August 15, 2004 · Volume 3, Issue 16
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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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 Publishes Worker Safety Information for Hurricane Season
OSHA Issues Final Rule on Respiratory Protection, Adds Fit-Testing Protocol
"Buckle Up" is Message for Federal Workers at Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Symposium
New Webpage Highlights Residential Construction Industry
Comments Sought on Amendments to Oregon State Standards
Emergency Response and Preparedness Publication Available
OSHA's Area Office in North Dakota Forms Educational Alliance
Protecting Hospital Employees Who Care For Mass Casualty Victims
Workplace Emergency Response Subject of Latest National Alliance
Construction Partnerships Signed in Dallas, New York Regions
Voluntary Protection Programs Activity


OSHA Publishes Worker Safety Information for Hurricane Season
    Hurricane season has arrived with a vengeance with three named storms already impacting the United States ("Alex," "Bonnie" and "Charley"). OSHA is urging employers and workers involved in cleanup and recovery efforts to take appropriate safety measures to avoid any further injury and illness. The agency has developed important safety information to help employers and workers stay safe during cleanup and recovery operations. Particular focus is paid to electrical hazards (from downed power lines), as well as injuries and illnesses associated with tree trimming, and exposure to waterborne contamination diseases.

OSHA Issues Final Rule on Respiratory Protection, Adds Fit-Testing Protocol
     OSHA announced Aug. 4 a revision to its Respiratory Protection Standard that adds a new fit-testing procedure to help workers and employers select proper-fitting respirators. The new fit-testing protocol, known as Controlled Negative Pressure (CNP) REDON, requires three different test exercises followed by donning the respirator two times in succession. Specific details on the revision are available in the Aug. 4 Federal Register notice.

"Buckle Up" is Message for Federal Workers at Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Symposium
    OSHA, along with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), is encouraging federal workers to wear seat belts while traveling on business. That message will be promoted at a motor vehicle safety symposium on Sept. 14, during the National Safety Council Congress & Expo in New Orleans. Public and private workplace safety representatives will discuss the benefits of a motor vehicle safety program. There is no cost for the symposium; however, registration is required.

New Webpage Highlights Residential Construction Industry
   OSHA unveiled a new Safety and Health Topics page this month highlighting industry-specific safety and health information to thousands of workers engaged in residential construction. Residential Construction Safety and Health is a joint product of the agency's year-old Alliance with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The page provides information and links to OSHA enforcement policies, including directives and interpretation letters, various electronic assistance tools, and training courses related to residential construction.

Comments Sought on Amendments to Oregon State Standards
   Standards focusing on fall protection, forest activities (logging), and steel erection for the state of Oregon's workplace safety and health program are highlighted in an Aug. 9 Federal Register notice. States that operate OSHA-approved state plans must have standards "at least as effective" as federal standards in providing safe and healthful employment. In an announcement earlier this month, OSHA is seeking written comments by Sept. 8 as to whether these amendments meet those requirements.

Emergency Response and Preparedness Publication Available
    OSHA has developed a new publication to assist employers, safety and health professionals, training directors, and others in ensuring they are aware of the agency's requirements for emergency action plans. Principal Emergency Response and Preparedness is a detailed publication that provides an overview of OSHA standards for emergencies. The publication includes requirements under both the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) and Process Safety Management (PSM) standards. Also included are emergency action and fire prevention plan requirements for other OSHA standards.

OSHA's Area Office in North Dakota Forms Educational Alliance
    The North Dakota Department of Career and Technical Education (DCTE) signed an Alliance last month with OSHA's Bismarck, ND Area Office on behalf of high schools and postsecondary institutions throughout the state. The goal of the two-year agreement is to develop training and education programs that integrate safety and health education into the curriculum of career and technical programs. The Alliance will focus on reducing and preventing exposure to hazards associated with the building and trades industry.

Protecting Hospital Employees Who Care For Mass Casualty Victims
   OSHA is seeking comment on a best practices document designed to assist hospitals in developing plans to protect their emergency department personnel who care for victims of mass casualty incidents. Best Practices for the Protection of Hospital-Based First Receivers focuses on incidents where release of hazardous substances has occurred and provides information on victim contamination, personal protective equipment and employee training. While the document was prepared with extensive stakeholder input and support, OSHA is extending an invitation to other interested parties to submit their comments to the agency by Aug. 30, 2004.

Workplace Emergency Response Subject of Latest National Alliance
   The American Safety and Health Institute (ASHI) joined a growing number of organizations aligning with OSHA to further workplace safety and health. ASHI signed an Alliance Aug. 10, to educate and train workers on emergency preparedness and response, including first aid information (such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation and automated external defibrillator techniques).

Construction Partnerships Signed in Dallas, New York Regions
    OSHA's Austin, TX Area Office joined in a partnership last month with the Texas Masonry Council to ensure a safe and healthful work environment for the area's construction workforce. The partnership highlights reducing major hazards on construction worksites, including falls, struck-by, caught in/between and electrocutions. OSHA's Manhattan, NY Area Office signed a partnership recently with Turner Construction Co. and the Building and Construction Trades Council to further the safety and health of construction workers during construction of a 24-story residential "Green Building" in lower Manhattan. The building's unique design includes solar panels, heliostat reflectors, and a vegetated roof. 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 IV: Tyco Plastics, Covington, GA (Cont. Star); Milliken & Co, Duncan M. Steward Plant, LaGrange, GA (Cont. Star); GE Equipment Management - Rail Services, Dothan, AL (Cont. Star) Region V: Monsanto Janesville Breeding Station, Janesville, WI (New Star); Sherwin Williams, Chicago Emulsion Plant, Chicago, IL (Cont. Star) Region VI: HEB Photo Place, San Antonio, TX (New Merit); Halliburton Energy Services Manufacturing Center, Duncan, OK (Cont. Star); Chevron Phillips, Bartlesville, OK (Cont. Star); Bibler Brothers Lumber Co., Idabel, OK (Cont. Star); ConocoPhillips, Bartlesville, OK (Cont. Star); ExxonMobil Chemical, MBPP, Mont Belvieu, TX (Cont. Star); Norbord OSB, Jefferson, TX (Merit to Star); and Texas Genco - WA Parish Plant, Thompsons, TX (New Star).

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