January 15, 2005 · Volume 4, Issue 2
A bi-weekly e-news memo with information, updates, and results from OSHA about safety and health in America's workplaces.
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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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
Worker Safety and Health Annex Included in DHS National Response Plan
New Publication Highlights Protection of Hospital Workers During Emergencies
OSHA Publishes Final Rule on Standards Improvement Process
Employers Must Post Injury/Illness Summaries Beginning Feb. 1
New Safety and Health Bulletins Focus on Avian Flu, Sidewalk Grate Hazards
Deadline Near for Submitting Comments on Oregon State Plan Final Approval
Youth Employment Rules Published by Labor Department
OSHA Unveils Web-based Hispanic Compliance Assistance Tool
Strategic Partnerships Inked in New York, Atlanta, Dallas Regions
OSHA's Alliance Program Continues to Expand
Atlanta, Chicago Regions Spotlight VPP Worksites
Michigan OSHA Sponsors Industrial Ventilation Conference
Voluntary Protection Programs Activity


Worker Safety and Health Annex Included in DHS National Response Plan
     Worker safety and health has a prominent place in the Department of Homeland Security's National Response Plan (NRP) unveiled Jan. 6. The NRP establishes a unified and standardized approach within the U.S. for protecting the nation's citizens and managing homeland security incidents. The worker safety and health annex offers guidelines that focus on responder safety and health, and also provides for the coordination of Federal safety and health assets for proactive consideration of all potential hazards.

New Publication Highlights Protection of Hospital Workers During Emergencies
    Helping hospitals safeguard their employees who care for patients during mass casualty incidents is the role of a new OSHA document released last month. OSHA Best Practices for Hospital-Based Receivers of Victims from Mass Casualty Incidents Involving the Release of Hazardous Substances offers critical information to help hospitals create emergency plans based on worst-case scenarios. The Department of Homeland Security called the document a "tremendous resource for the nation's hospitals," while the American Hospital Association said the guidance "will be of great value to hospitals as they enhance their emergency management plans..."

OSHA Publishes Final Rule on Standards Improvement Process
   The final rule on the second phase of OSHA's standards improvement project is on the books and revises or eliminates medical provisions in older standards that were once considered accepted practice, but have since been deemed obsolete or unnecessary. The rule also eliminates reporting requirements that do not benefit worker's health and also updates chemical exposure provisions. The overall project reduces the regulatory burdens on employers while maintaining safety and health protections for workers. The final rule was published in the Jan. 5, 2005, Federal Register.

Employers Must Post Injury/Illness Summaries Beginning Feb. 1
   A summary of workplace injuries and illnesses that occurred last year must be posted for three months beginning February 1, OSHA reminded employers earlier this month. The summary (OSHA Form 300A) must list the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred in 2004 and were logged on the OSHA 300 form (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses). Employers must display the form in a common area wherever notices to workers are normally posted. The annual requirement is part of OSHA's recordkeeping regulations.

New Safety and Health Bulletins Focus on Avian Flu, Sidewalk Grate Hazards
    OSHA published two new Safety and Health Bulletins last month to highlight specific workplace hazards. Avian Influenza: Protecting Poultry Workers at Risk describes measures to protect workers when an outbreak occurs and provides recommendations to help minimize the virus. The bulletin is a joint product of the OSHA/NIOSH Issues Exchange Group. The risk of injury or death from operating heavy equipment over sidewalk surface grate systems is the reason behind the bulletin Hazard of Potential Sidewalk Grate System Failure. OSHA's Braintree, MA Area Office investigated a fatal accident in 2003 when a skid-steer loader used to clear snow from sidewalks plunged into a vault when a metal grate covering the vault failed. The bulletin outlines specific methods for workers and employers to address the hazards and prevent further accidents.

Deadline Near for Submitting Comments on Oregon State Plan Final Approval
   OSHA approved, last month, changes to Oregon's occupational safety and health plan, including legislation, administrative rules and compliance manual and policy directives. Oregon has operated a state plan since 1972 and since 1975 has provided most worker protection in the state without any exercise of federal enforcement. OSHA is now seeking public comment (until Jan. 18) on its proposal to grant final approval to the state which would result in the relinquishment of federal standards and enforcement authority in all areas covered by the state's program (except temporary labor camps). OSHA will continue to monitor the plan and provide funding of up to 50 percent.

Youth Employment Rules Published by Labor Department
   New rules focusing on young workers were published Dec. 16 by the Department of Labor that are, according to U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao, "part of the department's ongoing effort to promote positive and safe work experiences for young workers." The rules become effective next month and expand protections for youths working in restaurants and in roofing operations, and also focus on driving requirements and the operation of compactors and bailers. Chao said the new rules follow on the department's successful YouthRules! public awareness campaign launched in May 2002.

OSHA Unveils Web-based Hispanic Compliance Assistance Tool
    A new Hispanic web-based outreach tool was unveiled by OSHA earlier this month to assist employers with a Spanish-speaking workforce. The new Hispanic Module is part of the agency's Compliance Assistance Quick Start web tool that provides a step-by-step guide to identify OSHA requirements and guidance materials for specific workplaces. The Hispanic module identifies the agency's Hispanic/English-As-Second-Language (ESL) Coordinators, and also includes Spanish-language training resources as well as details on employer and employee workplace rights and responsibilities.

