October 1, 2008 · Volume 7, Issue 19
QuickTakes
A twice monthly 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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

Hurricane Recovery Web Page Features New Public Service Announcements
OSHA Publishes Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Tree Care Operations
Upcoming Public Hearings Focus on PPE, Employee Training and Shipyard Employment
New eTool on Powered Industrial Trucks
OSHA Unveils New Web Page on Fall Prevention in Construction
OSHA Appoints Director for New York Region
OSHA Education Center Hosts "Meet and Greet" on Voluntary Protection Programs
Peoria, Ill., Area Office is Sixth Site to Earn VPP Star Recognition
Clark Construction Forms Ninth Partnership to Build Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
Pennsylvania Governor's Occupational Safety and Health Conference to Take Place in Hershey, Pa.
Combustible Dust Explosion Inspections Focus of Upcoming Seminars in Illinois
Alliance Program Activity
Latest Strategic Partnership Program News
Voluntary Protection Programs Update
"QuickTips" from QuickTakes
Clarification on Use of Self-contained Breathing Apparatus When Entering a Silo

Hurricane Recovery Web Page Features New Public Service Announcements

Heat stress is the focus of new public services announcements (PSAs) from Assistant Secretary Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. posted to OSHA's Web site to help protect employees from sun and heat hazards during cleanup and recovery operations along the Gulf Coast following Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. The PSAs are available on OSHA's hurricane cleanup and recovery Web page.

OSHA Publishes Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Tree Care Operations

OSHA is accepting public comments on an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking addressing tree care operations. The agency is requesting data, information and comments on effective measures to control hazards and prevent injuries. For more information on the proposal and details on how to submit comments, refer to the Sept. 18 Federal Register notice. Comments must be submitted by Dec. 17, 2008.

Upcoming Public Hearings Focus on PPE, Employee Training and Shipyard Employment

OSHA is inviting the public to participate in a public hearing on the agency's proposal to clarify the remedies available for violations of its personal protective equipment (PPE) and employee training requirements. The hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. EDT on Oct. 6 and 7 at the U.S. Department of Labor's Frances Perkins Building in Washington. On Aug. 19, 2008, OSHA published the proposal clarifying that when an OSHA standard requires an employer to provide PPE or training to employees, the employer must do so for each employee subject to the requirement, and that each employee not protected may be considered a violation for penalty purposes. Details on the hearing are available in the Sept. 18 Federal Register notice. The agency will host the second of two scheduled public hearings focusing on the proposed rule for general working conditions in shipyards at 9:30 a.m. PDT on Oct. 21 at the Renaissance Seattle Hotel in Seattle. The proposal revises the existing standards in Subpart F of 29 CFR 1915 to address 14 general working conditions in shipyard employment including housekeeping, lighting, sanitation and the control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout). More information on the hearing can be found in the Sept. 19 Federal Register notice.

New eTool on Powered Industrial Trucks

Employers who use forklifts in their workplaces have a new resource to help keep their employees safe on the job. The Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklift) eTool is the latest Web-based training tool unveiled by OSHA. This eTool, which identifies forklifts commonly used in general industry, provides a review of potential hazards and a summary of key OSHA requirements and industry-recommended practices for forklift operations. It includes four modules examining the types of forklifts, safe operating practices, workplace conditions affecting operation, and operator training. OSHA offers other eTools on occupational safety and health topics on its Web site at http://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/oshasoft/index.html.

OSHA Unveils New Web Page on Fall Prevention in Construction

Preventing Fatal Falls in Construction is a new resource on OSHA's Web site for employers and employees in the construction industry. This new Web page is a central repository of resources targeting ways employers and employees can prevent construction-related falls.

