OSHA Offers Special Tribute in Remembrance of Sept. 11, 2001
Assistant Secretary Henshaw Advocates Major Expansion in VPP
Nursing Home/Personal Care Facility Inspections Under NEP to Begin
OSHA Establishes Alliance with Independent Electrical Contractors
Construction Standard on Signs, Signals, and Barricades Issued
Manhattan Area Office Begins Partnership with Contractors on Midtown High Rise
Web-based Training Tool Launched for Evacuation Plans and Procedures
OSHA Produces Training Video Aimed at Reducing Shipyard Fatalities
OSHA Certifies Newest "SHARP" Companies
Upcoming Speeches for Assistant Secretary Henshaw
"Today, as we pause to remember the innocent lives lost a year ago, let us also pay tribute to the working heroes of this country who helped us recover with strength and dignity and allowed a proud nation to stand even taller," said John Henshaw, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, in a statement commemorating the events on Sept. 11, 2001. Henshaw's statement is included in a compilation of articles related to the agency's response to the terrorist attacks a year ago.
The Voluntary Protection Program has been a resounding success for worker safety and health, but more can be done, John Henshaw, OSHA Administrator, said during his keynote address at the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association's conference in Orlando, FL, Sept. 9. Celebrating VPP's 20th anniversary, Henshaw said he hopes to see the program grow to 8,000 worksites in the future and suggested strategies to bring that to fruition, such as an entry level program to assist companies that want to participate.
OSHA will begin targeted inspections Sept. 17 enforcing the National Emphasis Program for nursing homes and personal care facilities. The program was first announced July 15 and includes targeted inspections of approximately 1,000 nursing homes and personal care facilities with high injury and illness rates. During the past two months, OSHA has conducted numerous outreach initiatives for the industry including training courses, seminars, and partnerships. While outreach will continue, the enforcement efforts will, according to OSHA Administrator John Henshaw, help "reduce the industry's injury and illness rate, which is 2½ times that of all other general industries."
With a focus on reducing and preventing exposure to falls, material-handling hazards, and rear-end auto collisions, OSHA joined with the Independent Electrical Contractors, Inc. (IEC) in a formal Alliance, Aug. 30. OSHA and IEC will work together at conferences and events to develop and disseminate information and guidance promoting safe and healthful working conditions. A joint team of IEC and OSHA staffers will meet regularly to develop action plans and track information on activities and results of the Alliance.
OSHA issued a new standard Sept. 11 for traffic control signs, signals, and barricades to help reduce fatalities and injuries at roadway worksites. The standard requires retro-reflective and illuminated devices at traffic control zones, warning devices for speeds above 20 miles per hour, advanced warning signs for closed paved shoulders, and temporary traffic control devices and barriers. The rule will become effective Dec. 11, 2002.
OSHA's Manhattan Area Office entered into a site safety and health partnership agreement Sept. 4 with construction contractor Bovis Lend Lease, and the Building Grades Employers' Association and Building and Construction Trades Council for the construction of a 54-story high-rise in midtown Manhattan. Scheduled for completion during March 2005, the project should encourage other New York City contractors to improve their safety and health performance. The partnership was initiated as a result of relationships formed between OSHA and contractors during the clean-up and recovery operations at the World Trade Center Emergency Project.
OSHA has developed a new electronic tool to help small, low-hazard service or retail businesses implement emergency action plans and evaluate their workplaces to comply with emergency standards. Emergency action plans describe the steps needed to ensure worker safety if a fire or other emergency situation occurs. Well-developed emergency plans and proper employee training are crucial to protecting workers during emergencies. OSHA's eTools are stand-alone, interactive, web-based training tools on safety and health topics.
Reducing fatal shipyard accidents is the goal of a computer-animated video produced this month by OSHA's Directorate of Science, Technology and Medicine. "Examining Fatal Shipyard Accidents: Hazards and Solutions" features animated re-enactments of actual fatal accidents investigated by OSHA, analyzes what went wrong, and shows how similar accidents can be prevented. The scenes include crane, confined space, fall, and electrical hazards, as well as improper use of equipment. Copies of the 15-minute video have been provided to OSHA's regional offices for distribution and outreach to shipyards. Consultation projects and state programs will receive additional copies soon. For more information, contact Deborah Gabry at OSHA's National Office at (202) 693-1983.
OSHA certified 12 companies last month as Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) sites. Developed for smaller, high-hazard worksites, SHARP recognizes employers who have demonstrated exemplary achievements in workplace safety and health by receiving a safety and health consultation visit, correcting all workplace safety and health hazards, and adopting and implementing effective safety and health management systems. The newest sites are: Aurora Cooperative, Aurora, NE; Cape Resources Co., an Energy Answers Company, Marston Mills, MA; eco/Pittsfield, Inc., an Energy Answers Company, Pittsfield, MA; eco/Springfield, an Energy Answers Company, Agawam, MA; Fred Netterville Lumber Company, Woodville, MS; Hutchinson Company, Inc., Whitinsville, MA; MOCAP, Incorporated, Farmington, MO; Precision Foods, Inc., Tupelo, MS; The Schular Company, Sidney, NE; U.S. Magnegas, Inc., Largo, FL; Vita-Foam, Inc., Tupelo, MS; and
V.H. Blackinton & Co., Inc., Attleboro Falls, MA. OSHA also renewed the SHARP status of 12 other certified participants in August. (Note: These numbers reflect August data reported as of the date of this publication.)
OSHA Administrator John Henshaw will address attendees of the Fall 2002 Occupational Safety and Health State Plan Association (OSHSPA) meeting in Mystic, CT, Sept. 17. Returning to Washington, he will speak to the Society of the Plastics Industry's Executive Board, and to the Conference Board's Chief Environmental, Health and Safety Officers' Council on Sept. 19 and 20, respectively. Henshaw is scheduled to travel to Chicago on Sept. 21 to speak at the 4th Annual Hull-House Conference honoring Alice Hamilton (recognized as the founder of industrial hygiene).
Editor: Bill Wright, OSHA Office of Public Affairs, 202-693-1999