March 15, 2009 · Volume 8, Issue 6
QuickTakes QuickTakes
A twice monthly e-news memo with information, updates, and results from OSHA about safety and health in America's workplaces.

In This Issue

OSHA employee authors fire safety article
Maritime committee will discuss goals and review accomplishments at March meeting
Quick action by OSHA inspector helps avert employee injuries in trench collapse
College offers bilingual forklift training
Conference plays role in strengthening ties with oil and gas industry to improve job safety and health
OTI education center offers four new certificate programs
Forum examines effect of national emphasis programs on small businesses
OSHA's presence helps raise awareness about safety and health on the job
More workplaces earn Voluntary Protection Programs recognition
Additional conference information is posted to OSHA's events page
"QuickTips:" Summer hiring season is fast approaching for teens

OSHA employee authors fire safety article

Construction fire safety is the focus of an article authored by OSHA's Mat Chibbaro, P.E., in the winter 2009 edition of Fire Protection Engineering magazine. Chibbaro examines the protection and prevention features of different construction phases, and describes how the fire protection engineer can play a role in efficiently and effectively implementing these features. Many of the same concepts are useful for construction companies, building officials, compliance officers and fire officials.

Maritime committee will discuss goals and review accomplishments at March meeting

The Maritime Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health will hold an open meeting at the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington March 24 beginning at 8:30 a.m. Details are in the March 9 Federal Register.

Quick action by OSHA inspector helps avert employee injuries in trench collapse

When a compliance safety and health officer (CSHO) from OSHA's Calumet City, Ill., Area Office arrived at a jobsite to conduct a trench inspection under the agency's national emphasis program, he observed an employee working in an unprotected 7-foot deep trench. Although the employee worked for a village public works department, the CSHO identified the hazards and the construction employer agreed to voluntarily remove the employee from the unsafe trench. As the employee began exiting the trench, the side wall collapsed and the water main the employee was working on erupted sending approximately 4 feet of water into the trench. Because OSHA had no jurisdiction, a referral was made to the State of Illinois Department of Labor for further investigation. Detailed information on excavation safety is available on OSHA's Web site at /SLTC/trenchingexcavation/index.html.

College offers bilingual forklift training

Chicago's Harry S. Truman College, an OSHA Susan Harwood Training Grant Program recipient, is offering a free, powered industrial truck refresher course in English/Spanish and English/Polish to employers and employees covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act. This training, based on 29 CFR 1910.178, incorporates best practices for employees with limited English proficiency. It can be conducted at a local company's worksite with a minimum of 10 participants who have experience driving forklifts. For more information, contact David Sanchez at 773-843-4405.

Conference plays role in strengthening ties with oil and gas industry to improve job safety and health

Federal OSHA, Region VI's OSHA Education Center at the University of Texas at Arlington, and leading oil and gas companies teamed to sponsor the December 2008 OSHA Oil and Gas Safety Conference: Exploration and Production in Houston. This inaugural event attracted nearly 800 participants representing companies from across the globe and helped foster a greater understanding of how industry and OSHA can work together to expand safe work practices. Click here for links to speaker presentations and announcements on future conference plans.

OTI education center offers four new certificate programs

The College of Southern Nevada OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Center launched four new certificate training programs on workplace safety and health, construction, general industry, and disaster site and emergency response and planning. The programs include OSHA courses such as #500 - Trainer Course in Occupational Safety and Health Standards for the Construction Industr, #7500 - Introduction to Safety and Health Management and #3010 - Excavation, Trenching and Soil Mechanics. For more information, visit www.csn.edu/dwedosha or call 1-877-651-OSHA.

Forum examines effect of national emphasis programs on small businesses

There is still time to register for OSHA's March 24 small business forum examining national emphasis programs and their effect on small businesses. The event is taking place from 10 a.m. to noon in Room C-5320 at the U.S. Labor Department in Washington. It is part of a small business series that fosters collaboration between the small business community and federal government entities on safety and health management issues. For more information or to register, contact Russell Jones at 202-693-2532 or jones.russell@dol.gov.

OSHA's presence helps raise awareness about safety and health on the job

Tower communication industry workplaces will continue to grow safer and more healthful everyday thanks to OSHA showcasing its exhibit and distributing compliance assistance and other informative materials on occupational safety and health to attendees at the recent National Association of Tower Erectors conference in Nashville, Tenn. OSHA also offered the 10-hour construction training course to industry stakeholders.

More workplaces earn Voluntary Protection Programs recognition

Visit "recent approvals" on the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) page of OSHA's Web site to view the newest list of employers approved for new or continued participation in VPP.

Additional conference information is posted to OSHA's events page

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

"QuickTips:" Summer hiring season is fast approaching for teens

In anticipation of the summer hiring season, OSHA revamped its Teen Workers Web page to improve access to more resources for teens, parents, employers and educators on workplace safety and health. Some of those resources include:

  • frequently asked questions for small businesses hiring young workers
  • links to information about common hazards teens typically encounter on the job
  • guidance on filing complaints with OSHA
  • training tools from previous Teen Summer Job Safety campaigns
  • video clips of teens demonstrating safe work practices in construction and landscaping

Visit OSHA's Web site for more information on how employers and employees can stay safe and healthy on the job. Look for more "QuickTips" on another occupational safety and health topic in your next issue.

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