July 1, 2008 · Volume 7, Issue 13
QuickTakes QuickTakes
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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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
NPGA Issues Safety Alert on Anhydrous Ammonia and Propane Cylinders
New OSHA Web Page on Flood and Tornado Cleanup and Recovery Operations
Heartland OTI Education Center Offers Safety Training in Indiana and Wisconsin
OSHA Challenge Administrators Meeting
INVISTA Forms Strategic Partnership with OSHA
10th Stateline Safety Workshop Slated for Janesville, Wis.
Alliance Program Activity
Strategic Partnership News
Latest "SHARP" Certifications
Upcoming Meetings and Conferences
"QuickTips" from QuickTakes

NPGA Issues Safety Alert on Anhydrous Ammonia and Propane Cylinders
    The National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) has issued a safety alert* that may impact employers and employees at propane cylinder exchange and filling stations, as well as response personnel involved in methamphetamine raids and cleanup operations. The alert addresses the hazards of cylinders used in meth labs to store and use anhydrous ammonia. When the cylinder's valve comes in contact with anhydrous ammonia, a "violent, unexpected expulsion of the valve" may occur, resulting in serious injury or death. Refer to the alert, or contact your local OSHA office for more information on properly handling and disposing of these cylinders.

New OSHA Web Page on Flood and Tornado Cleanup and Recovery Operations
    OSHA unveiled a new Web page showcasing free occupational safety and health information related to flood and tornado cleanup and recovery. The flood and tornado recovery page offers more than 40 fact sheets and easy-reference QuickCardsо in English and Spanish, along with links to other workplace safety- and health-related Web pages. These resources provide response and recovery crews with information about ways to recognize and avoid injury from cleanup and recovery hazards.

Heartland OTI Education Center Offers Safety Training in Indiana and Wisconsin
    The Heartland OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Center, a partnership between Indiana University and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, recently published its first class schedule. The center, which is the first in Indiana and Wisconsin and one of 26 in the country, offers OSHA's Outreach Training Program on construction and general industry standards. Classes will be held in locations throughout the two states, including Indianapolis, Bloomington and New Albany, Ind., and Oshkosh and Milwaukee, Wis. For a complete schedule of 2008 classes, visit http://www.indiana.edu/~hrtland/schedule.shtml.

OSHA Challenge Administrators Meeting
    OSHA hosted an OSHA Challenge meeting on June 19 focusing on data collection, documentation transition, administrator and coordinator recognition, and marketing strategies. Attendees included OSHA Challenge administrators, coordinators and participants, Regional OSHA Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) staff, State Plan State representatives, and OSHA National Office staff. Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., OSHA's assistant secretary, recognized Agrifos Fertilizer Inc. of Pasadena, Texas, and Trucco Construction of Powell, Ohio. These OSHA Challenge participants were acknowledged for developing and implementing exemplary safety and health management systems modeled on the rigorous standards of VPP.

INVISTA Forms Strategic Partnership with OSHA
    INVISTA, one of the world's largest integrated fibers and polymers businesses, signed a national Strategic Partnership agreement with OSHA. The signing ceremony took place at INVISTA's Victoria, Texas, manufacturing site on June 19 during a Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) Star recognition ceremony. This partnership was established to foster collaboration and share best practices on preventing and reducing injuries and illnesses, as well as strengthening the safety and health management systems at seven U.S. INVISTA sites: two in Delaware; two in Georgia; and three in Texas. OSHA Deputy Assistant Secretary Don Shalhoub spoke at the ceremony.

10th Stateline Safety Workshop Slated for Janesville, Wis.
    OSHA representatives are assisting in planning and organizing Wisconsin's Stateline Safety Workshop to be held Sept. 17, 2008, at the Holiday Inn Express in Janesville. The day-long event offers 75-minute courses on a variety of occupational safety and health topics, including safe electrical work practices, ergonomic design guidelines, and substance abuse. Click here for a downloadable brochure and registration form. For more information, contact Sally J. Smart at 608-757-4822.

Alliance Program Activity
    National Office: The OSHA and Safe Tank Alliance, whose members include the American Petroleum Institute, the National Fire Protection Association, and the Steel Tank Institute/Steel Plate Fabricators Association, was renewed with the goal of protecting the safety and health of employees in the petroleum industry. An alliance between OSHA and the American Society of Safety Engineers was also recently extended to continue addressing occupational safety and health issues related to ergonomic hazards, musculoskeletal disorders, and motor vehicle safety. Region V: Reducing injuries and worksite hazards for construction workers in the greater Toledo, Ohio, area are the objectives of a new alliance joining OSHA and the Greater Toledo Underground Damage Prevention Council.

Strategic Partnership News
    Region IV: Construction employees involved in the Springs at Effingham Apartments project in Rincon, Ga., will benefit from a new OSHA partnership with McShane Construction Co. and the Georgia Tech OSHA Consultation Program.

Latest "SHARP" Certifications
    Visit OSHA's "Who's Newly SHARP" Web page to see the most recent list of companies 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. For information on free safety and health evaluations for your small business, visit OSHA's On-site Consultation Program Web page to learn more about how this program can help protect employees and lower workers' compensation costs.

Upcoming Meetings and Conferences
    OSHA posted more safety- and health-related conference and meeting information to the events page on its Web site. Look for activities near you.

"QuickTips" from QuickTakes
     Summer thunderstorms often leave behind downed trees and branches, placing tree removal crews very much in demand. When power lines are involved, there can be a number of hazards inherent in tree trimming or removal of debris. Employees working to clear away trees should have an understanding of proper safety measures. Here are a few recommendations from OSHA:
  • Do not do any tree trimming or removal work within ten feet of a power line unless you are a trained line-clearance tree trimmer.
  • Do not trim or remove trees in hazardous weather conditions.
  • Only use heavy equipment, such as chain saws, if you have received proper training to operate it safely.
  • Determine the tree's falling direction before cutting it down.
     OSHA's Tree Trimming & Removal QuickCardо (English/Spanish) is a useful resource explaining some of the precautionary measures that employees should take to protect themselves when clearing away trees. OSHA's Safety and Health Topics Page for the Tree Care Industry also offers information for cleanup employees and others who work with trees to help prevent injuries at their worksites. Look for other "QuickTips" on occupational safety and health topics in your next issue of QuickTakes.

Editors: Elaine Fraser & Kimberly Tucker, OSHA Office of Communications, 202-693-1999

* Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF documents.