January 1, 2004 • Volume 3, Issue 1
A bi-weekly e-news memo with information, updates, and results from OSHA about safety and health in America's workplaces.
Archive Notice - OSHA Archive
NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.


In This Issue
BLS Reports Workplace Injury and Illness Rates for 2002
Crushing Hazards from Rear-loading Trash Trucks Subject of Safety Bulletin
OSHA Renews Alliance with Engineering and Construction Management Firm
Proposed Rules on Tuberculosis, Glycol Ethers Withdrawn
Alliances in New York, Atlanta Regions Focus on Young Workers, Traffic Safety
OSHA's Seattle Region Participates in Safety "Stand-Down" at Fort Lewis, WA
Safety and Health Seminars Scheduled in New York
VPP Recognition Granted to Sites in Nebraska, Missouri
Dallas Region Renews Construction Partnership with AGC
OSHA Certifies Newest "SHARP" Companies
Voluntary Protection Program Activity


BLS Reports Workplace Injury and Illness Rates for 2002
     Approximately 4.7 million injuries and illnesses were reported in private industry workplaces during 2002, according to the latest report by the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number translates to a rate of 5.3 cases per 100 full-time workers. While that is less than the rate for 2001 (5.7 per 100 workers), the 2002 data cannot be compared with prior years due to revisions of OSHA's recordkeeping requirements. Still, OSHA Administrator John Henshaw applauded the news saying it was a "further indication of the progress we've achieved in making workers and workplaces safer than ever before."

Crushing Hazards from Rear-loading Trash Trucks Subject of Safety Bulletin
     A new safety and health bulletin was published last month to arm workers and employers with information and guidance on recognizing and preventing hazards associated with the use of rear-loading trash trucks and dumpsters. In the five-year period ending 2003, OSHA investigated at least six fatalities involving workers crushed when dumpsters were dislodged from the trucks. The bulletin describes hazards and recommended preventative measures to protect workers, and also outlines relevant provisions from applicable ANSI standards.

OSHA Renews Alliance with Engineering and Construction Management Firm
    Washington Group International will have two additional years to work with OSHA on safety and health issues for the construction and engineering industries, thanks to a two-year renewal on their Alliance. OSHA Administrator John Henshaw signed the renewal last month pointing to accomplishments made since the original Alliance was established more than a year ago. Henshaw said the Alliance was "a program with momentum and one we both want to keep moving forward." The Alliance focuses on the areas of cranes and rigging, hearing protection and ergonomics in construction and engineering.

Proposed Rules on Tuberculosis, Glycol Ethers Withdrawn
     The general industry standard on respiratory protection will be extended to workers exposed to tuberculosis following OSHA's decision to withdraw its 1997 proposal on TB. The agency announced the withdrawal Dec. 31 citing a 40 percent decrease in the number of TB cases in the U.S. over the past 10 years. OSHA also announced last month it would terminate rulemaking to reduce permissible exposure limits on glycol ethers because of a decline in both their production and use. The substances, once commonly used in the automobile refinishing industry, and in construction paints, printings inks, and the semiconductor industry, are now mainly used in closed systems where employees have little opportunity for exposure.

Alliances in New York, Atlanta Regions Focus on Young Workers, Traffic Safety
    OSHA's New York region formed an Alliance last month to improve workplace safety and health for young workers throughout the state. The New York State Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs, and the state's Department of Labor Division of Safety and Health On-Site Consultation Program joined with OSHA to focus on workplace safety and health issues throughout general industry and construction. Reducing work-zone traffic accidents is the subject of an Alliance signed last month between OSHA and the Sunshine Safety Council based in Daytona Beach, FL. The Alliance is designed to help employers, workers and the public recognize and eliminate safety hazards that lead to work-zone traffic accidents.

OSHA's Seattle Region Participates in Safety "Stand-Down" at Fort Lewis, WA
    OSHA's regional office in Seattle participated in an Installation Safety Stand-Down Day, Dec. 18, at Fort Lewis, WA. Called "101 Days of Northwest Winter," the event included exhibitors providing information on an assortment of topics such as vehicle safety, DUI prevention, child passenger safety, boating and electrical safety, disaster preparedness and community health services. OSHA's exhibit highlighted job safety and health and also provided information on electronic resources and tips on navigating the agency's website. Approximately 18,000 people attended the event.

