Aug. 1, 2008 · Volume 7, Issue 15
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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

Celebrating OSHA's 2,000th VPP Site
Bridge Restoration Strategic Partnership Reports No Injuries, Illnesses or Fatalities
Combustible Dust Explosion Inspection Seminar Offered in Illinois
Third Annual Drug-Free Work Week Slated for Oct. 20-26, 2008
DCSP Conducts Small Business Forum on Teen Summer Safety
Latest Voluntary Protection Programs Activity
Workshops on Hurricane Reconstruction, Nursing Homes Among Upcoming OSHA Events
"QuickTips" from QuickTakes

Celebrating OSHA's 2,000th VPP Site

On Monday, July 21, OSHA recognized its 2,000th Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) site, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, in Pearl River, N.Y., for excellent safety and health performance. The facility is a 580-acre site and Rockland County's largest employer, with more than 3,000 employees. This site has a long and distinguished history, going back 100 years when the Commissioner of the NYC Health Department bought the property for producing blood products in both world wars. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., attended the celebration and officially recognized this VPP achievement. The site has a Days Away, Restricted and Transferred (DART) rate 84 percent below the Bureau of Labor Statistics' national industry average-the lowest injury and illness rate of any pharmaceutical company in the United States.

Bridge Restoration Strategic Partnership Reports No Injuries, Illnesses or Fatalities

The Corman Construction/Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge Restoration Strategic Partnership, originating out of OSHA's Baltimore/Washington area office, recently completed restoration of the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge located on South Capitol Street in Southeast Washington, D.C. Over the course of the project, the partnership did not experience a single recordable incident, resulting in a zero Days Away from Work, Restricted Work Activity or Job Transfer (DART) rate, a zero Total Case Incident Rate (TCIR), and a zero fatality rate. These excellent results can be attributed to more than 2,500 hours of safety and health training the partnership offered to supervisors and employees, in addition to the 1,385 self-inspections (which resulted in 375 hazards being identified and remedied) that took place under the partnership. OSHA congratulates this partnership for its hard work and efforts to promote safety and health among American construction employees.

Combustible Dust Explosion Inspection Seminar Offered in Illinois

On Aug. 14, the Illinois Safety Council (ISC) will be offering a Combustible Dust Explosion Inspection Seminar in Naperville, Ill. The seminar offers instructions on OSHA standards relating to combustible dust and best practices to protect employees against dust explosions. Click here for more information and a registration form. The ISC has an alliance with the OSHA area offices in Illinois.

Third Annual Drug-Free Work Week Slated for Oct. 20-26, 2008

A drug-free workplace policy is a vital component of a safe workplace. From Oct. 20-26, 2008, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will stage its annual Drug-Free Work Week, dedicated to communicating the importance of working drug-free in positive, proactive ways. Drug-Free Work Week is sponsored by DOL's Working Partners for an Alcohol- and Drug-Free Workplace program, but its true spirit is found at the local level in activities conducted by various organizations and in individual workplaces across the country. To get resources and specific ideas on how your organization can support the week's activities, visit the Drug-Free Work Week Web site.

DCSP Conducts Small Business Forum on Teen Summer Safety

OSHA's Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs (DCSP) recently held its quarterly forum on teen summer job safety. A panel, consisting of specialists in the areas of occupational health nursing, child labor law, small business alliances, construction and automotive repair, led an informative discussion on teen safety and health practices. There were more than 100 forum attendees including OSHA National Office officials, small business participants and alliances, and teen employees. More information on teen summer job safety can be found at the Teen Workers page on OSHA's Web site. The topic of OSHA's next small business forum, scheduled for late September, is Addressing OSHA Compliance: Suggestions on How OSHA Can Help Small Businesses Comply with OSHA Regulations. For additional information on the upcoming forum, contact Russell Jones in DCSP's Office of Small Business Assistance at 202-693-2532.

Latest Voluntary Protection Programs Activity

Visit "recent approvals" on the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) page of OSHA's Web site to view 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 cooperative programs can help protect employees and reduce workers' compensation costs.

Workshops on Hurricane Reconstruction, Nursing Homes Among Upcoming OSHA Events

OSHA posted more announcements about upcoming meetings and conferences to the events page on its Web site. On Aug. 8 in Orlando, Fla., OSHA will be teaming up with the United Safety Council to offer a free employee safety training course for hurricane reconstruction. For more information, contact Kristin Ruyter at 407-897-4443. Wisconsin's Third Safe Resident/Patient Handling Program will be held Tuesday, Sept. 9, in Wisconsin Dells, Wis. The all-day workshop is focused on one of OSHA's high-hazard topics, nursing homes, and is sponsored by all four of OSHA's Wisconsin area offices. For more information and online registration, visit http://whca.com/event_20080909.htm. Stay in touch with the events page to find out about activities near you.

"QuickTips" from QuickTakes

Lead poisoning, caused chiefly by the inhalation of dust and fumes, is a common hazard in the construction industry. Employees involved in demolition, salvage, removal, encapsulation, cleanup and renovation operations are particularly at risk. Lead dust can also be carried home from work on clothing, skin, or hair, so it is important for everyone to take proper preventive measures against exposure. Here are some pointers from OSHA:

  • Know the symptoms of lead overexposure, such as abdominal pain, headaches and loss of motor coordination.
  • Use personal protective equipment, such as gloves, nonpermeable clothing and approved respirators.
  • Wash your hands and face thoroughly before eating.
  • Away from work, never wear clothes and shoes that were worn during periods of possible lead exposure.

OSHA's Safety and Health Topics Page on Lead is a resource offering information on the most effective solutions to lead hazards in the workplace. OSHA also offers a QuickCard on Lead in Construction (English/Spanish) for employees to help prevent health maladies from lead poisoning. Look for more "QuickTips" on a new occupational safety and health topic in your next issue of QuickTakes.

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