April 1, 2008 · Volume 7, Issue 7
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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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
OSHA Assistant Secretary Testifies on Capitol Hill about Combustible Dust Hazards
Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program Reissued
OSHA Confirms Effective Date of Direct Final Rule on its Updated Standards
Success Story in OSHA's Region V
New Webinar Focuses on Personal Protective Equipment
Alliance Program Update
More Information Posted on Events Web Page
"QuickTips" from QuickTakes


OSHA Assistant Secretary Testifies on Capitol Hill about Combustible Dust Hazards
Assistant Secretary Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. recently testified before the House Education and Labor Committee to discuss OSHA's continuing efforts to protect employees from combustible dust hazards and investigate the cause of the Feb. 7 explosion at the Imperial Sugar Refinery in Savannah, GA. "OSHA is intensifying its ongoing enforcement, education and outreach programs to ensure that employers and workers are doing everything they are supposed to be doing to protect against combustible dust," Foulke told the committee. He announced that OSHA has undertaken several initiatives to improve enforcement and outreach, and he urged employers and employees to review OSHA's new fact sheet and poster on combustible dust. In addition, he has issued a memorandum, along with OSHA's Safety and Health Information Bulletin on Combustible Dust, to OSHA's state plan administrators urging state-run occupational safety and health agencies to join OSHA in its focus on combustible dust hazards.

Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program Reissued
OSHA recently reissued its Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program (NEP) Instruction to increase enforcement activities and focus on specific industry groups that have experienced frequent or catastrophic combustible dust incidents. The purpose of this NEP is to inspect workplaces that create or handle combustible dusts, which can cause intense burning or other fire hazards when suspended in air, and possibly lead to explosions. Under this expanded NEP, each OSHA area office is expected to inspect at least four facilities each fiscal year.

OSHA Confirms Effective Date of Direct Final Rule on its Updated Standards
The effective date of OSHA's direct final rule on updated standards based on National Consensus Standards has been confirmed. The direct final rule, published in the Dec. 14, 2007, Federal Register was effective March 13, 2008. The rule updates standards such as 29 CFR part 1910, subpart H ("Hazardous Materials"), 29 CFR part 1910, subpart Q ("Welding, Cutting and Brazing"), and 29 CFR part 1910, subpart R ("Special Industries"). It also removes a reference to American Welding Society standard A3.0-1969 ("Terms and Definitions") and eliminates several references to consensus standards that duplicate or are comparable to other OSHA rules.

Success Story in OSHA's Region V
In March, an OSHA inspection team from the Cleveland area office averted a potential hazard at a manufacturing facility when the compliance officer's carbon monoxide (CO) dosimeter sounded, indicating a high level of CO. The level of CO was at 226 parts per million (ppm). The OSHA 8-hour permissible exposure level is 50 ppm. It was determined that the sources of the CO were the forklifts and semitrucks idling just outside the facility's doors. The employer immediately evacuated the building and no injuries were reported.

New Webinar Focuses on Personal Protective Equipment
Employers have until May 15, 2008 to comply with OSHA's new Employer Payment for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) rule. To help clarify OSHA's PPE Standard, the National Safety Council (NSC) will host a Webinar on April 23, 2008 from 10 to 11 a.m. CST. Jim Maddux from OSHA's Directorate of Standards and Guidance will present a 60-minute interactive web-based seminar that explains the guidelines OSHA published in this regulation. In addition, he will answer questions on compliance with the PPE Standard during the live Q&A session. To register, visit http://www.nsc.org/webinars/042308.htm or call NSC Customer Service at 800-621-7615.

Alliance Program Update
Region II: OSHA's Syracuse area office and the Mohawk Valley Safety Professionals Consortium entered into an alliance to protect the safety and health of employees in Mohawk Valley and to develop effective safety and health management systems. Region III: A renewed alliance between OSHA's Wilmington area office and the Delmarva Safety Association will continue to develop training and educational programs on workplace safety and health issues specifically targeted to employers of Latino employees. Region V: Reducing injuries and illnesses and providing a safe work environment for employees in Ohio's Honda plants is the goal of a new alliance between OSHA and Honda of America Manufacturing Inc. Region VII: OSHA's alliance with Operation Excel/Youth Build (OEYB) will focus on enhancing the value of construction safety education and training to youth enrolled in OEYB's construction training programs.

More Information Posted on Events Web Page
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" from QuickTakes
Potential injuries, illnesses and fatalities may not always result from workplace equipment and materials. Employees who are impaired from the use of alcohol or drugs threaten the safety and well-being of everyone at their worksite. OSHA understands that a drug-free work environment can improve the safety and health of employees and add value to American businesses. In recognition of Alcohol Awareness Month, OSHA reminds employers to develop and implement a drug-free workplace program. The Agency works closely with the Department of Labor's Working Partners for an Alcohol- and Drug-Free Workplace program to raise awareness about the impact drugs and alcohol have on the workplace. Working Partners has collaborated with OSHA to develop a Safety and Health Topics Web Page addressing substance abuse. Through these programs and products, OSHA is committed to helping employers promote safe and healthy working conditions. For more information on this topic, visit OSHA's Web site. Turn to your next issue of QuickTakes for tips on another safety and health topic.

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