May 1, 2004 · Volume 3, Issue 9
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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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
Worker Memorial Day 2004
Ergonomics, Construction Committees Schedule May Meetings in Washington, D.C.
OSHA Approves Amendments to Alaska, Washington State Plans
New Safety and Health Bulletin Highlights Air-line Respirators
Airline Group and AIHA Renew Alliances with OSHA
Aloha State Businesses Recognized for Workplace Safety and Health Programs
Partnerships in Colorado, Illinois Continue to Hit the Mark
Safety Seminar for Spanish-Speaking Workforce Scheduled in New Jersey
Alliances Launched in Chicago, New York Regions
OSHA Administrator to Address New England Homeland Security Conference
Construction Partnership Signed in New York
New Fact Sheets Available on Important Topics
Voluntary Protection Program Activity


Worker Memorial Day 2004
     OSHA Administrator John Henshaw remembered workers who've lost their lives on the job saying that our tribute to them is best paid by working even harder to prevent workplace fatalities. "The ultimate right of every worker is to return home safely," he said in a statement April 27 commemorating Worker Memorial Day. "This day is set aside to not only commemorate the lives of those men and women who went to work one day and didn't come home, but to also remind us that our work isn't finished." Henshaw said that while workplace fatality rates in almost all categories were down in 2002, the agency must "continue to renew its commitment in helping the nation's workers and employers create and sustain a safe and healthful work environment."

Ergonomics, Construction Committees Schedule May Meetings in Washington, D.C.
     OSHA has scheduled three advisory meetings in the nation's capital this month. The National Advisory Committee on Ergonomics (NACE) will convene May 11-12 at the Holiday Inn on the Hill. NACE advises the OSHA Administrator on issues related to guidelines, research, and outreach and assistance on ergonomics-related injuries in the workplace. The Cranes and Derrick Negotiated Rulemaking Committee will meet at the Labor Department, May 4-7. The committee is chartered to function as a part of OSHA's rulemaking process to revise existing standards for cranes and derricks in construction. Finally, the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) will gather May 18-19 at the Labor Department to discuss various issues related to the protection of construction workers.

OSHA Approves Amendments to Alaska, Washington State Plans
    OSHA announced last month that it had reached agreement with Alaska and Washington to assume jurisdiction over Indian-owned establishments on Indian reservations or federal Trust lands in the state of Washington, as well as federally-owned native health care facilities and various military installations in Alaska. OSHA approved the changes to the plans April 19. The states of Washington and Alaska both operate their own occupational safety and health programs and will continue to retain other original jurisdictional responsibilities.

New Safety and Health Bulletin Highlights Air-line Respirators
    Preventing fatal accidents that can result from the improper use of air-line respirators is the subject of OSHA's latest Safety and Health Bulletin. Air-line respirators are typically used in painting, cleaning and abrasive blasting work environments. The bulletin includes discussion of five case histories in which workers died due to respirators being inadvertently connected to inert gas supplies. In addition to respiratory protection requirements, the bulletin provides recommendations to help employers and workers ensure proper procedures are followed when using air-line respirators.

Airline Group and AIHA Renew Alliances with OSHA
    OSHA renewed two Alliances last month, both highlighting ergonomic issues. A group of 13 airlines and the International Air Transport Section of the National Safety Council extended their Alliance on April 27, to continue addressing issues related to the safe handling of checked baggage. The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) also agreed to continue its cooperative efforts with OSHA for two additional years focusing on ergonomics, as well as hazard communication and emergency preparedness.

Aloha State Businesses Recognized for Workplace Safety and Health Programs
    OSHA recently joined with the state of Hawaii to recognize eight companies in the state for their excellent safety and health programs. Gov. Linda Lingle and OSHA Administrator John Henshaw congratulated three companies for achieving "Star" status in the Voluntary Protection Program, and five small businesses for receiving the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) credentials for exemplary safety and health management systems.

