June 1, 2003 Volume 2, Issue 11
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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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
Whistleblower Provisions under Sarbanes-Oxley Act Published
Semiannual Regulatory Agenda Published
OSHA Seeks Proposals for $7.8 Million in Safety and Health Training Grants
Job Safety & Health Quarterly -- Spring 2003
OSHA Develops Safety and Health Page for Plastics Industry
Seminars to Assist Buffalo Area Small Businesses with Hazard Communication
Alliance in Western New York Targets Future Construction Workers
Voluntary Protection Program Activity
New Name, New Look... Same Reliable Source


Whistleblower Provisions under Sarbanes-Oxley Act Published
     OSHA is seeking comments from the public on an interim final rule that establishes procedures for handling whistleblower complaints under the Corporate and Criminal Fraud Accountability Act of 2002, also known as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The rule establishes procedures for the expeditious handling of discrimination complaints made by employees or by persons acting on their behalf. Included in the interim rule are procedures for submitting complaints under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, investigations, and issuance of findings and preliminary orders.

Semiannual Regulatory Agenda Published
     OSHA unveiled its regulatory priorities for the next year as part of the Department of Labor's unified agenda that was published in the Federal Register on May 27. The semiannual regulatory agenda outlines work on new standards, including hexavalent chromium, crystalline silica, noise in construction, and assigned protection factors for respirators. The agenda also signaled OSHA's intent to make changes in other areas, including plans to withdraw the proposed TB rule in September. Since 1993, when OSHA began considering a standard, TB cases have declined 43.5 percent - largely due to the success of CDC Guidelines.

OSHA Seeks Proposals for $7.8 Million in Safety and Health Training Grants
     OSHA is now accepting proposals for approximately $7.8 million in safety and health training grants to nonprofit organizations under the Agency's Susan Harwood Training Grants program. The grants target organizations that propose to educate workers and employers in small businesses; non-English speaking workers, and workers who are employed in high hazard industries and industries with high fatality rates. This year OSHA will award three categories of Harwood grants: Targeted Topic Training Grants will support training for hazards in construction, general industry, transportation, workplace violence, emergency preparedness and response, lead and silica exposure, and safety and health management systems for small businesses; Training Materials Development Grants will support the development, evaluation, and validation of training materials for the same eight areas as the targeted topic training grants; and, Ergonomics Guidelines Training Grants will support training based on the new industry-specific ergonomics guidelines in the nursing home industry, retail grocery stores, poultry processing, and shipyards.

Job Safety & Health Quarterly-Spring 2003
     The Spring 2003 issue of Job Safety and Health Quarterly features OSHA's new Strategic Management Plan and the agency's first set of ergonomics guidelines for nursing homes. The issue also includes success stories about ergonomics programs and stories about how two businesses--one large and one small--are demonstrating the value of safety and health. Look for the issue this month on the JSHQ page of OSHA's website or subscribe through the Government Printing Office.

OSHA Develops Safety and Health Page for Plastics Industry
     More than 1.5 million workers in the U.S. plastics industry stand to benefit from a new web page, OSHA Assistance for the Plastics Industry, unveiled today by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The new page is the product of OSHA's Alliance with the Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc. "This is a perfect example of how the Alliance Program can leverage resources to maximize worker safety and health protections," said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. The new web page features information about OSHA standards as well as safety and health concerns in the plastics industry. It also includes links to an interactive training program, various eTools, ergonomics Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for plastics processors, and a section on hazards and solutions that outlines procedures to identify and reduce workplace hazards.

Seminars to Assist Buffalo Area Small Businesses with Hazard Communication
     OSHA's Buffalo area is co-sponsoring a series of seminars in June to help small upstate New York employers ensure the safety of their employees using hazardous chemicals. The seminars will explain how small business owners can properly comply with the hazard communication standard and properly make hazard information available to their employees and to other employers who may be exposed to chemicals they use in the workplace. Each two-hour session will cover labeling of containers, material safety data sheets, information and training, hazards associated with non-routine tasks, and developing an adequate hazard communication program.

Alliance in Western New York Targets Future Construction Workers
     Promoting safe and healthful working conditions for future members of western New York's construction industry is the goal of a newly established alliance between OSHA's Buffalo area office and the Orchard Park-based Lehigh Construction Group, Inc. The alliance will train and educate the region's high school and college level construction students in construction hazards and the best practices companies have implemented to reduce those hazards. The training will both protect students' safety and health and raise their awareness of the value of safety in construction.

Voluntary Protection Program Activity
     The following companies were approved last month for new or continued participation in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP): Allegheny Energy Supply, Ft. Martin Power Station, Maidsville, WV (New Star); Valspar Corporation, Packaging Coatings Group (Pittsburgh Plant), Pittsburgh, PA (Cont. Star); Pfizer Global Manufacturing Operations, White Hall, IL (Cont. Star); and Frito-Lay, Inc., Gothenburg, NE (Cont. Star).

New Name, New Look Same Reliable Source
     OSHA's Office of Public Affairs is now the Office of Communications. QuickTakes has a new look too, in keeping with the agency's unified focus and direction. But you can still rely on two pages every two weeks to keep you abreast of useful, timely information about safety and health in America's workplaces.

Editor: Bill Wright; Assistant Editor: Frank Meilinger
OSHA Office of Communications, 202-693-1999