July 15, 2006 · Volume 5, 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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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
Basic Steel Products Focus of New Safety and Health Topics Page
Dow Chemical Company New Member of VPP 'Corporate Pilot' Family
High Hazard Industries in Kansas Focus of Local Emphasis Program
OSHA Posters and Publications: Free for the Asking
Improving Security at the Workplace
Drug-Free Workplace Alliance Expanded
On the Road with Assistant Secretary
New Strategic Partnership Formed, One Concludes Successfully
Three National Alliances Renewed
Latest Regional Alliance Activity
New VPP Certifications
'QuickTips' from QuickTakes

Basic Steel Products Focus of New Safety and Health Topics Page
    Steel industry employees nationwide stand to benefit from the recent launch of OSHA's Basic Steel Products Safety and Health Topics Web page. The new page is a product of OSHA's alliances with The Steel Group and Crane, Hoist and Monorail consortium and contains links to OSHA workplace standards for the manufacturing of steel products. A number of additional resources are also available, including safety tips on avoiding industrial hazards, and information on safety and health case studies.

Dow Chemical Company New Member of VPP 'Corporate Pilot' Family
    The Dow Chemical Company was recently recognized by OSHA as a Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) "Corporate Pilot" program. The VPP Corporate Pilot program streamlines the application and onsite evaluation processes for corporations that have made a commitment to VPP. Dow's process safety management program and internal and external awareness of safety and health goals and results are particular areas of excellence. The company joins Georgia-Pacific, International Paper and the U.S. Postal Service to be formally admitted into the program.

High Hazard Industries in Kansas Focus of Local Emphasis Program
   The Kansas City, Mo., Region recently launched a new Local Emphasis Program (LEP) targeting high hazard industry workplaces in Kansas with 10 or more employees that have not had a comprehensive OSHA inspection since 1995. The LEP supplements OSHA's national Site-Specific Targeting program that annually identifies workplaces with high rates of injuries and illnesses.

OSHA Posters and Publications: Free for the Asking
    Advertisements and threatening phone calls suggesting and demanding that OSHA workplace posters must be purchased from private companies is misleading employers. OSHA reminds employers that official posters-such as the OSHA Workplace Poster-are available free for the asking. Posters, and most publications, are available at no cost to anyone who asks simply by visiting the publications page on the agency's Web site, or by calling the publications office at (202) 693-1888.

Improving Security at the Workplace
    The Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation recently launched a new "Protect Your Workplace" campaign that highlights avenues to protect workplaces from both physical and cyber threats. The program is designed for all businesses, including government agencies, and features a series of four posters that focus on such issues as robberies and break-ins, computer intrusions and corporate espionage, and identity theft and intellectual property violations. A brochure is also available that combines information from the four posters into a tri-fold for quick reference.

Drug-Free Workplace Alliance Expanded
   Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao, joined by leaders from five labor unions and five contractor associations, expanded the existing multi-union Drug-Free Workplace Alliance in a signing ceremony, July 10. The Alliance was established in October 2004 and was the Department of Labor's first-ever cooperative agreement focusing exclusively on improving worker safety in the construction industry through drug-free workplace programs. OSHA, the Mine Safety and Health Administration, and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy's Working Partners for an Alcohol- and Drug-free Workplace Program (Working Partners) work with the labor unions and contractor associations to provide union members and the construction industry with information, guidance and training resources that communicate the benefits of drug-free workplace programs and better protect employees' health and safety. Efforts focus on educating workers on safety hazards created by the abuse of alcohol and other drugs in workplaces and mines.

On the Road with Assistant Secretary
    OSHA Administrator Ed Foulke will travel to Denver on July 21 to address attendees at the Safety and Health Committee Meeting sponsored by the Associated General Contractors of America. On July 25, Foulke is scheduled to officially present the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) "Star" certification flag to officials at OSHA's Madison, Wis., Area Office, the third OSHA area office to be admitted into the VPP "Star" family.

New Strategic Partnership Formed, One Concludes Successfully
    OSHA's Peoria, Ill., Area Office recently signed a strategic partnership with the Illinois Onsite Safety and Health Consultation Program and P.J. Hoerr Inc. to protect employees at the Washington Area Community Center construction project. A partnership between the area office and Johnston Contractors ended with only one lost time injury over the two and one-half year span of construction on the Bloomington, Ill., Multi-use Center.

Three National Alliances Renewed
    Promoting safety and health professionalism in American workplaces is the focus of an alliance renewed July 12 with the Board of Certified Safety Professionals and the Council on Certification of Health, Environmental and Safety Technologists. The goal is to continue providing information, guidance and access to training resources on the value of safety and health professionalism and accredited certifications. OSHA renewed an alliance with the airline industry and the National Safety Council's International Air Transport Section to carry on exploring ways to address ergonomic issues associated with the handling of passenger-checked baggage. The American Industrial Hygiene Association and OSHA renewed their commitment on promoting training resources that address ergonomics and hazard communication issues.

Latest Regional Alliance Activity
   Region II: OSHA's New England Region renewed an alliance with the Associacion de Guatemaltecos Morazanecos Ausentes en USA to enhance safety and health awareness among Hispanic employees on Long Island, N.Y. Region V: OSHA's Chicago Region recently joined forces with United Building Centers to enhance workplace safety and health protection for some 5,500 employees in 18 states. The alliance is devoted to lowering injury and illness rates through increased safety and workplace health training, and a renewed attention to issues surrounding the safety of employees.

New VPP Certifications
   Visit "recent approvals" on the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) page of OSHA's Web site to see the latest 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 OSHA's premier cooperative program.

'QuickTips' from QuickTakes
    The sun and heat aren't the only 'culprits' that affect employees during the dog days of summer. Insects can be more than just a nuisance to those who work outside - some can cause serious illnesses including Lyme disease and West Nile Virus. Here are just a few protective measures to help avoid the sting and bite so often inherent with outside work during the summer months.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts; tuck pant legs into socks or boots.
  • Wear high boots or, at minimum, closed shoes that cover feet completely.
  • Use insect repellent containing DEET or Picaridin.
  • Get rid of sources of standing water to reduce mosquito breeding areas.

  • Employees in the construction, landscaping, forestry, farming, railroad, oil field, park and wildlife management, and utility industries - to name a few - are at increased risk of insect-related hazards. OSHA has more resource information on these potential hazards and how to prevent them in a fact sheet (Working Outdoors in Warm Climates), and an OSHA QuickCard on Rodents, Snakes and Insects (English, Spanish, Vietnamese). Look for more safety and health 'QuickTips' in the next issue.


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