Partnerships in Colorado, Illinois Continue to Hit the Mark
    A partnership between Colorado's area offices and the Home Builders Association is reaping major benefits, including a 65 per cent reduction in recordable injuries and illnesses. The Colorado Region also reports that HBA almost doubled the number of workers trained since 2002 in safety procedures and nearly tripled the number of workers attending "tail-gate" training sessions presented in both English and Spanish. A one-year-old partnership between the Chicago region and Life Services Network and the LSN Trust is assuring that safety and health issues regarding Illinois' nursing home industry are being addressed. The region recently participated in a nursing home seminar in Chicago attended by more than 1,000 people. During the seminar, Mike Connors, OSHA's Administrator in Chicago, presented an award to a Naperville, IL retirement home for the successful development of a video and workbook on furthering workplace safety and health in long-term care facilities.

Safety Seminar for Spanish-Speaking Workforce Scheduled in New Jersey
    OSHA's New Jersey offices are teaming up with the American Society of Safety Engineers to present a seminar on reducing injuries and fatalities among the Hispanic population. The seminar, "Effective Safety and Health Management Techniques for a Spanish Speaking Workforce," will be held May 6 at the PSEG Power LLC Generation Support Center in South Plainfield, NJ, and will concentrate on various occupational hazards including falls, electrocutions, and excavation cave-ins. For more information, contact Mary Bell at (908) 289-8139.

Alliances Launched in Chicago, New York Regions
    OSHA's area offices throughout Wisconsin formed an Alliance last month with the state's Safety Consultation Bureau and three state logging associations to focus on safety and health issues in the logging industry. The agreement will focus on personal protective gear, noise control and equipment safety. Approximately 185 Transportation Security Administration (TSA) workers at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport are set to benefit from an Alliance formed last month between OSHA's Buffalo area office and the TSA. The agreement will focus training and awareness of hazards associated with baggage handling and passenger screening. The Buffalo office also launched an Alliance April 22 with the New York Small Business Development Centers to further safety and health excellence within western New York's small business community.

OSHA Administrator to Address New England Homeland Security Conference
    The Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT, is the site of the second annual New England Homeland Security Conference, May 27. Assistant Secretary of Labor John Henshaw will deliver the keynote address. The conference is a collaborative effort between OSHA, the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Coast Guard and the New England OSHA Training Institute and Education Center at Keene State College. Registration information is available online or by calling 800-449-OSHA (6742).

Construction Partnership Signed in New York
    The safety and health of workers at a Manhattan construction site is the focus of a new partnership between OSHA's Manhattan office and contractor Structure Tone, Inc. The company is the general contractor for a new retail, office and residential project on Lexington Avenue. Joining in the partnership is the Building and Construction Trades Council and the New York State Department of Labor's On-Site Consultation Program.

New Fact Sheets Available on Important Topics
    OSHA recently added seven new items to its ongoing series of fact sheets on various safety and health topics. The new additions include: Planning and Responding to Workplace Emergencies; The OSHA Consultation Program; OSHA Requirements When a Worker Experiences a Job-Related Injury or Illness; Voluntary Protection Programs; The OSHA Alliance Program; State Job Safety and Health Programs; and Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response.

Voluntary Protection Program Activity
    The following companies were recently approved for new or continued participation in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program (VPP): Region III: Noramco, Inc., Wilmington, DE (Merit to Star) Region IV: Monsanto, Augusta Animal Agricultural Sector, Augusta, GA (New Star); Spring Industries, Inc., Hartwell Yarn Plant, Hartwell, GA (Merit to Star); Sony Magnetic Products, Inc., Dothan, AL (Merit to Star); Specialty Minerals, Inc., Cantonment, FL (New Star); USG Interiors, Inc., Cartersville, GA (New Star); Milliken & Co., Valway Complex, LaGrange, GA (Cont. Star); Smurfit-Stone, Inc., Stone Mountain, GA (Return to Star), and Region V: Avery Dennison, Cleveland Films Facility, Mentor, OH (New Star).

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