|OSHSPA Reports on State Plan Activities > 2002 OSHSPA Report > State Incentives: Promoting Voluntary Compliance|
|State Incentives: Promoting Voluntary Compliance|
State legislatures and state plan administrators alike believe that enforcement is just one tool for decreasing worker injuries, illnesses and fatalities. Federal OSHA and state plans use incentives that promote voluntary compliance, as well as employer/employee education and training to identify and abate worksite hazards. Through the strategic planning process, these activities are coordinated with the enforcement program in each state to focus on priorities identified by their strategic plans.
The state plans work to educate employers that besides reducing the suffering associated with workplace injuries, illnesses and accidents–a strong safety and health program also has a very positive impact on their bottom line. Other benefits include:
Companies whose managers and employees are working together to build comprehensive safety and health programs with proven performance levels are receiving local and national recognition. Companies demonstrate their desire to strive for excellence by using flexibility and creativity to go beyond minimum regulations–to provide the best feasible safety and health protection for workers at that site.
Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) recognize worksites with exemplary safety and health programs that get tangible results from reducing industrial hazards and occupational disease, as evidenced in an injury/illness rate below the average within their industry. Initiated in California, the concept was adopted by the federal government and is now successful nationwide.
VPP is a partnership between labor, management, and government which helps businesses and industries voluntarily improve their health and safety programs to create safe worksites. The VPP Award recognizes outstanding companies that provide an exemplary work environment. The VPP is the most prestigious safety and health award given in the nation. Award sites represent the "Best of the Best" in workplace safety and health. VPP companies have created a work environment where everyone accepts responsibility for safety, every day.
Some states also offer the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP), which provides an incentive for employers to develop a comprehensive injury and illness prevention program that involves employees in a significant way.
The cumulative total for all state plan VPP sites in 2002 was 258, with 153 SHARP sites. State plan’s VPP and SHARP highlights include:
Partnerships & Alliances
States have maintained partnerships for many years with employer, employee and other organizations in a voluntary, cooperative, problem-solving relationship. States have jointly sponsored safety and health conferences and sought input from the occupational safety and health community on standards, initiatives and emphasis programs. Employer and employee training and outreach have been coordinated with other agencies and organizations that have expertise in a particular field.
Employers who reach a partnership agreement with federal OSHA or a state plan are not exempted from programmed inspections–the exemption is available only to employers who qualify to participate in the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) and the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP).
Alaska has established a partnership with the seafood processing industry on Process Safety Management. Alaska has a new partnership with the logging industry whereby logging companies can partner with the consultation side of AKOSH to reduce the number of accidents and other potential OSHA issues.
Arizona has partnered with construction contractors to provide a visible presence on specific sites with regular consultation visits.
Connecticut has entered into a partnership with the Small Business Development Center to promote safe and healthy workplaces for small employers. Connecticut has also developed a partnership with the state’s Department of Administration Services to provide safety and health training to state employers.
CONN-OSHA has signed alliances to share information and best practices and provide training with the Connecticut OSHA area offices and the Connecticut Business and Industry Association. CONN-OSHA has a second alliance with the Connecticut OSHA area offices and the Towing and Recovery Professionals of Connecticut.
In Hawaii partnerships with Associated Builders and Contractors, General Contractors’ Association, and Dick Pacific provide a safe and healthful work environment for the state’s construction workforce.
Iowa has partnerships established with certain employers with emphasis related to construction, amputations and long-term healthcare.
The Kentucky Labor Cabinet was instrumental in organizing a private, non-profit safety and health network with participants representing business, labor, academia, and government. The Network’s mission is to increase awareness of safety and health in the workplace through educational programs, scholarships and endowments, and statewide symposiums. The KY OSH Program, through its continued representation on the Network’s Board of Directors, has sustained its influence and activity within the Network.
Kentucky is the first state program to enter into a Platinum Partnership with the Associated Builders and Contractors and has entered into CHASE partnerships with the Western Kentucky Associated General Contractors and the Associated General contractors of Kentucky.
