October 15, 2003 • Volume 2, Issue 20
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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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 Administrator Addresses American Health Care Association
Revised Recordkeeping Forms Available Online
OSHA Develops Matrix for Possible Terrorist-Related Workplace Emergencies
OSHA Solicits Abstracts on Ergonomic Research
New Safety Bulletin for Young Forklift Operators
Work-Related Traffic Safety, Commercial Diving Highlight Recent Alliances
OSHA Updates Outreach Training Program
Personal Fall Protection Systems Subject of New Safety and Health Bulletin
Protecting Workers against Mold Exposure
New Alliances in Atlanta, New York Regions
AIHA Hosting Virtual Seminar for Safety and Health Professionals
Voluntary Protection Program Activity


OSHA Administrator Addresses American Health Care Association
     Assistant Secretary of Labor John Henshaw told a San Diego audience Oct. 13 that OSHA's national emphasis program in nursing homes has proven successful and resulted in nearly 1,000 inspections since its inception in July 2002. Henshaw made the announcement during his address at the American Health Care Association's 54th Annual Convention and Exposition. He said that while OSHA would not renew the program, the agency will inspect about 400 long-term care facilities during Fiscal Year 2004 under the Site-Specific Targeting Program. Henshaw's speech focused on the agency's comprehensive approach to addressing musculoskeletal injuries in long-term care facilities.

Revised Recordkeeping Forms Available Online
     Beginning Jan. 1, 2004, employers must use OSHA's revised Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses). To aid in that transition process, the agency has made the form available online. The revised form includes various changes, including the addition of an occupational hearing loss column and more clear-cut formulas for calculating incidence rates. And, remember—while there is no separate column for work-related injuries associated with ergonomic factors, employers must still record those injuries in either the injury or "all other illness" columns.

OSHA Develops Matrix for Possible Terrorist-Related Workplace Emergencies
     A new homeland security matrix tool is now available on OSHA's website to help employers with the planning and preparation for possible workplace emergencies caused by a terrorist's explosive device or act of arson. The Fire and Explosion Planning Matrix covers general aspects of fire prevention planning and suggests preparedness measures appropriate for workplaces in each of three risk zones. On-line resources are also included in the matrix.

OSHA Solicits Abstracts on Ergonomic Research
     OSHA's fourth meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Ergonomics (NACE) is scheduled for Jan. 27, 2004, in Washington, and will include a symposium on the state of research on musculoskeletal and neurovascular disorders from ergonomic experts. In order to select speakers for that symposium, OSHA is seeking abstracts from published researchers that focus on data-driven scientific research concerning the relationship between the workplace and musculoskeletal and neurovascular disorders. NACE plans to use proceedings from the symposium to make recommendations that will advance OSHA's goal to reduce ergonomic-related injuries in the workplace.

New Safety Bulletin for Young Forklift Operators
     Working with the Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division, OSHA has developed a safety and health information bulletin that reminds employers of regulations which prohibit workers less than 18 years of age from operating specific hazardous machines and equipment, including forklift trucks in non-agricultural operations. The bulletin reminds employers of existing standards and laws that protect working teens from being seriously injured, focusing on the Fair Labor Standards Act and OSHA's Powered Industrial Truck Standard. Case histories of two fatal forklift accidents involving underage operators in Massachusetts and Georgia are included in the bulletin.

Work-Related Traffic Safety, Commercial Diving Highlight Recent Alliances
     OSHA formed Alliances recently with two organizations that will focus on reducing work-related traffic injuries and fatalities, and improve the health and safety of commercial divers. The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) joined with OSHA Oct. 6 to help raise awareness of safe driving practices and traffic safety programs on the job. The Association of Diving Contractors International (ADC) also signed an Alliance with the agency on Oct. 9 to focus on safer working conditions for commercial divers, particularly in the areas of increased barometric pressure.

OSHA Updates Outreach Training Program
     OSHA's primary means to train workers in the basics of occupational safety and health is through the agency's Outreach Training Program. Through the program, those who complete a one-week OSHA trainer course are then authorized to teach 10- and 30-hour courses in construction or general industry safety and health standards and receive OSHA completion cards for their students. In Fiscal Year 2003, OSHA-trained trainers held an average of 366 classes per week. Over the past four years, almost one million students were trained. The steady expansion of the program has resulted in one change—outreach trainers must send requests for student cards to the organization responsible for their most recent trainer course, whether that is the OSHA Training Institute or an OTI Education Center.

Personal Fall Protection Systems Subject of New Safety and Health Bulletin
     There's little debate when it comes to the fact that fall protection systems save lives. OSHA documents those cases on a recurring basis. Further, OSHA's standard on personal fall arrest systems is concise. Nonetheless, the agency has published a new safety and health information bulletin that discusses the compatibility of personal fall protection system components, particularly snap hooks. OSHA wants to remind both employers and workers that personal fall protection components made by different manufacturers may not be compatible. Moreover, some components made by the same manufacturer may not be compatible if not sized properly. OSHA reminds employers to evaluate the compatibility of all personal fall arrest systems used on the job site before employee use.

Protecting Workers against Mold Exposure
     OSHA has published a new safety and health information bulletin to provide employers and workers with essential information on how to prevent, control and remove mold in buildings. Geared specifically for building managers, custodians and others responsible for building maintenance, the bulletin offers recommendations on preventing mold growth, proper use of personal protective equipment, and safe cleanup methods. Mold can have negative effects on human health including allergic reactions, asthma and other respiratory problems.

New Alliances in Atlanta, New York Regions
     OSHA's Atlanta Region formed an Alliance last month with labor unions and worker associations in the southeast to focus on reducing worker exposure to electrical hazards. Joining with OSHA in the Alliance was the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (fifth and tenth districts), the Southeastern Line Constructors Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association, and the Southeastern Line Constructors Apprenticeship and Training Council. Preventing falls in elevated work environments such as construction, steel erection, and bridge painting is the subject of an Alliance signed between OSHA's Manhattan area office and the Hi-Rope Corporation (HRC) of New York. The Alliance will focus on how to prevent falls using industrial rope access and tensioned netting systems.

AIHA Hosting Virtual Seminar for Safety and Health Professionals
     The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) is hosting a TeleWeb Virtual Seminar highlighting leadership, communication, and management skills for health, safety and environmental professionals. The seminar will be held Oct. 21 from 2-4:30 p.m. Interested parties can register online or call (800) 651-7916.

Voluntary Protection Program Activity
     The following companies were approved this month for new or continued participation in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program (VPP): Georgia Pacific, Lawrenceville Distribution Center, Lawrenceville, GA (Merit to Star); General Electric Plastics, Bay St. Louis, MS (Cont. Star); Pactiv Corp., Covington Plant, Covington, GA (Cont. Star); Raytheon Co. @ NASA Sonny Carter, Houston, TX (New Star); Koch Business Holdings, LLC, Aviation Dept, Wichita, KS (New Star); Monsanto Co., Soda Springs, ID (Cont. Star); International Paper, Folkston Lumber Mill, Folkston, GA (Merit to Star); Clariant LSM, Inc., Springfield, MO (New Star); Honeywell Aircraft Landing Systems, Kansas City, MO (New Star); ConAgra Foods, Longmont Facility, Longmont, CO (New Merit); and Schering-Plough Animal Health Corp., Baton Rouge, LA (New Star).

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