January 15, 2008 · Volume 7, Issue 2
A twice monthly 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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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
New OSHA Publication Focuses on Security Personnel
ACCSH Schedules January Meeting
“OSU-OSHA Safety Day” Slated for This Month
OSHA Publishes Proposal on Shipyard Employment
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Published for New Respirator Fit-Testing Protocol
OSHA Announces New OTI Education Centers
OSHA Reminds Employers and Employees About the Safe Use of Quick Coupling Devices
Strategic Partnership Program News
Latest Alliance Activity
Voluntary Protection Programs Update
Latest “SHARP” Certifications
Upcoming Events
“QuickTips” from QuickTakes

New OSHA Publication Focuses on Security Personnel
    Security personnel (i.e., guards) stand to benefit from a new publication by OSHA entitled Preparing and Protecting Security Personnel in Emergencies. This publication addresses emergencies involving hazardous substance releases and provides guidance for employers and their security personnel, who may be involved in the emergency response. Printed copies can be obtained by calling OSHA’s publications office at 202-693-1888.

ACCSH Schedules January Meeting
    Washington, D.C., is the site for the Jan. 23-25, 2008, meeting of the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH). Topics expected for discussion include OSHA’s role in the National Response Plan, OSHA’s structural collapse response, the Minnesota I-35 highway bridge collapse, and the agency’s role in the response. The meeting will be held at the Frances Perkins Building, 200 Constitution Ave. N.W., and begins promptly at 8:30 a.m. ACCSH meetings are open to the public. Details can be found in the Dec. 17, 2007, Federal Register.

“OSU-OSHA Safety Day” Slated for This Month
    OSHA’s Columbus, Ohio, area office has teamed up with The Ohio State University (OSU) and the Central Ohio American Society of Safety Engineers to sponsor the third annual OSU-OSHA Safety Day on Jan. 23, 2008, at OSU’s Fawcett Center, 2400 Olentangy River Road. Construction managers, employees, OSU employees and students, and safety professionals are expected to participate in classes covering fall protection, hazards in construction, OSHA inspections, electrical safety and the National Fire Protection Association, trench safety and confined spaces, an Ohio Utilities Protection Service update, and OSHA’s most interesting cases. Details on how to register and obtain more information are available at www.centralohioasse.org.

OSHA Publishes Proposal on Shipyard Employment
    A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on General Working Conditions in Shipyard Employment was published in the Dec. 20, 2007, Federal Register. The proposed rule is designed to help reduce hazards and provide greater protection for shipyard employees. It also updates and clarifies provisions in the shipyard employment standards, including establishing minimum lighting for certain worksites, accounting for employees at the end of work shifts if they work in confined or isolated spaces, and adding uniform criteria to ensure that shipyards have an adequate number of appropriately trained first-aid providers. In addition, the proposal updates sanitation requirements. Comments are being accepted until March 19, 2008.

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Published for New Respirator Fit-Testing Protocol
    OSHA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for a new respirator fit-testing protocol—the Abbreviated Bitrex® Qualitative Fit-Testing (ABQLFT) protocol. The proposed rule would add the ABQLFT protocol as an alternative to the current OSHA-approved qualitative fit-test procedures. The ABQLFT protocol for the seven exercises listed in the existing OSHA-approved Bitrex fit-test procedure in the Respiratory Protection standard would shorten the duration of each of the seven fit-test exercises from one minute to 15 seconds. The proposed rule would apply to employers in shipyard employment, and the general and construction industries. Comments are being accepted until Feb. 25, 2008.

OSHA Announces New OTI Education Centers
    OSHA recently announced eight new OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Centers. Current OTI Education Centers offer training courses on OSHA standards and occupational safety and health issues. Made up of nonprofit organizations, the additional OTI Education Centers will increase OSHA’s reach throughout the nation to provide safety and health training. Created in 1992 to complement OTI in Illinois, the centers provide training to private sector and federal personnel from agencies outside OSHA. More than 27,000 people were trained in fiscal year 2007. For more information on the Education Centers program and the Directorate of Training and Education, visit www.osha.gov.

