July 15, 2007 · Volume 6, Issue 16
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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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 Conducts Lookback Review of Methylene Chloride Standard
OSHA Schedules MACOSH Meeting
OSHA's VPP Celebrates 25 Years of Success
Study Shows Benefits of Occupational Safety and Health Programs
OSHA Appoints New Regional Administrator
Alliance Program News
Strategic Partnership Program Activity
Latest "SHARP" Certifications
Voluntary Protection Programs Update
"QuickTips" from QuickTakes

OSHA Conducts Lookback Review of Methylene Chloride Standard
    OSHA is seeking comments on the standard designed to protect employees from occupational exposure to methylene chloride. The agency is conducting its regulatory review of the Methylene Chloride Standard under Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act and Section 5 of Executive Order 12866 to determine how the standard could be changed or tailored to reduce the burden on employers while maintaining employee protection. Methylene Chloride has a number of uses such as metal degreasing and aircraft paint removal. It is also used to strip finishes from furniture prior to refinishing as well as in the manufacture of other chemicals. Overexposure to Methylene Chloride can cause respiratory or central nervous system failure, and poses an increased risk of cancer to exposed employees. Comments must be sent or postmarked by Oct. 9. Complete instructions on submitting written comments are available in the July 10 Federal Register.

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OSHA Schedules MACOSH Meeting
    The Elihu Harris State Office Building in Oakland, Calif., is the site for the two-day meeting of the Maritime Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (MACOSH), beginning July 31 at 8:00 a.m. MACOSH focuses on occupational safety and health issues for maritime employees involved in shipbuilding, ship breaking, ship repair, and longshoring. Details on the meeting are in the July 13 Federal Register.

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OSHA's VPP Celebrates 25 Years of Success
   OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) celebrates its 25th anniversary this month. Since 1982, the program has grown to include nearly 1,800 worksites across the country. Cooperative Programs, like VPP, bring a unique and effective approach to accomplishing the agency's overall mission of reducing workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities. Worksite approval into VPP is OSHA's official recognition of an employer's outstanding efforts in managing an exemplary occupational safety and health system. The program's success is demonstrated by the reduced rate of injuries and illnesses at VPP locations-typically more than 50 percent below the national average for their industries. To learn more, visit OSHA's All About VPP Web page, or contact the Office of Partnerships and Recognition at (202) 693-2200.

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Study Shows Benefits of Occupational Safety and Health Programs
    Ritrama Invests in Safety and Improves Its Bottom Line is a case study illustrating how workers' compensation savings, productivity and quality increase as a result of a comprehensive safety and health program. Ritrama, a signatory of the OSHA and Graphic Arts Coalition alliance, designed and implemented a program to educate employees, managers and supervisors about safe work practices and company-specific procedures at its manufacturing plant in Minneapolis, Minn.

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OSHA Appoints New Regional Administrator
    Dean McDaniel was recently named administrator of OSHA's Region VI in Dallas. As regional administrator, he is responsible for directing OSHA's activities in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. McDaniel moves from OSHA's national office, where he served as special assistant to the assistant secretary since December 2004. McDaniel's 32-year tenure with OSHA also includes eight years as the region's assistant regional administrator.

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Alliance Program News
    Region III: Promoting workplace safety and health for industrial companies throughout Northwest Pennsylvania is the goal of a new alliance signed between OSHA's Erie, Pa., area office and the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford's outreach services department. Region V: OSHA's Cleveland, Ohio, area office formed a new alliance with the Construction Safety Council of Northeast Ohio to promote safety and health among the Council's 110 member businesses.

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Strategic Partnership Program Activity
    Region V: OSHA's Des Plaines, Ill., area office and the Holder Construction Co. formed a partnership to enhance the safety of employees working on the DuPont CH1 construction project that entails converting a vacant 475,000 square foot manufacturing building into a computer data center.

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Latest "SHARP" Certifications
    Visit OSHA's "Who's Newly SHARP" Web page to see the latest 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.

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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 the latest list of employers 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
    During the warmer months of the year, there is an increase in the use of gasoline-powered equipment at outdoor worksites. That is why OSHA is encouraging employers and employees using gasoline for whatever type of motor to take extra precautions in handling it safely. Here are a few suggestions:
  • Wash any skin or clothing that comes in contact with gasoline thoroughly with soap.
  • Avoid inhaling gasoline fumes by keeping all gas in approved sealable safety containers.
  • Know initial symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, such as headache, fatigue, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, and tightness across the chest.
  • Do not use gasoline for any purpose other than fueling a motor.

  •     OSHA's Gasoline Safety and Health Topics page is a resource outlining OSHA's standards for working safely with gasoline, including healthful exposure limits for employees. A good source of information on how to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, one of the primary hazards of burning gasoline, is OSHA's Carbon Monoxide Fact Sheet. 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