March 1, 2006 · Volume 5, Issue 5
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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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
OSHA Issues Final Standard on Hexavalent Chromium
OSHA Co-Hosts Safety and Health Conference for Construction Industry
Illinois Area Office Co-sponsors "OSHA Safety Day"
New Web Page on OSHA Challenge Pilot Program
Upcoming Speech by OSHA's Acting Assistant Secretary
Free Interactive Construction Safety Expo
Safety and Health Seminars to Benefit Illinois Small Businesses
National Alliance Renewed with NSRP
Voluntary Protection Programs Activity

OSHA Issues Final Standard on Hexavalent Chromium
    A final standard covering occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium in general industry, construction, and shipyards was published by OSHA in yesterday's Federal Register. The new standard lowers the agency's permissible exposure limit (PEL) for hexavalent chromium from 52 to 5 micrograms per cubic meter of air as an 8-hour time weighted average, and includes provisions for respiratory protection, personal protective equipment, recordkeeping, preferred methods for controlling exposure, and more. Hexavalent chromium compounds are most commonly used as a structural and anti-corrosive element in stainless steel, iron, and steel production, and in welding and painting, and have been associated with lung cancer and skin disorders.

OSHA Co-Hosts Safety and Health Conference for Construction Industry
    OSHA's Cleveland, Ohio, Area Office, along with Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C), is hosting a workplace safety and health conference on March 10 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Tri-C's Corporate College East facility in Warrensville Heights, Ohio. This event is the product of an OSHA alliance recently signed with Tri-C focusing on training, education and outreach for both construction and general industry employers and employees. The conference will offer breakout sessions featuring experts on OSHA's inspection process and multi-employer policy, health-related issues in construction, electrical safety, OSHA's cooperative programs, among others. Exhibitors will be on hand. Space is limited. For more information and to register, please contact Tri-C at (216) 987-3210.

Illinois Area Office Co-sponsors "OSHA Safety Day"
    Job safety is the focus of an "OSHA Safety Day" training conference on March 16 from 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove, Ill. The forum is co-sponsored by OSHA's North Aurora, Ill., Area Office, Waubonsee Community College, and the Illinois Onsite Consultation Program. It will cover safety for transportation, construction, machine safeguarding, and electrical operations. Advance registration is required. For conference information, contact Wynne Swedberg at (630) 906-4120, or online at wswedberg@waubonsee.edu.

New Web Page on OSHA Challenge Pilot Program
   OSHA recently unveiled a new Web page on the Challenge Pilot program under the agency's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP). The page features fact sheets, current statistics, applications, listings of administrators and participants, photos, and more. OSHA Challenge helps companies take a more proactive approach to safety and health by providing an online roadmap that guides them through the steps needed to meet VPP requirements.

Upcoming Speech by OSHA's Acting Assistant Secretary
   Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jonathan L. Snare is scheduled to address participants of the American Bar Association's Occupational Safety and Health Law Committee Midwinter Meeting in Santa Barbara, Calif., next week.

Free Interactive Construction Safety Expo
    A free conference focusing on safety and health issues for workers involved in construction is scheduled for March 23 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Florida Atlantic University, 1515 West Commercial Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. "Educating South Florida's Work Force," sponsored by OSHA, the Construction Association of South Florida, Florida Atlantic University, and South Florida Chapter of Associated General Contractors, will feature hands-on safety demonstrations, crane simulation, and more. To register, contact Joyce Salamone, Construction Association of South Florida, at (954) 565-5900. OSHA's Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Area Office contact is Vergie Bain, compliance assistance specialist, at (954) 424-0242, ext. 19.

Safety and Health Seminars to Benefit Illinois Small Businesses
   OSHA's North Aurora, Ill., Area Office is co-sponsoring a series of seminars to help Illinois employers reduce on-the-job injuries and illnesses. Each seminar will focus on a different subject such as recordkeeping, OSHA inspections, accident investigations, forklift safety and hazard communication. The dates are March, 8, April 12, May 10, June 14 and July 19. Each session will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Eigerlab, 605 Fulton Ave., Rockford, Ill. To register, contact Jey Flick at (815) 316-6367, or e-mail jflick@edge-ni.org.

National Alliance Renewed with NSRP
    OSHA renewed its alliance with the National Shipbuilding Research Program (NSRP) for an additional two years to continue focusing on promoting safer working conditions for shipbuilding and ship repair workers. The two organizations will continue to work together on increasing access to enhanced training and hazard identification and control programs.

Voluntary Protection Programs Activity
    The following companies were approved last month for new or continued participation in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP): Region I: United States Postal Service, Pawtucket Post Office, Pawtucket, R.I. (New Star) Region V: 3M Manufacturing Plant, Eau Claire, Wis. (New Star) Region VI: OxyVinyls LP, La Porte VCM Plant, LaPorte, Texas (Cont. Star); International Paper, Pulp and Paper Mill, Pine Bluff, Ark. (Cont. Star); Seadrift Coke LP, Port Lavaca, Texas (Cont. Star) Region VIII: Hunter Douglas Window Fashions, Broomfield, Colo. (Cont. Star) and Region X: Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc., Nampa Production Facility, Nampa, Idaho (New Star).

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