Maryland has been working aggressively to expand its Cooperative Compliance Partnership (CCP) program in the construction industry. Three new cooperative compliance partnerships were approved during federal FY 2002. Another partnership with Clark Construction was established on a three million square foot parking garage at BWI airport. Training with the laborers and carpenters are key additions to this partnership agreement. The other new partnerships are with G.A. & F.C. Wagman, on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge I-295 project and Willow Construction, LLC, on the Chesapeake College, Wye Mills Project. In FY 2003, Maryland will extend this partnership program to include general industry employers.
Michigan signed a groundbreaking partnership on March 18, 2002, with Ford Motor Company, the Visteon Corporation, and the United Auto Workers Union (UAW). The partnership’s primary goals are not only to reduce injuries and illnesses at each location, but also to create a proactive safety and health culture, and a non-adversarial relationship that stresses cooperation. Each Ford and Visteon location covered under the agreement will conduct a MIOSHA Day meeting which will include a review of the injury and illness reports, an overview of their safety and health progress, and an informal walk-through of the facility.
Michigan also has signed formal partnership agreements with:
The Minnesota Workplace Safety Consultation has partnership agreements with five contractors on five large construction sites. Minnesota has recently signed partnership agreements with the Association of Building Contractors, the Association of General Contractors, the National Association of Tower Erectors, and Ford Motor Company. The implementation of these partnerships is still in process.
Nevada has an ongoing effort with the Nevada Small Business Development Center (NSBDC). Nevada’s Safety Consultation and Training Section conducted the programs and NSBDC advertised them. One of the most successful programs conducted was the Injury and Illness Recordkeeping program.
Nevada also started a partnering/alliance effort with the National Association of Minority Contractors (NAMC). The Safety Consultation and Training Section presents a 10-hour Construction Course as part of the overall training NAMC provides. Nevada is also working with the state’s Risk Management to enhance safety awareness for state employees. To better leverage limited resources, Nevada conducts an 8-hour State Safety Supervisor course that all state supervisors attend.
They also have an alliance was with the Department of Emergency Management to provide guidance on required OSHA training for emergency responders, and assist in developing training for emergency responders. This training program will be taught as a "Train the Trainer" for the Highway Patrol, and many other agencies.
New Mexico developed partnering charters with both the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and with the Associated General Contractors (AGC), which are patterned after the national agreements. In both charters, the state participation requirements exceed the national elements. Over 30 contractors currently participate in these two agreements. New Mexico is exploring the establishment of partnering agreements with the NM Heavy Construction Branch of the AGC and with the local chapter of the Communication Tower Erectors. Five site-specific safety and health agreements are scheduled to expire after the three-year projects end in late 2002.
North Carolina has partnerships with the Regional Safety and Health Schools, N.C. Forestry Association, N.C. Arbousts Association, N.C. Department of Transportation, N.C. Professional Plumbers Association, Manager of Environmental Safety and Health, Carolina’s AGC, NC Community Colleges, National Association of Tower Erectors and American Furniture Manufacturers Association.
Oregon OSHA has a strong commitment to working with stakeholders as evidenced by the number of groups participating in various initiatives.
Puerto Rico and federal OSHA signed an agreement with the Associated General Contractors, Puerto Rico Chapter, to achieve construction workforce safety through shared goals and objectives. The goal is to develop a contractor/government partnership that will encourage Puerto Rico construction contractors to: improve their safety and health performance; strive for the elimination of the four major hazards (falls, electrical, caught in/between, and struck-by hazards), which account for the majority of the fatalities and injuries in this industry; prevent serious accidents through implementation of enhanced safety and health programs; increase employee training; and recognize those contractors with exemplary safety and health programs.
Tennessee OSHA is negotiating partnership agreements with several construction associations. Tennessee uses an approach that has yielded tremendous benefits: Industry-TOSHA discussion groups are formed when new standards and requirements are proposed, such as bloodborne pathogens, hazard communication, and electrical power generation, transmission and distribution standards.
Utah has partnerships with the Associated General Contractors, Utah Manufacturing Association, the Local Trade Council, the NIOSH regional educational center, Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, and other professional, safety and trade organizations to promote safety and health and help reduce injuries and illnesses. Each year Utah OSHA joins with the local chapters of the American Society of Safety Engineers, American Industrial Hygiene Association, Utah Safety Council and the Rocky Mountain Center to support the Annual Utah Conference on Safety and Industrial Hygiene. Utah also appreciates its long-term working relationship with its federal partners of the Salt Lake Technical Center’s health response team, laboratory staff and computer experts.
