June 15, 2004 · Volume 3, 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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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
Hispanic Safety and Health Summit Scheduled Next Month in Orlando
OSHA Administrator Stresses Value in Safety and Health at ASSE Speech
Review of Mechanical Power Presses Standard Published
Safety and Health Bulletin Focuses on Concrete Beam Manufacturing
OSHA Forms Three New National Alliances
Stakeholder Meetings Set for Hearing Conservation for Construction Workers
Regional Alliances Formed in Seattle, New York
Arkansas' Residential Construction Industry Subject of Special Emphasis Programs
Voluntary Protection Program Activity
Finding a Suitable Cooperative Program for Your Business or Organization


Hispanic Safety and Health Summit Scheduled Next Month in Orlando
    Raising awareness about the safety and health issues impacting the nation's Hispanic workers is the foundation of the one-day Hispanic Safety and Health Summit scheduled for July 22 at the Airport Marriott Hotel in Orlando, FL. The event is sponsored by the Department of Labor, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Hispanic Alliance for Progress in partnership with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Approximately 500 people representing government, community and faith-based organizations, non-profits, industry, academia and organized labor are expected to attend. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao will deliver the keynote Administration address; OSHA Administrator John Henshaw will also address summit attendees.

OSHA Administrator Stresses Value in Safety and Health at ASSE Speech
     Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA John Henshaw told safety and health professionals in a speech June 8 that safer and more healthful work environments throughout the nation continues to improve but more work needs to be done. Henshaw delivered the keynote address at the American Society of Safety Engineers' Professional Development Conference in Las Vegas and re-emphasized the agency's focus on reducing injuries, illnesses and deaths on the job through strong, fair and effective enforcement, outreach, education and compliance assistance, and partnerships and cooperative programs. Henshaw, along with ASSE President James Kendrick, also used the conference to formally extend for two additional years an Alliance signed in December 2002.

Review of Mechanical Power Presses Standard Published
    OSHA announced this month that it would update its mechanical power presses standard to improve safety and productivity by permitting presence sensing device initiation (PSDI) without independent validation. The decision to update the standard comes as a result of OSHA's regulatory review of the standard announced in the June 8, 2004 Federal Register. A PSDI system is a light curtain or other sensing device that indicates when no hands or other objects are in a danger zone during mechanical power press operations. The system "senses" that no hazards are present and initiates the stroke of the press thus increasing speed of operation and improving productivity. OSHA plans to add the update of the standard to the regulatory agenda in the near future.

Safety and Health Bulletin Focuses on Concrete Beam Manufacturing
    Protecting workers from potential hazards of restraint devices during concrete beam manufacturing is the purpose of OSHA's newest Safety and Health Information Bulletin. The agency's Bismarck, ND area office investigated a fatal accident involving the failure of such a restraint device. The bulletin provides safety recommendations for employers who use strand restraint devices in the manufacture of the beams and also cites safety-related practices contained in the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute's Manual for Quality Control for Plants and Production of Structural Precast Concrete Products.

OSHA Forms Three New National Alliances
   OSHA established three new national Alliances this month with organizations dedicated to advancing occupational safety and health. On June 7, OSHA joined with the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association (NWPCA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to focus efforts on ergonomics, forklift safety hazards, and the use of pallet assembly equipment. The American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) signed on with OSHA June 9 to further workers' safety and health when working with commercial display and consumer fireworks. Finally, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) joined with the agency in a signing ceremony yesterday to highlight safety and health programs for small and independent businesses.

Stakeholder Meetings Set for Hearing Conservation for Construction Workers
    Two days of informal meetings are on tap next month in Herndon, VA for interested members of the public to participate in discussions on reducing noise exposures and hearing loss of workers in the construction industry. The Hyatt Dulles Hotel in Herndon is the location for the meetings scheduled July 21-22 beginning at 8:30 a.m. both days. The meetings are a continuation of the agency's information gathering process that began Aug. 5, 2002 when OSHA published an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to consider revising the construction noise standards. Details on the meeting were published in the June 7, 2004 Federal Register.

Regional Alliances Formed in Seattle, New York
    Emergency response safety and health programs at Fort Lewis, Washington, will be improved upon successful implementation of a regional Alliance signed earlier this month between OSHA's Seattle Region and the U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Lewis (FLWA) in the state of Washington. FLWA leaders and employees will receive training and education on ways to reduce and prevent workers' exposure to hazards during training and emergency response operations. An Alliance signed June 1 between OSHA's Tarrytown, NY area office and the Hispanic Resource Center of LarchmontóMamaroneck (HRC) opens the door for the development of Spanish-language training and educational programs on safety in general industry and construction for Hispanic workers throughout the entire Westchester County area.

Arkansas' Residential Construction Industry Subject of Special Emphasis Programs
    Reducing work-related fatalities, injuries and illnesses throughout Arkansas' residential construction industry is getting special emphasis this summer from OSHA's Dallas Region. OSHA's Little Rock area office has initiated a special emphasis program covering residential construction that will be implemented throughout the region. Regional Administrator John Miles says the program "will include an outreach component to better educate small employers." From October 1999 through July 2003, there were 458 construction-related fatalities in OSHA's Dallas region; approximately 13 percent involved residential work. OSHA, along with the Arkansas Home Builders Association and the Arkansas Contractors Licensing Board, is also providing training workshops this month throughout the state to focus on scaffolding, ladder and electrical safety and fall protection issues. Workshops are scheduled for Fayetteville (June 15), Mountain Home (June 16), Little Rock (June 17), West Memphis (June 18), and Jonesboro (June 22).

Voluntary Protection Program Activity
    The following companies were recently approved for new or continued participation in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program (VPP): Region I: Kanzaki Specialty Paper, Ware, MA (Return to Star); NBC 10 WJAR, Cranston, RI (New Merit) Region II: Homogeneous Metals, Inc., Clayville, NY (Cont. Star); Occidental Chemical Corporation, Niagara Falls, NY (Cont. Star); Lucent Technologies, Bell Labs Innovations, Whippany, NJ (Cont. Star); Deguss Corporation, Waterford, NY (Cont. Star) US Postal Service, Customer Service, Utica, NY (New Star) Region VI: Georgia Pacific, Fordyce, AR (New Star); Shaw Global Energy Services @ OxyVinyls, Battleground C/A, Pasadena TX (New Star); Shaw Global Energy Services @OxyVinyls Deer Park Caustic, Deer Park, TX (New Star); Shaw Global Energy Services @OxyVinyls Deer Park PVC, Deer Park, TX (New Star); Shaw Global Energy Services @OxyVinyls Deer Park VCM, Deer Park, TX (New Star); Shaw Global Energy Services @OxyVinyls LaPorte VCM, Deer Park, TX (New Star); Shaw Global Energy Services @OxyVinyls Pasadena PVC, Pasadena, TX (New Star) Region VIII: Integrity Windows & Doors, Fargo, ND (New Star), and Hamilton Sundstrand, Grand Junction, CO (New Star).

Finding a Suitable Cooperative Program for Your Business or Organization
   OSHA offers numerous avenues for businesses and organizations to establish a cooperative working relationship with the agency. The programs include Alliances, On-Site Consultation, Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP), Strategic Partnerships, and Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP). If you're interested in learning more about the programs and want to participate, but not sure which one is right for you, OSHA has simplified the process with an information page on its website to help steer you to the program best suited for your organization.

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