Safety and Health Seminars Scheduled in New York
    Developing organized and effective safety and health management systems is the goal of seminars being offered by OSHA's Buffalo Area Office this month. The training, co-sponsored by area organizations and colleges, will be held at six locations throughout upstate New York beginning at Orchard Park and Lockport on Jan. 8, followed by Jamestown and Olean on Jan. 15, and Batavia and Rochester on Jan. 22. Contact the Buffalo office at (716) 684-3891 for more information.

VPP Recognition Granted to Sites in Nebraska, Missouri
    Eaton Corporation in Kearney, NE, joined an elite group of businesses last month as they logged nine consecutive years of excellence in worker safety and health. Fewer than 150 businesses across the nation have logged nine or more years in VPP. Eaton manufactures engine valves and gears, and recently received continued "Star" status for the third time (first awarded in April 1994). According to Charles E. Adkins, OSHA's Regional Administrator in Kansas City, MO, the company has continued to exhibit "excellence in effective safety and health management, worker training and involvement." A pharmaceutical manufacturer employing about 122 workers in Springfield, MO, is now authorized to fly the VPP "Star" Flag. Clariant LSM (MO) Inc. was recognized for top safety and health management programs during ceremonies at the plant, Dec. 17.

Dallas Region Renews Construction Partnership with AGC
    OSHA's two area offices in Houston recently renewed a two-year partnership with the local chapter of Associated General Contractors, and went one step further by creating a new program for sub- or specialty-contractors. The new partnership agreement, known as Safety and Health Partnership for Excellence-Associate, will recognize specialty contractors who continue to maintain excellent safety and health programs. Peterson Beckner Industries, Inc. a Houston-based contractor specializing in heavy and complex steel structures, is the first sub-contractor to join the new Associate partnership.

OSHA Certifies Newest "SHARP" Companies
    OSHA recently certified the following companies as Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) sites: Serotta Sports, Inc., Saratoga Springs, NY; Williams Lumber, Tannersville, NY; Curtis Lumber, Hoosick, NY; Curtis Lumber, Delmar, NY; Phoenix Metal Manufacturing Inc., Jamestown, NY; Dicar, Inc., Pine Brook, NJ; Ark-Rod, Inc., Harrison, AR; Westwood Manor, DeRidder, LA; Greene's Pressure Testing, Lafayette, LA; Dallas Institute of Funeral Service, Dallas, TX; David's Patio, Inc. #1, Springtown, TX; Facility Construction, Inc., Dallas, TX; Simmons Pump Corp., Lubbock, TX; Contract Power Coating, Inc., TX; Del Rio Tortilla Factory, San Antonio, TX; Fiber Systems International, Allen, TX; Houston Unlimited, Chappell Hill, TX; Metro Custom Plastics, Arlington, TX; Murdock & Son Automotive, Inc., Garland, TX; Terrill Manufacturing, San Angelo, TX; Textron Inc., Garland, TX; All Flex, U.S.A., Dallas, TX; Independence Medical, Ft. Worth, TX; Toledo Nursing Home, Zwolle, TX; Subway Sandwiches & Salads, Inc., Chickasha, TX; Oahe Electric, Blunt, SD; Mitchell Manufacturing, Mitchell, SD; Lincoln Self Reliance, Inc., Kemmerer, WY; and Lincoln Self Reliance, Inc., Afton, WY.

Voluntary Protection Program Activity
    The following companies were approved last month for new or continued participation in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program (VPP): NASA, JSC, White Sands Testing Facility, White Sands, NM (Cont. Star); Emerson Process Mgmt., Fisher Controls Valve Div., Sherman, TX (Cont. Star); Valero Refining Co., Houston, TX (New Star); USPS, Rochester Processing & Distribution Center, Rochester, NY (New Star); West Point Stevens, Dunson Mill, LaGrange, GA (Cont. Star); Gulf Marine Fabricators, Aransas Pass, TX (1-Yr Cond); Montenay Islip, Inc., Ronkonkoma, NY (Cont. Star); United Space Alliance, LLC, Cape Canaveral, FL (Cont. Star Demo); Torcon, Inc., at Weyth Pearl River, Pearl River, NY (Cont. Star); International Paper, Meldrim Lumber Mill, Meldrim, GA (Cont. Star); and Washington Group International, Inc., Rocky Mtn. Arsenal, Denver, CO (New Star Demo).

Editor: Bill Wright, OSHA Office of Communications, 202-693-1999