Vermont OSHA has strategic partnerships with the Associated General Contractors, the Vermont Nursing Home Association, and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. They have also formed alliances with the Vermont Ski Areas Association and the Vermont Agency of Transportation.
Virginia has partnership agreements with the Virginia Health Department to advise VOSH on Seasonal Farm workers, Worker’s Compensation Commission to provide VOSH with First Reports of Injury and Illness, Virginia Department of Transportation to report violations cited by workers and the State Police/Sheriff’s Department to advise VOSH of fatalities and serious injuries.
The Hazard Impact Partnership (HIP) program is a Washington Department of Labor and Industries’ effort to help Washington businesses become safer workplaces. A cross-agency planning team agreed in 1998 that the new initiative must have agency-wide representation and coordination, be a joint effort with selected industries and labor, include small businesses, be realistic, implement agency priorities, and be able to be replicated. HIP focuses on industries rather than individual employers, uses data specific to the selected industry, develops mutual expectations and creates measurements to determine success.
Nursing homes are the first focus industry, with emphasis on reducing back and shoulder injuries. Participating nursing homes received up-front reductions in workers’ compensation premiums to enable them to purchase equipment for a "zero-lift" environment. Participants already report reductions in lost workdays and improved resident comfort during transfers. During FY 2000 participants reduced back injuries 43 percent and shoulder injuries 61 percent.
During project startup the department produced two new publications, Frequently Asked Questions about Portable Total Body Patient/Resident Lifts and Frequently Asked Questions about Sit-to-Stand Patient/ Resident Devices, to encourage use of zero-lift technology in resident and patient care facilities–both are available on its website. (See directory.) Other activities include: performing job modifications on open claims for nurses and nursing assistants; documenting best practices currently used in skilled nursing facilities and sharing the information throughout the industry; and evaluating the interventions to determine the effectiveness of each and which ones can be modified and replicated in other industries. The department’s Safety and Health Assessment and Research for Prevention (SHARP) program received a NIOSH grant to complete this evaluation. WISHA provides technical expertise in risk management and occupational health and conducts annual site visits to participating nursing homes.
During FY 2000, Washington implemented a similar program for the sawmill industry. The sawmill HIP plan was developed by a joint work group that included agency staff, sawmill business owners and representatives, and organized labor. The project’s first phase includes five volunteer demonstration sites that will identify causes of musculoskeletal disorders among lumber handlers, explore remedies and develop a core set of best practices. The second phase of the project will extend implementation of these best practices to sawmills region-wide.
FY 2002 State Plan Positions By Title
FY 2002 On-Site Visits By Type
Text Version of Chart:
Title: FY 2002 On-Site Visits By Type
Type: Horizontal Bar Graph
Graph Elements: 6 - One bar for each type of on-site visit showing the number of visits
FY 2002 State Plan Employers & Employees Covered
Consultation, Training & Education Initiatives
During the fiscal year 2002, states provided training programs for more than a quarter million employers and their employees on topics such as: ergonomics training and back safety, confined space, hazard communication, construction and road builders safety, hazard recognition and prevention, bloodborne pathogens and training for healthcare workers, hearing conservation, and workplace violence.
In fiscal year 2002, state programs conducted more than 10,000 on-site consultation visits, identifying and directing the abatement of about 62,000 serious hazards. No penalties are proposed nor citations issued for hazards that are found by the consultants.
The Alaska Consultation and Training Unit provides training to a variety of employers and employees in the urban areas of Alaska, as well as areas that are remote and difficult to access.
California participated in seminars statewide on subjects related to high incidences of workplace injury/illness, such as fall injury protection, ergonomic and agricultural hazards. Cal/OSHA Consultation Service materials range from model programs and guides to training videos. Their Easy Ergonomics guide for general industry won national acclaim, and a new video features employers from the state’s diverse industries who explain how the consultation service helped them attain their safety and health objectives, heightened employee morale and helped their bottom line.
Connecticut continues to conduct many training programs to enhance the safety and health of the firefighting community through outreach, training, consultation and coordination with the state’s Fire Academy.
