January 15, 2009 · Volume 8, Issue 2
QuickTakes QuickTakes
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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

Revised field operations manual enhances enforcement and compliance assistance
Revised Voluntary Protection Programs expands participants' eligibility
Final rule published on vertical tandem lifts
Final rule issued on employers' duty to provide PPE and train employees
OSHA enforcement programs help assure safe and healthful workplaces
Labor Department, Cintas settle pending federal OSHA cases
Outreach Training Program helps foster safer and healthful workplaces
OSHA shares safety information at International Builders' Show
Construction safety is focus of "OSU-OSHA Safety Day"
Education center at Eastern Kentucky University provides training in Louisville
Mid-America OTI Education Center conference offers Outreach Training Program session
Alliance activity
Strategic partnership program news
Voluntary Protection Programs newest list of participants is available on We
Upcoming Events
"QuickTips:" Alarm systems are crucial during workplace emergencies

Revised field operations manual enhances enforcement and compliance assistance

A revised Field Operations Manual (FOM) now provides compliance safety and health officers (CSHOs) with a single source of updated information and guidance to more effectively protect employees from occupational injuries, illnesses and fatalities. This document assists CSHOs in scheduling and conducting inspections, enforcing regulations, and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health.

Revised Voluntary Protection Programs expands participants' eligibility

OSHA is changing its Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) to allow participation by companies with mobile workforces. VPP, the agency's recognition initiative for workplace safety and health excellence, will provide new options for construction contractors and other employers who may have employees at various locations. Other VPP changes for eligible organizations include a streamlined application process, outreach and mentoring, and on-site workplace evaluations. These changes are effective May 9. For more information, refer to the Jan. 9 Federal Register.

Final rule published on vertical tandem lifts

OSHA published a final rule on improving the safety of longshoring employees who work with vertical tandem lifts. The rule will reduce hazards related to lifting two containers at a time using cranes by ensuring that safe work practices are followed. Details are available in the Dec. 10 Federal Register.

Final rule issued on employers' duty to provide PPE and train employees

OSHA issued a final rule on Clarification of Employers' Duty to Provide Personal Protective Equipment and Train Each Employee. The rule revises OSHA standards to clarify that, for employers to be in compliance, they must provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and hazards training for each employee covered by the standards. More information is available in the Dec. 12 Federal Register.

OSHA enforcement programs help assure safe and healthful workplaces

There will be more employees coming home healthy and uninjured each day thanks to OSHA's enforcement efforts. Innovative approaches such as the Enhanced Enforcement Program, Site Specific Targeting and National Emphasis Programs are methods OSHA uses to target the most hazardous workplaces and employers with high injury and illness rates. To learn more about how OSHA's enforcement programs have helped improve workplace safety and health, examine the enforcement activity fact sheet.

Labor Department, Cintas settle pending federal OSHA cases

OSHA reached an agreement with Cintas Inc. that the company will pay almost $3 million in penalties to resolve six cases currently pending before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. All of the cases involve citations OSHA issued to Cintas for failing to lock out hazardous energy sources on industrial laundry equipment while employees were servicing the equipment. One case arose from OSHA's investigation of a fatal accident in which an employee fell into a dryer while attempting to correct a jammed conveyor.

Outreach Training Program helps foster safer and healthful workplaces

Workplaces continue to grow safer and more healthful everyday because of the Outreach Training Program, OSHA's primary way to train employees in the basics of occupational safety and health. During fiscal year 2008, almost 680,000 students were trained and 44,000 classes were held. This 30 percent increase from the previous year represents the largest annual growth in the last ten years. To learn more about OSHA's Outreach Training Program, visit the Directorate of Training and Education Resources Web page.

OSHA shares safety information at International Builders' Show

OSHA will showcase an exhibit and distribute compliance assistance and other informative materials to attendees at the International Builders' Show in Las Vegas, Jan. 20-23. This is the housing industry's largest single event and is expected to attract professionals involved in residential or light commercial construction.

Construction safety is focus of "OSU-OSHA Safety Day"

OSHA's Columbus, Ohio, Area Office has teamed with The Ohio State University (OSU), and several local construction companies and contractor associations, to sponsor OSU-OSHA Safety Day on Jan. 27, 2009 at OSU's Fawcett Center. Construction managers, employees and safety personnel are expected to participate. Admission is free for students in the university's construction management programs. Click here for more details.

