September 1, 2008 · Volume 7, Issue 17
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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

Bureau of Labor Statistics Releases 2007 Workplace Fatality Data
14th Victim of Imperial Sugar Co. Explosion Dies in Hospital
Make Workplace Safety and Health a Top Priority This Labor Day
OSHA Publishes Proposed Rule on PPE and Training Standards
New OSHA Guidance Document on Working with Portland Cement
ACCSH Travels to Washington for September Meeting
Fluor Corporation Accepted into VPP Corporate Pilot
OSHA VPP Seminar Scheduled for Cincinnati
P.J. Hoerr Partnership Makes Great Strides in Promoting Safety and Health During Construction Project
OSHA Education Center Offers Advanced Certificate in Safety and Health
Maritime Outreach Course Offered by OSHA Education Center in New Hampshire
Governor's Industrial Safety and Health Conference in Spokane, Wash.
Alliance Program Update
Strategic Partnership Program News
Upcoming OSHA Events
"QuickTips" from QuickTakes

Bureau of Labor Statistics Releases 2007 Workplace Fatality Data

A preliminary total of 5,488 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States in 2007, a decrease of 6 percent from the revised total of 5,840 fatal work injuries reported for 2006. Based on these counts, the rate of fatal injury for U.S. employees last year was 3.7 fatal work injuries per 100,000 employees, down from the final rate of 4.0 recorded for 2006, and the lowest annual fatality rate ever reported by the BLS fatality census. "We are pleased to see both the number and rate of fatal work injuries continue to decline," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. "These numbers show that OSHA's balanced approach to improving safety is working. However, we will continue to work to eliminate all fatalities since one fatality is one fatality too many." The final results for 2007 will be released in April 2009.

14th Victim of Imperial Sugar Co. Explosion Dies in Hospital

On Aug. 22, the fourteenth victim of a Feb. 7, 2008, explosion at the Imperial Sugar Co. plant in Port Wentworth, Ga., died of injuries sustained in the accident. One victim still remains in the burn center after the disaster, which drew the third-largest fine in the history of OSHA for safety violations identified at the company's facilities in Port Wentworth, Ga., and Gramercy, La. "We are deeply saddened by this additional loss of life stemming from this terrible tragedy," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. "We will not rest until we make certain that all employees go home safely to their families and friends at the end of every work day."

Make Workplace Safety and Health a Top Priority This Labor Day

On this Labor Day, OSHA reminds everyone to make workplace safety and health a top priority. Through its balanced approach, OSHA helps to assure employee safety and health by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. There are a number of OSHA resources available to assist employers and employees in identifying workplace hazards and possible solutions to those hazards. One is the On-site Consultation Program, which is a free and confidential service. Some consultation program participants can qualify for a one-year exemption from routine OSHA inspections. Visit OSHA's Web site for more information on how employers can help protect their employees.

OSHA Publishes Proposed Rule on PPE and Training Standards

OSHA announced in the Aug. 19 Federal Register that it is accepting public comments on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on personal protective equipment (PPE) and training standards. The proposal clarifies that when an OSHA standard requires an employer to provide PPE or training to employees, the employer must do so for each employee subject to the requirement, and that each employee not protected may be considered a violation for penalty purposes. For more information on the proposal and details on how to submit comments, refer to the Federal Register notice. Comments will be accepted until Sept. 18.

New OSHA Guidance Document on Working with Portland Cement

Portland cement is a generic term used to describe a variety of building materials valued for their strong adhesive properties when mixed with water. Employees who work with portland cement are at risk of developing skin problems, ranging from mild and brief to severe and chronic. OSHA recently released a new guidance document, Preventing Skin Problems from Working with Portland Cement, aimed at helping employers and employees understand the hazards associated with portland cement and the applicable OSHA regulations.

ACCSH Travels to Washington for September Meeting

Washington, D.C., is the site for the Sept. 11-12, 2008, meeting of the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH). The meeting will be held at the Frances Perkins Building, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., and begins promptly at 8:30 a.m. ACCSH meetings are open to the public. Details can be found in the Aug. 25 Federal Register.

Fluor Corporation Accepted into VPP Corporate Pilot

In August 2008, Fluor Corporation, one of the world's largest publicly owned engineering, procurement, construction and maintenance services companies, became OSHA's sixth participant in the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) Corporate Pilot. Based in Irving, Texas, Fluor joins General Electric Company, the United States Postal Service, Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Dow Chemical Company, and the Washington Division of URS Corporation in the pilot. Criteria include a substantial commitment to VPP, a comprehensive, organization-wide safety and health management system, and prescreening processes to ready sites for VPP approval prior to OSHA review.