Iowa worked closely with the OSHA Training Institute, a local community college and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees to provide nationwide training on such topics as confined space entry and lockout/tagout via their Interactive Communication Network. IOSH staff also received training on electrical hazards through the OSHA Training Institute pilot via this network.
Safer Workplaces 2000 performance outcome measures showed a 90 percent increase in the employers participating in the program over the past four years. These interventions are time consuming, but result in positive feedback from the participating facilities.
Maryland continues to develop ways to improve and conduct extensive training sessions for employers and employees. New seminars on compliance auditing, workplace hazard assessment, emergency response and disaster preparedness, injury and illness recordkeeping, introduction to industrial hygiene for the non-industrial hygienist, introduction to safety and health for supervisors, mobile crane safety, and workplace hazard assessment were developed and presented.
In Michigan, the Consultation Education and Training (CET) Division focuses its outreach and training efforts on those companies with the greatest need. CET developed self-help kits for employers in industries addressed by the MIOSHA Strategic Plan. Special outreach efforts included seminars, mailings, and articles providing information on workplace safety requirements and best industry practices.
Michigan is required to report its CET activities annually to the Michigan legislature. In fiscal year 2002, Michigan provided the following consultation, education and training services: 4,931 safety and health consultations; 406 onsite consultations; and 2,493 workshops, seminars, apprentice training and special programs. They also distributed 850,000 of safety and health literature. The total number of participants in Michigan CET programs was: 26,523 employer participants and 21,804 employee participants.
Recognizing that construction is an especially high-hazard industry, Minnesota established a bimonthly training seminar specifically for them–the Construction Breakfasts were attended by construction employers, employees and union representatives. Average attendance was 125. The discussions included analysis of recent construction accidents, new standards, workers’ compensation and other safety and health topics pertinent to the construction industry. Training and outreach go together in the Minnesota program and provide much the same service to stakeholders as the new compliance assistance positions do in federal OSHA offices.
Nevada, in an effort to increase awareness of safety and health hazards and what is needed to control the hazards, conducted 293 formal training sessions reaching 5,078 participants using 59 different programs. Some of the programs include Bloodborne Pathogens Awareness, Confined Space Awareness, Control of Hazardous Energy-Lockout/Tagout, Fall Protection, Hazard Communication, Injury and Illness Recordkeeping, Powered Industrial Truck, Workplace Violence, and Written Workplace Safety Program. CEU’s are available through a partnering effort with the state’s community colleges. The training conducted concentrated on high-hazard industries or targeted areas. Nevada’s Safety Consultation and Training Section has a safety and health video lending library for Nevada employers. A total of 23,179 individuals have viewed the videos.
New Mexico conducted joint training with the New Mexico Department of Health and University of New Mexico Medical School.
New York recognizes that many public employers need help complying with regulations that require a written program, and has developed model programs to help employers comply with the bloodborne pathogen and permit-required confined space standards.
The New York Labor Department sponsored sharps injury prevention conferences in the state’s eastern, western, central and southern regions. Conference speakers included physicians, epidemiologists, infection control specialists and safety and health professionals with expertise in needlestick prevention devices, AIDS, Hepatitis C and Hepatitis B prevention, post-exposure follow-up treatments, and challenges in enforcing the OSHA bloodborne pathogen standard.
New York Department of Labor safety and health staff organized the conferences, which drew more than 500 participants throughout the state. Participants received information on bloodborne diseases and resources for prevention and intervention. Vendors displayed and demonstrated products, including needleless systems and a variety of needle covering devices. The publication Needlestick Injury Prevention Solutions, funded by a grant from the New York Department of Labor safety and health inspectors and industrial hygienists, provided additional information. Feedback was very positive.
North Carolina, South Carolina
North Carolina set up a training network through its statewide community college system to teach a variety of safety and health topics. By tapping into this system, employers and employees both have easy access to the information. North Carolina also partnered with the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, the North and South Carolina Departments of Transportation, and the Carolinas’ Associated General Contractors to present a live and interactive videoconference on the hazards associated with work zone safety.
North Carolina also conducted construction forums throughout the state on the topic of workplace fatalities. The training was presented in partnership with the Carolinas AGC, Home Builders Association, and safety conscious and successful North Carolina construction companies. The companies shared their "lessons learned."
