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In November 2008, Al D'Imperio, Area Director of the Region III, Philadelphia Area Office, and representatives of the Steel Erectors Association (SEA) of Metropolitan Philadelphia and Vicinity, Inc. and the Ironworkers Local Union #40l signed an Alliance to provide ironworkers and others in the steel erection industry with information, guidance, and access to training resources that will help them protect workers’ health and safety, particularly in reducing and preventing exposure to fall hazards. The signing ceremony was held at #401 Union Hall in Philadelphia. The Alliance was renewed in December 2010 because, according to Mr. D'Imperio, "The first two years were a tremendous success. With falls a leading cause of death in the construction industry, we will keep working closely with our Alliance participants to identify methods for reducing falls and other hazards."
In March 2009, Mr. D'Imperio and Compliance Assistance Specialist (CAS) James Touey participated in a 2-hour outreach training session for approximately 30 Ironworker Local #401 front-line supervisors as part of the OSHA 30-Hour Construction Outreach Training Program. They presented an overview of the Alliance agreement and discussed the OSHA inspection process including the roles of the foreman and steward during an inspection and the most cited OSHA violations in the steel erection industry. In July 2009, they presented the same information with an emphasis on worker and employer rights and responsibilities to approximately 40 fourth-year apprentices at Apprenticeship Training Facility.
In December 2009, Alliance representatives conducted a structural steel erection training session for approximately 30 OSHA Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) and On-site Consultation personnel. The day-long event was hosted by Local #40l, conducted at its Apprenticeship Training Facility, and focused on fall protection. It included a hands-on portion for participants to learn personal fall arrest tie-off procedures; controlled access zones; and structural steel components, connections, and welds.
Also in December 2009, the Alliance sponsored a one-day high angle rescue training session for 14 ironworker foreman from seven of the ten SEA member companies. The session included topics such as rescue equipment identification, care, and maintenance; ropes and knots; equipment use and demonstration; and practical evolutions. Every participant had the opportunity to simulate a high angle rescue.
On April 9, 2010, in response to OSHA’s new recordkeeping initiative, the Alliance hosted a one-day recordkeeping seminar for approximately 50 regional safety and health professionals and others in the Mid-Atlantic Construction Safety Council.
In October 2010, the Alliance hosted a training session on rigging and crane safety for approximately 35 CSHOs and On-site Consultation staff from Region III. As in the previous year, the event was hosted by Local #40l and conducted at its Apprenticeship Training Facility. The two major goals of the session were to familiarize the attendees with a better understanding of how the industry complies with the OSHA rigging requirements and to provide a clear understanding of the OSHA Crane & Derrick Standard. The classroom portion of the training was supplemented with practical sessions that were focused on proper rigging as well as signalperson training. In addition, Alliance representatives reached out to approximately 25 SEA principals, their safety representatives, and their field representatives by providing an update on OSHA Crane & Derrick Standard as it pertains to the steel erection industry.
As of May 2011, the Alliance has provided safety and health training sessions to more than 900 steel erection workers and safety and health professionals in the Philadelphia area
Representatives of the Alliance were invited to the Pennsylvania Governor’s 2010 Occupational Safety & Health Conference to present two sessions on rigging safety. More than 100 safety and health professionals listened to discussions on the practical applications of rigging equipment and discussed the elements involved with the New York City tower crane collapse of March 2008.
Each year, representatives from the Philadelphia Area Office attend the annual Steel Erectors Association meeting and update the principals and owners of member companies on OSHA’s local and national enforcement activity in the steel erection industry. Also during these meetings, Alliance members discuss the achievements of the previous year and establish the direction and goals for the next year. In addition, participation in training sessions has afforded SEA employers and workers a clearer understanding of their rights and responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act and has provided OSHA with direct access to knowledgeable frontline steel erection industry safety professionals.
For more information, contact James Touey.
As of June 2011.
