|2004 OSHSPA Report > Workplace security: safeguarding the workplace|
|Workplace security: safeguarding the workplace|
The Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH) has begun serving on the Advisory Committee for the Arizona State Emergency Response Commission (AZSERC). This commission oversees 15 local emergency planning committees and supports community, industry, government and academia in: planning, release and incident reporting, data management guidance for inventory reporting, public disclosure of information about hazardous chemicals in Arizona, as well as development of training and outreach programs.
The commission supports individual agency goals and objectives. This is accomplished through the receipt and coordination of emergency notifications of chemical releases, collection and provision of chemical inventory information to interested parties, training and grants programs.
Additionally, AZSERC provides consultative services, conducts and participates in workshops, and coordinates development and review of plans and programs for 15 local emergency planning committees. Further, AZSERC serves as a state clearinghouse for hazardous chemical emergency preparedness and planning activities and information through coordination with federal, state and local governments, and industry and community interest groups. Additionally, ADOSH continued to participate in monthly conference calls among federal OSHA and other state-plan states to discuss homeland security issues and the role for OSHA and state-plan states.
California OSHA (Cal/OSHA) has successfully achieved integration into the Statewide Emergency Management System used by California emergency responders. The Cal/OSHA emergency response staff is now represented in the statewide operations center, the regional emergency operations centers and in local incident command systems as technical specialists. This successful outcome was the result of meetings and negotiations with high-level staff from the governor’s Office of Emergency Services. The Worker Safety and Health Annex to the National Response Plan was also instrumental in providing a framework for this integration.
Cal/OSHA has created emergency response teams in northern and southern California. Cal/OSHA personnel were selected to serve at the risk-assessment level or competent-technical level based on the level of training, expertise and experience in one or more of the risk categories. Risk categories include: biohazard, industrial chemical hazard, radiological hazard, chemical weapons or nuclear device hazard, or structural collapse hazard.
The Cal/OSHA staff is currently participating in the planning of the 2005 Golden Gate statewide weapons of mass destruction (WMD) exercise to be conducted in November, which will include three large-scale, concurrent WMD incidents in SoCal, NoCal and the Bay Area. Cal/OSHA Emergency Response Team members have been participating in local oil spill response exercises sponsored by oil refineries and local utilities, which include tabletop exercises and equipment deployment, as well as incident command systems (ICS) activation.
Cal/OSHA has developed an emergency management plan, modeled after OSHA’s national emergency management plan, to provide an organizational structure, as well as policies and procedures for Cal/OSHA’s Emergency Response Teams. Cal/OSHA ER Team staff members have attended training that is targeted toward building inspectors and other building officials about structural damage assessments during earthquakes and other emergencies
Cal/OSHA intends to renew its efforts to apply for Department of Homeland Security grant funds.
Connecticut (CONN-OSHA) continues its work with the state’s emergency response community, offering and providing information and training, participating in tabletop training exercises and attending local, regional and state emergency response planning meetings.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, CONN-OSHA has created, trained and implemented two response teams to provide technical guidance and support to emergency units in the event of a weapons of mass destruction (WMD) incident or declaration of emergency in the state. Those teams are currently planning and preparing for their role in TOPOFF 3.
Indiana OSHA (IOSHA) continues to work with the state’s Emergency Management Agency to remain involved in Indiana’s comprehensive emergency management plan. IOSHA has designated agency coordinators who are to be notified in the event of an emergency for coordinating support at a scene and reporting to the emergency operations center when appropriate. Indiana continues to participate in the monthly Department of Homeland Security conference calls coordinated by federal OSHA.
The Kentucky OSH Program has representation on the Governor’s Security Working Group. The delegates meet monthly to plan actions to be taken and discuss homeland security issues, and participate in state security exercises and planning conferences.
Maryland continues to offer the Emergency response and disaster preparedness seminar to guide participants through the process of preparing and implementing an emergency response plan. This seminar was presented four times during this period, reaching 71 employers and employees for a total 426 training hours.
The new Michigan OSHA (MIOSHA) strategic plan for 2004 through 2008 includes a specific objective to address emergency preparedness strategies to enable MIOSHA to assist in the event of a terrorist attack or other significant threat or attack. MIOSHA will provide preparedness information to increase workplace knowledge of and readiness for a terrorist attack or other significant threat or attack. MIOSHA has also developed an emergency management plan and designated staff members to provide initial response and assistance following a catastrophic incident.
In response to the terrorism and anthrax concerns that emerged following Sept. 11, 2001, MIOSHA developed a workplace security resource guide for use in outreach and training efforts. The guide includes information about preparing for emergencies, terrorism and industrial chemicals, terrorism and biological/chemical agents (including anthrax) and information about helpful Web sites. The guide is available in hard copy and on the MIOSHA Web site.
MIOSHA has developed an emergency management plan that details the technical assistance and consultation role of the agency in response to a terrorist attack or other significant events. Two teams of 12 individuals have been trained to provide initial response.