Oregon OSHA provides a wide variety of occupational safety and health workshops, special request training sessions, and on-line courses. A CD-ROM containing Oregon rules, regulations, training materials, and publications is published and distributed approximately every quarter.
Oregon OSHA has developed the ‘Safety for Small Business’ program to help small business owners implement safety and health programs in their workplaces. The program, specifically designed to accommodate the special needs of small business owners, consists of two free one-hour "brown bag" workshops. Participants learn how to integrate a safety and health program into their business plan, receive industry-specific resource materials, and are introduced to the program’s 10 short-duration safety and health training modules. The workshops are presented two weeks apart giving participants an opportunity to implement a portion of their safety and health program prior to the second session. This unique approach allows the employer to return to the second session with real life experience.
Because the demand for training in employer in workplaces is high, Puerto Rico continues delivering training and conference sessions open to general audiences in different towns on the island. Information on each session is published in the newspaper to reach and benefit a higher number of employers, employees, students and the general public. Some themes covered in the training sessions are: How to Develop and Maintain an Effective Safety and Health Program; Safety and Health in the Woodworking Industries; Safety and Health in the Auto-Repair Shops: Safety and Health in the Construction Industry.
Puerto Rico emphasizes training to small employers of less than 100 employees. As part of its Strategic Plan, PROSHO has chosen agricultural production-crops (SIC 0170) and nursing homes as target industries. These employers receive preference in consultation visits and training. Puerto Rico also developed two booklets of safety and health matters related to each target industry. In addition, Puerto Rico translated two OSHA publications into Spanish.
Tennessee OSHA is working to develop partnerships with associations and stakeholders, striving to improve the strategic planning process and targeting programs, and has produced a 20-minute video overview of special emphasis programs for statewide distribution. Tennessee OSHA addressed ergonomic risk factors and needlestick hazards in the nursing home industry in seminars provided for nursing home employer and employees held in conjunction with the Tennessee Healthcare Association. These hazards were also addressed in a nursing home targeting initiative
Utah passed a bill in 1995 authorizing a percentage of workers’ compensation premiums, about $1 million, to support workplace safety and health programs. This allowed the hiring of two state fully funded consultants to provide additional consultation and training. Utah continues to provide training, education and consultative services for associations, employers and the public requesting assistance.
Risk of injuries in the Virgin Islands construction industry will be on a high scale of probability during a $500 million, three-year expansion of the local oil refinery Hovensa. VIDOSH began conducting a four-hour safety orientation for hundreds of local prospective employees who were applying for positions in Hovensa’s expansion project.
Virginia’s Consultation Program conducts formal training programs across the state by working in cooperation with various associations and groups.
Washington uses the Internet to deliver safety information and training. WISHA launched interactive Forklift Safety and Flagging Safety packages and is adding online Respiratory Protection training. WISHA safety professionals in partnership with the Construction Advisory Council produced online videos: Residential Construction–Siding Safety and Roofing Safety in English and Spanish, to be followed by Framing Safety. WISHA also published Guarding Mechanical Power Transmission Parts, available in hardcopy and on the WISHA Homepage, and has launched an Internet portal for safety and health training: WISHA University.
Wyoming developed several training programs for specific workforce segments:
Financial Incentives, Awards & Grants
Business and labor organizations in Washington requested legislation to appropriate some of the state’s medical aid fund for an occupational safety and health impact grant program. The medical aid fund is a portion of the workers’ compensation system into which workers pay dividends, and its use must benefit workers. Approved by the 1999 Washington Legislature, with $5 million appropriated for the first biennium and $5 million each successive year, the grant program is administered by the Department of Labor and Industries in consultation with the WISHA Advisory Committee.
The grants are intended to help prevent injuries and illnesses, save lives, and educate Washington employers and employees about workplace hazards and safe work practices. The program is particularly aimed at small businesses that lack the injury and illness prevention resources of larger companies. Using a competitive application process, grants can be awarded to trade and business associations, employers, employee groups or organizations and labor unions. Applicants can form partnerships with educational institutions and other organizations.