Education center at Eastern Kentucky University provides training in Louisville

The OSHA Training Institute Education Center at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) is offering the OSHA #510 Occupational Safety and Health Standards for Construction course Jan. 27–30 in Louisville, Ky. This course for private sector personnel covers OSHA policies, procedures and standards, and construction safety and health principles. Click here for additional course offerings this spring in Louisville. Visit EKU's Web site for a complete listing of training opportunities.

Mid-America OTI Education Center conference offers Outreach Training Program session

An OSHA Outreach Training Program Trainer Update session is being offered at the Mid-America OSHA Training Institute Education Center's Safety & Training Conference at the Dayton, Ohio, Convention Center, Jan. 22. OSHA officials and safety training industry representatives will provide Outreach Training Program instructors with updates, best practices and details on new OSHA targeted training programs. For more information, contact 866-444-4412.

Alliance activity

Region I:
- Providing safety and health information, training and resources for employers, employees and others involved in Rhode Island's construction industry is the goal of a new alliance signed with Safety Alliance Furthering Educational Resources in Rhode Island.
- The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services' safety consultation program and the New Hampshire College and University Campus Assistance Cooperative signed an alliance to provide college and university employees with training to minimize workplace hazards and enhance their safety and health.

Region V:
- An alliance renewed with the Greater Columbus Damage Prevention Council will help keep employees involved in trenching and excavation operations safe on the job.
- The purpose of a new alliance with the Electrical Contractors' Association and Construction Safety Council of Greater Chicago is to provide training and education to local electrical employees.

Region VII:
- Alliances signed with the Nebraska Department of Education and Wichita Area Technical College focus on providing occupational safety and health information to students.
- Providing information, guidance and access to training resources that will enhance public and occupational knowledge of pandemic influenza is the goal of an alliance formed with PandemicPrep.Org.

Strategic partnership program news

Region I:
- The Gilbane Building Co. and Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council formed a partnership to train contractors and employees who will be constructing the new Warwick, R.I., Intermodal Station transportation facility about workplace safety.
- The goal of a strategic partnership with Dimeo Construction Co. and Rhode Island's 21(d) safety consultation program is to provide safety and health training to 41 subcontractors working on the reconstruction of the Ocean House Hotel in Watch Hill, R.I.

Region IV:
- Ensuring the highest level of safety and health for employees during the construction of the Gwinnett Braves Stadium is the focus of a new partnership with Barton Malow Construction and the Georgia Tech On-site Consultative Service.

Region VIII:
- The Home Builders Association of Metro Denver renewed their Home Safe Colorado partnership that works on reducing serious injury and illness rates in the residential construction industry through training and education.

Voluntary Protection Programs newest list of participants is available on Web

Visit "recent approvals" on the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) page of OSHA's Web site to view the current 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 cooperative programs can help protect employees and reduce workers' compensation costs.

Upcoming Events

OSHA posted more safety- and health-related conference and meeting information to the events page on its Web site. Look for activities in your area.

"QuickTips:" Alarm systems are crucial during workplace emergencies

As we "ring" in the new year, OSHA wants to call to your attention to another "ringing" of great importance to our daily working lives—the sound of emergency alarm systems. Here are some suggestions for guaranteeing that your workplace has adequate means of alerting its employees in the event of an emergency.

  1. Ensure that employee alarm systems are recognizable and perceptible in every location during emergency conditions.
  2. Instruct employees on the location of alarm pull boxes.
  3. Train employees on all alarm and evacuation procedures and conduct periodic drills.
  4. Post emergency phone numbers, including the numbers for the local fire department, hospitals and ambulances, police department, plant emergency services, fire brigade, or health center (if provided).

The employee alarm systems section in OSHA's Evacuation Plans and Procedures eTool provides employers with more details on the standard designed to reduce the severity of workplace incidents and injuries by ensuring that alarm systems operate properly and that procedures are in place to alert employees to workplace emergencies. Look for more "QuickTips" on a new occupational safety and health topic in the next issue of QuickTakes.

Editor: Elaine Fraser, OSHA Office of Communications, 202-693-1999, www.osha.gov