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|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. The cumulative total for all State Plan States in fiscal year 2003 was 286 VPP sites.
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.
State plan’s VPP and SHARP highlights are listed below.
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.
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.
Alaska has established three new partnerships with: the wood products industry, the construction industry, and the Municipality of Anchorage. All partnerships are managed by the consultation side of Alaska Occupational Safety and Health. Each partnership is designed to reduce the number of injuries, illnesses and fatalities in each industry.
The Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s (ADOSH) Alliances provide parties an opportunity to participate in a voluntary cooperative relationship with ADOSH for purposes such as training and education, outreach and communication and promoting a national dialogue on workplace safety and health. These Alliances have proved to be valuable tools for both ADOSH and its Alliance participants.
The first formal partnership agreement to come to fruition was signed by Cal/OSHA and the Port of San Diego Ship Repair Association. Federal OSHA approached Cal/OSHA in January 2003 stating that they had already signed a partnership agreement wherein members of the Port of San Diego Ship Repair Association can contact federal OSHA and indicate their interest in participating in the agreement. Employers must agree to voluntarily comply with safety and health regulations, and agree to submit to an audit of their facilities and programs. Cal/OSHA has conducted audits, with the understanding that any serious or imminent hazards found must be promptly corrected. Concerned labor unions have also been involved in reaching this agreement.
Cal/OSHA and KFM, a joint venture contractor for the new skyway portion of the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge continue to finalize the terms of a partnership agreement. Precast roadway segments weighing 750 tons each are made in Stockton, California, and then loaded by section on a barge and floated to the area of bridge construction. The agreement will, among other things, simplify jurisdictional issues between Cal/OSHA and federal OSHA relating to the bridge construction. For example, cranes on barges on the water would be under federal OSHA jurisdiction while stationary cranes are under Cal/OSHA jurisdiction. Cal/OSHA requires crane certification while federal OSHA does not require such certification. The agreement provides that both state and federal inspectors will respond to incidents occurring on the project, eliminating confusion over jurisdictional issues and applicable regulations.
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 OSH Program 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. Kentucky offers the OSHA 10 and 30 hour courses for Occupational Safety and Health Standards for the Construction Industry, exclusively and without cost, to companies and organizations that have entered into formal construction partnership agreements with the Kentucky OSH Program.
Maryland has been working aggressively to expand its Cooperative Compliance Partnership (CCP) program in the construction industry. Maryland entered into seven new Cooperative Compliance Partnerships (CCP) during FY 2003. The new partnerships are as follows: Cherry Hill Construction at MD 450 and Quarantine Road Landfill projects; Clark Realty Builders, LLC on the Mill Pond II project; G.A. & F.C. Wagman on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge project; Cianbro Corporation at the Dundalk Marine Terminal; Whiting-Turner at the National Aquarium Pier 3 Expansion project; Gilford Corporation at the Reid Temple AME Church project.
The partnerships entered into during FY 2002 with Clark Construction at BWI airport and G.A. & F.C. Wagman on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge I-295 project are ongoing and should come to completion during FY 2004. The other new partnership that was established during FY 2002 with Willow Construction, LLC on the Chesapeake College, Wye Mills Project was successfully completed during FY 2003 with no injuries.
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, which were renewed in 2003 for an additional three years, with:
MNOSHA Compliance has signed partnerships with the Association of General Contractors and the National Association of Tower Erectors. MNOSHA is working cooperatively with all members of Federal Region V to establish a joint partnership with Ford Motor Company. MNOSHA Workplace Safety Consultation has numerous informal alliances with various entities. In FY04, these alliances will be formalized through signed agreements.
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, who are able to attend any programs on Nevada’s quarterly schedules. 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 is continuing the Reciprocity Agreement with Region VI – OSHA. The agreement will recognize the participants in the AGC Partnering Agreement and will extend recognition of state incentives to areas of federal jurisdiction in NM. The state is negotiating with the Associated Builders and Contractors to renew a Partnership Agreement and, if signed, a Reciprocity Agreement will also be enacted for participating contractors.
New Mexico is working on specialty trade contractor emergency response training based on SMART card system. Participants include: AGC contractors, operators union, laborer’s union. Presently, looking to expand participation with railroad, forest service, Sandia National Laboratory, Kirtland AFB and Native American Tribes.
The Compliance Section will assist with the management of partnership programs as needed and help with the verification process in roles permitted within the agreements. Additionally, enforcement activities will be conducted to assure the effectiveness of partnerships in the residential construction industry.
New Mexico has signed an Alliance with the National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) of New Mexico. The Alliance signing, was the first agreement for any NUCA Chapter in the Nation.