The four grant categories are: education and training; technical innovation to develop engineering controls or other technical solutions for injury and illness problems; best practices for the application of hazard control; and innovative statewide programs to address safety and health. Nearly 200 applications with $38 million in requests were narrowed to 32 recipients with collective budgets totaling $4.7 million. The expected outcome and results of each project will be built into the grant contracts and monitored by staff to ensure completion of milestones. The projects reflect a diversity of Washington industries, companies, labor unions and government agencies.
California workers’ compensation reform legislation passed in 2002 included a provision for the establishment of a Workers’ Occupational Safety and Health Education Fund for the purpose of creating a worker-training program. The program is designed to address skills needed for workers who will take an active role in Workplace Injury and Illness Prevention Programs and joint labor-management committees.
A certificate program will be available for employees who complete a certain number of core and supplemental modules. Expanded "train the trainer" courses will also be developed for those interested in using the curriculum to train other workers.
Hawaii’s five percent workers’ compensation premium discount is offered for workplace safety and health programs certified effective.
Three Indiana companies received the inaugural Governor’s Workplace Safety Award in March 1999 at the Hoosier Safety Council’s 13th annual convention. The awards recognize the most innovative safety and health initiatives among Indiana’s workplaces. All of the award recipients have taken a proactive stance to educate workers, develop new safety technology and forge partnerships to maintain a safe workplace. Sponsored by the state’s Department of Labor, Bureau of Safety Education and Training in partnership with the Hoosier Safety Council, the awards salute companies who believe safety in the workplace should be the number one priority of every employer.
The Michigan CET Grant Program was established in 1979 to enhance the services provided by the Consultation Education and Training (CET) Division. In FY 2002, Michigan awarded 18 CET Grants totaling $1 million to promote workplace safety and health. Most of the grants focused on the performance goals identified in the MIOSHA strategic plan. The grants are designed to address emerging issues like workplace violence; ergonomics issues, particularly in the health care field; fall protection; new employee safety training; plastic injection molding hazards; and a wide range of other safety needs. Many of the grants offered interactive computer-based training modules and may include: text, video, interactive questions, and retention testing.
The MIOSHA CET Division recognizes successful Michigan companies that have established a comprehensive safety and health program that positively impacts their workplace. The CET Division presented the following CET Awards during the 2002 fiscal year: one Bronze Award for improved safety and health program; three Silver Awards for a one-year, one Gold Award for a two-year, one CET Plaque for a five-year achievement of outstanding MIOSHA injury and illness records; and three Ergonomic Innovation Awards for innovative ideas which have been implemented to reduce worker strain. The recognized companies were awarded their certificates at ceremonies attended by state and local elected officials and MIOSHA staff.
Minnesota has a Safety Grants Program that awards matching funds up to $10,000 to qualifying endeavors for projects designed to reduce the risk of injuries and illnesses.
North Carolina celebrated the 55th year of its Safety Awards Program receiving 2,516 applications and presenting 1,704 Annual Awards at 29 banquets.
Oregon’s training grant program, funded from the civil penalties paid by employers, awards grants for the development of innovative educational programs. Grants are awarded to assist in the development of education programs that can be used by an entire industry or a specific work process to reduce or eliminate hazards.
Oregon OSHA encourages grant applications for the development of training programs that support their strategic plan. Materials produced with grant funds become the property of the Oregon OSHA. The final products are available for loan to the public from the OR-OSHA Resource Center. Training programs developed with the grant funds include such topics as: lifting guidelines; a dairy farmers checklist and video; pictograms for training mentally challenged individuals on hazards in the workplace; a home builders’ manual and videos in Russian, Spanish, and English; and a pilot educational program for prevention of ergonomic-related injuries for nurses.
Puerto Rico’s Quick Fix program provides a 15 percent additional reduction in penalties for safety and health violations abated during the inspection.
With the support of $1 million from workers’ compensation premiums, the Utah Labor Commission promotes workplace safety and health through consultation, media outreach and workplace safety grants.
Wyoming reduces penalties for employers in informal conferences when their workers’ compensation is less than one and/or if they correct the hazard in the presence of the inspector. When an employer has eight or more claims, an offer to reduce penalties by 75 percent is made if the employer can reduce claims by 25 percent over the following 12 months. During every fixed establishment inspection and consultation visit, the employer is given an analysis of his workers’ compensation account. Shown are the injuries by body part, the cost of those injuries by body part, how much was paid on past year’s premiums and a one- or two-year premium projection. Also, shown is the monetary loss, which is the difference between premiums paid versus the least amount that could be paid. The intent is for an employer to make the connection between increased safety awareness and increased profits.