OSHA Reminds Employers and Employees About the Safe Use of Quick Coupling Devices
    OSHA’s Chicago Region, the Chicagoland Construction Safety Council, and the Underground Contractors Association (a participant in OSHA’s Strategic Partnership Program), have joined forces to remind employers and employees about the hazards of using quick coupling devices and possible solutions to avoiding those hazards. Quick couplers allow operators of hydraulic excavators to change buckets or other attachments without leaving the excavator’s cab. Unfortunately, the unexpected release of excavator buckets from quick coupling devices has resulted in injuries and deaths. OSHA’s Safety and Health Information Bulletin entitled Hazards of Inadequately Securing Hydraulic Excavator Buckets When Using Quick Coupling Devices outlines specific methods for employers and employees to address the hazards and prevent further accidents.

Strategic Partnership Program News
    A number of new construction partnerships have been established between OSHA and various organizations to protect the safety and health of construction employees. OSHA’s Marlton, N.J., area office and L.F. Driscoll Co., the Monmouth and Ocean Counties Building and Construction Trades Councils, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and the Jersey Shore University Medical Center formed a new partnership during the construction of the university medical center’s expansion and renovation project. Ensuring the highest level of employee safety and health is the goal of a new partnership between OSHA’s Mobile, Ala., area office and White-Spunner Construction Inc., the Alabama Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America, and the University of Alabama’s Safe State Consultation Program. The team is constructing a two-story, 40,000 square foot building in Mobile. OSHA and Torcon Inc., the Somerset County Building and Construction Trades Council, and the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development On-site Consultation Program partnered for the construction of an addition to the Johnson & Johnson building in Raritan, N.J. OSHA, Vivot Construction Corp., and the University of the Virgin Islands Community Engagement and Lifelong Learning consultation program formed a strategic partnership to ensure the safety and health of employees participating in the Frenchman’s Cove construction project in St. Thomas. In addition, a partnership between OSHA and the National Park Service was established to identify major causes of injuries and illnesses among employees at the Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument.

Latest Alliance Activity
    National Office: OSHA and SkillsUSA renewed their alliance to continue providing career and technical educators and their students with resources that will protect the safety and health of young employees. The alliance renewed between OSHA and Altec Industries Inc. will continue to focus on providing safety and health guidance for employees, including non- or limited English-speaking employees, on the safe operation of cranes, digger derricks, insulated and non-insulated aerial devices, including tree care devices, and on industry hazards such as falls and electrocutions. Region V: The goals of a new alliance signed between OSHA’s Columbus, Ohio, area office and Habitat for Humanity-Greater Columbus are to reduce and prevent injuries among Habitat for Humanity’s volunteer home builders.

Voluntary Protection Programs Update
    Visit “recent approvals” on the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) page of OSHA’s Web site to view the latest list of employers approved for new or continued participation in VPP. We encourage you to examine the entire VPP site to learn more about how OSHA’s premier cooperative program can help protect employees and lower workers’ compensation costs.

Latest “SHARP” Certifications
    Visit OSHA’s “Who’s Newly SHARP” Web page to see the most recent list of companies certified as Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) sites. The SHARP program recognizes small employers who operate an exemplary safety and health management system.

Upcoming Events
    OSHA posted more safety and health-related conference and meeting information to the events page on its Web site. Look for activities near you.

“QuickTips” from QuickTakes
    A new year brings new opportunities to start out fresh. OSHA’s many safety and health programs are a great way to emphasize the importance of employers protecting employees in the workplace. Through education, compliance assistance, cooperative programs, and enforcement, OSHA works diligently to promote a culture of safety and health for America’s working men and women. OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program provides employers with information on potential hazards at their worksites and ways to improve their occupational safety and health management systems. Some consultation program participants can qualify for a one-year exemption from routine OSHA inspections. Here are some of the benefits:
  • It is free.
  • No citations are issued, nor are penalties imposed.
  • It is confidential. Your name, your organization’s name, and any information you provide about your workplace will not be routinely reported to OSHA inspectors.
  • It is primarily targeted to smaller businesses.

  •     Employers can receive professional advice and assistance on preventing workplace hazards, and benefit from on-site training from an OSHA consultant. For information on how this resource can help your business, visit OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program Web page.

    Editor: Elaine Fraser, OSHA Office of Communications, 202-693-1999