September 15, 2003 • Volume 2, Issue 18
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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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
OSHA Administrator Addresses National Safety Congress
Henshaw Announces Expansion of Voluntary Protection Program
OSHA Welcomes Newest Alliance Program Participants
Ergonomics Committee Schedules Third Meeting
Comment Period Extended on Revisions to Respiratory Protection Standard
New York Region Joins Working Group Focusing on Hispanic Workers
Cranes and Derricks Committee to Meet in Washington Next Month
New Safety and Health Topics Added on OSHA's Website
Web-Based Training Tool Completed for Baggage Handling in Airline Industry
OSHA Publishes New Safety and Health Information Bulletins
ABC Texas Coastal Bend Chapter Signs Construction Partnership with OSHA
Voluntary Protection Program Activity


OSHA Administrator Addresses National Safety Congress
     Assistant Secretary of Labor John Henshaw told a Chicago audience Sept. 9 that OSHA's strategy for the future is focused on reducing injuries, illnesses, and deaths on the job. Henshaw's keynote address at the National Safety Council's 91st Congress and Exposition touched on the agency's accomplishments over the past year, but emphasized that the nation's return on its investment in OSHA must be a continual reduction in workplace fatalities and injuries. Henshaw also used the occasion to sign an Alliance with the National Safety Council to advance workplace safety and health.

Henshaw Announces Expansion of Voluntary Protection Program
     A work culture in America where employers and workers alike realize the importance of workplace safety and health is OSHA's vision, agency Administrator John Henshaw said during the 19th annual meeting of the Voluntary Protection Programs Participant's Association (VPPPA) conference in Washington, Sept. 8. And, one means to realize that vision is through the agency's Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). Henshaw revealed his plans for a dramatic expansion to VPP by announcing three new pilot programs-VPP Challenge, Corporate, and Construction-that could add up to 2,000-3,000 VPP sites in a few years.

OSHA Welcomes Newest Alliance Program Participants
     The National Safety Congress in Chicago provided the forum for Assistant Secretary of Labor John Henshaw to welcome the newest participants in OSHA's Alliance program. The International Safety Equipment Association joined forces with the agency Sept. 9 to focus on safety and health issues in heavy construction worksites, with a particular spotlight on personal protective equipment. Illinois-based Abbott Laboratories also signed on with the agency Sept. 10 to increase safety and health training resources for the health care and pharmaceutical industries.

Ergonomics Committee Schedules Third Meeting
     Arlington, VA, will host the third meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Ergonomics (NACE), Sept. 24. The meeting continues discussion on OSHA's ergonomics program, and will include a presentation on the National Academy of Sciences ergonomics study. Working groups on research, guidelines, and outreach and assistance will make reports to the general committee. The meeting is open to the public and will be held at the Quality Hotel & Suites Courthouse Plaza in Arlington, beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Comment Period Extended on Revisions to Respiratory Protection Standard
     OSHA extended until Oct. 2 the comment period on the agency's proposal to amend the Respiratory Protection Standard. The revisions originally published on June 6 incorporated new Assigned Protection Factors for respiratory protection programs. Interested parties have requested additional time to comment on those numbers, as well as changes to several substance-specific standards.

New York Region Joins Working Group Focusing on Hispanic Workers
     Hispanic workers in Westchester County, NY, are set to receive training in workplace safety and health through the cooperative efforts of OSHA's New York Region and the Hispanic Resource Center of Larchmont and Mamaroneck, NY, and Wenner Bread Products in Bayport. The group provides vital training in Spanish to Hispanic day laborers, and recently conducted a 10-hour OSHA construction course in Spanish, the first of its kind in the New York region.

Cranes and Derricks Committee to Meet in Washington Next Month
     The third meeting of a negotiated rulemaking committee for cranes and derricks in construction is set for Oct. 1-3 in Washington, D.C. Notice of the meeting is published in today's Federal Register. The 23-member committee is composed of representatives of government and industry that will be impacted by a proposal for a construction safety standard for cranes and derricks.

