|December 15, 2008 · Volume 7, Issue 24|
|A twice monthly e-news memo with information, updates, and results from OSHA about safety and health in America's workplaces.|
|NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.|
In This IssueOSHA Extends Comment Period for Proposed Rule on Cranes and Derricks
U.S. Labor Secretary Chao Appoints New Members of OSHA Advisory Committee
New OSHA Outreach Training Program Guidelines Available
Worker Protection Following a Disaster is Focus of New OSHA QuickCard
New Regional Emphasis Program Targets Crystalline Silica Exposure in Construction
OSHA Training Institute Education Center Program Sets Record
OTI Education Center Offers New "Safety Week" Courses in 2009
NIOSH-Approved Spirometry Training Program Changes Become Effective Jan. 1
OSHA Renews Alliance with IEC
Philadelphia Region Forms New OSHA Strategic Partnership
More Events Posted to Web Site
"QuickTips" from QuickTakes
OSHA is extending the public comment period for 45 days on the agency's proposed rule on cranes and derricks which was published in the Oct. 9, 2008, Federal Register. The reasons include the comprehensive nature of the proposal and the number of requests for public comment. Details are available in the Dec. 2 Federal Register. The agency will be scheduling a public hearing soon.
U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao appointed five members to the 12-person National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health. The committee advises the Secretaries of Labor and Health and Human Services on occupational safety and health issues. Members of the committee are selected based on their knowledge and experience in workplace safety and health. Each member serves a two-year term.
OSHA issued new Construction and General Industry Outreach Training Program guidelines replacing the 2003 versions. Changes were made to the 10- and 30-hour training topics. There are also changes to the Outreach Training Program report and additional recordkeeping requirements for outreach trainers. The guidelines affect an estimated 15,000 active outreach trainers and thousands of OSHA-authorized outreach trainers.
Protecting Worker Safety and Health Under the National Response Framework is the subject of a new QuickCard posted to OSHA's Web site. Following a disaster, OSHA often serves as the coordinating agency when federal, state, tribal and local assets are overwhelmed and assistance is needed to protect employees during an emergency. The Federal Emergency Management Agency can activate OSHA to coordinate the federal worker safety and health resources and technical assistance. The card describes what these services can include. It can be downloaded from OSHA's Publications or QuickCards pages.
A new Regional Emphasis Program (REP) is underway in OSHA's New England Region to minimize employee exposures to crystalline silica hazards associated with commercial and residential construction. The goal of this REP is to help reduce the overall rate of workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities through outreach activities and targeted inspections. Agency REPs address hazards or industries that pose particular risks to employees within an OSHA regional jurisdiction.
The OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Center Program set a record in fiscal year 2008. Between Oct. 1, 2007 and Sept. 30, 2008, 29,346 students were trained and 2,054 classes were taught. The OTI Education Centers provide training nationwide to private sector and federal personnel from agencies outside OSHA. With the addition of new centers this year, OSHA has 44 training locations throughout the United States, including 28 of the top 48 major metropolitan areas. Most centers offer training through satellite locations within their respective OSHA Regions. To learn more, visit the OTI Education Centers Web page.
The University of South Florida OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Center is offering OSHA's 7000 series of short courses during a one-week period at a reduced rate. The first in the series, called "Safety Weeks," will be offered Jan. 12-16, 2009, in Miami, Fla. Course categories include construction, health care, disaster site worker, and introduction to OSHA. Details are available online, or by calling 866-697-0975. Visit OSHA's OTI Education Centers Web page for a list of additional centers, course offerings and training locations.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) will now require spirometry technicians to complete a NIOSH-approved refresher course to maintain their NIOSH-approved spirometry course certificates. Two changes to the NIOSH Spirometry Training Program will take effect Jan. 1, 2009. First, a time limitation will be placed on the certificates awarded to students who successfully complete NIOSH-approved spirometry training. Second, NIOSH will begin reviewing and approving dedicated spirometry refresher training courses designed for technicians who have previously completed a NIOSH-approved spirometry course and are seeking recertification. For additional information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) extended their alliance with OSHA for two years to continue focusing on reducing and preventing exposure to fall and arc flash hazards and addressing electrical and motor vehicle safety issues. This agreement has already resulted in an OSHA Web-based training tool called Ergonomic Solutions for Electrical Contractors, in addition to the development of OSHA Electrical and Electrical Contractors Industry Safety and Health Topics pages and an IEC Electrical Standard Subpart S (29 CFR 1910) fact sheet and IEC "Arc Flash Safety" presentation.
Promoting employee safety and implementing an exemplary safety and health management system are the goals of a partnership formed between OSHA's Philadelphia Region and Aker Shipyard.
More workplace safety- and health-related conference and training information is available on OSHA's events Web page. Check the site often for activities in your area.
As 2008 draws to a close, OSHA is proud of its accomplishments in helping America's working men and women reduce and prevent injuries and illnesses. As we move into 2009, OSHA encourages everyone to make safety and health a top priority. OSHA offers many resources that employers can use to help employees stay safe and healthy at work and prevent workplace injuries and illnesses.
Visit OSHA's Web site for additional information on workplace safety. Look for more occupational safety and health tips in the next edition of QuickTakes.
OSHA wishes you and yours happy holidays and a safe, healthy and prosperous new year. QuickTakes will not be published on Jan. 1, so please continue to visit the agency's Web site for news and updates. Look for your next issue of QuickTakes on Jan. 15, 2009.
Editor: Elaine Fraser, OSHA Office of Communications, 202-693-1999, www.osha.gov