October 15, 2005 · Volume 4, 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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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
DOL's Coordinated Hurricane Response Is Saving Workers' Lives
OSHA "Tools" Help Sustain Worker Safety During Hurricane Recovery Efforts
Comment Period Extended for Electric Power Transmission Rulemaking
Acting Assistant Secretary Snare To Address OSHSPA
OSHA Welcomes New National Alliance Participants
New York Worksite Earns OSHA "VPP" Recognition
Regional Alliances Forged with OSHA
Seminars for Mass. Health Care Workers Focus on Proper Handling of Dangerous Drugs
Voluntary Protection Programs Activity
Upcoming Events

DOL's Coordinated Hurricane Response Is Saving Workers' Lives
     The Department of Labor's (DOL) coordinated national and local safety and health response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita continues to help ensure the safety and health of recovery workers along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jonathan L. Snare said that more than 100 OSHA staff are working throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas focusing on keeping these workers safe. Said Snare: "Our goal, every day, is for these workers to go home safely to their families." OSHA has already intervened in nearly 5,000 situations where some 10,500 workers could have been seriously injured. A major focus of OSHA's response is to systematically visit electric and telecommunications utility restoration, construction, debris removal and tree-trimming staging areas to provide advice and information on hazards these workers will encounter, such as downed power lines, tree damage, debris, home and building damage, road clearing, crane activity and flood water.

OSHA "Tools" Help Sustain Worker Safety During Hurricane Recovery Efforts
    Informational materials produced by OSHA are helping employers and workers better address safety and health hazards associated with hurricane clean up and recovery. OSHA safety and health experts have already developed 37 fact sheets and eight "quick cards"-two-sided, 4-by-9 inch cards with safety and health tips-on hazards such as molds and fungi, downed electrical wires, and general decontamination, to name a few. Thousands of these "tools" have been printed, laminated and put in the hands of clean up and recovery workers throughout the Gulf Coast area. In response to specific requests from workers and employers, OSHA is developing more cards on demolition, hydrogen sulfide, lead in construction, permit-required confined spaces, struck by hazards during hurricane recovery, and tree trimming. Additional information on other topics will be developed on a continuing basis and posted to the agency's hurricane recovery page on the Web.

Comment Period Extended for Electric Power Transmission Rulemaking
   OSHA is extending the written comment period by 90 days on updating the standard for the construction of electric power transmission and distribution installations. The extension was published in the Oct. 12 Federal Register. The notice extends the period for written comments on the proposed rule to Jan. 11, 2006. OSHA extended the comment period to grant interested parties more time for a thorough review and response to the proposal. Additionally, the informal hearing originally scheduled for Dec. 6, 2005, will now be held on March 6, 2006; the extension reopens the period for interested parties to file notices of intent to appear at that hearing. The purpose of the revision is to make the rule consistent with the revised general industry standard.

Acting Assistant Secretary Snare To Address OSHSPA
   Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jonathan L. Snare will address attendees of the fall 2005 Occupational Safety and Health State Plan Association (OSHSPA) meeting in New York, Oct. 27.

OSHA Welcomes New National Alliance Participants
    OSHA established three new national alliances earlier this month highlighting workplace safety and health. The International Society of Canine Cosmetologists joined with OSHA on Oct. 3 to focus on hazard communication issues and preventing exposure to ergonomic hazards for pet care professionals. Preventing amputations and exposure to ergonomic-related hazards in the material-handling industry is the goal of OSHA's alliance with the Crane Manufacturers Association of America, Hoist Manufacturers Institute, and Monorail Manufacturers Association. The agreement will focus on providing access to training resources that will help protect employee health and safety. OSHA's alliance with the Integrated Waste Services Association (IWSA) will allow for the development of training and education programs for IWSA members and others, including small businesses. Those programs will focus on reducing and preventing exposure to workplace hazards associated with management of municipal solid waste and the generation of electricity from such waste, including lead exposure, confined spaces, and unsafe walking and working surfaces.

