August 15, 2006 · Volume 5, 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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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
Bureau of Labor Statistics Releases 2005 Workplace Fatality Data
OSHA Offers New Fire Service Publication
New Members Appointed to MACOSH
New Safety and Health Bulletins Focus on Guardrail Systems, All-Terrain Vehicles
Latest OSHA QuickCard Highlights Safe Driving Practices
September Symposium Focuses on GHS
Spanish-language Version of Worker Safety and Health Training Slated for Chicago
OSHA/ISSA Alliance Generates New Occupational Safety and Health Web Site
Assistant Secretary Set to Address VPPPA Conference
Washington Group International Latest Member of VPP 'Corporate Pilot' Family
OSHA Alliance Update
Regional Strategic Partnership Activity
VPP Certification Update
Upcoming Events
'QuickTips' from QuickTakes

Bureau of Labor Statistics Releases 2005 Workplace Fatality Data
    The rate of workplace fatalities in 2005 declined slightly from a year earlier, to 4.0 per 100,000, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported this month. BLS announced Aug. 10 that a total of 5,702 fatal work injuries were recorded last year, down from 5,764 in 2004. OSHA Administrator Ed Foulke said in a statement that the report is "positive news for our nation and all workers," noting the decline in fatalities among women, a drop in fatal fall injuries, and a decrease in the fatality rate among Hispanic employees. Foulke emphasized that the data also highlights areas where the agency needs to focus its resources to further reduce workplace fatalities.

OSHA Offers New Fire Service Publication
    Fire Service Features of Buildings and Fire Protection Systems is the focus of a new OSHA publication that will help increase the safety of building occupants and emergency responders by streamlining fire service interaction with building features and fire protection systems. The manual explains how fire service operations can be influenced by different building features and offers considerations for design professionals that can help facilitate these operations. The booklet can be downloaded from OSHA's Web site on the publications page, or obtained by calling the publications office at (202) 693-1888.

New Members Appointed to MACOSH
   OSHA recently announced the appointment of new members to the Maritime Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (MACOSH). The committee advises the OSHA administrator on issues and concerns relating to occupational safety and health for employees involved in shipbuilding, shipbreaking, ship repair and longshoring. Details on the newly appointed members appear in the Aug. 8 Federal Register.

New Safety and Health Bulletins Focus on Guardrail Systems, All-Terrain Vehicles
    OSHA published two new Safety and Health Information Bulletins this month to highlight specific workplace hazards. Guardrail System for Tunnel Form Stripping Platform raises awareness about the hazards associated with improper use of netting or mesh as guardrails for scaffolding in construction and highlights OSHA provisions designed to protect employees from those hazards. The risk of injury or death from operating an all-terrain vehicle is the reason behind the bulletin Hazards Associated with All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) in the Workplace. The bulletin identifies specific work practices for employers and employees to address hazards and prevent accidents.

Latest OSHA QuickCard Highlights Safe Driving Practices
   Employees who use motor vehicles for work stand to benefit from a new QuickCard available on OSHA's Web site. Safe Driving Practices for Employees offers tips to ensure employee safety while operating a motor vehicle. This resource is a companion document to Guidelines for Employers to Reduce Motor Vehicle Crashes. Printed copies of the card will be available through OSHA's publications office next month.

September Symposium Focuses on GHS
    OSHA will participate in a symposium next month in San Jose, Calif., focusing on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). Managing chemical exposures in the workplace has led to a number of international developments in chemical safety, including GHS. OSHA is currently considering modifications to its Hazard Communication Standard to align its requirements with the GHS, and has included this in its regulatory agenda. The two-day symposium, sponsored by the American Industrial Hygiene Association and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, will also address control banding (an innovative guidance approach to controlling chemicals in the workplace).

Spanish-language Version of Worker Safety and Health Training Slated for Chicago
    The Hispanic American Construction Industry Association (HACIA), through its alliance with OSHA's Chicago-based area offices and the Illinois On-Site Consultation Program, is promoting a Spanish-language version of the OSHA 10-hour construction industry safety and health course. The training, co-sponsored by Truman College, will be offered Aug. 24-31 at Chicago's West Side Technical Institute, 2800 S. Western Ave. For registration and additional information, contact HACIA's Gerardo Rangel at (312) 666-5910, ext. 19.

OSHA/ISSA Alliance Generates New Occupational Safety and Health Web Site
    Employers and employees in the cleaning industry will benefit from a new safety and health Web network, a product stemming from an alliance OSHA signed with ISSA (formerly known as the International Sanitary Supply Association). The page on ISSA's Web site features links to safety and health topics pages focusing on bloodborne pathogens, hazard communication, recordkeeping, personal protective equipment, and slips, trips and falls. Each page provides information on applicable standards, common hazards and solutions to those hazards, and compliance assistance materials.

Assistant Secretary Set to Address VPPPA Conference
   On Aug. 28, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Edwin G. Foulke Jr. will speak to more than 2,500 safety and health professionals at the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association conference in Orlando, Fla. OSHA will also set up an exhibit booth with compliance assistance and informative materials for conference attendees.

Washington Group International Latest Member of VPP 'Corporate Pilot' Family
   Washington Group International 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. Washington Group's crisis management plan, and its extensive safety and health training program are particular areas of excellence. The company joins Georgia-Pacific, International Paper, U.S. Postal Service and the Dow Chemical Company to be formally admitted into the program.

OSHA Alliance Update
   National Office: OSHA and the National Federation of Independent Business renewed for another two years an alliance to continue making health and safety information and compliance assistance resources available to all employers, especially small and independent businesses, and communicating the need for the implementation of safety and health management systems programs in the workplace. The renewal was signed July 31. Region II: OSHA's New York Region renewed alliances with Rochester Business Alliance, Construction Exchange of Buffalo & WNY Inc., and Small Business Development Centers to foster safe and more healthful work environments for employees. Region V: OSHA's Madison, Wis., Area Office signed a new alliance with the Building and Construction Trades Council of South Central Wisconsin to address common workplace injuries and illnesses in the construction industry.

Regional Strategic Partnership Activity
   OSHA's Aurora, Ill., Area Office recently signed a strategic partnership with Ragnar Benson LLC and the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters to protect employees during a major construction project in Rockford, Ill.

VPP Certification Update
   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.

Upcoming Events
   OSHA periodically lists a schedule of safety and health-related conferences and meetings, as well as public hearings, on its Web site. Check often for events near you.

'QuickTips' from QuickTakes
    Agriculture is one of the most important industries in the nation, employing up to 20 million men and women. Unfortunately, it remains one of the most dangerous occupations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that fatalities among agricultural workers rose 23 percent in 2005. The range of industry hazards is many; however, most agricultural-related accidents involve machinery. OSHA's Agricultural Operations safety and health topics page offers a wealth of information to reduce these numbers-including potential hazards, standards requirements, and suggested improvements for safety and health practices. A Web-based training tool that focuses on young employees is also available highlighting common agricultural hazards, and potential safety solutions. Meanwhile, here are some basic tips to foster safety at your particular worksite:
  • Inspect equipment routinely, and install rollover protection structures, protective enclosures or frames on farm tractors.
  • Replace guards on farm equipment immediately following maintenance.
  • Follow instructions on material safety data sheets and labels that come with chemical products; communicate this information to all employees.
  • Remember that unventilated grain silos and manure pits are breeding grounds for methane gas, carbon dioxide, ammonia and hydrogen sulfide.

  • Look to OSHA for more resource information to help employers prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities among our nation's agriculture employees. Stay tuned for more safety and health 'QuickTips' in the next issue.


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