OSHA Volume 2, Issue 9 May 1, 2003
QuickTakes

A bi-weekly e-news memo with information, updates and results
from OSHA about safety and health in America's workplaces.


In This Issue
Worker Memorial Day: Honoring and Remembering Fallen Workers
OSHA Publishes Tools to Aid in Emergency Evacuations
Ergonomics Committee Schedules Second Meeting
Limited Reopening of Two General Industry Rules Announced
Public Hearing Planned for Standards Improvement Project
Fall Protection Seminar Scheduled in Bridgeport, CT
Construction Alliance Kicks Off in Massachusetts
OSHA's Denver Region to Participate in Safety and Health Conference
Buffalo Area Office Offering Personal Protective Equipment Seminars
National Safety Council Recognizes Navy Command's Exemplary Safety Record
OSHA Strategic Partnership Program Activity

Worker Memorial Day: Honoring and Remembering Fallen Workers
     "On this day, we pause to recognize and remember those workers who lost their lives making a living, supporting their families and contributing to their communities," said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw in a statement commemorating Worker Memorial Day, April 28. Henshaw said that worker fatalities had been cut by more than 60 percent over the past 30 years and injury and illness rates had declined 40 percent during the same period. He also described some of OSHA's ongoing efforts to improve job safety and health, including Hispanic outreach, enhanced enforcement, construction partnerships, emergency preparedness planning, and a focus on toxic exposure and illness.

OSHA Publishes Tools to Aid in Emergency Evacuations
     OSHA has recently developed new tools to help employers plan for emergency response. The Evacuation Planning Matrix provides assistance to employers in reducing vulnerability to workplace emergencies. The matrix helps employers evaluate their existing plans or helps them construct new ones, and provides on-line resources to help develop emergency evacuation plans. OSHA also developed the Emergency Exit Routes fact sheet, a tool to aid employers and workers in safely evacuating workplaces during emergencies. The fact sheet complements the agency's standard on exit routes, and emergency action and fire prevention plans.

Ergonomics Committee Schedules Second Meeting
     The National Advisory Committee on Ergonomics (NACE) will convene for the second time during a two-day meeting in Washington, D.C., May 6-7. The meeting will continue discussion on OSHA's ergonomics program, which began at the first meeting in January, followed by detailed discussions in separate working groups on research, guidelines, and outreach and assistance. The meeting is open to the public and will be held at the Washington Court Hotel, at 525 New Jersey Avenue, NW.

Limited Reopening of Two General Industry Rules Announced
     OSHA announced May 1, a limited reopening of the rulemaking records for Walking and Working Surfaces, and fall protection provisions of the Personal Protective Equipment standard. Proposed revisions of the two standards were first published in 1990. The agency recognizes that technology has changed and industry practice has evolved over the past 13 years. OSHA is reopening the record to gather data and information on these advances and to invite public comment on specific issues concerning each proposal. Comments are due to OSHA no later than July 31, 2003.

Public Hearing Planned for Standards Improvement Project
     Responding to a number of interested parties, OSHA has scheduled an informal public hearing in Washington, D.C., July 8-9, to discuss the agency's proposed rule on the second phase of the Standards Improvement Project. The project addresses 40 provisions in 23 health standards for general industry, maritime and construction. The hearings will be held at the Department of Labor beginning at 10 a.m. on July 8, and 9 a.m. on July 9.

Fall Protection Seminar Scheduled in Bridgeport, CT
     A seminar on preventing potentially fatal falls is on tap for employers and workers in three Connecticut counties this month. OSHA's area office in Bridgeport is holding the free seminar to provide interested employers in Fairfield, New Haven and Middlesex counties with tools to help them identify and prevent fall hazards on the job. The training will be held at the Bridgeport Public Library's North Branch and Community Center on May 20 beginning at 1 p.m. For more information, call the Bridgeport OSHA office at (203) 579-5581.

Construction Alliance Kicks Off in Massachusetts
     OSHA's area offices in Braintree and Methuen, MA, have formed an Alliance with Washington Group International (WGI) focusing on accident prevention in the engineering and construction industry in eastern Massachusetts. The Alliance's concentration is in the areas of rigging, hearing protection, ergonomics, and respiratory protection. WGI provides engineering, construction, and program-management services to various markets.

OSHA's Denver Region to Participate in Safety and Health Conference
     OSHA's regional headquarters in Denver has joined with several Colorado associations and consultation and training organizations to present "Safety Fest of the West," a safety and health training conference and exhibition in the Mile High City, May 7-8. Safety Fest is being held in conjunction with the 2003 Rocky Mountain Industrial & Machine Tools Show. Numerous course offerings are available, including ergonomics, fall protection, respiratory hazards, scaffolding, trenching and excavating, confined spaces, recordkeeping, emergency preparedness, and more. Cost for the two-day conference is $35 per day. Registration is available by calling (800) 794-3706.

Buffalo Area Office Offering Personal Protective Equipment Seminars
     OSHA is continuing its Small Business Seminar Series in upstate New York by offering classes on personal protective equipment at six different locations this month. The seminars will help small business owners determine how best to assess workplace hazards and determine when personal protective equipment is necessary. Seminars will be held at Orchard Park and Lockport, NY, on May 1, Jamestown and Olean, NY, on May 8, and Batavia and Rochester, NY, on May 15. Contact the Buffalo area office at (716) 684-3891 for registration information.

National Safety Council Recognizes Navy Command's Exemplary Safety Record
     Fiscal Year 2002 proved a very safe year for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC), headquartered in the nation's capital. The command ended FY02 with no contractor fatalities-a major accomplishment considering that 42 million work hours worldwide were expended during the year. Chuck Hurley, the National Safety Council's vice president, presented the command an Award of Merit last month, calling the achievement an "extraordinary level of safety." NAVFAC manages the planning, design and construction of U.S. Navy shore facilities worldwide.

OSHA Strategic Partnership Program Activity
     Two OSHA area offices recently signed strategic partnerships with organizations to improve worker safety and health. The Corpus Christi, TX, office joined with the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) at Three Rivers, TX, and Local 4044 of the American Federation of Government Employees to strengthen the existing comprehensive safety and health program already in place at FCI. A major goal of that partnership is to reduce FCI's total injury and illness case rates by 10 percent annually. OSHA's Madison, WI, office has joined with Vogel Brothers Construction during the building of a high school in Deerfield, WI. The partnership is unique in that the job site will be used as a teaching aid for high school students in safety and health procedures. The Wisconsin Safety and Health Consultation Services also joined in the partnership.

Editor: Bill Wright, OSHA Office of Public Affairs, 202-693-1999


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