October 1, 2004 · Volume 3, 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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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
OSHA Announces Harwood Training Grant Recipients
Bureau of Labor Statistics Releases 2003 Workplace Fatality Data
OSHA Announces Proposed Rule for Hexavalent Chromium
Construction Advisory Committee Meeting Scheduled
Trinational Occupational Safety and Health Group Meets in New Orleans
Drive Safely Work Week Kicks Off Oct. 4
Seattle Region Sponsors Safety and Health Workshop
OSHA Develops Video Highlighting Small Businesses
New Partnerships in Chicago, Kansas City Regions
Alliances Focus on Construction Industry, Small Business
Denver, Kansas City Regions Spotlight New VPP "Star" Employers
Chicago Region Making Major Strides in Hispanic Outreach
Voluntary Protection Programs Activity


OSHA Announces Harwood Training Grant Recipients
     More than $10.5 million in Susan Harwood Training Grants is being awarded to 69 nonprofit organizations for safety and health training and educational programs. The grants were announced Sept. 26. Of the 69 grants awarded, 50 were to new grantees selected through a national competition announced last May. The remaining 19 awards are renewal grants. The grants support the development of training materials to educate: Hispanic and other non-English speaking workers; employers in small businesses; and workers and employers in high hazard industries and industries with high fatality, injury and illness rates.

Bureau of Labor Statistics Releases 2003 Workplace Fatality Data
    The rate of workplace fatalities last year remained at the same level as 2002-4.0 per 100,000, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this month. BLS' Sept. 22 announcement said a total 5,559 fatal work injuries were recorded during 2003. OSHA Administrator John Henshaw said in a statement that the report emphasizes that "American workers remain safer than they were just a few years ago." Henshaw also noted that fatalities among Hispanic workers dropped notably for the second straight year, following several years of increases.

OSHA Announces Proposed Rule for Hexavalent Chromium
   OSHA announced today that it is proposing standards that cover exposure to hexavalent chromium in general industry, construction, and shipyards. In addition to lowering the permissible exposure limit of the compound, the proposals include provisions for worker protection including preferred methods for controlling exposure, respiratory protection, personal protective equipment, recordkeeping, and more. The proposal will be published in the Oct. 4, 2004, Federal Register. OSHA welcomes public comments; they should be forwarded to the agency by Jan. 3, 2005. OSHA also plans an informal public hearing on the issue beginning Feb. 1, 2005 in Washington.

Construction Advisory Committee Meeting Scheduled
   Washington, D.C., is the site of the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health's (ACCSH) next meeting, Oct. 19-20. Topics of discussion will include a Hispanic Summit Report, standards update, excavation, tower erection, and partnership and alliance updates. The meeting is open to the public and will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, room N3437A/B/C. ACCSH is a continuing advisory body of 15 members who provide advice and assistance in construction standards and policy matters to the Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA. Details on the meeting are in the Sept. 24 Federal Register.

Trinational Occupational Safety and Health Group Meets in New Orleans
    A working group dedicated to promoting safe and healthful workplaces throughout North America met last month in New Orleans and agreed to an active program of cooperative efforts in 2005. Working groups for the U.S., Mexico and Canada agreed to numerous projects including the establishment of training workshops for safety and health inspectors, as well as workshops on risk assessment for chemicals in the workplace. Formed in 2002, the working group consists of government experts from the three nations who seek to strengthen cooperation on safety and health issues under the auspices of the North American Free Trade Agreement's labor arm - the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC).

Drive Safely Work Week Kicks Off Oct. 4
    The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) is sponsoring Drive Safely Work Week from Oct. 4-8. The campaign was designed to help employers raise awareness and confront traffic safety issues within their place of business to reduce traffic-related incidents. This year's campaign pinpoints five positive driving behaviors every driver should adopt. NETS is the only organization dedicated exclusively to traffic safety in the workplace. The organization is also an OSHA Alliance participant (the agreement signed on Oct. 6, 2003 focuses on reducing work-related traffic injuries and deaths). NETS also worked with OSHA in the agency's recent seat-belt campaign to encourage all federal employees to wear seat belts in all stations of a moving motor vehicle.