Strategic Partnerships Inked in New York, Atlanta, Dallas Regions
    More than 100 New York workers will benefit from a new partnership signed last month between OSHA's New York Region and business, labor and other government entities during construction of the Hunts Point Water Pollution Control Project in the Bronx. Objectives of the agreement include reducing hazardous conditions through training, hazard identification and correction, and reducing fall hazards. A major electrical renovation project at Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky is the impetus behind a partnership agreement between OSHA's Atlanta Region, the National Park Service, and project managers Chappy Corporation and Magnum Companies, Ltd. OSHA Area Offices in Lubbock, TX and El Paso, TX signed partnerships last month with Reliant Holdings, Ltd. and Honeywell International Security and Custom Electronics Division, respectively. Both partnerships are designed to develop a business-government approach to safety and health management.

OSHA's Alliance Program Continues to Expand
    The National Chicken Council and National Turkey Federation are OSHA's newest National Alliance participants following a signing ceremony in Washington, Jan. 6. Jonathan L. Snare, Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, welcomed both organizations into the program citing their previous assistance with the agency in the development of ergonomic guidelines for poultry processing. Regional Alliances were also signed recently in Maine, Wisconsin, Illinois and New York. Maine's health care industry was the focus of an Alliance between OSHA and the Maine Health Care Association as well as the Maine Department of Labor's safety consultation service. OSHA's Madison, WI Area Office joined in an Alliance with the South Central Wisconsin Association of Occupational Health Nurses to reduce and eliminate worker exposures to bloodborne pathogens and other work-related health hazards for the nursing profession. Wisconsin's Safety and Health Consultation Services also joined in the agreement. The Central Illinois Chapter of the American Red Cross joined with OSHA's Peoria, IL Area Office last month to focus on preventing some of the most common workplace injuries and illnesses, while OSHA's Tarrytown, NY Area Office signed an Alliance Jan. 7 with the Rockland County Builders and Remodelers Association to highlight safety and health issues in residential construction.

Atlanta, Chicago Regions Spotlight VPP Worksites
   Jonathan L. Snare, Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, presented the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) "Star" award to Milliken & Company's Live Oak Complex in LaGrange, GA, Jan. 11. Snare said the award was a "strong endorsement of the continued dedication demonstrated by Milliken and its employers to workplace safety and health." Leipsic, OH-based Pro-Tec Coating Company was designated a VPP "Star" site in ceremonies Dec. 28. Michael Connors, regional administrator in Chicago, said the award "is fitting testament to the cooperation between OSHA and the company in developing a safe workplace. Pro-Tec is the first company in the metal coating and allied services industrial classification to achieve "Star" status in VPP.

Michigan OSHA Sponsors Industrial Ventilation Conference
   A four-day conference focusing on the design, construction, use, and testing of industrial ventilation systems will be held Feb. 14-17 at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI. Sponsored by Michigan OSHA, the conference affords participants the opportunity to work through actual ventilation design problems with industrial ventilation experts from throughout the United States and Canada. More information is available on the conference's website or by calling the conference chairperson at (517) 322-6560.

Voluntary Protection Programs Activity
    The following companies were approved recently for new or continued participation in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP): Region II: Total Lubricants, USA, Inc. (Return to Star); Oxy Vinyls, Pedricktown, NJ (New Star); Ferro Corp., Delaware Rive Plant, Bridgeport, NJ (Cont. Star); Huntsman, West Deptford, NJ (Cont. Star) Region III: PPL Electric Utilities, West Region, Susquehanna Operating Areas, Montoursville, PA (New Star); PPL Electric Utilities, East Region, Allentown & Bethlehem Operating Area, Allentown, PA (New Star); AK Steel Butler Works, Butler, PA (Cont. Star); Wheelabrator Falls, Inc. Morrisville, PA (New Star); PPL Corp., East Region, Hazleton, PA (New Star); PPL Corp., East Northeast Region, Scranton, PA (New Star); PPL Corp., West Region, Harrisburg, PA (New Star); PPL West Region, Lancaster, PA (New Star); GE Inspection & Repair Services, Allentown Svc. Center, Allentown, PA (New Star) Region IV: Milliken & Co., Avalon Plant, Toccoa, GA (Cont. Star); International Paper, McBean Woodyard, Waynesboro, GA (Cont. Star); Prayon Inc., Augusta, GA (Return to Star); BlueLinx Corp., Tampa Distribution Ctr., Tampa, FL (New Star) Region V: Plastic Suppliers, Inc., Columbus, OH (New Merit); DAG Construction Co., Cincinnati, OH (New Star Demonstration); Motorola, Inc., Schaumburg, IL (Cont. Star) Region VI: Koch Hydrocarbon Southwest, LLC, Mont. Belvieu, TX (New Star); Temple-Inland Forest Products Corp., Fletcher, OK (Cont. Star); Austin Industrial @ Equistar Bayport Plant, Houston, TX (New Star); Conroe Regional Medical Center, Conroe, TX (New Star); Valero Refining, Ardmore, OK (New Star); ConocoPhillips Refinery, Ponca City, OK (Cont. Merit) Region VII: Springfield Remanufacturing Corp., Springfield, MO (Cont. Star); and Vulcan Chemicals, Wichita, KS (New Star).

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