OSHA Appoints Director for New York Region

Robert D. Kulick is the new administrator of OSHA's Region II headquartered in New York City. As regional administrator, he is responsible for directing OSHA's activities in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Kulick moves from OSHA's Avenel, N.J., Area Office where he served as the area director. Kulick's 31-year tenure with OSHA also includes services as assistant administrator for Region II's federal and state operations, as area director for OSHA's Parsippany, N.J., Area Office, as special assistant to the deputy assistant secretary for enforcement, and as area director for the Manhattan Area Office.

OSHA Education Center Hosts "Meet and Greet" on Voluntary Protection Programs

The New England OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Center, in cooperation with OSHA's New England Region Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) managers, will host an orientation to VPP at the New England Institute of Technology in Warwick, R.I., on Oct. 30. VPP recognizes worksites that are committed to effective employee protection beyond the requirements of OSHA standards, and encourages cooperative relationships among labor, management, unions and government. For more information, contact the New England OTI Education Center at 1-800-449-6742 or oshaed@keene.edu.

Peoria, Ill., Area Office is Sixth Site to Earn VPP Star Recognition

OSHA's Peoria, Ill., Area Office is the sixth OSHA site to earn star status in the agency's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP). VPP participation is determined by an independent team of Special Government Employees who conduct extensive on-site evaluations. OSHA's Eau Claire, Wis., Area Office is the next site under review for VPP recognition. OSHA VPP sites include area offices in Columbus, Ohio, Appleton, Wis., Madison, Wis., Des Plaines, Ill., and Milwaukee, Wis.

Clark Construction Forms Ninth Partnership to Build Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

On Sept. 29, Clark Construction Group LLC signed their ninth OSHA Strategic Partnership to build the $641 million Walter Reed National Military Medical Center offering a full range of intensive and complex specialty services for injured U.S. soldiers. The partnership's goals include reducing injuries and illnesses, identifying and correcting industry hazards, and implementing effective safety and health management systems. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., OSHA's Office of Partnerships and Recognition Director Cathy Oliver, Baltimore/Washington Area Director Michael Walterschied, Philadelphia Regional Administrator John Hermanson, and Safety and Health Specialist Joseph Sancomb participated in the ceremony at the project's site on the grounds of the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

Pennsylvania Governor's Occupational Safety and Health Conference to Take Place in Hershey, Pa.

The 82nd Annual Governor's Occupational Safety and Health Conference will be held Oct. 27-28, 2008, at the Hershey, Pa., Lodge and Convention Center. This event attracts nearly 1,000 participants and features more than 50 exhibitors. The conference will recognize outstanding employers by presenting them with the 2008 Governor's Award for Safety Excellence, and will feature workshops and presentations designed to educate employers and employees on current workplace issues. Compliance Assistance Specialist Dale Glacken of OSHA's Harrisburg, Pa., Area Office will host a workshop on evacuation hazards and safety measures, and John McFee of OSHA's Philadelphia Regional Office will conduct a workshop on fall hazards at construction sites. For more information and online registration, visit the conference Web site.

Combustible Dust Explosion Inspections Focus of Upcoming Seminars in Illinois

OSHA's Chicago Region and the Illinois Safety Council (ISC) will be hosting combustible dust explosion inspection seminars on Oct. 30 and Nov. 20 in Naperville, Ill. The seminars will offer instructions on OSHA standards relating to combustible dust and best practices to protect employees against dust explosions. John Newquist, OSHA's assistant regional administrator for cooperative and state programs, will be one of the featured speakers. To learn more or register, visit ISC's Web site. The ISC has an alliance with OSHA's area offices in Illinois.

