June 15, 2005 · Volume 4, 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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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
OSHA Leaders Address ASSE Annual Conference and Exposition
OSHA Seeks Comments on Lead in Construction Standard
OSHA Proposes Revised Rule on Electric Power Transmission and Distribution Installations
OSHA Appoints New Director for Aurora, Ill., Area Office
Construction Advisory Committee Set to Meet This Month
Safety and Health Topics Page Focuses on Lumber and Building Material Dealer Industry
OSHA Offers Pocket Card on Fireworks Safety
OSHA Provides Tips for Working in Hot Weather
New York Region Co-Hosts Construction Safety Course in Spanish
Oklahoma, Montana Worksites in the VPP Spotlight
OSHA, Airline Group Renew National Alliance
OSHA Forms Multiple Regional Alliances
Voluntary Protection Programs Activity


OSHA Leaders Address ASSE Annual Conference and Exposition
    Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jonathan L. Snare told safety and health professionals in a speech June 13 that the agency is "headed in the right direction" as workplace injuries and Illnesses continue to decline. Snare spoke during a plenary session at the American Society of Safety Engineers' Professional Development Conference in New Orleans and challenged ASSE members to "work to build on successes that will continue to drive down on-the-job injuries, deaths and loss of life." OSHA's Deputy Assistant Secretary Steven Witt, and Paula White, the agency's head of Cooperative and State Programs, delivered presentations at the conference, as well.

OSHA Seeks Comments on Lead in Construction Standard
     OSHA is seeking comments on its lead in construction standard that requires testing for lead exposures, provisions to protect workers from exposure where lead is present, and medical monitoring of exposed workers. The agency is conducting its regulatory review of the lead in construction standard under Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act and Section 5 of Executive Order 12866 to determine if the standard is needed and if it should be amended. Interested parties must submit comments by Sept. 6, 2005. Details on the lead in construction standard are in the June 6 Federal Register.

OSHA Proposes Revised Rule on Electric Power Transmission and Distribution Installations
    OSHA today published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register to update the standard for the construction of electric power transmission and distribution installations to make it consistent with the recently revised general industry standard. The agency is accepting public comments on the proposal until Oct. 13, 2005. The proposed standard includes requirements relating to enclosed spaces, working near energized parts, grounding for employee protection, work on underground and overhead installations, work in substations, and other special conditions and equipment unique to the transmission and distribution of electrical energy. Complete instructions on submitting written comments, notices of intent to appear, hearing testimony, and documentary evidence are available in today's Notice.

OSHA Appoints New Director for Aurora, Ill., Area Office
    Kathy A. O'Connell, former assistant area director at Calument City, Ill., was recently named area director at OSHA's Aurora, Ill., office. As area director, she will be in charge of one of OSHA's three offices in the Chicago area and surrounding counties. She will be responsible for enforcing workplace safety and health standards and will work with labor and management to develop innovative approaches to eliminate workplace hazards.

Construction Advisory Committee Set to Meet This Month
   A full agenda awaits the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) when they meet in Washington, June 23-24. Following opening remarks by Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jonathan L. Snare, ACCSH members are scheduled to discuss trenching, construction standards, consideration of the draft direct final rule for roll-over protective structures, a report on the North Carolina tower erection standard, steel erection, and work group reports. Details are published in the June 2 Federal Register. ACCSH is a continuing advisory body of 15 members who provide advice and assistance in construction standards and policy matters to the Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA.

Safety and Health Topics Page Focuses on Lumber and Building Material Dealer Industry
   Workers and employees involved in the lumber and building material dealer industry will benefit from a new safety and health topics page debuted by OSHA this month. The page stems from an alliance formed between OSHA and the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association. It features information about OSHA standards for, and hazards present in, the lumber and building material dealer industry. The topics page also provides detailed information and links to related OSHA enforcement policies, such as directives and interpretation letters; various electronic assistance tools; and training courses related to the industry.

OSHA Offers Pocket Card on Fireworks Safety
    A new OSHA safety information pocket card, Fireworks Safety Tips, provides quick tips for retail fireworks sales and for display operators in the pyrotechnic industry. The cards were developed with the assistance of the American Pyrotechnics Association, an OSHA alliance program participant. The new card includes safety tips for retail fireworks sales on one side and lists safe practices for display operators on the other. The cards can be downloaded from OSHA's web site on the publications page or can be ordered by calling OSHA's publications office at (202) 693-1888.

