June 15, 2003 Volume 2, Issue 12
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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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
Poultry Processing Industry Draft Ergonomic Guidelines Out for Comment
Labor Department Launches Hispanic Worker Protection Program
Revision to Respiratory Protection Standards Proposed
National Hearing Conservation Association Aligns with OSHA
OSHA Announces Targeted Inspection Plan for 2003
OSHA to Launch Negotiated Rulemaking Committee for Cranes and Derricks
Nebraska Governor Highlights Construction Safety in Proclamation
OSHA Schedules NACOSH Meeting Next Month
Three Regional Partnerships Focus on Safety and Health in Construction
Alliances Established with OSHA Area Offices in Four Regions
Emergency Exit Routes Card Published
Health and Safety Plan Tool Available Online


Poultry Processing Industry Draft Ergonomics Guidelines Out for Comment
     OSHA published the draft ergonomic guidelines for the poultry processing industry on June 3, making the industry the third to receive guidelines that address musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace. The draft guidelines are based, in large part, on the agency's meatpacking guidelines published in 1990. Many stakeholders reported they had successfully implemented those earlier guidelines in numerous poultry processing facilities, and OSHA Administrator John Henshaw said that the new guidelines "will bring even more useful and practical information to employers in the industry." Interested parties have until Aug. 4, 2003, to comment on the draft guidelines. (Henshaw unveiled the guidelines during a speech at the 2003 Safety Workshop for the Poultry Industry in Savannah, GA, on June 4.)

Labor Department Launches Hispanic Worker Protection Program
     Working with the Mexican and Salvadoran Consulates in Dallas and other organizations, the Department of Labor launched the Justice and Equality in the Workplace Program in Dallas, June 10. The program will help educate workers on their rights and responsibilities and provide avenues for non-English speaking workers to report violations of laws enforced by various Labor Department agencies and offices, including OSHA, the Wage and Hour Division, and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance.

Revision to Respiratory Protection Standards Proposed
     The Occupational Safety and Health Administration would like to hear from interested persons regarding two issues in the agency's Respiratory Protection Standard. OSHA is proposing to amend the standard to include a new fit-testing protocol and incorporate new Assigned Protection Factors for respiratory programs. Comments are due to OSHA by Sept. 4, 2003.

National Hearing Conservation Association Aligns with OSHA
     The prevention of noise-induced hearing loss is the focus of OSHA's latest national Alliance signed June 2 with the National Hearing Conservation Association. The collaborative relationship is geared to preventing hearing loss caused by exposure to industrial and construction-related noise and other environmental factors in the workplace.

OSHA Announces Targeted Inspection Plan for 2003
     About 3,200 high-hazard worksites will be targeted for inspection under OSHA's Site Specific Targeting Program for 2003. This year's program begins June 16 and will initially target those sites that reported a lost workday injury and illness rate (LWDII) of 14.0 or higher and, for the first time, sites that have a days away from work injury and illness (DAFWII) rate of 9 or higher. The program stems from OSHA's Data Initiative for 2002 that surveyed approximately 95,000 employers to attain injury and illness data for 2001.

OSHA to Launch Negotiated Rulemaking Committee for Cranes and Derricks
     OSHA wants to develop a new construction safety standard for cranes and derricks and announced June 12 that it will establish a negotiated rulemaking committee to help develop a proposed rule. The agency announced in February it would go forward with a negotiated rulemaking process to update the standard. Through negotiation, a committee composed of persons that could significantly be affected by the rule will develop a proposed revision that will address changes in technology and work processes.

Nebraska Governor Highlights Construction Safety in Proclamation
     June has been proclaimed "Focus on Fall and Electrocution Safety Month" in Nebraska by Governor Mike Johanns. The proclamation was geared for the state's construction industry, and encourages voluntary compliance with OSHA's construction safety standards by the state's employers and workers.

OSHA Schedules NACOSH Meeting Next Month
     The National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH) is set to meet in Washington, D.C., July 9-10 at the Labor Department Building. Discussion will center on OSHA and NIOSH activities, as well as the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory, Hispanic and Immigrant Workers, and OSHA's Evaluation Targeting Program.

Three Regional Partnerships Focus on Safety and Health in Construction
     OSHA's Area Office in St. Louis joined forces last month with the Mason Contractors' Association of St. Louis and the Eastern Missouri Laborers' District Council to help contractors develop new or improved workplace safety and health programs. Area Offices in Eau Claire and Madison, WI, signed partnerships last month with Market & Johnson, Inc., and Cullen/Smith LLC, respectively, covering projects involving the Barron County Courthouse Project in Barron, WI, and the renovation of the University of Wisconsin's football stadium in Madison.

Alliances Established with OSHA Area Offices in Four Regions
     Six area offices in OSHA's Boston, New York, Atlanta and Dallas regions have established local Alliances with various associations and organizations to continue the advancement of safety and health in the workplace. Offices in Syracuse and Buffalo, NY, are working with the Rochester Business Alliance to foster better workplace safety and health for workers in the Rochester region. The Braintree, MA and Providence, RI, area offices inked an alliance with the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office in Providence to focus on maritime worksites in southeastern Massachusetts and throughout Rhode Island. Workers at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems facilities in Pascagoula and Gulfport, MS, and New Orleans and Tallulah, LA, will reap the benefits of an alliance signed with the agency's Jackson, MI, and Baton Rouge, LA, area offices, while the Jackson office joined in a separate agreement with the Electric Power Associations of Mississippi to focus on reducing and preventing worker exposure to electrical transmission and distribution hazards.

Emergency Exit Routes Card Published
     A pocket card that includes valuable information to aid workers and employers in safely evacuating workplaces during emergencies is now available on OSHA's website. The card complements the emergency exit routes fact sheet published in April, and includes brief descriptions of both design and construction requirements and necessary safety features.

Health and Safety Plan Tool Available Online
     OSHA and the Environmental Protection Agency have jointly developed an online Health and Safety Plan Guide for hazardous waste site operations. The plan includes ten chapters on various issues, including medical surveillance, spill containment, emergency response, confined spaces, decontamination, site control, and more.

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