OSHA VPP Seminar Scheduled for Cincinnati

On Tuesday, Sept. 9, OSHA's Region V will be offering a Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) seminar hosted by Turner Construction Company at the Cincinnati State Workforce Development Center in Cincinnati. Speakers from OSHA, including Michael G. Connors, regional administrator, and current VPP companies will provide information on the VPP application process, the VPP certification system, and a variety of other topics related to the program. For more information, current VPP companies should contact Emily Hanselman or Steve J. Spaulding of Turner Construction at 513-639-8201. All others should contact Terry Phillips or Sherry Leadbetter of Allied Construction Industries at 513-221-8020.

P.J. Hoerr Partnership Makes Great Strides in Promoting Safety and Health During Construction Project

In April 2007, P.J. Hoerr Inc. formed a strategic partnership with OSHA and the Illinois On-site Safety and Health Consultation Program aimed at reducing injuries and illnesses for employees involved in the Illinois Medical Center construction project. The project is an $18 million, five-story medical office building with a two-story parking garage. It is scheduled to be completed in 2009. During the project's first 14 months, the partnership recorded a days away from work, restricted work activity, or job transfer rate of zero and a total case incident rate that was 45 percent below the Bureau of Labor Statistics' national average for the construction industry. OSHA congratulates the participants of this partnership on their successful efforts to maintain safe, healthful working conditions for construction employees, and wishes them more good fortune during the remainder of the project.

OSHA Education Center Offers Advanced Certificate in Safety and Health

California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Center is pleased to announce its new Advanced Certificate in Safety and Health, obtainable by students who take seven courses. CSUDH will accept up to four courses from other authorized OTI Education Centers. Visit www.csudh.edu/osha to learn more about this unique program. For more information, contact 888-4LA-OSHA.

Maritime Outreach Course Offered by OSHA Education Center in New Hampshire

OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Center Keene State College will host the #5400 OSHA Maritime Train-the-Trainer Course from Sept. 22-25 at the Ammon Center in Manchester, N.H. This is a professional train-the-trainer program for those individuals who want to become OSHA-authorized trainers for the 10- and 30-hour maritime courses. For more information and registration details, contact the New England OTI Education Center at 1-800-449-6742 or by e-mail at oshaed@keene.edu.

Governor's Industrial Safety and Health Conference in Spokane, Wash.

The 57th Annual Governor's Industrial Safety and Health Conference will be held Sept. 24-25 at the Spokane Convention Center in Spokane, Wash. The event, sponsored by the Governor's Industrial Safety and Health Advisory Board and the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, will feature workshops, panels and presentations designed to educate employers and employees on incident prevention in the workplace. The Washington Department of Labor and Industries operates an OSHA-approved State Plan under its Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH). Click here for more information and online registration.

Alliance Program Update

National Office: OSHA and the American Red Cross renewed their alliance and will continue working toward promoting employee awareness of safety and health issues in the workplace, particularly emergency preparedness, first aid and disease prevention.

Strategic Partnership Program News

Region IV: OSHA recently entered a partnership with Holder Construction Co. and the Georgia Tech On-site Consultation Program to protect the safety and health of employees involved in the construction of a new academic building at Savannah State University.

Upcoming OSHA Events

OSHA has posted more announcements on future training opportunities, meetings and conferences to the events page on its Web site. Check for activities in your area.

"QuickTips" from QuickTakes

Agriculture is one of the United States' largest and most important industries, employing around 20 million people across the country, including more than 2 million teenagers. Unfortunately, several hundred employee deaths occur in the agricultural industry every year. Most of these fatalities involve heavy machinery, but there are several other common agricultural hazards, such as chemicals and asphyxiation in confined spaces, to which employees working on farms are often exposed. To counter these hazards, here is some advice from OSHA:

  • Provide roll-over protective structures (ROPS) and seat belts for employees operating tractors.
  • Replace guards on farm equipment immediately following maintenance.
  • Always wear long sleeves, long pants, shoes, socks, rubber gloves and splash-proof eye protection when working with any type of pesticide.
  • Never work in a silo or manure pit unless you are using a self-contained breathing apparatus-equipped respirator.

OSHA's Safety and Health Topics Page for Agricultural Operations is a resource employers can use to help them understand the standards that OSHA mandates for agricultural operations. OSHA also has an e-Tool for Youth in Agriculture for young workers to use to prevent injuries and illnesses when working on farms. Look for more "QuickTips" on additional safety and health topics in future issues of QuickTakes.

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