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, Carolina Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association, Inc, and Patterson and Wilder Construction.
At any given time, Oregon OSHA has around 20 active stakeholder collaborations and partnerships. Major revisions of standards are always undertaken with the involvement of a stakeholder committee, conferences are planned in partnership with various industry groups, and new training initiatives often involve stakeholders.
Of particular note in the area of partnerships in Oregon is the Oregon Forest Activities Advisory Committee. This committee of logging employers and employees, state and federal forestry agencies, industry associations, academia, equipment manufacturers, and Oregon OSHA employees met on a monthly basis over a five year period to completely revise Oregon’s forest activities standard.
This partnership resulted in a highly effective, innovative standard supported by business, workers and government. The process of developing these rules moved Oregon OSHA, industry and equipment manufacturers from an adversarial relationship to a true partnership with a common goal.
Examples of other stakeholder collaborations in Oregon not already mentioned include:
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 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.
FY 2003 State Compliance Assistance Activities
Consultation, Training & Education Initiatives
During the fiscal year 2003, 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.
The Alaska Occupational Safety and Health Consultation and Training section 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.
The Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health continued to offer top quality hazard recognition training to over 3,000 employers and conducted training to over 4,500 employees. Our three trainers continued to provide training services throughout the state of Arizona. Participation from employers in rural areas increased significantly during 2003. Many of the responses provided to us concerning the training provided, have been overwhelmingly appreciative of the agency’s efforts to bring the services out to the rural areas of Arizona.
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.
Kentucky instituted a strategy for reaching employers whose injury/illness rates are three times the private sector rate in Kentucky as indicated by the OSHA Data Collection. The division directors determined that every employer identified as meeting these criteria would be visited either by a Division of Education and Training consultant or a Division of Compliance inspector. By coordinating the BLS injury/illness SIC information to establish the most hazardous industrial classifications in the state and the employer-specific information produced by the OSHA Data Collection, Kentucky embarked on a series of Targeted Outreach Programs (TOP’s).
Smaller employers, whose occupational safety and health records indicate high rates of injuries and/or illnesses were given the option of receiving on-site consultation. A list of larger employers and employers who chose not to request consultative assistance was provided to the Division of Compliance.
The first round of promotional outreach resulted in a response rate of nearly 30 percent and lead to breakthrough contacts with nursing home and assisted living associations for statewide training. A second round of promotion resulted in a response rate nearly as successful.
Kentucky also has developed a training campaign involving a week of safety and health seminars offered annually at each of the state’s seven largest population centers. The "Pop Centers" campaign has proven to be extremely successful over the years in reaching employers and employees in the Commonwealth’s farflung industrial centers. The population center training campaign averages over 3,000 attendees each year and offers nearly 60 classes on a wide variety of occupational safety and health subjects.
As a service to contractors who have entered into a partnership agreement with the Kentucky OSH Program, the OSHA 10 hour and 30 hour construction safety courses are offered exclusively and without cost.
Maryland continues to develop ways to improve and conduct extensive training sessions for employers and employees. New seminars on Construction Site Safety, Ergonomics in Construction Industry, Heat Stress, Injury Prevention, Infectious Disease Control, MSDSs for General Industry, Office Ergonomics, Practical Approach to Choosing PPE, and Safety Pays 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. Michigan is required to report its CET activities annually to the Michigan legislature. In fiscal year 2003, Michigan provided the following consultation, education and training services: 3,418 safety and health consultations; 353 hazard surveys; 357 onsite consultations; and 1,834 workshops, seminars, apprentice training and special programs. They also distributed 620,000 pieces of safety and health literature. The total number of participants in Michigan CET programs was: 39,522 employers and employees.
CET Initiatives are activities related to significant changes in MIOSHA standards or emerging safety and health issues. In fiscal year 2003, the CET Division continued providing outreach activities to promote five initiatives: Bloodborne Infectious Diseases - five seminars; Recordkeeping - 12 seminars; Firefighting - four seminars; Overhead and Gantry Cranes - a training program, employee manual and sample permits were developed and used for nine workshops; Steel Erection - 10 workshops. The CET Division also conducted 137 initiative consultations.
Recognizing that construction is an especially high-hazard industry, Minnesota established a series of Construction Breakfast training seminars specifically for the industry that are attended by construction employers, employees and union representatives. Topics include an analysis of recent construction accidents, new standards, workers’ compensation and other safety and health topics pertinent to the construction industry. Scheduled and requested compliance training sessions for all types of industries in FY03 reached more than 1,200 individuals. Training sessions conducted by Workplace Safety Consultation were attended by more than 18,000 participants statewide.
