September 15, 2004 · Volume 3, Issue 18
A bi-weekly e-news memo with information, updates, and results from OSHA about safety and health in America's workplaces.
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In This Issue
OSHA Administrator Addresses National Safety Congress
A/S Henshaw Visits China, Mexico City to Discuss Workplace Safety and Health Issues
OSHA Publishes Final Rule for Fire Protection in Shipyards
Ergonomics Guidelines for the Poultry Processing Industry Announced
Safety and Health Information Bulletin Focuses on Fall Protection
CCHEST Joins Year-old Alliance with OSHA, Board of Certified Safety Professionals
ASSE Conducting Conference Call on Fall Protection Systems
VPP Recognition Scheduled for Florida Business
New York Region Forms Three New Alliances
Boston, Atlanta, Kansas City Regions Sign New Alliances


OSHA Administrator Addresses National Safety Congress
     Assistant Secretary of Labor John Henshaw told a New Orleans audience yesterday that OSHA is making good progress on its triple bottom line-reducing injuries, illnesses, and deaths on the job. Henshaw's keynote address at the National Safety Council's 92nd Congress and Exposition touched on the agency's accomplishments over the past year, but focused on emerging safety and health issues related to homeland security, international activities, and Hispanic outreach. Henshaw also used the occasion to launch "Every Belt-Every Ride," a campaign to encourage federal workers to wear seat belts in all stations when traveling on public business in all motor vehicles.

A/S Henshaw Visits China, Mexico City to Discuss Workplace Safety and Health Issues
    OSHA Administrator John Henshaw traveled to Beijing, P.R. China on Sept. 2 to discuss occupational safety and health issues at the Second China International Forum on Work Safety. The forum is a follow-on to Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao's visit in June where she signed four letters of understanding between the Department and The People's Republic of China (PRC) to broaden cooperation between the two countries in the areas of labor, employment rights, workplace safety, and labor standards. Henshaw also visited Mexico City on Sept. 9 where he addressed the International Congress on Labour Inspections. That visit comes on the heels of a joint declaration signed in July by Secretary Chao and Mexico's Foreign Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez to reinforce the Department's continuing efforts to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for workers from Mexico and other Latin American countries.

OSHA Publishes Final Rule for Fire Protection in Shipyards
   Approximately 100,000 workers in the shipbuilding, ship repair and ship breaking industries, stand to benefit from a new safety and health standard published today by OSHA. Fire Protection in Shipyard Employment will provide shipyard workers the same level of protection against fire hazards as employees in other industries. Incorporating 19 consensus standards from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the standard was developed through the negotiated rulemaking process.

Ergonomics Guidelines for the Poultry Processing Industry Announced
   Employers and workers in the poultry processing industry now have a set of detailed guidelines to draw on to help reduce ergonomic injuries. The Guidelines for Poultry Processing was announced Sept. 2 and offers practical recommendations for employers to reduce the number and severity of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) throughout the industry. The final guidelines result from collaboration with trade and professional associations, labor organizations, the medical community, and individual industry firms. Poultry processing joins the nursing home and retail grocery store industries that now benefit from industry-specific ergonomics guidelines-one segment of OSHA's comprehensive strategy to reduce ergonomic injuries.

Safety and Health Information Bulletin Focuses on Fall Protection
    OSHA issued a Safety and Health Information Bulletin this month to prevent fatal accidents and injuries for workers using wire form anchorage connectors for fall protection. The connectors are used frequently in the tower construction and maintenance industry as portable/temporary anchorage connector personal fall arrest systems and for positioning device systems. OSHA's area office in Bismarck, ND, recently investigated a fatal accident involving a spring-loaded form anchorage connector used in communication towers upgrade work. The bulletin details specifications and limitations of the devices, lists recommendations for the safe use of the devices, and discusses the agency's standards for fall protection system criteria.

CCHEST Joins Year-old Alliance with OSHA, Board of Certified Safety Professionals
    OSHA Administrator John Henshaw signed an addendum Sept. 13 with the Council on Certification of Health, Environmental and Safety Technologists (CCHEST) adding them to the BCSP Alliance launched one year ago. The Alliance continues a collaborative effort with OSHA to encourage safety professionals to strive for enhanced knowledge of safety and health programs and to encourage achievement of Certified Safety Professional (CSP) designation. Henshaw signed the addendum in New Orleans in conjunction with the National Safety Council's Congress and Expo.

ASSE Conducting Conference Call on Fall Protection Systems
   The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) is hosting an Audio Conference Sept. 22 to discuss the new American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A10.32 standard Fall Protection Systems. The standard applies to manufacturers and users of personal fall protection equipment and systems; the Audio Conference will focus on the standard's guidelines related to fall arrest restraint, work positioning, climbing, descending and rescue at construction and demolition worksites. The conference will be held from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. CST. For more information, contact ASSE Customer Service at 847-699-2929.

VPP Recognition Scheduled for Florida Business
   Specialty Minerals, Inc. in Cantonment, FL, is scheduled to join a special group of businesses next month when they are welcomed into OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP). Susan Jordan Sikes, OSHA's Atlanta VPP Manager, said the company has "exhibited excellence in its safety and health management system" and singled out as "especially impressive" the company's development of employee monitoring systems for use during emergency situations. Specialty Minerals, Inc. manufactures industrial inorganic chemicals. (A Sept. 14 recognition ceremony was postponed due to Hurricane Ivan).

New York Region Forms Three New Alliances
    The safety and health of workers throughout the Empire State is the focus of three new Alliances signed recently in the New York Region. OSHA's Albany Area Office is working with the Northeastern Subcontractors Association (NESCA) and New York State's Department of Labor's Consultation Program (NY Consultation) to focus on construction worker's safety. The Albany office also joined with its counterparts in Buffalo, Syracuse and Tarrytown to form an Alliance Sept. 1 with the "Dig Safely New York" organization and NY Consultation to highlight protections for workers involved in excavations. Finally, Lovell Safety Management Company, a safety management firm in areas such as general construction, lumber and general industry throughout New York, signed an Alliance Sept. 2 with OSHA's New York area offices to provide the state's employers with information, guidance and access to resources to develop safety and health programs.

Boston, Atlanta, Kansas City Regions Sign New Alliances
    OSHA's Augusta, ME Area Office is helping to reduce and prevent workers' exposure to roadway work zone and construction hazards through a new Alliance signed last month with the Maine Department of Transportation, the state's Consultation Project, the Associated Constructors of Maine, Inc., and the Federal Highway Administration. Meanwhile, workers in Nebraska's grain handling industry will benefit from an Alliance signed Sept. 10 between OSHA's Omaha, NE Area Office and the Nebraska Grain and Feed Association. OSHA's Atlanta-West Area Office signed a Safety Awareness Facilitation Education Alliance yesterday with the Metro Atlanta Firefighters, Georgia Tech Research Institute, Georgia Hispanic Contractors Association, and the Georgia Utility Contractors Association to concentrate efforts on reducing trenching and excavation hazards.

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