July 15, 2004 · Volume 3, Issue 14
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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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 Lifts Temporary Suspension of Respiratory Protection Rule Enforcement
Crane and Derrick Negotiated Rulemaking Committee Reach Consensus
VPP Partnership Established with Ireland, Northern Ireland
Hispanic Safety and Health Summit Set for Orlando
Comment Periods Open on Personal Protective Equipment, Targeted Inspection Program
OSHA Renews Alliance with American Meat Institute, Welcomes Steel Group
OSHA Reopens Portion of Steel Erection Rulemaking Record
Renewed Focus on Safety and Health Guidance for Avian Flu
New Electronic Assistance Tool Focuses on Ammonia Refrigeration
NIOSH Produces Workplace Violence DVD
Kansas City Region Spotlights VPP Worksites
OSHA Strategic Partnership Program News
Voluntary Protection Programs Activity
OSHA Certifies Newest "SHARP" Companies


OSHA Lifts Temporary Suspension of Respiratory Protection Rule Enforcement
    On July 1, OSHA lifted the temporary suspension of enforcing new provisions of the respiratory protection standard for establishments required to provide respirators for protection from potential exposure to tuberculosis. The agency announced a six-month phase-in period in January to allow affected employers time to comply with the additional requirements, including revising respiratory protection programs, conducting annual respiratory fit testing, and performing a medical evaluation and annual training for employers using respirators. OSHA will provide compliance assistance to help health care facilities and others comply with the requirements.

Crane and Derrick Negotiated Rulemaking Committee Reach Consensus
     Calling it a "significant step forward in protecting the thousands of workers who operate and work around cranes," OSHA Administrator John Henshaw lauded the work of the agency’s Crane and Derrick Negotiated Rulemaking Committee (C-DAC) when they reached consensus July 9 on draft language for a revised cranes and derricks standard in construction. Crane operator certification was one of many key provisions agreed to by the committee. C-DAC was established in June 2003 as part of the agency’s rulemaking process to revise the existing standard. The draft will now be submitted to Henshaw and continue through the rulemaking process.

VPP Partnership Established with Ireland, Northern Ireland
    OSHA has joined with the health and safety agencies in Ireland and Northern Ireland to develop a pilot Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) for their government. The joint initiative is a result of the 3rd United States-European Union joint conference on occupational safety and health held last year in Lemnos, Greece and will begin with a pilot program consisting of eight companies, all of which have parent companies in the U.S. already participating in VPP. A delegation from Ireland participated in a study tour here in March to learn about VPP and met with OSHA Administrator John Henshaw, visited a VPP site, and observed a VPP onsite review.

Hispanic Safety and Health Summit Set for Orlando
   OSHA is offering one more reminder that the Hispanic Safety and Health Summit is scheduled for July 22 at the Airport Marriott Hotel in Orlando, FL. Safety and health issues for the nation's 17.5 million Hispanic workers is the foundation for the summit sponsored by the Department of Labor, OSHA, and the Hispanic Alliance for Progress, in partnership with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Check the summit’s website for more information.

Comment Periods Open on Personal Protective Equipment, Targeted Inspection Program
    OSHA announced this month the limited reopening (45 days) of its rulemaking record on the Employer Payment for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The agency wants to hear from the public on issues that relate to whether or how a general rule on payment for PPE should address types of equipment typically supplied by the employee. The July 8 Federal Register has details. The agency has also extended until August 11 the comment period on the Site Specific Targeting (SST) inspection program. First implemented in 1999, the SST program uses data from the OSHA Data Initiative survey to focus the agency’s inspection resources on workplaces reporting high injury and illness rates. Check the July 12 Federal Register notice for more information.

OSHA Renews Alliance with American Meat Institute, Welcomes Steel Group
    The American Meat Institute (AMI) agreed July 12 to extend its Alliance with OSHA for an additional two years. The Alliance was originally signed in October 2002 to focus on reducing ergonomic hazards. A direct byproduct of the Alliance is the participation of AMI’s implementation team in maintaining and updating OSHA’s Safety and Health Topics page, OSHA Assistance for the Meat Packing Industry. OSHA also signed an Alliance July 7 with three major trade associations representing the steel industry. Known collectively as The Steel Group, the organizations include the American Iron and Steel Institute, the Steel Manufacturers Association, and the Specialty Steel Industry of North America. (NOTE: OSHA recently published a new brochure describing the Alliance program. Alliance—An OSHA Cooperative Program is available for download from the agency’s website).

OSHA Reopens Portion of Steel Erection Rulemaking Record
    OSHA announced July 14 that it will reopen for 90 days its rulemaking record on the provision of the steel erection standard that addresses the slip resistance of walking surfaces of coated structural steel members. The agency is soliciting comments on testing methods for structural steel coatings and resistance criteria for slip-resistant coatings. The announcement was scheduled to be published in today’s Federal Register.

