February 15, 2008 · Volume 7, Issue 4
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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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
Hexavalent Chromium Standard Compliance Directive Issued
New National Emphasis Program Launched on Crystalline Silica
OSHA Seeking Nominations for NACOSH
Maritime Industry Safety and Health Training Opportunity
OSHA to Showcase Its Exhibit at ABC and CONEXPO-CON/AGG® Expositions
Latest Alliance Program Activity
Voluntary Protection Programs Update
Most Recent "SHARP" Certifications
More Event Information Posted to Web Site
"QuickTips" from QuickTakes

Hexavalent Chromium Standard Compliance Directive Issued
    OSHA recently issued its compliance directive to enforce the hexavalent chromium standards that were effective May 30, 2006. This directive establishes uniform inspection and compliance procedures for compliance safety and health officers.

New National Emphasis Program Launched on Crystalline Silica
    OSHA recently published a new directive implementing a National Emphasis Program (NEP) to help reduce or eliminate workplace exposures to silica-related hazards. The NEP compliance directive provides guidance to OSHA national, regional, and area offices and to those state programs which choose to implement a similar program. OSHA's Safety and Health Topics Web page on crystalline silica offers resources on identifying the health hazards associated with occupational exposure to crystalline silica and possible solutions for those hazards.

OSHA Seeking Nominations for NACOSH
    OSHA is seeking nominations for candidates to serve on the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH). NACOSH members advise the Secretaries of Labor and Health and Human Services on matters relating to the administration of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Nominations are being accepted to fill vacancies for two public representatives, one management representative, one safety representative, and one health representative. Details for the nomination procedure are in the Jan. 30, 2008, Federal Register. Nominations must be submitted by Feb. 29, 2008.

Maritime Industry Safety and Health Training Opportunity
     Employers can help to ensure their employees' safety in the workplace by fine-tuning their skills through the new OSHA #5400 Trainer Course in Occupational Safety and Health Standards for the Maritime Industry. This targeted Outreach Training Program course is designed for individuals interested in becoming trainers and teaching the 10- and 30-hour Maritime safety and health outreach program to their employees and other interested groups. The course is taught by OSHA Training Institute Education Center instructors from the West Virginia University National Resource Center, and will be held Feb. 18-21 at the Drydock Club (Building 1461) at the Norfolk, Va., Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth. For more information or to register, contact 304-293-3089.

OSHA to Showcase Its Exhibit at ABC and CONEXPO-CON/AGG® Expositions
     OSHA will host an exhibit with compliance assistance and other informative materials for attendees at the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) National Convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico, March 6-7, 2008. This event features educational seminars and networking opportunities for those in the construction industry. OSHA will also showcase its exhibit at the CONEXPO-CON/AGG® Exposition in Las Vegas, Nev., March 11-14. This forum offers a comprehensive educational program with sessions focusing on construction industry issues, trends, management, and applied technology.

Latest Alliance Program Activity
    National Office: The engineering and construction industries will benefit from an alliance renewed between OSHA and the Washington Division of URS Corporation. The goal is to continue focusing on accident prevention, particularly in the areas of cranes and rigging, hearing protection and ergonomics.

Voluntary Protection Programs Update
    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 OSHA’s cooperative program can help protect employees and reduce workers' compensation costs.

Most Recent “SHARP” Certifications
    Visit OSHA's "Who's Newly SHARP" Web page to see the latest 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.

More Event Information Posted to Web Site
    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
    Natural disasters often come fast and furiously. Such was the case when a cluster of tornadoes recently swept through five Southern states. Their aftermath left widespread property damage, and injuries and fatalities to dozens of area residents. As a result of events such as these, emergency responders are tasked with cleanup and recovery efforts and helping those who have been hurt and displaced. Downed electrical wires are a common hazard after disasters, so OSHA offers the following tips to help employers and employees stay safe and healthy during cleanup and recovery operations.
  • Do not assume a downed conductor is safe just because it is on the ground or is not sparking.
  • Low-hanging wires may still be live, so do not touch them.
  • Never drive over downed power lines. Assume that they are still energized.
  • Presume that all equipment, power lines and conductors are live; if you see downed lines or damaged electrical equipment, contact appropriate utility personnel.

  •     OSHA's Downed Electrical Wires fact sheet and Electrical Safety QuickCard™ (English/Spanish) are resources that offer more recommendations on how employers can help employees stay safe and healthy at work and prevent workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities. Visit OSHA's Hurricane Recovery page on OSHA's Web site for more informational materials focusing on safety and health hazards that may impact employers and employees involved in the continuing cleanup and recovery operations from the twisters. Look for more "QuickTips" on another occupational safety and health topic in your next issue.

    Editors: Elaine Fraser & Kimberly Tucker, OSHA Office of Communications, 202-693-1999