New York Worksite Earns OSHA "VPP" Recognition
   OSHA's Buffalo, N.Y., Area Office recognized Williams Advanced Materials Inc., a Buffalo-based precious metals refinery, as a Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) "Star" site at a recent ceremony. Arthur Dube, area director, presented the award and praised Williams Advanced Materials for its outstanding safety and health management program, especially the use of digital photography as a training tool for employees. Digital photos are incorporated into written operating procedures to clearly illustrate processes and equipment for workers.

Regional Alliances Forged with OSHA
     Region I: Enhanced safety and health training for employees of businesses in the Greater Naugatuck Valley is the goal of an alliance between OSHA's Bridgeport, Conn., Area Office and Griffin Hospital Occupational Medicine Center. Region IV: Signing on with OSHA's Ft. Lauderdale and Tampa, Fla., area offices were the Broward, Dade, Palm Beach and Southwest chapters of the National Safety Council. The alliances will focus on reducing worker injuries at warehousing and distribution centers in South Florida. Workers will have access to bilingual safety material and training on topics such as proper maintenance and operation of forklifts, clear aisles and ready access to emergency exits. Region V: OSHA's Columbus, Ohio, Area Office teamed up with Elford-Gilbane to form an alliance to protect employees' safety and health during construction of the Ohiohealth Dublin Hospital Project. Members will work together to develop and share information with workers and contractors on recognizing and preventing job-related hazards. Ohio workers will benefit from an alliance between the Columbus Area Office and the National Federation of Independent Business/Ohio. The key goal is to provide members with information, guidance and access to training resources to enhance worker health and safety. Region VII: OSHA's Kansas City region and Seward County Community College joined forces in two alliances focused on providing access to training resources on reducing and preventing exposure to work-related injuries for Kansas state workers in the oil and gas and warehousing industries.

Seminars for Mass. Health Care Workers Focus on Proper Handling of Dangerous Drugs
    Safe handling of hazardous drugs--antineoplastic agents, antivirals, unclassified therapeutic agents and others--by Massachusetts health care workers is the subject of free seminars to be held at Tewksbury State Hospital on Oct. 25 and Massachusetts Hospital School in Canton on Nov. 3. These events are sponsored by OSHA, the Massachusetts Nurses Association and Massachusetts Division of Occupational Safety's On-Site Consultation Program. The goal is to provide workers with the knowledge to spot and protect themselves against accidental exposures. Each session will take place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Registration will close one week before each seminar. To register or obtain further information, contact Kathy Flannery at (617) 969-7177, or Susan Clish at (781) 821-4625.

Voluntary Protection Programs Activity
    The following companies were approved this month for new or continued participation in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP): Region I: General Electric Aircraft Engines, Hooksett, N.H. (Cont. Star) Region III: United States Postal Service (USPS), Philadelphia Bulk Mail Center, Philadelphia (New Star); USPS Scranton Processing & Distribution Center, Scranton, Pa. (Cont. Star); Frito Lay, Williamsport, Pa. (Cont. Star) Region IV: Tropicana Products Inc., Ft. Pierce, Fla. (Cont. Star); Huber Engineered Woods LLC, Commerce, Ga. (New Star); Solvay Advanced Polymers LLC, Augusta, Ga. (New Star); Hancor Inc., Vicksburg, Miss. (New Merit); Trinity Industries Inc., Cartersville, Ga. (Cont. Star) Region V: GE Consumer & Industrial, Austintown Products Plant, Youngstown, Ohio (New Star); Frito Lay, Corn Handling Facility, Sidney, Ill. (Cont. Star) Region VI: Hercules Inc., Aqualon Division, Kenedy, Texas (Cont. Star); Entergy Operations Inc., Waterford III, Killona, La. (Cont. Star); Valero Refining Co., Texas LP, Texas City Refinery, Texas City, Texas (Cont. Star) and Region VII: Monsanto World Headquarters, St. Louis, Mo. (New Star); Monsanto Chesterfield Village Campus, Chesterfield, Mo. (New Star).

Upcoming Events
    OSHA periodically lists a schedule of safety and health-related conferences and meetings, as well as public hearings, on our Web site. Check often for events near you.

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