September 1, 2005 · Volume 4, Issue 17
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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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
Safety Information Available for Hurricane Cleanup and Recovery Workers
OSHA Extends Comment Period for Lead in Construction Standard
OSHA and JCAHO Hosting Seminar on Hospital Emergency Preparedness
Upcoming Speeches by OSHA's Deputy Assistant Secretary
New Partnerships Formed with OSHA
South Dakota, Louisiana and Texas Worksites Share VPP "Star" Spotlight
OSHA, Tennessee and Ireland Worksites Earn VPP Membership
OSHA Co-Hosts Safety and Health Fair for Small Businesses
Employers Encouraged to Recognize Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month
Regional Alliances Forged with OSHA
Voluntary Protection Programs


Safety Information Available for Hurricane Cleanup and Recovery Workers
    Hurricane Katrina's devastation of the Gulf Coast has prompted massive recovery operations. OSHA has a special information page on its Web site that provides important information and resources to ensure worker safety during these operations. Some of the hazards addressed include electrical work, fall protection, safe operation of chain saws, and working around downed electrical wires. Future public service announcements will also be posted on this site.

OSHA Extends Comment Period for Lead in Construction Standard
    OSHA is extending until Nov. 7, 2005, the comment period for its lead in construction standard that requires testing for lead exposures, provisions to protect workers from exposure where lead is present, and medical monitoring of exposed workers. The two-month extension was announced in the Aug. 29, 2005, Federal Register. OSHA is conducting its regulatory review of the lead in construction standard under Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act and Section 5 of Executive Order 12866. The 60-day extension will allow the public more time to help the agency determine if the standard is needed and, if so, whether it should be amended.

OSHA and JCAHO Hosting Seminar on Hospital Emergency Preparedness
   Helping prepare hospital employees to respond to victims of mass casualty incidents involving hazardous substances is the focus of a conference being sponsored by OSHA and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. The event will take place October 6-7 at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Emergency management experts will address a variety of hospital emergency preparedness topics including selection of appropriate personal protective equipment, development of emergency management plans, approaches to strengthening communication between first responders and receivers, as well as local emergency planning groups, and guidelines for ensuring worker safety. Conference seating is limited and early registration is encouraged. To register by telephone, or for more information, please call 877-223-6866.

Upcoming Speeches by OSHA's Deputy Assistant Secretary
   Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jonathan L. Snare will travel to Orlando, Fla., Sept. 14-16 to deliver remarks at the Fourth US/EU Joint Conference on Occupational Safety and Health. Snare will deliver the keynote address at the XVIIth World Congress on Safety and Health at Work, Sept. 18-22, also in Orlando. OSHA will set up an exhibit booth with compliance assistance and informative materials for attendees.

New Partnerships Formed with OSHA
    Three new partnerships under OSHA's Strategic Partnership Program were recently formed that focus on reducing injury and illness rates in the workplace. Crow/Northern Cheyenne Indian Health Service Hospital partnered with OSHA to target efforts on reducing bloodborne pathogen-related employee injuries. Ensuring the safety and health of construction workers in northern Ohio is the goal of a partnership with the North Coast Building Industry Association. A key goal of the agreement is to prevent the top causes of construction-related fatalities-falls, electrical hazards, moving equipment or machinery, and workers caught between equipment. A partnership between OSHA, the James McHugh Construction Company and Great Lakes U.S. Naval Facility, Navy Corps of Engineers, aims to eliminate serious hazards and reach a high level of worker safety and health protection for Battle Station 21, an $80 million construction project at the Great Lakes, Ill., facility.

South Dakota, Louisiana and Texas Worksites Share VPP "Star" Spotlight
   OSHA's Bismarck, N.D., Area Office Director Bruce Beelman and OSHA Regional VPP Manager Brad Baptiste recognized 3M Company's manufacturing site in Brookings, S.D., as a Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) "Star" site last month, highlighting its exceptional injury prevention program supplemented by exemplary employee wellness systems including onsite medical professionals, physical therapists, and health fairs. Entergy Operations Service Centers in Labadieville and Reserve, La., were praised by OSHA Dallas Regional Administrator John Miles for their outstanding efforts in maintaining an injury and illness rate 100 percent below the national average for their industry. GRACE Davison of Sulphur, La., and Dell Inc., of Round Rock, Texas, were also recognized for their safety and health management systems. Miles presented the VPP "Star" award to both organizations, noting management's efforts in achieving an injury and illness rate 79 percent below the national average for their industry.

OSHA, Tennessee and Ireland Worksites Earn VPP Membership
   Three exemplary worksites last month earned membership into OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP), which recognizes and promotes outstanding workplace safety and health management. OSHA's Columbus, Ohio, Area Office became the first site to earn VPP "Star" status under a Department of Labor initiative for select field sites. International Paper, headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., joins the United States Postal Service and Georgia-Pacific Corporation as the first three organizations to be formally accepted in the VPP "Corporate Pilot" program, which streamlines the application and onsite evaluation processes for corporations that have made a commitment to VPP. General Electric's Infrastructure - Security facility in Dublin is the first site recognized under Ireland's VPP program. Ireland is the first country to implement a program modeled on OSHA's highly successful VPP.