In an effort to better serve the growing number of limited and non-English speaking workers in California, Cal/OSHA has actively sought to overcome language barriers between Cal/OSHA staff and the public it serves. Recent publications have been translated into multiple languages, depending on the type of industry that they address.
Significant efforts have been made to identify bilingual (mainly Spanish-English) staff to assist in enforcement and consultation interventions at bilingual worksites and to respond to inquiries in the office or on the telephone.
Cal/OSHA has supplemented these efforts by contracting with an external translation service. This service is able to provide translation services via a teleinterpreter, 24 hours a day and in 150 different languages. Each Cal/OSHA office displays a multi-lingual poster so that if it is not possible to identify the language spoken by the other party, the person can simply point to his/her language on the poster. The majority of requests are for Spanish interpretation but requests for interpretation by Russian, Thai, Romanian, Japanese, and Vietnamese have been received.
Over 75 on-site consultation visits were conducted at worksites where the primary language of the employer and/or employees was Spanish. Bilingual assistance was provided primarily in agriculture, garment, manufacturing and construction.
Maryland prints its Safety and Health Protection On The Job poster in English and Spanish. MOSH also publishes their Closing Conference Guide in Spanish. This booklet explains employer rights following an inspection.
Michigan prints its Safety and Health Protection on the Job poster in English and Spanish. MIOSHA also publishes two brochures, Your Rights and Responsibilities under MIOSHA, and the Michigan’s Employee Right to Know in Spanish. The MIOSHA video, MIOSHA: Your Workplace Partner - Onsite Consultation Program, was dubbed into a Spanish version.
Minnesota publishes its Safety and Health Protection on the Job poster in English, Spanish, Hmong, Cambodian, Vietnamese and Laotian. The poster summarizes employee rights under the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Act. Minnesota OSHA consultation has added a position to help train non-English speaking people working in the construction industry.
Nevada has produced promotional videos in Spanish and English on their consultation program, and spot announcements aired on local television stations.
Between 1990 and 2000, the number of Hispanics in Oregon grew by 144 percent, representing over 8 percent of the Oregon population. The Oregon economy relies heavily on industries that employ a large number of workers with limited English skills, including nursery, agriculture, manufacturing, forestry, construction, food processing, restaurants, hospitality, and services.
During FY 2002, Oregon OSHA completed development of a Spanish-English/English-Spanish Dictionary of occupational safety and health terms targeted at English-speaking employers and limited English-speaking Latino/Hispanic workers, supervisors and employers who wish to improve their communication on occupational safety and health issues. The dictionary contains a section on basic terminology, including such things as directions, telling time, basic safety and health expressions, and work titles. The dictionary is available on the OR-OSHA web site and has become the most accessed document on the site.
To serve the increasing number of Spanish-speaking construction workers, Oregon OSHA has partnered with safety and health professionals in the construction industry to develop industry specific safety training materials in both English and Spanish. These materials are specifically designed to provide English-speaking supervisors materials from which to train their Spanish-speaking employees on construction safety.
Oregon OSHA also offers a variety of publications in Spanish, including the Safety and Health Protection on the Job poster, Clothes Washing for Pesticide Handlers, Directory of OR-OSHA Services, Field Sanitation Notice, Safe Practices When Working Around Hazardous Agricultural Chemicals, and a pamphlet for operators of seasonal farm worker housing. Oregon also offers workshops in Spanish and a web page for Spanish speaking Oregon workers provides occupational safety and health information and resources.
Puerto Rico has two official languages, Spanish and English. All government and private transactions are usually conducted in Spanish, and all state laws and regulations must be in both languages. The safety and health poster advising employers and employees of their responsibilities and rights is in both languages, as are some NIOSH and OSHA publications, all the state-adopted occupational safety and health standards, and citations issued. This reduces the probability of violating employer or employee rights through lack of understanding the language.
