May 1, 2006 · Volume 5, 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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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 2006
Disclosure of Air Sampling Data Subject of FOIA Lawsuit
Workplaces with High Injury and Illness Rates Notified by OSHA
OSHA Proposes $2.4 Million in Penalties to BP
North American Occupational Safety & Health Week
Upcoming Speeches by the Assistant Secretary
New OSHA Handbooks Now Available
Registration Open for Midwest Emergency Preparedness and Response Conference
Fact Sheet Available for Hurricane Cleanup and Recovery Workers
Workers Removed From Construction Site Minutes Before Roof Collapse
Substance Abuse Issues Focus of Upcoming Webcast
Regional Partnership and Alliance Activity

Worker Memorial Day 2006
    "Our OSHA family honors the memory of those who have died on the job-and we honor them best with our continued pledge to help create and sustain safe and healthful work environments," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Edwin G. Foulke Jr. in a statement commemorating Worker Memorial Day, April 28. Since 1989, Worker Memorial Day has been observed on April 28-the day in 1971 when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was established-as a day of remembrance for workers who died or who have been injured on the job.

Disclosure of Air Sampling Data Subject of FOIA Lawsuit
    Employers whose establishments were subject to air sampling by OSHA since 1979 should be aware that the Department of Labor (DOL) is currently the subject of a lawsuit, filed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), compelling disclosure of the air sampling data. The release of that data could also include release of confidential commercial or trade secret information not previously disclosed to the public. DOL is making every attempt to notify employers who may be affected by this action. For more information, please review information published in the April 21, 2006, Federal Register. Additionally, a letter was sent to trade associations whose members may be affected.

Workplaces with High Injury and Illness Rates Notified by OSHA
   Approximately 14,000 employers received a letter last month from OSHA alerting them that their injury and illness rates are above average, and that the agency can offer assistance to help fix safety and health hazards. The notifications were based on data reported by approximately 80,000 employers surveyed by OSHA last year (the survey collected injury and illness data from calendar year 2004). OSHA Administrator Ed Foulke said the notification process is meant to raise awareness among employers and aid them in their efforts to "address the hazards and reduce occupational injuries and illnesses."

OSHA Proposes $2.4 Million in Penalties to BP
    BP Products North America Inc. was cited April 25 for 39 alleged safety and health violations- including 32 per-instance willful citations-as a result of an inspection initiated under OSHA's Enhanced Enforcement Program (EEP). OSHA's inspection revealed similar violations to those found during an investigation of the fatal explosion at BP's Texas City, Texas, refinery that claimed the lives of 15 people and injured more than 170 others. "It is extremely disappointing that BP Products failed to learn from the lessons of Texas City to assure their workers' safety and health," said OSHA Administrator Ed Foulke. "Our EEP exists for companies like this who, despite our enforcement and outreach efforts, ignore their obligations under the law and continually place their employees at risk."

North American Occupational Safety & Health Week
   A week dedicated to spotlighting young worker safety and health will kickoff May 1 in Washington, co-sponsored by OSHA and the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE). North American Occupational Safety & Health (NAOSH) Week is a joint venture with the United States, Canada and Mexico to raise awareness of occupational safety, health and environmental programs among employers, employees and the public. OSHA Administrator Ed Foulke will launch the event at 10 a.m. at the Department of Labor, featuring young worker safety and health materials, and a poster exhibit. Winners and their families of the ASSE kids' NAOSH "Safety-on-the-Job" poster contest will be on hand for the festivities. Special events will take place nationwide; for example, on May 3, OSHA's Dallas Area Office will co-host free training on construction electrical safety and effective safety stand-downs.

Upcoming Speeches by the Assistant Secretary
    OSHA Administrator Ed Foulke will address attendees at the Illinois Safety Council Expo, May 11 in Chicago. On May 12, he will return to Washington for the Small Business Administration Roundtable, and for the May 16 U.S. Chamber of Commerce Labor Relations Committee meeting. Foulke will deliver remarks at the American Industrial Hygiene Conference & Exposition (AIHce), May 17 in Chicago. (OSHA will host an exhibit with compliance assistance and informative materials for attendees at the AIHce.)

New OSHA Handbooks Now Available
    OSHA recently posted to its Web site two new handbooks. Best Practices for the Safe Use of Glutaraldehyde in Health Care helps employers and employees understand and control exposures to glutaraldehyde, a toxic chemical used to disinfect and clean heat-sensitive medical, surgical and dental equipment. Preventing Mold-Related Problems in the Indoor Workplace offers recommendations to owners, managers, and occupants on how to fix mold problems in buildings.

Registration Open for Midwest Emergency Preparedness and Response Conference
    Registration is still open for the Midwest Emergency Preparedness and Response Conference in Rockford, Ill., May 10-12. OSHA's Chicago Region is teaming up with the Winnebago County Local Emergency Planning Committee and other state and local agencies for this eighth annual event. The conference will feature demonstrations on radiation detection and decontamination, and offer emergency preparedness training opportunities including OSHA hazardous waste operations and emergency response refresher training, and Illinois Medical Emergency Response Team domestic preparedness specialty training. For more information, contact Jane Mordick at (815) 971-7081.

Fact Sheet Available for Hurricane Cleanup and Recovery Workers
    OSHA provided information to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the development of Cleaning Up Mold After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, a fact sheet designed to aid workers involved in cleanup and recovery operations along the U.S. Gulf Coast. The publication identifies the appropriate personal protective equipment and methods for cleaning up mold.

Workers Removed From Construction Site Minutes Before Roof Collapse
   Three workers were removed from a Cleveland-area construction project within minutes of a roof collapse on April 10 by OSHA Compliance Officer Joe Schwarz of OSHA's Cleveland Area Office and Medina County Building Inspector Art Verdoorn. In response to an anonymous complaint to both organizations, the men coincidentally made a surprise visit to the construction site of a preschool on Normandy Park Rd. The exterior walls were up and half the roof was on, but the structure was not braced properly. Some workers were on the high beams and some inside. The building inspector, with Schwarz's concurrence, issued a stop-work order, and ordered the workers removed just before the roof fell in and walls collapsed.

Substance Abuse Issues Focus of Upcoming Webcast
   The National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month Web site will premiere a Webcast on May 3 at 3 p.m. EDT exploring how unions can help their ranks effectively address substance abuse issues, especially those in industries most at risk. Titled "Helping the Labor Movement Embrace Recovery," the Webcast will feature four expert panelists, one of whom is a representative to DOL's Drug Free Workplace Alliance, a partnership that works to improve safety and health in the construction industry through substance abuse prevention and intervention. Union members, employers, employee assistance professionals, and others interested in worker health and wellness issues are encouraged to tune in. Following the premiere, the Webcast will be available through the site's archive.

Regional Partnership and Alliance Activity
    Employees working on the construction of the data center on Ridge Rd. in Dayton, N.J., will stand to benefit from a partnership formed between OSHA's New York Region, Structure Tone Inc., the Middlesex County Building and Construction Trades Council, and New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The goal is to establish and enforce a comprehensive safety and health management system for use by all contractors on the job site. Protecting the safety and health of workers in the construction industry is the focus of alliance renewals between OSHA's Chicago Region and Lake County Contractors Association and Greater Peoria Contractors and Suppliers Association. The Region also established a new alliance with the Wisconsin Occupational Therapists Association to develop training and education programs on injury prevention and rehabilitation.

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