA; OSHA Administrator John Henshaw; and Paula White, Director, OSHA's Federal/State Operations. Participants explored ideas for enhancing VPP in the 21st century and discussed ways to improve upon an already successful OSHA/VPPPA partnership. OSHA's VPP staff from throughout the country met to discuss VPP policies and procedures and to consider opportunities for continually improving the programs.
John Henshaw, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, will deliver one of the keynote addresses at the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association's 18th annual conference in Orlando next month. Expected to attract 2,000 safety and health leaders from both public and private sectors, the conference will be held September 9-12 at the Orlando World Center Marriott and will help mark the 20th anniversary of OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs.
On June 10, OSHA compliance officers from the El Paso District Office helped prevent
potential tragedy at two communication towers in the area. Elias Casillas and Jessica Martinez were dispatched to a tower construction site. Two Taylor Communications workers were exposed to falls of 80 feet without proper fall protection. After meeting with the employer, both workers were voluntarily removed until a fall protection system was installed. Later that same day, Casillas and Martinez were dispatched to the site of a 100-foot tower in El Paso undergoing routine service and maintenance by federal agency workers. Both employees had two lanyards each, but no fall protection. The workers were asked by the compliance officers to descend from the tower until adequate fall protection could be installed. Mario Solano, Assistant Area Director for the El Paso office provided technical assistance on tower safety to the agency and helped them develop a better safety program for tower maintenance.
OSHA's Columbus area office entered into an OSHA Strategic Partnership last month with the Central Ohio Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association, Inc. (NECA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Locals 683 and 1105 (IBEW). The goals of the partnership include: reducing participating employee injury and illness rates by 3%; adopting an industry standard checklist based on the most recent National Fire Protection Association Standard on electrical safety requirements for employee workplaces, and reducing workers' compensation costs.
Following an inspection by OSHA, an employer has specific rights and responsibilities. OSHA recently revised a publication that provides detailed information on what is expected of both the employer and OSHA after an inspection. The booklet covers such topics as types of violations, how an employer can contest citations, follow-up inspections, and posting requirements. The publication also includes information about programs available to employers to help develop effective safety and health programs.
OSHA recently revised three fact sheets on selected topics: Powered Platforms provides information to help employers prevent injuries to window washers and other building maintenance workers, and includes information on engineering requirements, fall protection, stabilization systems, emergency plans, and training; Formaldehyde identifies what employers and workers should know to prevent harmful exposures, and also highlights recordkeeping requirements; and Ethylene Oxide addresses permissible exposure limits for workers and respirator use.
OSHA Administrator John Henshaw is scheduled to give an OSHA update when he speaks to the Puerto Rico Federal Safety and Health Council in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, August 7. He will also travel to Des Moines, Iowa on August 16 and talk to Monsanto workers on their VPP designation.
Editor: Bill Wright, OSHA Office of Public Affairs, 202-693-1999