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Charleston, West Virginia Area Office and Project BEST Alliance Focuses Training on Construction Hazards
The Alliance between the Region III Charleston, West Virginia Area Office and Project BEST, which was signed January 2008 and renewed in February 2010, focuses on providing training that will help protect construction workers' health and safety by reducing and preventing exposure to OSHA's four focus hazards—falls, electrocution, struck-by, and caught in between. Project BEST is a joint effort by the Upper Ohio Valley Building & Construction Trades Council and the Ohio Valley Construction Employers Council, Inc. to create a positive labor-relations climate for making labor-management decisions in the construction industry
Project BEST, which is comprised of more than 400 contractors who employ approximately 6,000 trades personnel, provides on-going safety education and training for its members. Most of its members are part of the Upper Ohio Valley Construction Employers Council; other members are contractors, many of whom have taken the OSHA 30-Hour Construction Outreach Training Program Course. The Project BEST Board of Directors includes contractor representatives, trade union representatives, and a safety consultant; it meets monthly.
Through the Alliance, OSHA and Project BEST developed and implemented a proactive safety and health intervention program to ensure that OSHA's 1989 Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines are applied consistently. Because Project BEST believes that promoting these voluntary guidelines helps to prevent accidents, it has encouraged each of its member contractors to create a safety program based on the four elements—management commitment and worker involvement, worksite analysis, hazard prevention and control, and safety and health training.
Between January 2009 and January 2010, the Alliance provided four training courses including the OSHA 10-Hour Construction Outreach Training Program course to 65 employees, the OSHA 30-Hour Construction Outreach Training Program Course to 61 employee/supervisors, a Drug Awareness Program to more than 450 workers, and a Fall Protection Safety Program to more than 350 workers. The Fall Protection Safety Program includes a document, Fall Hazard Survey Report, with a checklist for employers and workers, which was distributed to all Project BEST members.
Through the Alliance, Project BEST's safety consultant and representatives from member contractors and trade unions reached out to vocational and technical schools in four counties in West Virginia. For example, when they saw a newspaper picture of some of the students exposed to fall hazards, BEST's representatives focused on training instructors and students in fall protection.
Project BEST representatives from both labor and management took a proactive stand and volunteered their time to train the students and instructors. Their involvement with students gave the union representatives an opportunity to share information about the union's apprenticeship program and its benefits (i.e., employment opportunities).
For additional information, please contact Richard Jeffrey.
As of May 2011.
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Philadelphia Area Office Alliance with American Mushroom Institute Trains Workers
On September 28, 2007, the OSHA Region III Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Area Office and the American Mushroom Institute (AMI) signed an Alliance agreement to explore ways to increase the safety of workers in the mushroom industry and change the safety culture of the workplace. Specifically, the Alliance works to develop and implement effective safety and health programs; to reduce or eliminate chemical, electrical, and physical hazards; to prevent falls and amputations; and to provide expertise in communicating safety and health information to employers and workers. The Alliance was renewed on October 22, 2009, for two additional years.
During the early years of the Alliance, James Touey, Compliance Assistance Specialist (CAS) in the Philadelphia Area Office gave presentations on topics including safety and health management systems, lock out/tag out, electrical-safety-related work practices, OSHA and the inspection process, working with OSHA through cooperative programs, and most frequently cited standards in the farming industry. In later years, he discussed electrical hazards, confined space programs, and OSHA’s multi-employer citation policy.
At the beginning of the Alliance, members of AMI voluntarily shared their injury and illness data. This information, which AMI used to formulate and prioritize the goals of the Alliance, has been a key element in its success. Using these data, the mushroom growers identified the most pervasive hazards in their industry, assigned priorities to them, and began to develop specific safety programs to address them. OSHA provided hazard-specific training, model programs, and other resources to assist the mushroom growers in developing their programs. During the process of developing these programs, AMI elicited feedback and input from OSHA representatives, and then shared the programs at their Break-Out Sessions at subsequent annual OSHA and AMI Alliance General Meetings. Sample topics of the programs were Pick-Lights (an electrical safety program), job safety analysis (JSA), and personal protective equipment (PPE). The Pick Light program (See the figure.) was demonstrated in 2009; the JSA and PPE programs were presented in May 2010.
