August 15, 2008 · Volume 7, Issue 16
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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

Latest OSHA Resources Focus on Metal Scrap Recycling and Hazardous Waste Operations
VPP Sites to Gather for 24th Annual National VPPPA Conference
P.J. Dick/Hunt Construction Joint Venture Forms Partnership with Philadelphia Region
National Office Exhibit Travels to Midwest and California
OSHA Prepares for "Swept Up in Safety Week" in Florida
NSC to Host Webinars on Whistleblower Protection, Recordkeeping and Drug Awareness
Illinois Safety and Health Day Aims to Protect Employees
OSHA to Host Forum on Assisting Small Businesses with Regulatory Compliance
Alliance Program Update
Free Safety and Health Evaluations for Your Small Business
More Training Opportunities Highlighted on Events Web Page
"QuickTips" from QuickTakes

Latest OSHA Resources Focus on Metal Scrap Recycling and Hazardous Waste Operations

Employers and employees in the metal scrap recycling industry stand to benefit from a new publication produced by OSHA known as Guidance for the Identification and Control of Safety and Health Hazards in Metal Scrap Recycling. The document offers ways to recognize and manage the hazards associated with exposure to various metals and processing chemicals and with related processes and equipment used in metal scrap recycling operations. OSHA revised its Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response booklet highlighting the requirements for hazardous waste operations and emergency response at uncontrolled hazardous waste sites and treatment, storage and disposal facilities. It also discusses the steps an employer must take to protect the health and safety of employees in these environments.

VPP Sites to Gather for 24th Annual National VPPPA Conference

Safety, health and environmental professionals, hourly employees and managers from worksites across the country will be gathering together for this year's Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association (VPPPA) Conference, Aug. 25-28, 2008, in Anaheim, Calif. The conference focuses on OSHA's and the Department of Energy's premier recognition program--Voluntary Protection Programs--which promote best practices in occupational safety and health. Attendees are invited to participate in two full days of workshops, which are listed at www.vpppa.org/Conference/listing.cfm. The VPPPA Expo will feature more than 180 exhibitors, evening receptions and networking sessions. For more information, visit https://secure.vpppa.org/vpppa/forms/annualconf/ on the World Wide Web. Onsite registration will be available.

P.J. Dick/Hunt Construction Joint Venture Forms Partnership with Philadelphia Region

OSHA and the P.J. Dick/Hunt Construction Joint Venture joined forces to form an OSHA Strategic Partnership during the construction of the Pittsburgh Penguin Arena. The new ice hockey/multipurpose arena is scheduled for completion in 2010 and will seat 18,300--2,000 more than the Penguins' current Mellon Arena. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., Philadelphia Regional Administrator John M. Hermanson, and Pittsburgh Area Office Director Robert Szymanski participated in the signing ceremony. The partnership's focus is to reduce injuries by 3 percent annually by implementing effective safety and health management systems by all site contractors.

National Office Exhibit Travels to Midwest and California

OSHA will host an exhibit featuring compliance assistance and informative materials for conference attendees at the Association of Small Business Development Centers Conference, Sept. 2-5 in Chicago, Ill. The agency will also showcase its exhibit at the Academy of Certified Hazardous Materials Managers National Conference and Exposition from Sept. 7-10 in Minneapolis, Minn. The National Safety Council's 2008 Congress and Expo will take place Sept. 19-26 in Anaheim, Calif. This conference is considered the world's largest safety, health and environmental event where attendees can improve their skills and remain updated on the latest trends.

OSHA Prepares for "Swept Up in Safety Week" in Florida

OSHA will kick off a no-notice "Swept Up in Safety Week" campaign this month to curtail construction-related fatalities in northern Florida. OSHA compliance safety and health officers will focus their enforcement efforts on construction sites stretching from Daytona Beach to Pensacola, Fla. Compliance officers will conduct immediate inspections if they observe unsafe working conditions. They will also visit worksites to offer training and encourage employers to continue their good work when observed. It is evident that this program is successful by the 10.4 percent reduction in fatalities at construction sites overseen by federal OSHA in the southeastern United States in fiscal year (FY) 2007 compared to FY 2006.

