May 1, 2007 · Volume 6, Issue 9
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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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
Youth Job Safety Campaign Focuses on Construction
OSHA to Launch National Emphasis Program on Butter Flavorings Containing Diacetyl
OSHA Issues Proposed Rule on Explosives
New Safety and Health Information Bulletin Targets Needlestick Injuries
OSHA to Issue New Document on Portland Cement
Employers Encouraged to Participate in OSHA Challenge Program
OSHA and Colorado Contractors Association Raise Awareness About Highway Safety
Strategic Partnership Activity Update
Alliance Program Activity
Latest "SHARP" Certifications
"QuickTips" from QuickTakes

Youth Job Safety Campaign Focuses on Construction
    Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., and key construction industry stakeholders launched the agency's 2007 Teen Summer Job Safety Campaign during an April 17 event at Thomas Edison High School of Technology in Silver Spring, Md. Now in the second year of a five-year campaign, OSHA is striving to reduce work-related injuries among teenagers by teaching them on-the-job safety early in their careers. The multi-year project focuses on industries in which young people are likely to work during their high school and college years. This year's campaign focuses on construction. OSHA debuted its "Construction: Build a Safe Work Foundation" Web page featuring resources to educate young employees, parents, employers and educators about workplace safety. Video samples of construction safety tips, featuring demonstrations performed by high school students, are also available online.

OSHA to Launch National Emphasis Program on Butter Flavorings Containing Diacetyl
    OSHA announced it will launch a new National Emphasis Program aimed at addressing the health hazards and control measures associated with working in the microwave popcorn industry where butter flavorings containing diacetyl are used. The program will provide direction on inspection targeting procedures, methods of controlling the hazards, and compliance assistance.

OSHA Issues Proposed Rule on Explosives
   OSHA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the April 13 Federal Register to revise the Explosives and Blasting Agents standard. The agency is accepting public comments on the proposal until July 12, 2007. The proposed rule aims to enhance the protections provided to employees working in the manufacturing, storage, sale, transportation, handling, and use of explosives. Complete instructions on submitting written comments are available in the notice.

New Safety and Health Information Bulletin Targets Needlestick Injuries
    Use of Blunt-Tip Suture Needles to Decrease Percutaneous Injuries to Surgical Personnel is the focus of a new Safety and Health Information Bulletin (SHIB) published by OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The SHIB describes the hazards of sharp-tip suture needles and presents evidence of the effectiveness of blunt-tip needles in decreasing injuries. It also emphasizes OSHA's requirement to use appropriate, available and effective safer medical devices.

OSHA to Issue New Document on Portland Cement
    OSHA will issue a new document providing specific enforcement procedures for compliance officers to follow at construction sites where employees work with portland cement as a result of a hexavalent chromium standard settlement. Portland Cement Inspection Procedures will explain how existing OSHA standards and requirements (air contaminants, personal protective equipment, sanitation, hazard communication and recordkeeping) apply to operations involving portland cement and presents all of the applicable provisions in a single inspection checklist.

Employers Encouraged to Participate in OSHA Challenge Program
    OSHA invites companies looking for an effective tool to improve their safety and health management systems (SHMS) to consider OSHA's Challenge Program. The program is a three-stage roadmap to achieving recognition in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP)—the agency's premier recognition program for outstanding safety and health performance. Participants are provided with an online, easy-to-use gap analysis tool to compare the current status of their SHMS with the VPP requirements. On average, companies reduced their total recordable case incidence rate by 37 percent, and their days away, restricted, or transfer case incident rate by 31 percent after spending one year or more in the program. Twelve participants have graduated and four have achieved VPP "Star" status. Others are in the process of applying for VPP. For more information, contact OSHA's Office of Partnerships and Recognition at (202) 693-2213.

OSHA and Colorado Contractors Association Raise Awareness About Highway Safety
    OSHA's Denver Region and the Colorado Contractors Association recently teamed up to remind the public to be aware and careful of employees when driving through street and highway patching and paving work zones. Between 1995 and 2002, 844 people were killed while working at road construction sites. More than half of these fatalities were attributable to an employee being struck by a vehicle or mobile equipment. As part of their alliance, the two organizations plan to conduct several safety meetings throughout the state, beginning in June, to raise awareness about work zone hazards.

Strategic Partnership Activity Update
    Ensuring the safety and health of construction employees is the goal of three partnerships recently signed with OSHA. The first is between OSHA's Peoria, Ill., area office and the Home Builders Association of Greater St. Louis and Eastern Missouri. The second includes OSHA's Peoria, Ill., area office, the Illinois Onsite Safety and Health Consultation Program, and P.J. Hoerr, Inc. The third is between OSHA's Milwaukee area office and M.A. Mortenson Co.

Alliance Program Activity
    Region II: OSHA's Buffalo, N.Y., area office signed a new alliance with the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier to help provide safer and healthier workplaces for employees, and renewed another with the Lehigh Construction Group to teach construction safety to students in western New York vocational schools and colleges. Region V: Reducing exposure to bloodborne pathogen hazards and other hazards associated with medical facilities is the goal of an alliance formed by OSHA's Chicago North area office and the Lake County Medical Society.

Latest "SHARP" Certifications
    Visit OSHA's "Who's Newly SHARP" Web page to see the latest list of companies recently certified as Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) sites. The SHARP program recognizes small employers who operate an exemplary safety and health management system.

"QuickTips" from QuickTakes
    In observance of National Electrical Safety Month, OSHA is taking the opportunity to remind employers and employees about electrical hazards in the workplace and possible solutions for those hazards. Engineers, lineman, electricians, and others work directly with electricity, including overhead lines, cable harnesses, and circuit assemblies. Some immediate tips for avoiding burns and electrocution (death) on the job include:
  • Look for overhead power lines and buried power line indicators.
  • Stay at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines and assume they are energized.
  • De-energize and ground lines when working near them.
  • Use non-conductive wood or fiberglass ladders when working near power lines.

  •     OSHA has more resource information on potential electrical hazards and how to prevent them in its Electrical Safety and Health Topics Web page. Look for more safety and health "QuickTips" in the next issue.

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