In February 2008, members of the Alliance attended a seminar called “Keep Farming First,” which was sponsored by Penn State. At the event, which approximately 300 representatives of the farming community attended, representatives from the Alliance presented a session on the OSHA and AMI Alliance.
In June 2008, AMI hosted an OSHA and AMI Alliance General Meeting for more than 50 participants and presented discussions of how AMI and OSHA established an ongoing relationship that encourages farm safety. During this meeting, AMI representatives presented a seminar, “Safety Pays,” that focused on encouraging employers to develop comprehensive safety programs. OSHA representatives participated in presenting an “Alliance Break-Out Session” dedicated to training AMI members.
During the Break-Out Session, Alliance members described the financial benefits of site safety and health management systems and recordkeeping systems. An OSHA representative discussed how to use the Web tools available to the farming community, especially the OSHA English, Spanish, and bilingual training resources. AMI representatives explained how to fill out and when to submit OSHA forms; suggestions for training; the importance of a safety team made up of supervisors and workers; and the insurance savings that result from a reduction in the number of accidents. In addition, they highlighted the safety programs of Alliance members. For example, the Safety Director of Giorgi Mushroom, one of the largest employers in mushroom farming, gave a presentation on the importance of having an active safety committee; members of her safety committee discussed the impact of their work in reducing injuries and illnesses at their facility. Representatives from the Safety Committee at C.J. Yeatman & Sons, another Alliance Program participant, discussed how they identify hazards at their facility, seek out worker input in identifying the most effective corrective action, and track the abatement of identified hazards.
In June 2009, at the OSHA and AMI Alliance General Meeting, members of the Alliance held a day long event called “The Second Annual Alliance Break-Out Session.” OSHA representatives discussed “Navigating the OSHA Web site” and “SST Selection for Programmed Inspections.” AMI representatives presented “Recordkeeping” and “Pick-Light Electrical Safety.” A guest speaker from the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division gave an update on his Agency, and a guest speaker from Penn State provided guidance on hazard communications and pesticide education in the agriculture industry.
On April 29, 2010, at the OSHA and AMI Alliance General Meeting, members of the Alliance held “The Third Annual Alliance Break-Out Session.” The agenda was determined by members of the Alliance and included a discussion of how to develop an effective safety committee. An Alliance member, who is also a Safety Committee Director, shared his experience in establishing and maintaining the committee. The 45 attendees participated in presentations developed by the Alliance on the tools and sample programs available to assist employers in developing JSA and PPE programs. In addition, Mr. Touey presented an OSHA update and recordkeeping guidance.
Chris Alonzo, from Pietro Industry, a long time Alliance Program participant and event presenter noted, “The OSHA Alliance helps provide our mushroom farmers with the procedures they need to make every farm safer. We share ideas, successes, and challenges that all of us face which helps us improve operations. For example, at this particular Break-out Session, employees from three farms shared their knowledge and experience with more than 40 neighboring farmers. We all received practical tools developed by the Alliance to take back and implement right away.”
According to Al D’Imperio, Area Director for the OSHA Region III Philadelphia Area Office, “The OSHA and AMI Alliance provides us with a unique opportunity to interact with a sometimes overlooked industry. We recognize that enforcement alone can not achieve our desired result--the improvement of the working conditions of workers in the mushroom industry. Through this cooperative program, we have opened up a dialog that focuses on the core safety and health issues and challenges facing the mushroom farming industry. Through the Alliance, representatives at the individual mushroom farms are working jointly with OSHA to develop industry-specific safety and health programs that will ultimately assist them improve their safety and health management systems.”
Alliance members are scheduled to release model programs on hazard communication, industrial truck training, energy control procedures, and job safety analysis during the upcoming two years of the Alliance. Altogether, the Alliance estimates it has trained over 100 people, who are in positions to affect approximately 12,000 workers in the mushroom industry.