OSHA Provides Tips for Working in Hot Weather
   To help employers and workers stay safe throughout the summer months, OSHA offers tips that can help prevent heat-related deaths, illnesses and injuries. Working Outdoors is an OSHA fact sheet that offers advice on ways to protect against exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV), precautions to take if working in extreme heat, and how to protect against Lyme Disease and West Nile Virus. The fact sheet also offers information links for teenagers working at summer jobs. OSHA's Heat Stress Card offers a quick reference about heat-related injuries, including warning signs, symptoms and early treatment. Available in English and Spanish, this laminated fold-up card is free to employers to distribute to their workers. Protecting Yourself Against Harmful Sunlight is a pocket card that explains how to perform self-examinations to detect early stages of skin cancer. The card, available in English and Spanish, also describes common physical features of skin cancer that can be caused by exposure to the sun. The publications can be downloaded from OSHA's web site on the publications page or can be ordered by calling OSHA's publications office at (202) 693-1888.

New York Region Co-Hosts Construction Safety Course in Spanish
   OSHA's Tarrytown, N.Y., Area Office, along with Orange & Rockland Utilities (O&R), is sponsoring a free, day-long Spanish-language course on construction safety and health in the workplace on June 18 at O&R's facility in Spring Valley, N.Y. The training focuses on fall protection, excavation safety, electrical hazards, scaffolds, ladders, hand and power tools, hazard communication, industrial hygiene, fire protection, and more. Call the New York Office at (845) 352-5073 for more information.

Oklahoma, Montana Worksites in the VPP Spotlight
     OSHA's Dallas region recognized Valero Refining Company as a Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) "Star" site during a June 14 ceremony. John Miles, OSHA regional administrator in Dallas, presented the award at the company's Ardmore, Okla., facility and saluted Valero's "excellence in effective safety and health management." Billings-based PPL Montana - J.E. Corette Steam Electric Station was also recognized for its safety and health management system. Dave DiTommaso, area director at OSHA's Denver Area Office, presented the VPP "Star" award to the company June 9, citing management's "commitment to continual improvement." The VPP "Star" program recognizes worksites that have implemented comprehensive and successful safety and health management systems, and has achieved injury and illness rates well below the industry's national average.

OSHA, Airline Group Renew National Alliance
     OSHA renewed an alliance with a group of 13 airlines and the International Air Transport Section of the National Safety Council to continue building on successes and further protect workers in the airline industry. The renewal calls for a continuing focus on ergonomics, particularly relating to the handling of passenger-checked baggage.

OSHA Forms Multiple Regional Alliances
     Region I: Signing on with OSHA's Springfield, Mass., Area Office was Hampden Contractors, an association of construction and construction-related contractors from western Massachusetts and northern Connecticut. The alliance will focus on developing training and education programs on reducing and preventing construction hazards, including falls, electrical, struck-by and caught in or between hazards. Region II: Improving job safety and health for employees at airports in San Juan, Puerto Rico is the goal of a new alliance between OSHA's Puerto Rico Area Office and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The agreement includes employee training on airport passenger screening and baggage handling issues, with an emphasis on reducing and preventing TSA workers' exposure to ergonomic, struck-by, crushed-in, electrical, and fall hazards. OSHA's Buffalo and Syracuse, N.Y., Area Offices joined forces with the University of Rochester's Department of Environmental Medicine's Finger Lakes Occupational Health Services to educate construction workers in New York's Finger Lakes region about the hazards of working with lead and silica on construction jobsites and possible solutions to those hazards. Region III: Safety in motor fleet and forklift operations is the focus of an agreement formed between OSHA's Wilmington, Del., Area Office and the Delaware Safety Council, Inc. The alliance aims to deliver training and educational programs on traffic safety and defensive driving specifically targeted to business and corporate fleet operations. Region V: A new alliance established between OSHA's Peoria, Ill., Area Office, the State of Illinois Onsite Safety and Health Consultation Program, and JULIE, Inc. (Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators) will help improve safe trenching operations in the state. Region VI: Furthering the safety and health of chemical and refinery workers is the goal of a new alliance between OSHA's Houston South Area Office and the Texas Chemical Council Environmental Health and Safety Seminar Committee.

Voluntary Protection Programs Activity
    The following companies were approved this month for new or continued participation in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP): Region II: General Electric Contractual Services, Linden Cogeneration Facility, Linden, N.J. (New Star) Region III: Calpine Corp., Ontelaunee Energy Ctr., Reading, Pa. (New Star) Region IV: Georgia Pacific Corp., Color Box Proprint Operations, Clyattville, Ga. (New Star), and Region V: Honeywell Sensing & Control, Galena, Ill. (New Merit).

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