Trinational Occupational Safety and Health Group Meets in San Diego
OSHA Forms Alliance with American Meat Institute
OSHA Seeking Comment on Proposed Improvements to 23 Health Standards
OSHA Begins Partnership with Contractors at New York's Museum of Modern Art
Training Offered for Nursing/Personal Care Facilities in New Hampshire
Chicago Region Partners with Illinois Small Business Network, Construction Council
New York Volunteer Group Honored for Safety & Health Performance
Voluntary Protection Program Activity
OSHA Certifies Newest "SHARP" Companies
Assistant Secretary Henshaw's Upcoming Speeches
A working group dedicated to promoting safe and healthful workplaces throughout North America met last month in San Diego and agreed to take action on a wide range of safety and health issues. The Trinational Occupational Safety and Health Working Group is headed by the top occupational safety and health official in the United States, Canada and Mexico. It was formed under the auspices of the North American Free Trade Agreement's labor arm - the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation. A third meeting is scheduled next spring in Canada.
Reducing and preventing exposure to ergonomics hazards for meat industry workers forms the basis of an Alliance between OSHA and the American Meat Institute, signed Oct. 24. OSHA Administrator John Henshaw said the Alliance was a "strong opportunity" to further reduce musculoskeletal disorders in the industry, building on a working relationship formed more than 10 years ago with ergonomic guidelines for meatpacking plants.
Over the next two months, OSHA wants to hear from the public about the second phase of its standards improvement project. That project is designed to address some 40 provisions in 23 health standards that may be inconsistent, duplicative, or outdated. Revisions in the standards will reduce regulatory burdens on employers while still ensuring safety and health protections to workers. Comments on the proposal should be submitted by Dec. 30.
OSHA's Manhattan Area Office gave worker safety a shot in the arm with a partnership agreement signed Oct. 11 for the renovation of New York's Museum of Modern Art. Partners with OSHA are construction contractor AMEC Construction Management, Inc., and the Building Trade Employers' Association and Building and Construction Trades Council. The 30-month project involves renovating the existing facility and constructing two new buildings.
OSHA will be co-sponsoring another training session for workers in nursing and personal care facilities in the central New England area on Nov. 14 in Nashua, NH. Designed for facility operators, safety and health managers, hospital managers and employee representatives, the training parallels OSHA's national emphasis program focusing on specific hazards in the nursing and personal care facility industry. The American Red Cross' New England chapters and Keene State College are co-sponsoring the training. To register, call (800) 449-6742. Cost is $55 per person.
OSHA's Illinois area offices signed two partnerships last month to promote safe and healthful workplaces. On Oct. 22, OSHA joined with the Residential Construction Employers Council, and the Chicago & Northeast Illinois District Council of Carpenters Apprenticeship and Training Program to reduce injuries, illnesses and fatalities among more than 200 contractors in a seven-county area of northeastern Illinois. The office also signed a partnership on Oct. 25 with the Illinois Small Business Development Center Network to address safety and health issues in small businesses. The state's On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program joined in both partnerships.
Calling their performance the "best in service, commitment and performance," OSHA Administrator John Henshaw presented the agency's Superior Performance Award to Western New York Federal Safety and Health Council, Buffalo, in a ceremony Oct. 8. The local volunteer group helps OSHA provide safety and health protection to more than 15,000 federal, state, county and municipal employees over a ten-county area.
The following companies were approved last month for new or continued participation in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP): Hasbro Games, East Longmeadow, MA (New Star); Wheelabrator Concord Co., Penacook, NH (New Star); Torcon, Inc. Novartis Research Center, East Hanover, NJ (New Star); Stepan Company, Winder Plant, Winder, GA (New Star); Pillowtex Corporation, Scottsboro, AL (New Merit); International Paper, Container Division, Kansas City, MO (New Star); Cyro Industries, Sanford, ME (New Star); EquiStar Chemicals - Lake Charles Ethylene Plant, Lake Charles, LA (Cont. Star); Kraft Foods, Inc., Springfield, MO (Cont. Star); Insituform Technologies, Inc., Batesville, MS (Merit to Star); Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LP, Bartlesville, OK (New Star); Foster Wheeler Environmental Corporation's Rocky Mountain Arsenal Remediation Project, Commerce City, CO
(Cont. Star); Georgia Pacific Gypsum, Newington, NH (Cont. Star); Rockwell Automation Control Systems, Dublin, GA (Merit to Star); JE Merit Constructors@Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc., St. Gabriel, LA (Cont. Star); Dow Chemical, Texas Operation, Oyster Creek Site, Freeport, TX (Cont. Star); Motorola Semiconductor Products Sector, Oak Hill Plant, Austin, TX (Cont. Star); Kerr-McGee Chemical, LLC, Columbus, MS (Cont. Star); Phillips Petroleum Co., Borger Refinery & NGL Center, Borger, TX (Merit to Star); Dow Chemical's Russellville Site, Russellville, AR (Cont. Star); International Paper, Fordyce, AR (Cont. Star); International Paper's Fred C. Gragg Super Tree Nursery at Bluff City, AR (Cont. Star); Iams Company, Heartland Plant, N. Sioux City, SD (Cont. Star); Seimens Energy and Automation, Inc., Bellefontaine, OH (New Star); and Gregg Industrial Insulators Inc., Eastman Plant, Longview, TX (Cont. Star).
OSHA certified 10 companies last month as Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) sites. The newest sites are: Advion Biosciences, Inc., Lansing, NY; Air Comm Corporation, Boulder, CO; Cooper Instrument Corporation, Middlefield, CT; Dakota Manufacturing Co., Inc., Yankton, SD; Hercules Chemical Company, Passaic, NJ; Ideal Jacobs Corp., Maplewood, NJ; Lou-Rich, Inc., Brandon, SD; Lowen Corporation, Hutchinson, KS; Mereen-Johnson Machine Co., Webster, SD; and Mid-America Door, Ponca City, OK. OSHA also renewed the SHARP status of 16 other certified participants in August. The State of Virginia also certified five of its companies last month, including: Neuman Aluminum USA, Verona; Neuman Aluminum USA, Waynesboro; Gaithersburg Cabinetry and Millwork, Warrenton; Pure Water Technologies, Norfolk; and Richmond Tooling, Inc., Richmond.
(Virginia is one of 24 states and two territories that operate their own federally approved job safety and health program.)
OSHA Administrator John Henshaw will visit Mexico City on Nov. 4 to speak at the XXXVII Congress of Security in Mexico. He's also scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the 31st Annual Iowa Governor's Safety Conference in Des Moines on Nov. 6.
Editor: Bill Wright, OSHA Office of Public Affairs, 202-693-1999