This picture shows a typical set up for a mushroom-growing area. Mushrooms require darkness and moisture to grow. During the harvesting (picking) season, temporary lights (Pick Lights) are installed to enable workers to see which mushrooms to pick. The ambient moisture can cause electrical hazards in the lighting. Members of the Alliance developed and disseminated a “best practice” inspection guideline to ensure that the Pick Lights are properly maintained and removed from service if damaged.
For more information, please contact James Touey.
As of June 2010.
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OSHA’s Alliance Between Allentown, Pennsylvania Area Office and Lehigh Valley Area Labor Management Council Trains Hundreds at Expos
In October 2005, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Allentown, Pennsylvania, Area Office formed an Alliance with the Lehigh Valley Area Labor-Management Council for the purpose of providing Council members and others with information, guidance, and access to training resources to help protect the health and safety of employees. The Alliance was renewed in December 2007. As a non-profit organization of labor, management and government representatives, the Council provides services and programs that respond to the needs and interests of the region. The Alliance supports those efforts by providing training and educational programs, consultation, and third-party facilitation.
Through the Alliance in October 2006, the Council hosted a one-day Free Safety Expo at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. More than 390 attendees participated in safety and health seminars on recordkeeping, asbestos awareness, road rage and workplace violence, drug and alcohol abuse/awareness, fire safety, NFPA 70E, ladder safety, fall protection for general industry and construction, aerial lift safety, accident investigation, and ergonomics at home and work. In addition the Pennsylvania Safety Committee provided its certification courses.
Although members of the Alliance received numerous accolades about the Expo and requests for it to be an annual event, they decided to hold it every other year. Because of the time commitments needed to manage such an event and the costs associated with supporting the Expo, the Council members decided it was too great an undertaking to hold every year. For example, the organizers spent months attending weekly meetings, organizing their activities, scheduling available rooms at the host University, discussing AV requirements, critiquing evaluation forms, arranging for presenters, and contacting vendors and sponsors.
Even while accomplishing these tasks in preparation for the 2008 Expo, members of the Alliance led discussions on various safety and health issues at their 2007 meetings. Scott Shimandle, Compliance Assistance Specialist in the Allentown Area Office, presented an OSHA Update; Scott and Mark Stelmack, Assistant Area Director, led discussions on competent persons in construction; and a representative from the Allentown Police Department discussed workplace violence. More than 70 participants attended these meetings.
The Second Free Safety Expo was held at DeSales University in Center Valley, Pennsylvania in May 2008. Approximately 350 attendees representing construction, manufacturing, service, transportation, healthcare, academia and government participated in the event. The safety and health seminars offered at this Expo were slightly different from those offered at the first Expo and included OSHA On-site Consultation and scaffolding, event analysis and review, personal workplace safety, emergency preparedness and pandemic influenza, fall protection in general industry, confined spaces, ladder safety, NFPA 70E arc flash training, drug and alcohol abuse/awareness, hearing conservation, respiratory protection, fire prevention safety, lockout/tagout, inhalation matters with silica, and Pennsylvania Safety Committee Certification courses, including accident investigation, hazard identification and safety committee operations.
A local building supply company donated all the lumber supplies and materials to construct a confined space unit, which was built on site by a local carpenters union and used for hands-on demonstration of rescue operations. The 35 vendors at the Expo included safety and health consultants, electrical service companies, confined space rescuers and trainers, the NIOSH mobile hearing testing van, the American Red Cross of the Greater Lehigh Valley, the National Electrical Contractors Association, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and powered industrial truck trainers.
Several area companies have sent representatives to the Pennsylvania Safety Committee Certification courses given at the Expos. After members of a company’s safety committee have successfully completed the courses and submitted the company’s application and supplemental information to it, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry can approve the company’s certification. Once a company is certified, it can receive a 5-percent discount on its workers’ compensation premiums. According to Scott Shimandle, “Our Expos have sparked the interest of other Area Labor Management Councils; a Council in Northeast Pennsylvania is currently working on developing its own Safety Expo event, and I have offered to assist our Wilkes-Barre Area Office in their Expo development efforts.”
