July 15, 2008 · Volume 7, Issue 14
QuickTakes QuickTakes
A twice monthly e-news memo with information, updates, and results from OSHA about safety and health in America's workplaces.

In This Issue
OSHA Establishes Hearing Conservation Program
Quick Action by Compliance Officers Helps Avert Employee Injuries in Trench Collapses
Labor Department Offers Midwest Flood Recovery Assistance
OSHA Takes Extra Steps to Combat New York City Construction Hazards
2,000th VPP Site Soon to be Recognized
OSHA Safety and Health Partnership Conducts Bilingual Safety and Health Training Marathon in Dallas
National Safety Council Offers OSHA Compliance Certification
OSHA Exhibit Heads to California for Upcoming VPPPA Conference
OSHA’s Toledo, Ohio Area Office Hosts June NAWIC Meeting
Alliance Program Activity
Free Safety and Health Evaluations for Your Small Business
Maritime, Recordkeeping Courses and Workplace Violence Symposium Planned in Alabama
"QuickTips" from QuickTakes
Correction

OSHA Establishes Hearing Conservation Program
    OSHA published a new directive establishing a hearing conservation program to protect its personnel from the effects of occupational noise exposure. The directive applies to all OSHA personnel covered by OSHA Instruction PER 04-00-003, "CSHO Medical Examinations." OSHA's Safety and Health Topics Page for Noise and Hearing Conservation offers resources to employers and employees on preventing the adverse health effects caused by overexposure to loud noise.

Quick Action by Compliance Officers Helps Avert Employee Injuries in Trench Collapses
    OSHA’s mission is to save lives. This was illustrated in three separate trench collapses where OSHA’s compliance safety and health officers (CSHOs) were instrumental in preventing injury while conducting inspections under OSHA’s Local and National Emphasis Programs (NEP). In each instance, the CSHOs identified hazards at the jobsite and the construction employer voluntarily removed the employees from the unsafe trench. In Wheeling, Ill., CSHO Gary Weil of OSHA’s Chicago North area office suggested the evacuation of a hazardous trench, which moments later collapsed. Another unprotected trench was evacuated just before collapse on the recommendation of CSHO Ken Montgomery of the Cincinnati area office. At a construction site in Madison, Wis., CSHOs Alan Angle and Chad Greenwood of the Madison area office identified two hazardous excavations, both of which collapsed just minutes after being cleared of employees. No one was injured in any of these incidents thanks to the quick action and insight of the CSHOs. OSHA's Working Safely in Trenches QuickCard® (English/Spanish) is a resource for identifying and preventing safety hazards associated with trenching.

Labor Department Offers Midwest Flood Recovery Assistance
    The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is contributing job assistance to flood victims, and cleanup and recovery resources to aid and protect first responders providing flood relief in the Midwest. The DOL Midwest Flood Recovery Assistance page provides access to several resources, including information on national emergency grants, employment and benefits, and safety resources like OSHA's Flood and Tornado Cleanup and Recovery Web page. For general questions and assistance, contact DOL's National Contact Center at 1-866-4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365).

OSHA Takes Extra Steps to Combat New York City Construction Hazards
    In New York City, more than 20 employees have lost their lives in construction-related accidents since January. For two weeks beginning on June 23, OSHA sent a dozen additional inspectors to the city to conduct proactive inspections of high-rise construction sites, cranes and other worksites where hazardous working conditions that could lead to serious accidents may exist. These inspections are in addition to those already taking place under local emphasis programs or as a result of complaints, referrals or accidents. In addition to enforcement activities, OSHA is pursuing other measures to drive home the importance of construction safety to employers, employees and the construction industry. OSHA will also continue its alliance with the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB), under which OSHA and DOB cross-train their inspectors and managers on each agency's construction safety standards, regulations and procedures, with a focus on the most common construction hazards likely to harm employees.

2,000th VPP Site Soon to be Recognized
    OSHA is about to recognize its 2,000th Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) site which will join the elite group of employers recognized by OSHA for having exemplary safety and health management systems. A July celebration is planned at the site where Assistant Secretary Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., will officially recognize this achievement. OSHA will reveal the honored site in your next issue of QuickTakes.