Alliance Program Activity

National Office: OSHA and the American Supply Association formed a new alliance to offer guidance, information and training resources to protect employees from hazards related to material handling and forklift operations, as well as hazard communication issues. Region I: OSHA's Hartford, Conn., Area Office signed an alliance with Connecticut OSHA and the Independent Electrical Contractors of New England Inc. to reduce hazards and enhance the safety and health of electrical contractors in Connecticut and New England. The area office also joined forces with Connecticut OSHA and the Connecticut Office of Apprenticeship and Training to provide students in the state's plumbing, electrical and heating, ventilation and air conditioning apprenticeship programs with training and information to reduce workplace hazards. Region IV: Reducing work-related injuries and illnesses among young employees in South Florida is the goal of a new alliance created between OSHA's Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Area Office and the Indian River State College's Corporate and Community Training Institute. Region VI: OSHA's Dallas Region and the Permian Basin STEPS (Services, Transmission, Exploration and Production Safety) formed an alliance to promote safety, health and environmental improvement in oil, gas, and energy-related industries in West Texas and Southeast New Mexico. Region VIII: Colorado employees in long-term care nursing facilities stand to benefit from a new alliance signed among OSHA's Denver and Englewood, Colo., area offices and the Colorado Health Care Association. The focus is to enhance and promote workplace safety and health training.

Latest Strategic Partnership Program News

National Office: Improving the safety and health of civilian and contract employees working at Army installations is the focus of a strategic partnership OSHA renewed with the U.S. Army. Region III: OSHA's Philadelphia Region signed strategic partnerships with Michael Foods Inc. and Ellwood Crankshaft and Machine to foster safer working places for employees and implement effective safety and health management systems. Region V: Reducing injuries and worksite hazards, developing stronger training programs, and enhancing job safety and health are the goals of three partnerships OSHA's Chicago Region formed with the Associated Builders and Contractors Inc.--Central Ohio Chapter, Messer Construction Co., and P.J. Hoerr Inc.

Voluntary Protection Programs Update

Visit "recent approvals" on the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) page of OSHA's Web site to view the latest list of employers approved for new or continued participation in VPP. We encourage you to examine the entire VPP site to learn more about how OSHA's cooperative programs can help protect employees and reduce workers' compensation costs.

"QuickTips" from QuickTakes

Trenching and excavation work creates many hazards which can prove fatal to the employees doing the work. OSHA defines an excavation as any man-made cut, cavity, trench or depression in the earth's surface formed by earth removal. A trench is defined by OSHA as a narrow excavation that is deeper than it is wide, but no wider than 15 feet. OSHA also defines part of a bigger excavation as a trench if the distance from the edge of the excavation to an obstruction in the excavation, like a concrete form or basement wall, is 15 feet or less. Cave-ins are perhaps the most dangerous trenching hazard and can be minimized or prevented by protective systems such as shielding (trench boxes) or benching, sloping and shoring. But other potential hazards exist including falls, falling loads, hazardous atmospheres, vehicular traffic and operating equipment. The following are some general trenching and excavation safety rules.

  • Keep spoils and other surcharge loads at least 2 feet (0.6 meters) from edges.
  • Keep mobile equipment away from edges; use signals, barricades or stop logs.
  • Locate underground utilities before excavating; approach them with caution.
  • Test for hazardous atmospheres, low oxygen, flammability and toxicity.
  • Inspect trenches prior to the start of each shift and as needed throughout the shift.
  • Inspect trenches following rainstorms and other hazard-increasing occurrences.
  • Do not work under loads and stand clear of vehicles being loaded and unloaded.
  • Position ladders no more than 25 feet from employees in trenches.

OSHA's Safety and Health Topics Page on Trenching and Excavation is a resource featuring the potential hazards and possible abatements for the hazards associated with trenching and excavation work. The trenching and excavation section of OSHA's Construction eTool is an additional resource that employers can use to prevent workplace injuries and help keep employees safe on the job. Visit OSHA's Web site for more materials focusing on safety and health information and abating workplace dangers. Look for "QuickTips" on a new occupational safety and health topic in your next issue of QuickTakes.

Clarification on Use of Self-contained Breathing Apparatus When Entering a Silo

If you must enter silos during the first four to six weeks after filling stops, or anytime the silo is full or partially full, wear a self-contained breathing apparatus. A regular respirator or dust mask will not protect you in an oxygen deficient atmosphere.

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