Back to 2009 OSHSPA Report
New Jersey Public Employees Occupational Safety and Health (PEOSH)
PEOSH strategic plan: PEOSH has implemented a new strategic plan for 2009-2013 [PDF - 55 KB] that has three goals:
Data collection: As part of its 2009-2013 strategic plan, PEOSH is collecting NIOSH 300 data at facilities with high injury and illness rates and will be able to determine more accurately where injuries and illnesses are occurring at these facilities. PEOSH will use information for inspections and compare it to BLS data for accuracy.
One goal of the PEOSH strategic plan for federal fiscal year 2004-2008 was to reduce the number of worker injuries and illnesses at the New Jersey Department of Transportation, at sewage treatment facilities, and in nursing and residential care facilities.
New Jersey Department of Transportation: PEOSH developed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Transportation. The MOU provides thorough, comprehensive inspection procedures at all state DOT locations. Because of the MOU and the targeted inspections, the number of work-related injuries fell from the federal fiscal year 2001 baseline of 546 to 135 in federal fiscal year 2008 (a 75 percent decrease).
Sewage treatment facilities: Strategies included comprehensive inspections, hazard awareness training, and consultation services for affected employers. The 2001 baseline rate was 14.6 total recordable cases and the 2007 rate was approximately 23 percent below the baseline.
Nursing and residential care facilities: Strategies included comprehensive inspections, hazard awareness training, and consultation services for employers. The 2001 baseline rate for nursing and residential facilities was 18.8 total recordable cases; in 2007, the rate was approximately 11 percent below the baseline.
Police departments: The scope of police department inspections has expanded from complaints and referrals to compliance with all applicable PEOSH standards. State, county, and municipal police departments will be targeted in PEOSH’s 2009-2013 strategic plan. Requirements for working on roadways will be part of this initiative; procedures for safe work zones and proper personal protective equipment will also be included.
Fire departments: The PEOSH 2004-2008 strategic plan had a goal to disseminate safety and health information, including guidelines, compliance assistance, hazard bulletins, training and education seminars, and outreach to all 538 New Jersey fire departments. In federal fiscal year 2006, all 538 fire departments received health and safety information and PEOSH met the goal. In federal fiscal year 2008, PEOSH distributed training material, held 27 training seminars, and conducted 90 enforcement inspections and 24 consultations.
State and county courthouses: PEOSH conducted a sweep of all state and county courthouses in response to several complaints and media reports of unsafe or unhealthy conditions. Forty-six courthouses were inspected and 1,338 violations were identified. A full report, including a list of common hazards at the facilities, was assembled and distributed to PEOSH compliance staff for future reference.
Safe schools: PEOSH staff participated on the Safe Schools committee. Safe Schools – supported by the New Jersey Department of Education, Office of Vocational, Technical, and Career Education – assists schools in meeting safety and health regulations and protecting employees from workplace injuries and illnesses.
Healthy school environments: PEOSH staff participated in the Healthy School Facility Environments initiative by attending quarterly meetings and assisting in developing the Healthy School Facility Environments Web site, which has information about preventing, identifying, and controlling hazards in school buildings. With more than 1.4 million children and 200,000 staff spending many hours a day in New Jersey’s 3,600 public and private schools, the school environment is of great importance. Research suggests that reducing contaminant levels in schools may improve students’ test scores, concentration, and attendance, which supports the school’s core mission: educating children.
Syringe Exchange Programs: In the spring of 2007, PEOSH was contacted by New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS) for help in creating a request for proposal (RFP) for cities applying for Syringe Exchange Programs (SEPs). PEOSH contributed language in the RFP for applicants to demonstrate compliance with the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard and reviewed proposals for compliance.
Between October 2007 and January 2008, PEOSH consultation staff collaborated with the NJDHSS Regulated Medical Waste (RMW) Program and conducted four site visits to explain the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard and RMW requirements to sponsoring SEP cities and subcontractors. A model Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan for SEPs was distributed and explained to program administrators and an Exposure Control training program was developed to comply with the standard. Training was conducted in two cities and PEOSH followed up with the SEP program staff to ensure that programs and training were in place.
Indoor air quality: In May 2007, the PEOSH Indoor Air Quality Standard (N.J.A.C. 12:100-13) was revised. To assist employers in complying with the new training requirements, PEOSH Education and Training staff began an informal partnership with the Rutgers University, Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, to provide Indoor Air Quality Designated Persons Training as part of their Certified Educational Facilities Manager (CEFM) certification program. Certification is required for all public works managers. PEOSH provided Indoor Air Quality Designated Persons Training to more than 1,800 public sector employers and employees.
Legionnella task force: PEOSH staff participated on the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS) Legionnella Task Force. The Task Force is responsible for responding to Legionnella outbreaks in New Jersey. In fiscal year 2008, the NJDHSS staff assisted in the response to six Legionnella outbreaks and continued follow-up at one facility.
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