June 15, 2007 · Volume 6, Issue 12
A twice monthly 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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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 Launches National Emphasis Program on Petroleum Refineries
OSHA Defines "On Site in One Location" for Process Safety Management Standard
OSHA Proposes to Update Mechanical Power Press Safety Standard
New Local Emphasis Program Targets Residential Construction
Compliance Officer Protects Employees from Trench Collapse
Strategic Partnership Program Activity
Alliance Program News
Latest "SHARP" Certifications
Voluntary Protection Programs Update
"QuickTips" from QuickTakes

OSHA Launches National Emphasis Program on Petroleum Refineries
    OSHA recently published a new directive on implementing a National Emphasis Program to help reduce or eliminate workplace hazards associated with the release of highly hazardous chemicals at petroleum refineries. The instruction provides guidance to OSHA national, regional and area offices, and to those state programs which choose to implement a similar program. OSHA's Process Safety Management Safety and Health Topics page offers resources for improving workplace safety and health in the refining and chemical industries.

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OSHA Defines "On Site in One Location" for Process Safety Management Standard
    OSHA recently issued its explanation of "on site in one location" in the "Application" section of the Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals standard. This interpretation simply means that the standard applies when a threshold quantity of a highly hazardous chemical (HHC) exists within an area under the control of an employer or group of affiliated employers. It also applies to any group of vessels that are interconnected, or in separate vessels that are close enough in proximity that the HHC could be involved in a potential catastrophic release. Details are available in the June 7 Federal Register.

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OSHA Proposes to Update Mechanical Power Press Safety Standard
   OSHA published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking in the June 4 Federal Register to revise the general industry mechanical power press standard. OSHA is seeking comments regarding whether and how the standard should be amended. Comments must be submitted by Aug. 3. See the Federal Register notice for complete instructions on submitting comments.

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New Local Emphasis Program Targets Residential Construction
    OSHA's Methuen and Springfield, Mass., area offices recently launched a new Local Emphasis Program (LEP) focusing on the reduction of workplace hazards associated with residential construction. LEPs are intended to address hazards or industries that pose particular risks to employees within an OSHA regional or area office jurisdiction. The goal of this LEP will help to reduce the overall rate of workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities through outreach activities and targeted inspections.

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Compliance Officer Protects Employees from Trench Collapse
    On June 7, while driving through Madison, Wis., Compliance Safety and Health Officer (CSHO) Chad Greenwood of OSHA's Madison area office observed work being performed at an excavation site. The CSHO saw a potentially unsafe trench and stopped to initiate an inspection. When the trench conditions were closely examined, the trench was found to be unsupported and unstable. The CSHO warned the foreman that no one should enter the trench. The contractor had been preparing to place an inlet box for a storm sewer. During the opening conference with the employer, a portion of the trench wall collapsed. Luckily, no one was hurt because of the CSHO's quick actions. OSHA's Working Safely in Trenches QuickCard® (English/Spanish) offers tips to employers and employees on improving workplace safety and health while working in trenches.

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Strategic Partnership Program Activity
    This month, three strategic partnerships were signed with OSHA aimed at protecting the safety and health of employees in the construction industry. The first is between OSHA's Baltimore/Washington area office and Corman Construction Inc. on the restoration of a bridge. The second is among OSHA's Providence, R.I., area office, Skanska USA Building Inc., and the Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council on an airport terminal improvement project. The third is among OSHA's New York region, Tishman Construction, New York Labor Department's On-Site Safety Consultation Program, Building and Construction Trades Council, Building Trades Employers Association, and the General Contractors Association of New York Inc. on the construction of the new Goldman Sachs headquarters.

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Alliance Program News
    National Office: This month, OSHA renewed its alliance with the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses. The alliance, which has been in effect since 2003, addresses safety and health issues such as workplace violence, musculoskeletal disorders, bloodborne pathogens, and personal protective equipment. OSHA also extended its alliance with the National Association of Home Builders to continue providing access to resources dealing with protecting the safety and health of employees working in residential construction. Region I: OSHA's Hartford, Conn., area office formed a new alliance with the Home Builders Association of Hartford County, Inc. and the Connecticut Department of Labor's Division of Occupational Safety and Health to reduce hazards and enhance safety and health in residential construction.

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Latest "SHARP" Certifications
    Visit OSHA's "Who's Newly SHARP" Web page to see the latest list of companies recently certified as Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) sites. The SHARP program recognizes small employers who operate an exemplary safety and health management system.

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Voluntary Protection Programs Update
    Visit "recent approvals" on the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) page of OSHA's Web site to see a list of employers recently approved for new or continued participation in VPP. We encourage you to examine the entire VPP site to learn more about how OSHA's premier cooperative program can help protect employees and lower workers' compensation costs.

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"QuickTips" from QuickTakes
    Summer is quickly approaching and, in many areas of the country, hot weather is already upon us. With warmer temperatures, employees working outdoors should be especially careful of the sun, heat and other hazards brought on by the summer climate. To reduce the risk of heat stress, OSHA recommends that employees:
  • Know symptoms, including headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting;
  • Block out direct sun and other heat sources;
  • Use cooling fans/air-conditioning; rest regularly;
  • Wear a wide-brim hat, cap or bandana, and sunglasses that block UV rays; and
  • Drink plenty of cool water, about a cup every 15 minutes.

  •     OSHA resources, such as the Heat Stress QuickCard® (English) and Protecting Yourself in the Sun pocket card (English/Spanish), offer additional tips for employers and employees on preventing injury and illness while working in hot weather. Look for more safety and health "QuickTips" in your next issue.

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