October 1, 2003 • Volume 2, Issue 19
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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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
Bureau of Labor Statistics Announces Historic Drop in Workplace Fatalities
DOL Awards More Than $11 Million in Safety and Health Training Grants
OSHA Schedules Ergonomics, MACOSH Meetings
National Alliance List Expands By Three
OSHA Publishes Worker Safety Information in Wake of Hurricane Isabel
Revision to Longshoring and Marine Terminals Standard Proposed
New Partnership, Alliance in New York and Denver Regions
New York Region Schedules Machine Guarding Seminars
Fall Protection Systems Continue to Save Lives
Ergonomic Hazard Alert Letter Prompts Changes at Ohio Nursing Home
Two Dayton Construction Companies Receive OSHA's Top Safety Award


Bureau of Labor Statistics Announces Historic Drop in Workplace Fatalities
     The number of workplace fatalities fell by more than six percent in 2002 to the lowest level ever recorded, according to the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics. BLS' Sept. 17 announcement also highlighted an all-time low in the fatality rate-4.0 fatal work injuries per 100,000 workers during the same year. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao said in a statement that the report was "good news for America and demonstrates the Administration's strong commitment to workplace safety." OSHA Administrator John Henshaw echoed those sentiments saying, "...there is no greater reward than knowing that our efforts are helping to save lives."

DOL Awards More Than $11 Million in Safety and Health Training Grants
     Sixty-seven nonprofit organizations are on tap to share portions of $11.2 million in training grants for safety and health training and educational programs. Announced Sept. 22, this year's grants were awarded in three categories: Targeted Topic Training Grants (e.g., construction and general industry hazards, workplace violence, emergency preparedness and response, etc.); OSHA Training Materials Development; and Ergonomics Guidelines Training. The training grants are named in honor of the late Susan Harwood, a former director of the Office of Risk Assessment in OSHA's Health Standards Directorate, who died in 1996.

OSHA Schedules Ergonomics, MACOSH Meetings
     A public stakeholder meeting to discuss OSHA's draft ergonomics guidelines for retail grocery stores will be held Oct. 2 at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, D.C. (The meeting was originally scheduled for Sept. 18 but was cancelled due to Hurricane Isabel). The Labor Department building is the site for the two-day Maritime Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (MACOSH), beginning Oct. 15. MACOSH will meet from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Oct. 15 in Room N3437 (A-C), and reconvene the next day at 8:30 a.m. in Room C5320, #6.

National Alliance List Expands By Three
     OSHA recently formed three national Alliances with associations dedicated to advancing occupational safety and health. The Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) signed on Sept. 16 to focus efforts on hazard communication, recordkeeping and respiratory protection issues. On Sept. 26, OSHA signed an Alliance with the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) starting a collaborative effort to encourage safety experts to strive for enhanced knowledge of safety and health programs and to achieve the Certified Safety Professional (CSP) designation. Finally, the National Safety Management Society (NSMS) is joining today with OSHA to focus on integrated safety management systems and workplace safety and health programs.

OSHA Publishes Worker Safety Information in Wake of Hurricane Isabel
     Nearly two weeks after Hurricane Isabel stormed across the mid-Atlantic region of the United States, workers from North Carolina north to Pennsylvania and beyond continue recovery efforts. In the wake of Isabel's devastation, OSHA has published information to help employers and workers stay safe during the cleanup efforts and urges everyone involved in recovery efforts to take appropriate safety measures to avoid injury and illnesses.

Revision to Longshoring and Marine Terminals Standard Proposed
     Improving safety of longshore workers who deal with vertical tandem lifting (VTLs) of containers is the purpose of OSHA's recently proposed revision to the longshoring standard published more than six years ago. That standard discussed the practice of lifting two intermodal containers together-one on top of the other-but did not cover them. The proposed revision would permit VTLs of two containers with combined weight of containers and cargo not exceeding 20 tons. Public comment on the proposal is requested by Dec. 15.

New Partnership, Alliance in New York and Denver Regions
     OSHA's Manhattan Area Office in New York signed a partnership agreement Sept. 15 for workers at the Trump Riverside South project. The 32-story residential and retail facility is on Manhattan's West Side and is expected to be completed in December 2004. Joining OSHA is HRC Construction LLC, the Building and Construction Trades Council and the Building Trades Employers Association. OSHA's Bismarck, ND Area Office formed an Alliance Sept. 16 with the North Dakota Grain Dealers Association for training and educating workers on safety and health hazards of grain elevators and feed mills. The Grain Dealers Association represents more than 350 grain elevator and feed mill locations throughout North Dakota with approximately 1,800 workers.

New York Region Schedules Machine Guarding Seminars
     Working safely with machinery is the goal of six separate seminars being offered by OSHA's Buffalo Area Office this month. The training, co-sponsored by area organizations and colleges, will be held at six locations throughout upstate New York beginning at Orchard Park and Lockport on Oct. 2, followed by Jamestown and Olean on Oct. 9, and Batavia and Rochester on Oct. 16. Contact the Buffalo office at (716) 684-3891 for more information.

Fall Protection Systems Continue to Save Live
     Falls account for the greatest number of fatalities throughout construction and continue to be a major concern in other industries. But, as OSHA's Chicago region can attest, fall protection is helping to prevent many more deaths. On June 21, two workers of JSL Masonry Restoration, Inc. were rescued by the Chicago Fire Department outside the 15th floor of the Marquette Building after their scaffold motors malfunctioned. Both workers were suspended from their fall arrest systems. Less than a month later, an employee of A-1 Maintenance was rescued by the fire department from the 21st floor of a building on North State Street after yet another scaffold malfunction. The worker's fall arrest system saved his life. Finally, OSHA's Peoria Office can take credit for saving the life of a highway worker near Pesorum, IL. On Aug. 13, Champaign, IL-based O'Neal Bros. was cited for lack of fall protection on an overpass; less than one month later, a worker fell through a false deck on the bottom of the bridge at the same site, but was saved from a 21-foot drop to the pavement below because the company had just implemented a new fall protection program.

Ergonomic Hazard Alert Letter Prompts Changes at Ohio Nursing Home
     The Toledo, OH Area Office recently heard from Tandem Health Care in Bellville, OH after they had sent the nursing home a letter alerting them of ergonomic problems at the facility. As a direct result of that letter, Tandem Health Care reported to the Toledo office that they had implemented a low-lift policy and have purchased new ergonomic equipment to be used with that policy. The company is also training its employees on the equipment and is implementing a full ergonomics program based on OSHA's recommendations.

Two Dayton Construction Companies Receive OSHA's Top Safety Award
     Dayton, OH-based Danis Building Construction Company and Danis Industrial Construction Company received OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star Demonstration Award in separate ceremonies last month. OSHA's Mobile Workforce Demonstration Program is a special component of VPP designed for construction and service industries. Mike Connors, OSHA's Regional Administrator in Chicago, said the awards "are a fitting testament to the cooperation between OSHA and these companies in developing a safer workplace." Connors also congratulated them on achieving two million man-hours without a lost time injury.

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