NSC to Host Webinars on Whistleblower Protection, Recordkeeping and Drug Awareness

The National Safety Council (NSC) will host a Webinar on Aug. 20, 2008, from 10 to 11 a.m. CDT focusing on whistleblower protection. The featured speaker is Nilgun Tolek, director of the Office of Investigative Assistance in OSHA's Directorate of Enforcement Programs. On Aug. 27, NSC will sponsor a Webinar on "Unraveling the Mysteries of Recordables and Reportables" featuring David Amos, senior consultant of NSC. "A Safe Workplace is a Drug-Free Workplace" is the focus of a Sept. 3 Webinar featuring U.S. Department of Labor's Drug Policy Coordinator Elena M. Carr. For more information on future Webinars, visit NSC's Webinar calendar page at http://www.nsc.org/webinar/calendar.aspx.

Illinois Safety and Health Day Aims to Protect Employees

OSHA's Chicago region is co-sponsoring the 20th annual Chicagoland Safety and Health Conference Sept. 15-18 at Northern Illinois University in Naperville, Ill. The conference will feature more than 40 sessions focusing on hazard recognition, fall protection, machine guarding, controlling explosive dust, overhead cranes, and hoists, just to name a few. In concert with this event, OSHA is co-sponsoring the Second Annual SHARP/VPP Conference, Sept. 17-18. This activity is targeted towards companies interested in achieving safety excellence through OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) or Illinois Consultation's Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP).

OSHA to Host Forum on Assisting Small Businesses with Regulatory Compliance

OSHA's Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs (DCSP) will hold its next quarterly small business forum on Sept. 30, 2008, at the U.S. Department of Labor's Frances Perkins Building, in Washington. A panel, consisting of regulatory compliance and economic specialists and a small business representative, will lead the discussion on fostering stronger relationships between small businesses and the regulatory community. "The Business of Small Business Forum Series" is an opportunity for small businesses to share the challenges they face in today's global business climate as they strive to comply with regulatory requirements and still remain competitive in the world economy. The tentative time is 10 a.m. to noon in conference room C-5515. For additional information, contact Russell Jones in DCSP's Office of Small Business Assistance at 202-693-2532 or jones.russell@dol.gov.

OSHA Education Center Safety Courses Available for College Credit

Students who have earned the Texas Engineering Extension Service's (TEEX) OSHA Training Center's Certified Safety and Health Official certificate can transfer up to 18 credits to the San Juan College (SJC) Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Occupational Safety online degree program, thanks to a cooperative agreement among TEEX, SJC, Texas A&M University-Commerce and the New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau. All 71 credit hours required for the A.A.S. degree and up to 85 SJC credit hours will transfer to Texas A&M University-Commerce. This means that students only need to earn an additional 36 credits to complete their bachelor of arts and applied science degree. Fall semester classes at SJC begin on Aug. 25. For more information, contact Chuck Glenewinkel at 979-458-7758 or Chuck.Glenewinkel@teexmail.tamu.edu.

Alliance Program Update

National Office: OSHA and the Coordinating Committee for Automotive Repair renewed their alliance to continue promoting workplace safety and health in the automotive industry. The agreement targets workplace vehicle safety, abrasive wheel machinery (including associated silica hazards), and ergonomics. Region II: Continuing to reduce and prevent workplace hazards is the focus of an alliance renewed between OSHA's New York region and the Manufacturers Association of Central New York. One key element of the alliance is its mentoring program. Large manufacturing businesses with in-house safety departments mentor smaller businesses.

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 OSHA's Small Business Web page at http://www.osha.gov/dcsp/smallbusiness/index.html, or call 202-693-2220.

More Training Opportunities Highlighted on Events Web Page

OSHA posted more occupational safety- and health-related training information to the events page on its Web site. Look for opportunities in your area.

"QuickTips" from QuickTakes

Each year in American workplaces, powered portable and stationary mechanical saws are responsible for thousands of injuries serious enough to require medical attention. Most of these injuries occur because the saw operator is not adequately trained, or the saw blade is insufficiently protected. Using properly guarded blades and appropriate protective equipment, such as safety goggles, will greatly reduce the risk of safety and health hazards when working with saws. Here are a few recommendations from OSHA:

  • Keep hands and other body parts away from the line along which the saw will cut.
  • When using a table saw, always guard the portion of the blade below the table.
  • Keep saw blades in good condition to prevent the saw from throwing wood chips, splinters and broken saw teeth.
  • Always guard the saw's power transmission apparatus.

OSHA's Guide for Protecting Workers from Woodworking Hazards is a resource detailing the proper precautions to take when using mechanical saws. OSHA's Machine Guarding eTool also has a section devoted to mechanical saws to help employees prevent injuries caused by saw blades. Look for more "QuickTips" on a new safety and health topic in your next issue of QuickTakes.

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