June 1, 2004 · Volume 3, 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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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
Ergonomics Guidelines for Retail Grocery Stores Announced
OSHA Launches New Voluntary Protection Program Pilots
Comment Period Extended for Hazard Communication Documents
Safety and Health Bulletin Published on Bar Straightening Machines
Dow Chemical Renews Alliance with OSHA
Important Information Available for Working Safely in Hot Weather
Construction Partnership Inked in New Jersey
Alliances Formed in Atlanta, Kansas City, Seattle Regions
OSHA Schedules MACOSH Meeting
OSHA Exhibits for June 2004
Voluntary Protection Program Activity


Ergonomics Guidelines for Retail Grocery Stores Announced
    The voluntary ergonomics guidelines for retail grocery stores was published by OSHA, May 28. OSHA Administrator John Henshaw announced the publication of Guidelines for Retail Grocery Stores saying they are "practical tools that have been shown to reduce work related injuries in retail stores." OSHA worked with trade associations, labor organizations and individual grocery stores to develop the guidelines which include a corrective actions section offering examples of solutions that have been successfully used to control exposure to ergonomic risk factors in grocery stores.

OSHA Launches New Voluntary Protection Program Pilots
     Two new initiatives in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program were announced May 26 that will expand the benefits of VPP participation to thousands more employers and workers across the nation. OSHA Challenge and VPP Corporate were launched by OSHA Administrator John Henshaw during ceremonies at the Labor Department in Washington, part of his goal to expand VPP to 8,000 sites. Fifteen companies and associations and the U.S. Postal Service will participate in the pilots which will be evaluated after one year. Currently there are over 1,000 sites throughout the country in VPP.

Comment Period Extended for Hazard Communication Documents
    OSHA has extended for an additional 30 days the opportunity for the public to comment on two draft guidance documents associated with the hazard communication initiative first announced in March. The documents are Guidance for Hazard Determination and Model Training Program for Hazard Communication. Comments are now due to OSHA not later than June 16.

Safety and Health Bulletin Published on Bar Straightening Machines
    Preventing worker injuries and fatalities caused by hand-fed bar straightening machines is the intent of OSHA's latest Safety and Health Bulletin published last month. Machines that straighten round bar stock can reach speeds in excess of 1200 RPMs. OSHA's Toledo, OH area office recently investigated a fatal incident involving such a machine. The bulletin not only reemphasizes the agency's machine guarding standard, but also provides recommendations that can help prevent employee exposure hazards associated with the machines.

Dow Chemical Renews Alliance with OSHA
    OSHA renewed for two additional years its Alliance with The Dow Chemical Company continuing the focus on process safety management (PSM), ergonomics issues, and improving overall workplace safety and health programs. Since the original Alliance was signed in January 2003, OSHA and Dow have presented workshops on the PSM standard and reactive chemicals and are developing the first section of OSHA's electronic assistance tool for ammonia refrigeration. Dow Chemical has also been working with the agency to develop case studies on ergonomics and motor vehicle safety. The ergonomics study is now available online.

Important Information Available for Working Safely in Hot Weather
    Protecting workers during the hot and humid weather of summer is the purpose of various OSHA publications available online. Protecting Yourself in the Sun is a revised pocket card highlighting the hazards, and prevention, of skin cancer. Working Outdoors is a fact sheet that focuses on protecting workers against heat, direct sun exposure, Lyme disease (from ticks), and illnesses associated with the West Nile Virus. It also provides several related links from OSHA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Finally, OSHA's Heat Stress Card (available in English) provides tips and precautions to help prevent heat-related deaths and injuries.

Construction Partnership Inked in New Jersey
    OSHA's Parsippany, NJ area office recently signed a partnership with contractor Slattery Skanska, Inc. to ensure the safety of health for construction workers at a vent shaft project in Weehawken, NJ. The project, which ultimately will improve ventilation in a commuter rail tunnel, encompasses more than 40 workers involved in demolition, excavation, transportation and disposal of contaminated materials, heavy rigging, structural steel work, and pipe and case welding.

Alliances Formed in Atlanta, Kansas City, Seattle Regions
    OSHA's Atlanta Region formed an Alliance last month to reduce safety hazards in the maritime industry. Joining with OSHA were the Gulf Coast Maritime Safety Association and the Physical Therapy Association's Alabama Chapter. Protecting workers in the lawn and landscape industry throughout Nebraska is the goal of an Alliance signed May 25 between OSHA's Kansas City Region and the Nebraska Golf Course Superintendent Association, Nebraska Professional Lawn Care Association and the Sports Turf Managers Association. Nebraska's Department of Labor-Workforce Development and the Department of Labor's Wage & Hour Division, also signed on to the agreement. A new agreement between OSHA's Seattle Region and the Seattle-based North Pacific Fishing Vessel Owners Association promises better workplace safety and health for workers in the fishing and fish-processing industry. The Alliance formalizes a long-standing relationship between OSHA and the Association to develop an industrial safety program for the factory trawler fleet.

OSHA Schedules MACOSH Meeting
    The Holiday Inn on the Hill in Washington, D.C., is the site for a two-day Maritime Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (MACOSH) meeting, beginning June 30. MACOSH deals with occupational safety and health issues for workers involved in shipbuilding, ship breaking, ship repair, and longshoring in the maritime industries. Details on the meeting were published in the May 14 Federal Register.

OSHA Exhibits for June 2004
    Representatives of OSHA's Office of Small Business Assistance will visit Dallas, June 3-5 to participate in the National Association for Woman Business Owners (NAWBO) 2004 Women's Business Conference. NAWBO recognizes contributions of women entrepreneurs and features opportunities for networking, leadership and business development. OSHA will provide an exhibit on workplace safety and health and also offer information on the agency's cooperative programs and compliance assistance activities. The agency will also exhibit at the following June events: American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) 2004 Professional Development Conference, Las Vegas, June 7-9; National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small Business Summit, in Washington, DC, June 16-18; and the SkillsUSA Techspo (Trade Show for Technical Education) in Kansas City, MO, June 22-24.

Voluntary Protection Program Activity
    The following companies were approved last month for new or continued participation in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program (VPP): Region I: Bellingham, MA (New Star); International Paper, Androscoggin Mill, Jay, ME (Cont. Star) Region II: Minolta Advance Technology Inc., Goshen, NY (Cont. Star) Region IV: Delta Airlines, Materials Management, Atlanta, GA (New Star) Region V: Century Construction, Erlanger, KY (Cont. Star Demo - Mobile Workforce - Ohio) Region VI: Frito-Lay, Arlington, TX (Merit to Star); Texas Genco, LP, Greens Bayou Plant, Houston, TX (New Star); Texas Genco, Limestone Electric Generating Station, Jewett, TX (Cont. Star) and Region VII: Amazon.com, Coffeyville, KS (New Star).

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