Through the Alliance, the Council held a Construction Fall Protection Seminar in November 2008 at Northampton Community College for supervisors, foremen and laborers of numerous area construction companies. Scott Shimandle and representatives from the Alvin H. Butz Company, Brandenburg Industrial Service Company and PPL (formerly known as Pennsylvania Power and Light Corporation) presented this workshop, which included sample fall protection plans.
For additional information, please contact Scott Shimandle.
As of March 2009.
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OSHA Region III, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Area Office and the Pittsburgh Regional Building Trades Council Alliance Uses Apprenticeship Schools to Train Thousands of Workers
Protecting the health and safety of Pittsburgh Regional Building Trades Council (PRBTC or the Council) members, including youth apprentice workers, by reducing and preventing exposure to hazards associated with the construction industry are goals of the Alliance between the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Region III Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Area Office and the Council. The Alliance, which was signed in May 2004 and renewed in May 2006, provides information, guidance and access to training resources that focus on working safely in the construction industry. The Council consists of 29 regional and local unions that have approximately 23,000 members working in all areas of the construction industry, such as insulating, electrifying, painting and plumbing. The Alliance addresses the issue of youth worker safety by working with the 16 apprenticeship schools run by a Council member of the Building Trades Unions in the Pittsburgh area.
Each apprenticeship school has at least one instructor (most have several) certified to teach the OSHA 10-Hour Construction Outreach Training Program and the OSHA 30-Hour Construction Outreach Training Program courses. The apprenticeship schools offer their safety and health training classes to all personnel (e.g., owners, managers, superintendents, foremen) of the Alliance signatories' contractors. In fact, the schools encourage contractors to take advantage of this opportunity in an effort to further enhance safety efforts at construction sites.
In addition to providing safety and health instruction at the apprenticeship schools, the CAS in OSHA's Region III Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Area Office gave a presentation on OSHA inspection policies, procedures, commonly cited construction standards and the OSHA Web site as part of the OSHA 30-Hour Construction Outreach Training Program course to 25 students at the Insulators and Asbestos Workers Local #2 Apprenticeship School in Clinton, Pennsylvania. According to Bill Birmingham, Apprenticeship Coordinator/Trainer, "The information OSHA has provided throughout the years has been extremely valuable to our members and instructors. It's all about the safety of our members. We're looking at production and quality without sacrificing safety."
At the Western Pennsylvania Construction Expo in February 2005 in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, Mr. Carroll presented a trenching/excavation safety seminar. During the Expo, which drew approximately 400 participants, he met with representatives of the Operating Engineers Local #66. Mr. Carroll also meets quarterly with the Council's Business Manager to discuss the membership's safety and health concerns and share the same information provided to the apprenticeship schools so that all of the 29 unions have the most recent OSHA information.
The efforts of the Council in promoting and providing safety and health training and information to the members and contractor personnel of the Alliance signatories has allowed these resources to reach a large sector of the construction industry in their jurisdiction. Rich Stanizzo, Business Manager for the Pittsburgh Regional Building Trades Council, said "The Alliance has been great. It has not only had a positive impact on the safety and health of the union workforce and the construction industry in our area, but it has also allowed us to establish and maintain a good working relationship between Council members and the OSHA Area Office."
The Pittsburgh Area Office believes that the successful dissemination and sharing of safety and health information accomplished through this Alliance is a contributing factor to the decrease in the number of construction-related fatalities and catastrophes over the past three years.
Representatives of the Alliance are looking for more opportunities to provide information to employees in the construction industry through meetings, roundtable discussions and training sessions. For more information about this Alliance, contact Bob Carroll, CAS, in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Area Office.
As of December 2007.