New Safety and Health Topics Added on OSHA's Website
     Several new subjects have been added to OSHA's Safety and Health Topics web page that may be of interest to our readers. Assistance for the Airline Industry provides information for employers and airline industry workers. Four specific disciplines are addressed in the Printing Industry page including lithography, flexography, gravure, and screen printing. The page presents links to resources that provide useful safety and health information about the printing industry. The Electrical Contractors page offers information about the hazards facing electrical workers daily. OSHA has published important safety and health and regulatory information on radiation and non-ionizing radiation (e.g., radio waves, microwaves, etc.). Details on three health-related topics are also available, including tuberculosis, isocyanates, and Legionnaires' disease. The agency also added to its existing asbestos topics page, a self-inspection checklist to help employers determine compliance to the asbestos standard. Finally, information on preventing occupational illness and injury in the trucking industry is also available that includes links to applicable Department of Transportation and Environmental Protection Agency compliance requirements related to worker protection.

Web-Based Training Tool Completed for Baggage Handling in Airline Industry
     OSHA's web-based training tool for baggage handling is now complete, with the addition of new training modules for the ticket area and makeup room. A "ramp area" section was completed last month. The Solutions for Baggage Handling eTool provides information to help reduce material handling hazards associated with handling passenger checked baggage. The eTool follows the flow of checked baggage from passenger check-in to the baggage being loaded into the cargo holds of aircraft. The training tool is a product of OSHA's November 2002 Alliance with a group of 13 airlines and the National Safety Council's International Air Transport Section.

OSHA Publishes New Safety and Health Information Bulletins
     Two new safety and health information bulletins are now available on OSHA's website. CBRN Escape Respirators was developed to provide employers with information on helping to protect workers from injuries and illnesses resulting from possible terrorist incidents related to chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear incidents. The agency has also published a bulletin to help protect workers who may be exposed to the West Nile Virus. Workplace Precautions against West Nile Virus discusses symptoms of the virus, what occupations are at risk, and various safeguards employers can take to combat workplace exposure.

ABC Texas Coastal Bend Chapter Signs Construction Partnership with OSHA
     OSHA's Corpus Christi, TX, area office recently entered into a Construction Leaders Agreement for Safety strategic partnership with Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Texas Coastal Bend chapter. CLAS partnerships are designed to reduce injuries, illnesses and fatalities among construction workers. ABC signed a national agreement with OSHA three years ago to recognize general and specialty construction contractors with effective safety and health programs. The Texas agreement is the 40th local partnership between ABC and OSHA.

Voluntary Protection Program Activity
     The following companies were approved recently for new or continued participation in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program (VPP): Viox Services, Inc., OH (New Star–Mobile Workforce Demo Program); Danis Industrial Construction Co., OH (New Star–Mobile Workforce Demo Program); Danis Building Construction Co., OH (New Star–Mobile Workforce Demo Program); Motorola, Inc., Plantation, FL (Cont. Star); Louisiana Pacific Corp., Houlton, ME (New Star); Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, Plymouth MA (New Star); Acushnet Company, Titleist Ball Plant II, North Dartmouth, MA (New Star); Potlatch Corporation, Clearwater Wood Products Mill, Lewiston, ID (Cont. Star); Ortho Diagnostics, Rochester, NY (New Star); Yuasa Battery, Inc., Laureldale, PA (New Merit); Georgia Pacific, Green Valley Hardwood Sawmill, Princeton, WV (New Star); Georgia Pacific, Grenada Oriented Strand Plant, Duck Hill, MS (New Star); Georgia Pacific, Lake City Distribution Center, Lake City, FL (New Star); Georgia Pacific, Vienna Particleboard Plant, Vienna, GA (New Star); Noramco of Athens, Inc., Athens, GA (New Star); Wheelabrator McKay Bay Inc., Tampa, FL (New Star); Pratt & Whitney, Advanced Systems Technologies, Inc., Huntsville, AL (New Star); University Hospital & Medical Center, Tamarac, FL (New Star); Canam Steel Corporation, Jacksonville, FL (Merit to Star); Arizona Chemical Company, Pensacola, FL (Merit to Star); General Electric Medical Systems, X-Ray Tube Target Plant, Warrensville Heights, OH (New Star); General Electric Consumer Products Division, Chicago Plant Operations, Cicero, IL (New Star); and Scott's Liquid Gold, Inc., Denver, CO (New Merit).

Editor: Bill Wright, OSHA Office of Communications, 202-693-1999