Logging is another high-hazard industry in Minnesota. To emphasize the importance of safety in lowering workers’ compensation costs in the logging industry, Minnesota provides free, eight-hour LogSafe safety seminars to 95 percent of the state’s logger employers and their employees each year. Minnesota’s sawmill owners pay 30 cents for every cord of wood they purchase or process annually above 5,000 cords into a special logger’s fund. Of the money paid into the fund each year, $125,000 covers the LogSafe program costs. Participating logging companies receive the remainder as rebates on their workers’ compensation premiums after providing proof of workers’ compensation insurance and proof of annual LogSafe attendance for each employee. In addition, Minnesota OSHA offers a lending library of more than two dozen videos to interested parties.
Nevada, in an effort to increase awareness of safety and health hazards and what is needed to control the hazards, conducted 379 formal training sessions reaching 7,300 participants using 78 different programs. Of these, 26 formal training sessions, reaching 756 participants, and using seven different programs, were conducted in Spanish. 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 29,864 individuals have viewed the videos.
New Mexico has developed a residential construction partnership program. The partnership program, Construction Agreement for Residential Employee Safety (CARES), is focused on the large Hispanic construction workforce in the residential construction industry. It is a joint effort between the Enforcement and Consultation sections of the State OSHA program. There are currently more than 100 subcontractor companies participating in the CARES program.
New York continues to respond to the needs of public employers and small private employers by developing model written plans such as, the Bloodborne Pathogen, Exposure Control and Permit Required Confined Space Plan’s. These plans were updated to reflect the recent regulatory changes.
The Public Employee Safety and Health Bureau (PESH) and the 21D On-Site Consultation Bureau sponsored numerous Employee Injury Prevention in Long Term Care Conferences throughout New York which focused on major causes and prevention strategies of employee injuries. Nationally renowned speakers presented cost/benefit information pertaining to zero-lift policies as well as how to get started implementing such policies. The experts and vendors provided valuable hands-on demonstrations of resident handling equipment. Other conference topics included slips, trips and falls and an update on the changes to the recordkeeping regulation. The publication "Patient Handling Solutions" was also distributed.
The On-Site Consultation Bureau (21D) and PESH presented OSHA 10-Hour Construction Training to the NYS Department of Transportation and their contractors at a variety of locations throughout the state. Hundreds of employees were provided valuable safety training. We anticipate this training effort to be expanded the coming year.
PESH continues to coordinate with Town and Village Highway Departments and is providing conference style safety training sessions to employees and their supervisors. Vendors are invited to show their safety equipment and supplement training. The On-Site Consultation Bureau has developed a youth initiative focusing on the future employees and the young worker, providing safety training and hazard recognition.
North Carolina conducted Construction Forums on Workplace Fatalities throughout the state. The training was presented in partnership with the Home Builders Association, and safety conscious and successful North Carolina construction companies. Breakout Panels for Commercial, Residential, and Public Sector construction activity were included in the forum agenda to respond to specific customer concerns.
North Carolina’s Labor One, a mobile training vehicle, is a very useful training tool, especially in the construction industry. On-site training is offered in both Spanish and English to employees who might not attend training in a formal class room setting.
In the area of training, Oregon OSHA offers a wide variety of occupational safety and health workshops, special request training sessions, and on-line courses. To keep employers up-to-date, Oregon OSHA updates, publishes, and distributes quarterly a CD-ROM containing Oregon rules, regulations, training materials and publications.
In a unique approach to outreach, Oregon OSHA held the first "Safety Break for Oregon" on May 14, 2003. The event was organized to remind people of the need to focus on improving workplace safety to reduce injuries, illnesses and fatalities. The "Safety Break" encouraged employers to sponsor events at their work site highlighting the value of safety and health. Several thousand employees at work sites across the state participated in a wide range of events designed to raise awareness. Oregon OSHA is planning to make "Safety Break for Oregon" an annual event.
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.
South Carolina has conducted two OSHA 10-hour General Industry classes this year and an OSHA 10-hour class for Construction is scheduled for October.
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 has several initiatives in progress to address workplace safety for Spanish-speaking employees. Utah has cooperative programs in place with the Mexican Consulate and other state agencies with the main purpose of educating Spanish-speaking employees on their rights and the services available to them from the state. Utah actively participates in Hispanic fairs (e.g. Paisano Picnic) and events such as Cinco de Mayo celebrations. The intent is to educate Spanish-speaking employees on the safety and health resources available to them. Utah also has a state-sponsored program in conjunction with the Utah Chapter of the AGC, Associated Builders and Contractors, Utah Farm Bureau Federation, Utah Chapter AFL-CIO and Utah Restaurant Association and the University of Utah’s Rocky Mountain Center of Environmental and Occupational Health to train Spanish-speaking trainers on workplace safety issues so they, in turn, can train Spanish-speaking employees.