Seattle Region Sponsors Safety and Health Workshop
   A construction and general industry safety and health workshop will be held in Boise, ID, Oct. 7-8. The workshop is geared for Idaho high school and post secondary professional technical instructors and will highlight OSHA regulations, hazard identification, avoidance and control and prevention. The workshop is co-sponsored by the Idaho Associated General Contractors (AGC), Washington Group International (WGI), Snake River Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), and the Idaho Division of Professional Technical Education. For more information or to register, contact Idaho AGC's Safety Program Manager Lisa Losness at (208) 344-2531 or lisal@agcidaho.org.

OSHA Develops Video Highlighting Small Businesses
   "Listening to Small Business" is a new video offered by OSHA featuring small businesses that have worked with the agency to implement safety and health programs. Six companies share their stories and practical guidance about successful and effective safety and health management systems. John Henshaw, OSHA Administrator, and Hector Barreto, SBA's Administrator are featured in the production. The video is available for download from OSHA's website.

New Partnerships in Chicago, Kansas City Regions
    OSHA's Chicago Region recently rejoined a safety partnership with the Bovis Lend Lease company at the Hyatt World Headquarters building in Chicago. OSHA's Kansas City Region signed an agreement Sept. 23 with telecommunication representatives in Nebraska focusing on safety and health for workers in the telecommunications tower industry. Participants include the Telecommunications Tower Owners and Subcontractors and the Workforce Development OSHA Consultation office of Nebraska's Department of Labor.

Alliances Focus on Construction Industry, Small Business
    OSHA signed a national Alliance Sept. 29 with the Gilbane Building Company to focus on preventing exposure to fall hazards. OSHA and Gilbane will develop safety and health curricula on fall prevention for the construction industry. OSHA's Birmingham, AL Area Office formed an Alliance Sept. 27 with the American Subcontractors Association to emphasize prevention of back, hand and laceration injuries. OSHA's New York Region and the Puerto Rico Area Office signed an Alliance with the Professional College of Engineers and Land Surveyors of Puerto Rico (CIAPR) to provide CIAPR with information, guidance and access to training resources to reduce exposure to hazards in the construction industry. Finally, OSHA's Philadelphia Region joined forces with the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), Sept. 22, to provide the small business community with training that emphasizes risk management and safety and health management systems.

Denver, Kansas City Regions Spotlight New VPP "Star" Employers
    Two more companies have acquired OSHA's "Star" VPP flag in recognition of superior safety and health management systems. Hamilton Sundstrand Company of Grand Junction, CO, was recognized by OSHA's Denver Region Sept. 17. Bob Glover, the region's assistant regional administrator said the recognition "is a strong endorsement of the continued dedication demonstrated by Hamilton Sundstrand and its employees to workplace safety and Health. Charles Adkins, OSHA's Kansas City regional administrator presented the Star award to Amazon.com in a Sept. 24 ceremony in Coffeyville, KS. Adkins said the company had "exhibited excellence in effective safety and health management" which included "significant employee training and involvement."

Chicago Region Making Major Strides in Hispanic Outreach
    Two recent events highlight positive progress OSHA's Chicago Region is making with the Hispanic worker community. For the second year, OSHA employees and their families from the three Chicagoland area offices participated in the annual Chicago Mexican Day Parade, Sept. 14. More than 400,000 people were in attendance along the parade route. Deborah Zubaty, Columbus Area Office area director, attended the 7th Annual Ohio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Awards gala on Sept. 24. Zubaty spoke with many leaders in the Columbus Hispanic Community and was able to meet guest speaker Reuben Barrales, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the White House.

Voluntary Protection Programs Activity
    The following companies were approved last month for new or continued participation in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP): Region III: PPL Systems Facilities, Hazelton, PA (New Star); USPS, Pittsburgh Remote Encoding Center, East Pittsburg, PA (New Star) Region V: AmerGen Energy Co., LLC, Clinton, IL (New Star) Region VI: Honeywell International In., Aircraft Landing Systems, Houston, TX (Cont. Star) Region VII: Georgia Pacific, Kansas City Packaging, Kansas City, MO (New Star); and General Electric Rail Global Signaling, Grain Valley, MO (New Star).

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