Tennessee OSHA has translated several publications into Spanish and developed an alliance with the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute to assist compliance officers when a Spanish interpreter is needed. Tennessee has participated in the Hispanic Community Outreach Program sponsored by the Mexican Consulate Office in Atlanta, GA.
Virgin Islands distributes Spanish literature and brochures provided by Puerto Rico OSH to its extensive Spanish-speaking workforce. In 1999 its consultation program offered a course, Derechos de el Empleado Bajo la Ley OSHA (Employees’ Rights Under the OSHA Act), which was attended by Spanish-speaking public employees.
Safety & Health Conferences
The Alaska Governor’s Safety Conference is an annual event and brings hundreds of employers, employees, safety professionals, and vendors from all over the state and out-of-state together to discuss new and existing safety topics.
Iowa has held an annual Governor’s Safety and Health Conference for 26 years. The conference is organized by a committee of representatives from labor, industry and the public sector, and draws attendance from many segments of the state population. Nationally known speakers are featured. The conference is so successful the committee established scholarships totaling $9,500 for seven college students who are safety and health majors.
Kentucky’s annual Governor’s Conference was first held in 1985. This joint effort of business, labor, government and academia is facilitated by the Kentucky Labor Cabinet and Kentucky Safety and Health Network. It averages 50 sessions, 115 exhibitors and 1,800 participants. Complementing the Governor’s Conference held in Louisville each spring are mid-year symposiums offered at a variety of locations throughout the commonwealth during the late fall, with combined attendance of more than 1,000 participants.
Maryland’s OSH, along with its safety council and a number of safety organizations, sponsors an annual safety and health conference that draws an average 500 people. Maryland also participates in several other annual conferences with local associations targeting construction and public-sector employees.
With more than 5,500 attendees annually, the Michigan Safety Conference is one of the largest and most informative state conferences in the nation. The conference goal is to help participants improve worker safety and health, reduce workers’ compensation costs, and increase productivity and profitability. In April 2002, nearly 100 MIOSHA safety and health professionals and support staff were involved in planning and facilitating more than 14 seminars.
In February 2002, Michigan sponsored the 51st Annual Industrial Ventilation Conference. Staffed by ventilation experts of the United States and Canada, the weeklong conference features general ventilation information and the newest control technologies.
Minnesota OSHA is an active participant in the annual Minnesota Safety and Health Conference sponsored by the Minnesota Safety Council. The conference has been held for the past 69 years and draws more than 1,700 participants. The conference includes exhibitor/vendor booths and numerous seminars on safety-related topics–including regulatory compliance, ergonomics, behavioral issues, risk control, commercial vehicle safety, basic workplace safety and safety management. Minnesota OSHA also participates in the Association contractor Safety Days in both the Duluth and St. Paul/Minneapolis areas.
Oregon OSHA partners with businesses, trade and safety organizations to offer numerous safety and health conferences around the state. Oregon’s biennial Governor’s Conference draws approximately 3,000 participants to the Portland Convention Center. The conference, co-sponsored by Oregon OSHA and the Columbia Willamette Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers, is one of the largest events of its kind on the west coast. Oregon OSHA also co-sponsors three regional safety and health conferences around the state as well as the Western Pulp and Paper Workers Safety and Health Conference.
On December 2002, Puerto Rico held its Ninth Occupational Safety and Health Conference, a three-day safety and health conference with workshops on compliance requirements and updating professionals in safety and health and related disciplines.
The Tennessee Safety Congress, sponsored by TOSHA and Tennessee chapters of the American Society of Safety Engineers, is an assembly of safety and health professionals sharing information and ideas on programs and educational techniques that promote good workplace safety and health practices. The Congress is nationally recognized for its high quality and diverse activities.
Virgin Islands sponsors a biannual safety and health conference on St. Croix and an annual conference on St. Thomas.
Virginia’s Annual Occupational Safety and Health Conference was first held in 1996. Held each year in June, the conference now has approximately 350 participants and 40 exhibitors. Locations rotate from the Tidewater area to Roanoke.
This year marks the 52nd anniversary of the Washington State Governor’s Industrial Safety and Health Conference, which will be held September 17 & 18, 2003, at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in Seattle. Expected attendance is 4,900. The annual conference alternates between western Washington in Seattle/Tacoma and eastern Washington in Spokane.
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