February 15, 2007 · Volume 6, Issue 4
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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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
FY 2008 Budget Request Includes $18 Million Increase for OSHA
OSHA Unveils New Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for Pandemic Flu
OSHA Warns about Dangers Stemming from Severe Weather Cleanup and Recovery
FACOSH Meeting Scheduled
New Local Emphasis Programs Underway in Rhode Island
Spanish-language Safety Training Continues in Chicago
Alliance Activity Update
Latest Voluntary Protection Programs Activity
New "SHARP" Company Certifications
'QuickTips' from QuickTakes

FY 2008 Budget Request Includes $18 Million Increase for OSHA
    The President's budget request of $490.3 million for OSHA during FY 2008 will allow the agency to improve workplace safety and health through compliance assistance and enforcement of occupational safety and health regulations and standards, explained Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Edwin G. Foulke Jr. during a briefing in Washington, D.C., Feb. 5. The President's request includes increases for federal enforcement, federal compliance assistance and cooperative programs.

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OSHA Unveils New Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for Pandemic Flu
    On Feb. 6, OSHA unveiled a new workplace safety and health guidance document that will help employers prepare for an influenza pandemic. Developed in coordination with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for an Influenza Pandemic provides general guidance for all types of workplaces, describes the differences between seasonal, avian and pandemic influenza, and presents information on the nature of a potential pandemic, how the virus is likely to spread and how exposure is likely to occur.

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OSHA Warns about Dangers Stemming from Severe Weather Cleanup and Recovery
    OSHA is reminding employers, employees and the public to take the appropriate steps to avoid injuries and illnesses associated with cleanup and utility restoration efforts following recent Florida storms. Information on the potential hazards and possible solutions for avoiding those hazards can be found on OSHA's Hurricane Recovery Web page.

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FACOSH Meeting Scheduled
   The Federal Advisory Council on Occupational Safety and Health (FACOSH) has scheduled its next meeting in Washington, D.C., March 1. OSHA Assistant Secretary Ed Foulke will convene the 16-member council that advises OSHA on issues concerning the safety and health of federal employees. The meeting is open to the public and will begin at 10 a.m. in Rooms N-3437 A/B/C/ of the Department of Labor Frances Perkins Building, 200 Constitution Ave. N.W. Agenda items include the Safety, Health and Return-to-Employment initiative, federal agency recordkeeping, training, Field Federal Safety and Health Councils and facility safety and health design. Details are in today's Federal Register.

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New Local Emphasis Programs Underway in Rhode Island
    OSHA's New England Region launched two new Local Emphasis Programs (LEPs) in Rhode Island to address specific work-related hazards. The first LEP focuses on reducing workplace hazards associated with crane operation in construction and the second targets the residential construction industry. LEPs are intended to address hazards that pose particular risks to employees within an OSHA regional or area office jurisdiction.

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Spanish-language Safety Training Continues in Chicago
    OSHA's Region V Office in Chicago is joining forces with the University of Illinois at Chicago, Northern Illinois University, and Truman College to offer a landscaping safety course in Spanish. This one-day course will be offered Feb. 22 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Truman College, 3500 W. Peterson Ave. Registration and additional information is available by contacting (773) 907-3994 (bilingual). Space is limited.

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Alliance Activity Update
    National Office: OSHA renewed its alliance with the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography to continue protecting sonographers' health and safety, particularly by reducing or preventing work-related musculoskeletal injuries. Improving employees' health and safety, particularly in reducing and preventing exposure to shipyard safety and health hazards, including ergonomics, is the focus of a recently renewed alliance with the Shipbuilders Council of America.

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Latest Voluntary Protection Programs Activity
    Visit "recent approvals" on the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) page of OSHA's Web site to see the latest list of employers recently 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.

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New "SHARP" Company Certifications
    Visit OSHA's "Who's Newly SHARP" Web page to see the latest list of companies recently 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.

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'QuickTips' from QuickTakes
    Winter storms can affect the health and safety of employees, especially those who may be required to work during a storm. These may include utility employees, law enforcement personnel, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, federal, state and local government personnel, military personnel, highway personnel, and sanitation employees. Slips and falls are some of the hazards associated with working in winter storms. Here are a few tips on how to walk safely during or after a winter storm.
  • Wear a pair of well-insulated boots with good rubber treads. Keeping a pair of rubber over-shoes with good treads which fit over your street shoes is a good idea during the winter months.
  • When walking on an icy or snow-covered walkway, take short steps and walk at a slower pace so you can react quickly to a change in traction.
  • Ground all power supply systems, electrical circuits, and electrical equipment.
  • When walking on a street because a sidewalk has not been cleared, walk against the traffic and as close to the curb as you can.
  • Be on the lookout for vehicles which may have lost traction and are slipping towards you. Always be aware that approaching vehicles may not be able to stop at crosswalks or traffic signals.

  •     OSHA's Winter Storms Web page features more tips and resource information that will help employers and employees "weather" a storm and further prevent injuries and fatalities in the workplace. Look to OSHA for more safety and health 'QuickTips' in your next issue.

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