Utah is also working on several fronts to educate students on the benefits of workplace safety and health. In a cooperative effort with a recent VPP recipient, Utah trained several hundred middle school students on workplace safety and health fundamentals.
Additionally, Utah is working with Utah’s major universities to establish formal programs to educate students about to enter the workplace. In these programs students will work with Utah compliance personnel on actual workplace inspections.
The Utah Workplace Safety Program also conducts an annual safety poster contest for Utah middle school students. The grand prize for the contest is $500 to the winner and $500 to the winner’s school. Each year the top 12 posters are used to create a Workplace Safety Calendar that is distributed by the Utah Labor Commission.
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 continues to expand use of the Internet and other electronic media in delivering safety information and training. WISHA has online interactive courses in many areas including forklift safety, flagging safety, ergonomics awareness, noise exposure, engineering controls to reduce needlestick injuries, fall protection, respiratory protection, noise exposure, confined spaces, concrete pumpers, ladder safety and lawn mower safety. In an effort to better communicate and share workplace safety and health information with Spanish language communities, in 2002 WISHA launched a Spanish version of the WISHA website.
Our newest online resources are "training kits" to provide employers with materials and information needed to meet WISHA safety and health training requirements. Each kit includes PowerPoint presentations and other materials with detailed instructions on how to present the training. Topics include silica and lead in construction, respirator safety, chemical hazard communication, hearing protection, and ergonomics awareness education.
Wyoming developed several training programs for specific workforce segments:
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.
The Kentucky Department of Labor has added a position in the Commissioner’s Office whose responsibilities are to provide outreach to the Hispanic-speaking employers and employees of the Commonwealth.
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. MOSH sent several employees to a two-day training session titled Spanish for Construction Sites. This training enabled staff to learn the proper pronunciation and definition of key words used by Spanish-speaking individuals on construction sites. As a follow up to that training MOSH staff established a shortened version for the remainder of our field employees. MOSH has also been aggressively working on preparing a Spanish for Construction Sites seminar for inclusion in our free public training schedule.
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. The CET Video Loan Library now includes Spanish-speaking construction safety videos.
Minnesota publishes its Safety and Health Protection on the Job poster in 11 languages: Arabic, Cambodian, English, Hmong, Laotian, Oromo, Russian, Serbian, Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese. The poster summarizes employee rights under the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Act. Minnesota OSHA consultation added a temporary 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.
New Mexico is working with several organizations to promote safety and health among the state’s Spanish-speaking workforce. Bilingual consultants have participated in an information fair sponsored by the Mexican Consulate and a call-in show on a Spanish radio station.
North Carolina has a number of safety and health documents in Spanish including the Safety and Health Protection on the Job poster, and inspection forms that describe specific employees’ rights and responsibilities. The State also communicates a safety and health message to the Hispanic population through the availability of Spanish language videos with over 50 Spanish titles. Safety and Health videos in Spanish have also been developed for use on Spanish-speaking television outlets. Efforts have been made to increase the number of staff that speaks Spanish. This has been accomplished through hiring practices and training. Currently the State has 19 employees who speak Spanish.
Oregon has been very proactive in addressing the needs of its large population of Spanish-speaking workers. The Oregon OSHA Dictionary of Occupational Safety and Health Terms, available in English to Spanish and Spanish to English, is one of the most popular documents accessed on the OR-OSHA web site. To serve Spanish-speaking construction workers, Oregon OSHA partnered with the construction industry to develop industry specific training materials in both English and Spanish. The program, known as PESO, is designed to provide English-speaking supervisors materials from which to train their Spanish-speaking employees on a variety of construction safety issues.
Oregon OSHA 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 OSHA also has a Spanish-language web page that provides workers 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.
Utah is pursuing an opportunity to work in cooperation with the Consultation programs of Colorado and Florida to develop training materials for Spanish-speaking employees.
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.
VOSH publishes the following documents in Spanish as well as English: Emergency Preparedness Manual; Fall Protection; Occupational Safety and Health – Job Safety and Health Protection Poster; and Guide for the Employment of Teenagers.
In partnership with the construction industry, Washington developed online videos for residential construction on siding, roofing, and framing safety. All of these are available on the web in both English and Spanish. WISHA has now added online videos for back injury prevention, ergonomics awareness, nursing home hazards and solutions, and preventing road rage (aggressive driving).
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