Strategic plan - nursing homes: The performance goal for this initiative was to
reduce the injury rate in county nursing homes and state veterans' homes by 10
percent over a five-year period. Data were collected from the Log of Work
Related Injuries and Illnesses and the Annual Summary of Work Related Injuries
and Illnesses. Since the initiative began, in 1998, the injury rate fell 36 percent. Data for 2008 is
still being collected.
During the first phase of the strategic plan, the focus was on patient handling.
The second phase focused on site visits to nursing homes with high injury rates;
facilities were offered comprehensive safety and health consultations or
comprehensive inspections. All facilities chose consultations, which began with
a thorough review of injury and illness records and resident lifting and
repositioning policies. Consultants also conducted an equipment needs assessment
and made suggestions based on the assessments. Final reports to facility
included steps to improve recordkeeping, enhance risk assessments, and prepare a
written safe patient handling program.
Strategic plan - emergency response: The Fire Protection/Ambulance Service
Strategic Plan Committee continued
its effort to build new partnerships and enhance existing ones with emergency
responders. In 2008, the committee
worked with the NYS Office of Homeland Security, the Fire Association State of
NY (FASNY), the Association
of Fire Districts, the NYS Department of Health, the State Emergency Management
Office, NYC MASH Group, and
county fire coordinators.
Committee members also:
- Worked with the New York State Office of Fire Prevention to develop a lesson
plan that describes the requirements of New York's recently enacted Rope Rescue Law.
- Addressed concerns about
Highway Administration law on high-visibility garments that took effect in November 2008. The law requires high-visibility garments for workers and
responders who work on federal highways. The emergency response community had questions about what their staff
would be required to wear.
- Developed annual training for the DOSH Crisis Response Team and designed the
severe winter storm exercise, which was a re-enactment of the October 2006 snow storm in western New York. The
exercise was designed to test new response protocols and increase the number of DOSH responders who could
assist the safety officer at an emergency operations center.
Public Employee Safety and Health Bureau (PESH) services were showcased
at various emergency response
conferences. In 2008, members attended the multinational
Crossing Boarders Conference in Buffalo, the Long
Island Fire Show, and the 2008 NYS Disaster Preparedness Conference in Syracuse.
Committee members took
advantage of these opportunities to distribute information highlighting the
Consultation Program and the 2008
Fire Service CD.
Strategic plan - highway, street, and bridge construction: During the past five
years, the plan analyzed injury and
illness data from counties across the state and the five boroughs of New York
City. The goal was to rank counties
by injury rates and focus resources on those with the highest rates. Employers
were offered a training program to
address injuries identified on their injury and illness logs (SH 900). The
effort was very successful and resulted in
requests for PESH training at various highway departments.
During the second five-year phase, the strategic plan focused on building
partnerships with highway departments
with the goal of reducing injuries. The partnership with the Association of
Counties was particularly valuable in
promoting workplace safety initiatives for county governments. During the second
phase, the planning committee
developed a resource CD for highway departments and distributed it at seminars,
conferences, and speaking
engagements. The CD includes written safety and health programs, PowerPoint
presentations, toolbox information,
and respiratory protection and noise requirements.
Heat stress in NYC public school cafeterias: In response to concerns
about working conditions in school cafeterias, teams consisting of two DOSH
staffers and one union member visited 56 schools. The initial evaluation
included employee interviews, an indoor air quality survey, a complete
evaluation of the ventilation system, and an assessment of equipment that had an
impact on the heat load. A report to the Governor summarized the results. During
late summer and early fall 2008, the team returned to 34 schools. The average
temperature readings during the sampling period ranged from 72 degrees to 98
degrees. A plan to address the problems, developed in partnership with NYC Board
of Education, included fixing broken equipment, reassessing equipment locations,
and installing air conditioning units.
In 2008, 1,901 PESH Bureau inspections resulted in 4,647 violations. Enforcement
inspections by type included:
- Accident - 30
- Complaint - 352
- Referral - 33
- Monitoring - 123
- Follow-up - 632
- Program related - 731
Assessed penalties were $288,910, of which $93,869 was collected. PESH also
investigated 33 allegations of
discrimination in 2008, three more than in 2007.
|Emergency preparedness: The "Saving Uncle Sam" exercise was hosted by the
US Coast Guard.
Emergency preparedness: DOSH created a Crisis Response Team that supports the local and state emergency
response community. In 2008, the DOSH Crisis Response Team participated in a number of emergency exercises.
The New York State Emergency Management Office invited the team to play the role of "Safety Officer"
during a weeklong multi-agency exercise called "Empire Express" in which a hurricane strikes New York
City and Long Island. DOSH responders developed a health and safety plan and worked within the incident
command structure to develop task-specific risk and PPE assessments.
DOSH responders also participated in the following exercises during fiscal year 2008:
- DOSH "Severe Snow Storm Reenactment"
- COOP, "Double Play"
- Ginna Nuclear Plant Exercise
- Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant Exercise
- Alexandria Bay U.S. Coast Guard, "Saving Uncle Sam"
- Western N.Y. Incident Management Assistance Team Exercise
After each exercise, lessons learned were evaluated, changes included in the Crisis Response Plan, operating procedures updated,
and training conducted internally to ensure proficiency in DOSH's response.
Safe patient handling: PESH and the On-Site Consultation Bureau joined
with the New York State Zero Lift Task Force to provide safe patient handling
training. This year there was a two-day conference devoted to implementing
successful safe patient handling programs in acute care, long-term care, home
care, and residential care facilities. Best practices and the financial benefits
of implementing a safe patient handling program were presented. The conference
also included a hands-on-demonstration of new technologies that minimize manual
OSHA 10-hour construction course: PESH and the On-Site Consultation
Bureau also offer the OSHA 10-hour construction course. Sessions have been very
successful and continue to be requested by government agencies and many
private-sector employers. Thirty-seven sessions were held in fiscal year 2008
and 948 employees received 10-hour certification cards.
Pandemic flu: Responding to the heightened awareness of pandemic flu
risk, DOSH developed a fact sheet covering pandemic flu facts and prepared
pandemic flu booklets for health care workers, the public, and businesses. These
were distributed throughout the year at conferences and other outreach
Workplace violence: Since the Workplace Violence Prevention draft
- 203 KB] was posted in the New York State Register, DOSH has worked with groups and
associations to provide them with workplace violence prevention presentations
and an overview of the regulations. This continues to be an emphasis since the
draft regulation will soon become final.
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