OSHA Co-Hosts Safety and Health Fair for Small Businesses
    OSHA's Cleveland, Ohio, Area Office, along with the Lake County Safety Council, Avery Dennison, and Lincoln Electric, is organizing a workplace safety and health fair on Sept. 16 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. for smaller businesses in both general industry and construction. The event will take place at Avery Dennison's Painesville, Ohio, corporate office. The conference will offer breakout sessions on construction, hazard recognition, recordkeeping, electrical, machine guarding, hazard communication, and safety and health programs. It will also promote company-to-company networking and collaboration, showcase exhibits, and feature experts in the field of occupational safety and health. Space is limited. For information and registration, please call the Lake County Safety Council at 440-255-1616.

Employers Encouraged to Recognize Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month
     September is National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, and businesses across the country are encouraged to participate. Achieving recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction is a collective effort requiring participation of all sectors of society, including the workplace. A safe workplace is one in which all workers understand that the abuse of alcohol and other drugs poses a significant, but avoidable, threat to their and others' safety. Recovery Month is an opportune time for employers and employees to work together to reinforce that being safe means being drug free, and that, for those with alcohol and drug problems, there is help. The U.S. Department of Labor's Working Partners program offers ideas about ways employers can contribute to the success of the campaign.

Regional Alliances Forged with OSHA
    Region I: Signing on with OSHA's Springfield, Mass., Area Office was the Springfield branch office of Boat People SOS. The alliance will focus on training to reduce and prevent western Massachusetts Vietnamese-American workers' exposure to chemicals hazards, falls, struck by, caught between and electrical hazards, and other unsafe acts or hazards on the job. Region V: OSHA's Peoria, Ill., Area Office teamed up with the state's safety and health consultation program and Richland Community College to form an alliance designed to provide students, employers and employees with safety and health information and training on the recognition and prevention of workplace hazards. Workers will benefit from a new alliance between OSHA's Wisconsin area offices, state onsite consultation program and Wisconsin Council of Safety. The key goal is to provide Wisconsin Council of Safety members with information, guidance and access to training resources to further worker health and safety. Region VI: Professional safety workers in Louisiana will benefit from an alliance between OSHA's New Orleans Area Office, Acadian Integrated Solutions and the Texas Engineering Extension Service. Alliance members will come together through forums, roundtable discussions, meetings and conferences to discuss safety and health issues associated with falls, and trenching and excavation hazards. Training and outreach will be provided to increase worker safety.

Voluntary Protection Programs Activity
    The following companies were approved last month for new or continued participation in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP): Region I: General Dynamics Aviation Services, Westfield, Mass. (Merit to Star); NBC 10 WJAR, Cranston, R.I. (Merit to Star); Hasbro Games, East Longmeadow, Mass. (Cont. Star) Region II: Torcon at Bristol Myers Squibb, New Brunswick, N.J. (New Demo); Williams Advanced Material Inc., Buffalo, N.Y. (New Star); General Electric Power Generation, Schenectady, N.Y. (Star Conditional) Region III: Uniqema, Atlas Point Site, New Castle, Del. (New Star); Paper Magic Group Inc., Troy, Pa. (New Star) Region IV: First Vehicle Services, Jacksonville Beach, Fla. (New Star); Sherwin Williams, Atlanta Distribution Center, Buford, Ga. (New Star); International Paper, Memphis, Tenn. (VPP Corporate Pilot) Region V: Uniqema, Chicago, Ill. (New Star); OSHA, Columbus, Ohio, Area Office (New Star) Region VI: Entergy Gulf States Inc., Sabine Plant, Bridge City, Texas (New Star); Entergy Louisiana Inc., Winnsboro Service Center, Winnsboro, La. (New Star); International Paper, Ft. Worth Container, Ft. Worth, Texas (New Star); Georgia Pacific, Crossett Studmill, Crossett, Texas (New Star); Entergy Louisiana Inc., Bastrop Service Center, Bastrop, La. (New Star); Entergy Operations, Jennings Service Center, Jennings, La. (New Star); Entergy Louisiana, Lafayette Service Center, Lafayette, La. (New Star) Region VII: BlueLinx Corp., Logistics Distribution Center, North Kansas City, Mo. (New Star); Omaha Steaks Int'l, Omaha, Neb. (New Merit); Monsanto, Agriculture Sector, Marshall, Mo. (New Star) Region VIII: Kalispell Post Office, Kalispell, Mont. (New Star), and Region X: Agrium, Conda Phosphate Ops., Soda Springs, Idaho (Cont. Star).

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