October 1, 2006 · Volume 5, 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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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
DOL Awards More Than $10 Million in Safety and Health Training Grants
VPP Mobile Workforce Demonstration for Construction Accepting Applications
OSHA Resumes Regular Operations Throughout Gulf Coast Region
Drug-Free Work Week Observed This Month
Dump Trucks Focus of New Safety and Health Information Bulletin
New Fact Sheet on Fall Protection Available
New Safety and Health Topics Page on Chemical Food Flavoring
OSHA Recognizes Spanish and Youth Online Outreach Training Programs
New Content Added to Reliable OSHA Resource
VPP Challenge Pilot Program Participant First to Earn "Star" Status
New Strategic Partnerships Formed with OSHA
Latest OSHA Alliance Activity
New SHARP Certifications
'QuickTips' from QuickTakes

DOL Awards More Than $10 Million in Safety and Health Training Grants
    Fifty-seven nonprofit organizations are on tap to share some $10 million in grants for safety and health training and educational programs announced by OSHA, Sept. 29. Grants totaling $6.9 million were awarded under the Targeted Topic Training Grants (e.g., construction and general industry hazards, disaster response and recovery, hexavalent chromium, and workplace emergency planning). Approximately $3.3 million was used to fund renewal grants for recipients of last year's Institutional Competency Building Grants.

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VPP Mobile Workforce Demonstration for Construction Accepting Applications
    Effective today, employers in the construction industry may apply to participate in the newest component of OSHA's premier cooperative program-the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) Mobile Workforce Demonstration for Construction. The initiative was first announced in July by OSHA Administrator Ed Foulke who said it "recognizes those construction companies that should be held up as models of safety and health for the rest of the industry." Eligible applicants include those who have operated within the construction industry for at least three years. Details on how to apply are available on OSHA's VPP Web site; interested parties are also encouraged to contact OSHA's Regional VPP managers.

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OSHA Resumes Regular Operations Throughout Gulf Coast Region
    On Sept. 15, OSHA resumed regular operations throughout Louisiana. Prior to that date, OSHA had exempted New Orleans and various southern parishes from its normal enforcement operations resulting from last year's hurricanes along the U.S. Gulf Coast. OSHA resumed its full range of normal activities, including enforcement and compliance assistance, in New Orleans and the parishes of Jefferson, Plaquemines, Orleans, St. Bernard's, St. Tamanay, Cameron, and Calcasieu, in conjunction with the Federal Emergency Management Agency's transition from National Emergency Response Operations to Long Term Recovery Operations in New Orleans.

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Drug-Free Work Week Observed This Month
   Drug-Free Work Week will be held Oct. 16-22 and employers and employees across the country are encouraged to take part. Working drug free is key to workplace safety; employees with alcohol and drug problems should be encouraged to seek help. The effort is being coordinated by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the 13 members of its Drug-Free Workplace Alliance, a cooperative agreement focused on improving safety and health in the construction industry through drug-free workplace programs. However, employers and employees in all industries may implement Drug-Free Work Week activities. For specific ideas, visit DOL's Working Partners Web site.

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Dump Trucks Focus of New Safety and Health Information Bulletin
    Preventing fatal accidents that can result from the unanticipated release or movement of an elevated truck bed is the subject of OSHA's latest Safety and Health Information Bulletin. The bulletin includes discussion of three case histories in which employees died or were injured due to dump beds being improperly raised and propped for service or maintenance. In addition to construction and general industry requirements, the bulletin provides recommendations to help employers and employees ensure that elevated parts of heavy equipment are suitably supported from unexpected movement.

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New Fact Sheet on Fall Protection Available
    Employers and employees involved in working in and around aboveground storage tanks will benefit from a new fact sheet, a product of the Safe Tank Alliance with OSHA. Fall Prevention for Aboveground Storage Tanks describes how to ensure employee safety by recognizing fall hazards, developing prevention priorities, and using protective equipment. In addition, the fact sheet highlights safe climbing practices, specialized training, and other safety and health tips.