OSHA Safety and Health Partnership Conducts Bilingual Safety and Health Training Marathon in Dallas
    The Hispanic Contractors Association de Tejas (HCAT) partnership, originating out of OSHA's Dallas region, hosted an OSHA 10-hour marathon event at the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Over 530 employees in the construction, general industry and manufacturing industries were trained, mostly in Spanish. Javier Arias, chairman of the event, wrote the OSHA Fort Worth area office expressing gratitude for the agency's "generous donation of time, expertise, commitment, and resources," and noted that "great strides were made in an effort to inform people of workplace hazards and potentially save lives." Key goals of the HCAT partnership include promoting safety and health in the construction industry—particularly for Hispanic employees—through the development of effective safety and health management systems.

National Safety Council Offers OSHA Compliance Certification
    The National Safety Council (NSC) will be offering OSHA compliance certification courses on a variety of occupational safety and health topics in July and August. Topics include Confined Spaces, Ergonomics, Fundamentals of Industrial Hygiene, Flagger Instructor Training, Principles of Occupational Safety and Health, Safety Inspections, Supervisors’ Development Program and Team Safety. To check for upcoming courses near you, download the NSC's Spring and Summer 2008 Training Catalog at http://downloads.nsc.org/pdf/OSH_training_catalog2008.pdf.

OSHA Exhibit Heads to California for Upcoming VPPPA Conference
    OSHA will showcase an exhibit featuring compliance assistance and informative materials for conference attendees at the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association's (VPPPA) Conference in Anaheim, Calif., to take place August 25-28. Conference participants include a wide variety of individuals from VPP sites, sites seeking VPP approval, and organizations striving to improve their safety and health management systems. For more information, visit the VPPPA Conference Web page at http://www.vpppa.org/Conference/index.cfm.

OSHA’s Toledo, Ohio Area Office Hosts June NAWIC Meeting
    The Toledo, Ohio, branch of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), Chapter 282, held its June 2008 meeting at the OSHA Toledo area office. Jule Hovi, area director, and her staff hosted the group and provided OSHA insight into issues facing the construction industry. Chapter 282 consists of a variety of construction-related industries and includes business owners, managers, safety and health consultants, and other construction support personnel.

Alliance Program Activity
    National Office: OSHA recently renewed its alliance with the Dow Chemical Company with the goal of advancing a culture of hazard prevention in the workplace. Topics addressed by the alliance include process safety management, safety and health management systems, emergency preparedness and employee wellness programs.

Free Safety and Health Evaluations for Your Small Business
    Visit OSHA's On-site Consultation Program Web page to get valuable information on how this program helps you provide a safer working environment for your employees. The service is provided only at your request and is delivered at no cost. Employers who use the service to develop and operate an exemplary safety and health management system may also qualify to participate in the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). For additional information, visit our Web link at http://www.osha.gov/dcsp/smallbusiness/index.html, or call 202-693-2220.

Maritime, Recordkeeping Courses and Workplace Violence Symposium Planned in Alabama
    A 10-hour OSHA maritime course will be offered July 24-25 in Irvington, Ala. Also in Alabama, a course on OSHA recordkeeping will be offered on August 11 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Troy University in Dothan, and again on August 14 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. at Bishop State Community College in Mobile. During the early Fall, OSHA's 2008 Alliance Symposium for Preventing Workplace Violence will be held Oct. 31, 2008, at the University of South Alabama in Mobile. To obtain information on these and other events, and to find out about workplace safety- and health-related activities near you, visit the events page on OSHA's Web site.

"QuickTips" from QuickTakes
    A wide variety of American workplaces, including those in the construction, manufacturing, transportation and wholesale trade industries, benefit from the use of powered industrial trucks, also known as forklifts. However, forklifts also cause dozens of fatalities and thousands of injuries in our country's workforce each year. With a hazard-free working environment and greater adherence to forklift safety precautions, most of these deaths and injuries can be avoided. The following OSHA resources are available to help employers and employees prevent forklift-related mishaps:
  • Safety and Health Topics page on powered industrial trucks
  • Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training Information Cards for >General Industry and Construction
  • OSHA booklet on Materials Handling and Storage
  • Safety and Health Information Bulletin: Protecting Young Workers: Prohibition Against Young Workers Operating Forklifts

  •      Look for more "QuickTips" on new safety and health topics in upcoming issues of QuickTakes.

    Correction
         In the July 1, 2008, edition of QuickTakes, we provided an inactive link to the National Propane Gas Association's safety alert on anhydrous ammonia and propane cylinders. We updated the online version of that issue on OSHA's Web site with the correct link at http://www.osha.gov/as/opa/quicktakes/qt07012008.html. We apologize for any inconvenience.

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