The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry is represented by Minnesota OSHA (MNOSHA) Compliance at the state’s Department of Public Safety. This representation ensures its involvement in all incidents of natural and human-made disasters. In addition, MNOSHA is involved in state of Minnesota planning for potential acts of terrorism. The role of MNOSHA Compliance is defined in the Minnesota emergency operations plan. The state has an internal Catastrophic Event Inspection (CEI) Team that is its first line of contact in regard to an event. MNOSHA also provides help to employers with emergency response and preparation plans.
In fiscal-year 2004, MNOSHA continued to be an active participant of the State Emergency Response Team and in the federal OSHA conference calls. MNOSHA’s emergency response contingency plan and Minnesota’s emergency operations plans were updated to ensure compliance with federal OSHA’s national emergency response plan, regional emergency response plan and national incident management system.
Members of MNOSHA’s internal CEI Team participated in a two-day state agency tabletop exercise in June 2004, and a three-day functional exercise in August 2004. This exercise simulated an anthrax release and was sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Homeland Security and Emergency Management division.
Recognizing the challenges presented by the events of Sept. 11, 2001, Nevada continues to maintain, as one of its top priorities, its ability to respond to catastrophic emergencies – including the role of ensuring the safety and health of emergency responders working in inherently unsafe environments. To be better prepared to accomplish this role, Nevada OSHA and the Safety Consultation and Training Section (SCATS) combined their efforts to form two emergency response teams.
Although it is not the intent for the teams to enter a Level A environment, they are trained to cope with any situation where potential exposures could increase. The two teams have been trained to the technician level for hazardous materials (HAZMAT) response, as well as weapons of mass destruction (WMD) response to terrorism, incident command and advanced medical training. The teams continue to participate in drills with local first responder agencies and work with high-hazard employers throughout the state to maintain their proficiency and to ensure seamless integration when the need arises.
Nevada OSHA and SCATS response teams also maintain an arsenal of equipment that enables them to work in Level A environments. Two trailers are stocked with various types of personal protective equipment, including those that can be issued to employees and responders during the course of an incident. Another valuable resource, files pertaining to high-hazard employers throughout the state, is kept with the response team equipment. These files ensure quick access to critical information during an emergency situation.
Nevada’s Safety Consultation and Training program complements these efforts by providing outreach training activities about workplace emergencies and evacuation in an effort to emphasize the need for employers to have appropriate emergency and evacuation plans to protect their workers.
The New York State Division of Safety and Health (DOSH) continued its focus on enhancing capabilities to respond to emergencies, natural disasters or acts of terrorism. Working with emergency services organizations throughout New York state (SEMO, Office of Public Security, Weapons of Mass Destruction Task Force, fire service and police, EMS, etc.), DOSH provided safety and health training, fit testing, personal protective equipment (PPE) assessments and consultations as required.
Other emergency-management-related activities accomplished in 2004 included the following.
The primary responsibility of the North Carolina Division of Occupational Safety and Health in response to a catastrophic event, natural disaster or terrorist activity is to help to protect responders and recovery personnel, and to assure all post-event activity is conducted in as safe and healthy a manner as possible. The division is prepared to provide personnel and equipment in response to a significant event at the state or national level. The role of the division has been defined in the state emergency management plan (SEMP) and shared with emergency responders through participation with local emergency planning committees and as a member of the State Emergency Response Team. The SEMP has also been posted on the state’s Division of Emergency Management Web site.
One of the ways the division takes a proactive approach in helping to protect responders is through pre-event safety and health training, and instruction in the proper use of equipment. This can include bloodborne pathogen or hazard communication training for fire departments or respirator fit-testing for emergency services personnel.
The Secretary of Labor signed an administrative order Oct. 13, 2004, to change the name of the program from Occupational Safety and Health Office (OSHO) to Puerto Rico Occupational Safety and Health Administration (PR OSHA).
The Secretary of Labor signed an administrative order Sept. 27, 2004, to integrate PR OSHA as part of the emergency response agencies for the commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
South Carolina developed Catastrophic guidelines after a chemical plant explosion in 1991. It is working to revise the guidelines to refl ect current policies and procedures regarding emergency responses. Procedures for conducting a technical assistance response were implemented during the chemical release from the train wreck in Graniteville, S.C.
In preparation for the 2002 Winter Olympics, Utah established a separate state agency with the responsibility of coordinating the state’s response to large-scale workplace emergencies. This agency, the Division of Emergency Services and Homeland Security, is part of the Department of Public Safety. The Utah Occupational Safety and Health Division supports this agency by making its resources available as needed.
Washington participated in the 2003 “TOPOFF 2” exercise in Seattle, conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of State. The exercise tested response by federal, state and local emergency responders to a simulated explosion containing radioactive material.
Washington’s program, WISHA, works with the Washington Military Department’s Emergency Management Division, the agency that has primary responsibility for coordination and emergency contingency planning. WISHA participated in a chemical stockpile emergency preparedness (CSEPP) exercise with the Emergency Management Division. The exercise included representatives from Oregon and the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). WISHA representatives also work with other state agencies to address issues regarding the preparation and response to acts of terrorism and other catastrophic events. Activities include discussion and incorporation of safety and health requirements for emergency responders, training, planning and attending scheduled emergency exercises.
Next Section: Strategic plans: focusing on performance»