OSHA, Printing/Graphics Arts Industries Establish Alliance on Ergonomics
OSHA Issues Rule to Record Hearing Loss, Proposes Delay on MSD Definition
Labor Secretary Announces YouthRules! Partners
OSHA Seeking Nominations for MACOSH
OSHA Signs Partnership for Soldier Field Renovation Project
Voluntary Protection Programs Begin 20th Anniversary Celebrations
OSHA joins with Builders Exchange to Reduce Injury and Illness Rates
Resources Available to Help Develop Drug-Free Workplaces
New NIOSH Director to Take Helm this Month
Declaring to work together to share best practices and technical knowledge on ergonomics, OSHA formally entered into an Alliance last month with the Printing Industries of America/Graphic Arts Technical Foundation and the Screenprinting & Graphic Imaging Association International. OSHA intends to establish similar Alliances designed to make information widely available and encourage individual companies to implement effective strategies to reduce work-related musculoskeletal disorders. If your organization would like to be part of an OSHA Alliance on ergonomics, please call Lee Anne Jillings at 202-693-2200 or Kim Bosgraaf at 202-693-2000.
OSHA is issuing a final rule establishing criteria for recording work-related hearing loss, and a notice soliciting comments to delay the recordkeeping rule's revision of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Beginning Jan. 1, 2003, employers will be required to record work-related hearing loss cases when an employee's hearing test shows a marked decrease in overall hearing. OSHA is simultaneously proposing a one-year delay (until Jan. 1, 2004) to include the requirement for recording hearing loss and MSD cases on the OSHA 300 Log. The agency is also seeking comments on its proposal to delay the MSD provisions of the recordkeeping rule until Jan. 1, 2004, in order to determine if a single MSD definition is useful for recordkeeping purposes.
YouthRules!, a new initiative to educate young workers, parents and employers about resources and protections available to young workers, was launched by the Labor Department in May. On June 25, Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao announced partner organizations that will work with the Department on the initiative. Partners in the program include national employer groups, trade associations, advocacy groups and state and federal government agencies. Employers involved in the partnership in the Washington, DC, area attended the event with some of their young employees.
OSHA announced June 21 that Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao intends to re-establish the charter of the Maritime Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (MACOSH). Based on the Secretary's intent, OSHA is soliciting new committee members. MACOSH members advise the OSHA Administrator on issues relating to occupational safety and health for workers in the shipbuilding, shipbreaking, ship repair, and longshoring industries. Nominations are due by Aug. 5, 2002.
The safety and health of construction workers at Soldier Field in Chicago is being enhanced thanks to a new partnership agreement between contractors, governmental agencies in Illinois and the U.S. Department of Labor. Deputy Secretary of Labor Cameron Findlay represented the department during the signing ceremony at the field, June 28. OSHA Administrator John Henshaw called the agreement "a major step forward to ensure the protection of the many workers who will be involved in this important project for Chicago."
OSHA will highlight two decades of the Voluntary Protection Program's (VPP) success beginning this month during 20th Anniversary celebrations of the program. The year-long celebration will applaud 20 years of VPP success by recognizing the contributions of OSHA and VPP personnel who have ensured the program's success. OSHA will raise the level of program awareness and highlight the program's benefits, including the value of safety and health management systems. OSHA is pleased to announce that the following two companies were approved last month for participation in VPP: Georgia Pacific, Sweetwater ToughRock Gypsum Facility, Sweetwater, TX (Cont. Star) and Provena Heritage Village, Kankakee, IL (New Star).
OSHA's Cleveland Area Office entered into a two-year Strategic Partnership with the Builders Exchange of East Central Ohio last month. The partnership encourages the 500-member association to increase the number of construction companies that implement aggressive safety and health training of their employees, decrease injuries, illnesses and fatalities of participating companies, and decrease workers' compensation costs.
The Department of Labor's Working Partners for an Alcohol- and Drug-Free Workplace program provides information on how to establish drug-free workplace programs to complement other initiatives that help ensure safe and healthful workplaces. Tools available include the Small Business Drug-Free Workplace Kit, Substance Abuse Information Database and Drug-Free Workplace Advisor. Working Partners also maintains directories of national, state and local resources that offer assistance for employers to maintain a drug-free workplace.
Dr. John Howard, head of California's occupational safety and health program - CalOSHA - has been tapped to take the reins of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) on July 15. Howard has served as chief of the Division of Occupational Safety and Health in the State of California's Department of Industrial Relations since September 1991. NIOSH conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related illnesses, injuries and deaths.
Editor: Bill Wright, OSHA Office of Public Affairs, 202-693-1999