Renewed Focus on Safety and Health Guidance for Avian Flu
   OSHA posted information on its website in March about the hazards of avian flu, a virus that primarily impacts birds, but can also affect humans. Because of continued potential for worker exposure, the agency is reminding workers and employers of those hazards. Guidance for Protecting Workers Against Avian Flu provides specific recommendations for farm workers and animal handlers, laboratory workers, medical personnel, food handlers, airline flight crews and travelers. The safety and health page also includes links to additional sources of information, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization.

New Electronic Assistance Tool Focuses on Ammonia Refrigeration
   OSHA has created a new web-based assistance tool to help workers and employers understand and minimize risks in industries which use anhydrous ammonia. The Ammonia Refrigeration eTool is a joint product of the agency’s Alliance with the Dow Chemical Company and the American Meat Institute. The eTool provides information on identifying and controlling hazards associated with the operation and maintenance of ammonia refrigeration systems. The first phase of the eTool focuses on ammonia receiving and emergency response; later stages will include the condenser area, piping and pressure vessels, refrigeration spaces and the machine room.

NIOSH Produces Workplace Violence DVD
    A new training and educational DVD on preventing workplace violence has been produced by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Violence on the Job is a 27-minute video (in two separate programs) that discusses practical measures for identifying risk factors for violence at work, and offers recommendations and resources to help keep workers safe. The video is based on NIOSH research and includes information from other authoritative sources.

Kansas City Region Spotlights VPP Worksites
   Two Missouri worksites were recently recognized for their superior safety and health management systems. On July 8, International Paper in Joplin was awarded another streamer on OSHA’s "Star" VPP flag after 10 years in the program. Precise Technology, Inc. of Excelsior Springs, earned membership in the agency’s "Merit" VPP program in ceremonies July 9. Charles Adkins, Kansas City Regional Administrator, said both companies have "continued to show outstanding efforts that included significant employee training and involvement."

OSHA Strategic Partnership Program News
   OSHA’s Dallas Region recently signed a strategic partnership to further the health and safety for construction workers in North Texas. Joining OSHA on July 2 was the North Texas Chapter of the American Builder’s and Contractors Inc. (ABC), and QUOIN, a chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). OSHA's Strategic Partnership Program enables OSHA and its partners to work cooperatively to address critical safety and health issues.

Voluntary Protection Programs Activity
    The following companies were recently approved for new or continued participation in OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP): Region III: Wheelabrator Frackville Energy Co., Inc., Frackville, PA (Cont. Star); Amazon.com, New Castle, DE (New Star); Taylor Co., Wyalusing, PA (Cont. Star) Region VII: Connectivity Solutions Manufacturing, Omaha, NE (Return to Star), and Region IX: Phelps Dodge Miami, Inc., Claypool, AZ (Cont. Star).

OSHA Certifies Newest "SHARP" Companies
   OSHA recently certified the following companies as Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) sites: Region II: Ed Levin, Inc., Cambridge, NY; W. J. Cowee, Inc., Berlin, NY; Curtis Lumber, Plain, NY; Curtis Lumber, Ballston Spa; NY; Rudolph Technologies, Inc., Flanders, NJ; Rudolph Technologies, Inc., Ledgewood, NJ; Miller & Son Electroplating, Belleville, NJ; Co-Planar, Inc., Rockaway, NJ; Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Institute, Inc., Vineland, NJ. Region VI: Csant Denton, Denton, TX; Comac Fixtures, Inc., Amarillo, TX; Southwest Logistics/Shippers Warehouse, Dallas, TX; Brandon Welding & Fabrication, Inc., Corpus Christi, TX; Albritton Machine, Inc., Odessa, TX; Evco Fabrication, Inc., Midland, TX; Seabury Nursing Center, Odessa, TX; Fluids Management, Laredo, TX; Hirschfeld Steel Virgil Street Plant, Abilene, TX; Creative Coatings, Inc., Kilgore, TX; Vision Products, Houston, TX; Micro Med Technology, Houston, TX; Delta Steel-San Antonio, San Antonio, TX; Baymaster Boats Inc., Los Fresnos, TX; Clean Tank, LLC, Port Fourchon, LA; Desoto Retirement & Rehabilitation Center, Mansfield, LA; Hammond Nursing Home, Hammond, LA; Basile Care Center, Basile, LA; Ashley Lighting Inc., Trumann, AR. Region VII: Design Preservation Models, Linn Creek, MO; W.W. Wood Products, Inc. (Sequoia Cabinetry Division), Dudley, MO; W.W. Wood Products, Inc. (Cabinet Door Division), Dudley, MO; Montezuma Mfg., Inc., Montezuma, KS; and The Scoular Company, Fremont, NE.

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