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Alliance Among Region III's Pittsburgh Area Office, Pennsylvania/OSHA Consultation Program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and the SMC Business Councils Reaches Out to Small Businesses
On February 21, 2003, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Region III Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Area Office, the Pennsylvania/OSHA Consultation Program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), and the SMC Business Councils (SMC) formed an Alliance to promote safe and healthful working conditions at small business facilities and worksites by better educating the smaller business community on the resources and support available to them through OSHA and the Consultation Program. The Alliance was renewed on February 14, 2005. The SMC Business Council has over 4000 members and is the largest small business trade association in the Commonwealth. This Alliance has helped to enhance OSHA's working relationship with the small business community in the Pittsburgh area.
The Alliance's members recognize the value that safety and health management systems add to a worksite and the impact of using a cooperative approach among OSHA, management and labor. They have a relationship that promotes OSHA's compliance assistance activities and industry best safety practices (as jointly determined by OSHA and SMC) and have worked together toward meeting the agreement's outreach and communication goals. Sharing technical information and best practices without infringing on confidentiality and using existing communication tools (Web sites, newsletters, conferences) to stimulate developing new resources and tools are two of these communication goals. Encouraging participation in OSHA's cooperative programs including the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP), the Pennsylvania/OSHA Consultation Program at IUP and its Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) and obtaining technical assistance through OSHA's area, regional, and national offices and the Consultation Program at IUP are two additional goals. In addition, SMC encourages its members to send their employees to an OSHA Course 501 Trainer Course on Occupational Safety and Health Standards for General Industry.
In support of the Alliance's goals, several articles pertaining to the Alliance were published in 2003 in the SMC newsletter, HRM Update. Included among them were an article called "OSHA Does More for Small Business" and other articles on OSHA's eTool on Emergency Action Plans and OSHA's Teen Worker Safety and Health page on the Agency's Web site. The SMC magazine, Dynamic Business, ran an article on the Alliance signing with a photograph of the event. In May of 2003, OSHA provided SMC with about 200 laminated Heat Stress Cards that describe how to recognize the symptoms of and what precautions to take for heat stress. In June, SMC based a newsletter article on information from OSHA about protecting workers from heat exposure. Other articles in the June newsletter covered ergonomics and an advertisement for an upcoming OSHA 30-Hour General Industry Train-the-Trainer Course on Occupational Safety and Health Standards. In September, the Pittsburgh Area Office participated in the SMC-sponsored "Southwestern Pennsylvania Conference on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Planning" by conducting training seminars for 125 SMC members. In November, members of the Pittsburgh Area Office conducted a training seminar for 30 SMC members (representing about 500 employees) on OSHA's policies/procedures, common cited standards, and the Agency's recordkeeping standard.
In 2004, OSHA and SMC Alliance-related outreach efforts continued. SMC requested more laminated Heat Stress Cards; OSHA provided another 200 cards. In October of 2004, the HRM Update published an article, written by John Engler, Project Manager for the Consultation Program at IUP, explaining the consultation services and an advertisement for reviewing OSHA's video called Listening to Small Business. In November, SMC requested and received approximately 200 Cold Stress Cards. In December, the newsletter published an article explaining the Consultation's Pre-SHARP and SHARP programs.
Based on the success of the first agreement, on February 14, 2005, the Alliance renewal agreement was signed. Through the renewal, SMC and OSHA continued to raise awareness of safety and health issues. For example, SMC added an "Ask OSHA" column to its newsletter. In September, the Pittsburgh Area Office participated in an SMC-sponsored conference called, "Employers' Survival Conference on Safety and Emergency Preparedness—Practical Advice for Your Business." During the conference, OSHA staff discussed OSHA standards for workplace emergencies (chemical spills, fires, explosions, natural disasters), frequently cited standards that result from emergencies and emergency incidents/accidents investigated by OSHA to 60 participants from large and small businesses. The OSHA representatives also participated in a panel discussion on how to prepare for workplace emergencies. In December 2005, the Office gave SMC 400 more Cold Stress Cards and sent a copy of a joint OSHA/National Highway Traffic Safety Administration document entitled "Tips for Safe Winter Driving" for publication in the newsletter. Also, in December, in response to an SMC request, OSHA provided an article, "Basic Questions about OSHA's Recordkeeping Standard," for inclusion in the newsletter.