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New Safety and Health Topics Page on Chemical Food Flavoring
    OSHA has developed a new safety and health topics information page for employers and employees involved in the use or manufacture of chemical food flavorings. Flavorings-Related Lung Disease is posted on the agency's Web site and highlights links to OSHA standards, describes health effects, and offers safety and health resources for controlling associated workplace hazards.

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OSHA Recognizes Spanish and Youth Online Outreach Training Programs
   OSHA's Outreach Training Program recently recognized two new 10-hour online outreach training programs that meet the criteria outlined in OSHA's Online Training Guidance and are the first to be developed and accepted for a specific audience. CareerSafe's 10-hour general industry and construction courses target young employees, while OSHA Campus' 10-hour construction course accommodates Spanish-speaking employees. OSHA's Outreach Training Program is the agency's primary way to train employees on occupational safety and health matters. Over the past three years, more than one million employees received outreach training.

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New Content Added to Reliable OSHA Resource
   OSHA's informational guide Employer Rights and Responsibilities Following an OSHA Inspection has been updated and is now available for download from the agency's Web site. The pamphlet contains information on the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act, or SBREFA, which gives small businesses assistance in understanding and complying with regulations and more of a voice in the development of new regulations. The revised guide can be printed directly from the agency's Web site; printed copies are available through OSHA's publications office.

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VPP Challenge Pilot Program Participant First to Earn "Star" Status
   OSHA recently recognized C.R. Meyer, a Wisconsin general contractor, as the first workplace from the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) Challenge Pilot Program to earn VPP "Star" status. VPP notes the outstanding efforts of employers and employees who have achieved exemplary occupational safety and health. C.R. Meyer successfully demonstrated that it had implemented programs and procedures beyond those required by OSHA standards with extensive involvement of both management and employees.

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New Strategic Partnerships Formed with OSHA
   Ensuring the safety and health of construction workers is the goal of partnerships signed recently between OSHA's Philadelphia Region and the Keystone Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors Inc., and OSHA's Peoria, Ill., Area Office and the Greater Peoria Contractors and Suppliers Association.

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Latest OSHA Alliance Activity
   National Office: OSHA and the Graphics Arts Coalition renewed an alliance to continue enhancing workplace safety and health for employees in the printing industry. Another alliance was renewed with the American Meat Institute to continue reducing ergonomics hazards and addressing lockout/tagout issues. Reducing and preventing exposure to patient-handling hazards, bloodborne pathogens, and emergency preparedness in health care facilities is the ongoing focus of an alliance OSHA renewed with the Association of Occupational Health Professionals. Region V: OSHA's Madison, Wis., Area Office signed a new alliance with the Wisconsin Division of Public Health's Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health to educate employers and employees about ammonia hazards, especially in refrigeration facilities. Region VII: Reducing and preventing exposure to alpha radiation, or "radon," hazards is the focus of an alliance renewed between OSHA's Kansas City, Mo., Area Office and the Ozark Underground Laboratory. Region VIII: OSHA's Denver Region formed an alliance with the Colorado Contractors Association to improve safety and health for employees performing work in highway work zones.

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New SHARP Certifications
   Visit OSHA's "Who's Newly SHARP" Web page to see the latest list of companies recently certified as Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) sites. The SHARP program recognizes small employers who operate an exemplary safety and health management system.

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'QuickTips' from QuickTakes
    October - autumn colors, cooler weather, shorter days and, by the way, National Fire Prevention Month. Workplace fires and explosions kill 200 workers and injure more than 5,000 every year. OSHA has a wealth of informational resources, and a few tips, to help ensure that employees remain safe on the job and not become a fire victim. For example, employers should:
  • Train their employees about fire hazards in their workplace and about what to do in a fire emergency;
  • Use fire prevention and emergency evacuation plans;
  • Ensure exit routes are properly marked, and free from obstacles;
  • Make portable fire extinguishers available and check them frequently; and
  • Change the batteries in all smoke detectors.

  •     OSHA's safety and health topics page on Fire Safety is a good resource for information to prevent fire-related workplace injuries and fatalities. Look for more safety and health 'QuickTips' in the next issue.

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    Editor: Elaine Fraser, OSHA Office of Communications, 202-693-1999