According to SMC Vice President Karen Campbell, being a part of this Alliance with OSHA and the PA/OSHA Consultation Program has given its members many opportunities. Of primary importance is the opportunity to attend the safety seminars presented by OSHA.
Over the last 2 years, nearly 100 member companies have attended them and, as a result, gained valuable information about OSHA resources, such as the Pennsylvania/OSHA Consultation Program at IUP, and clarification about the safety and health regulations that affect their businesses. In addition, the articles provided by OSHA for SMC publications have helped SMC's members stay current on safety and health issues. "Once the Alliance was in place," Ms. Campbell said, "SMC staff was better able to access OSHA's personnel resources to provide technical assistance when needed. Our organization has greatly appreciated the opportunity to work with OSHA to promote safe and healthful workplaces -- it has helped us to achieve our association's mission of helping businesses to succeed."
For additional information, please contact Bob Carroll.
As of January 2006.
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Region III Addressing Hispanic Worker Safety and Health Through Alliance with the Delmarva Safety Association
In March 2004, OSHA's Region III Wilmington, Delaware Area Office signed an Alliance with the Delmarva Safety Association (DSA) to provide the organization's members and others with information, guidance, and access to training resources to protect employees' health and safety. The Alliance is focusing on reducing workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths among the Spanish-speaking workforce. The Alliance is working with local/regional employers and organizations including the Associated Builders and Contractors, Delaware and Maryland Nursery and Landscape Association, the Maryland Governor's Office of Hispanic Affairs, Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH), Delaware Ground's Management Association, the Delaware State Police, the Delaware Governor's Office of Hispanic Affairs, the Delaware Department of Labor – OSHA Consultation and the Department of Defense at Dover Air Force Base.
Vincent Soss, Acting Area Director for the Wilmington Area Office, remarked after the Alliance's signing, "Too often, language and cultural barriers contribute to workplace accidents involving Spanish-speaking workers."
Through the Alliance, OSHA and DSA are providing outreach to various Hispanic employers and workers and distributing OSHA Spanish-language materials including fact sheets, posters, All About OSHA and other publications to organizations in Delaware including community and faith-based centers.
For example, OSHA and DSA conducted a Hispanic employer seminar December 1, 2004 at the University of Delaware's Paradee Center in Dover, Delaware. The seminar discussed injury rates for Hispanic workers and promoted safety and health training for managers and supervisors of Hispanic employees. In addition, it highlighted success stories which focused on the reduction of workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities among Spanish-speaking workers in the poultry, landscaping and nursery industries. A second seminar was held February 3, 2005 in Wilmington, Delaware. Both of the seminars had over sixty participants including employers from the roofing/siding, chemical, general construction and fast food industries.
To share information on safety and health, the Alliance developed a Hispanic outreach newsletter for DSA members, OSHA and others that is published quarterly. The newsletter is comprised of articles submitted from companies who have taken a proactive approach to solving communication issues and cultural barriers with their Spanish-speaking employees. Additional information in the publication includes accident alert updates involving Hispanic workers, outreach assistance, a calendar of events and a question and answer section. In addition, OSHA public service announcements were broadcast on Hispanic radio stations in Sussex County, Delaware to inform Hispanic workers of their workplace safety and health rights and to promote OSHA's national hotline number, with a Spanish-language option, for additional assistance.
Renewal of the OSHA and DSA Alliance agreement will take place in March 2006.
For additional information about this Alliance and it activities, please contact Barbara Bray, OSHA Region III.
As of January 2006; updated January 2007.
1Maryland is one of 26 states which operate an OSHA approved state plan. Please visit the State Occupational Safety and Health Plans Web page for additional information.