October 15, 2006 · Volume 5, 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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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
New Guidance Available on Hexavalent Chromium
Bush Order Extends Federal Workplace Safety Initiative
OSHA Unveils New Safety and Health Topics Page
OSHA Education Center Offers Training Courses
Disaster Preparedness Resource Available
Enhancing Protection in the Workplace
Latest Strategic Partnership Activity
OSHA Alliance Update
More Event Information Posted to Web Site
'QuickTips' from QuickTakes

New Guidance Available on Hexavalent Chromium
    OSHA announced the availability of a new guidance document this month to help small businesses comply with requirements of the agency's new hexavalent chromium standard. Small Entity Compliance Guide for the Hexavalent Chromium Standards describes steps employers are required to take to protect employees from hazards associated with exposure to the compound. Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL), exposure determination, respiratory protection and personal protective equipment, are just some of the topics included in the guide.

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Bush Order Extends Federal Workplace Safety Initiative
    President Bush extended through fiscal year 2009 the federal government's initiative for Executive Branch agencies to reduce occupational injuries, illnesses and fatalities within its ranks. Originally launched in 2004 and scheduled to run for three years, the Presidential Safety, Health and Return-to-Employment (SHARE) Initiative has helped the federal government make great strides in reducing injury and illness case and lost production day rates, and in substantially improving the timely filing of injury and illness notices. The President reaffirmed his commitment to improving workplace safety and health conditions for federal employees by allowing additional time for agencies to build on the momentum they have already developed.

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OSHA Unveils New Safety and Health Topics Page
    OSHA has developed a new safety and health topics information page aimed at demonstrating that investment in workplace safety and health makes good business sense. Making the Business Case for Safety and Health is a product of several alliances with OSHA, including the American Industrial Hygiene Association, American Society of Safety Engineers, National Federation of Independent Business, among others. The page highlights information on how a comprehensive safety and health program can help employers save money while protecting their employees.

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OSHA Education Center Offers Training Courses
   The OSHA Training Institute Education Center at the Rochester Institute of Technology is offering safety and health classes at various off-site locations this month and next. Course #503 Update for General Industry Outreach Trainers will take place Oct. 25-27 at the Turning Stone Casino and Resort in Oneida, N.Y.; #511 Occupational Health and Safety Standards for General Industry is scheduled for Oct. 31-Nov. 3 in Albany, N.Y.; and #2045 Machinery and Machine Guarding Standards will be held on Nov. 14-17 at the Turning Stone Casino and Resort in Oneida, N.Y. For additional information, including registration and a complete schedule of courses, visit www.rit.edu/osha or call 1-866-385-7470 ext. 2919. Information on all courses offered through OSHA's education centers is available on the OSHA Training Institute Education Centers Web page.

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Disaster Preparedness Resource Available
    Employers and employees involved in cleanup and recovery efforts following natural disasters will benefit from a new "tool" developed by OSHA and the Gulf Coast Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE). The 2006 Disaster Preparation Resources CD features a compilation of resources from OSHA, ASSE, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency on ensuring safe and healthful response and recovery operations. The CD will help employers review, develop and update their emergency preparedness plans. E-mail ASSE's Sarajenie Smith at ssmith@asse.org for a copy, or call (847) 699-2929.

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Enhancing Protection in the Workplace
    The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives recently launched a new "Suspicious Mail or Packages" poster campaign to raise awareness among mailers, businesses and employees about the common characteristics of a suspicious piece of mail and what actions to take in the event one is identified. The poster is available for viewing and printing at www.usps.com/postalinspectors, and copies may be obtained from your local post office.

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Latest Strategic Partnership Activity
    Ensuring the safety and health of construction workers is the goal of partnerships signed recently between OSHA's Dallas Region and J.E. Dunn; OSHA's Philadelphia Region and the Associated Builders and Contractors' Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter; and OSHA's Kansas City, Mo., Region with CDI Contractors LLC and the Missouri Consultation Program.

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OSHA Alliance Update
   Region V: OSHA's Eau Claire, Wis., Area Office signed a new alliance with the Chippewa Valley Technical College to develop training programs and materials that focus on relevant health and safety issues. Reducing and preventing common workplace hazards faced by members of the medical profession is the goal of a new alliance signed between OSHA's Chicago area offices and the Chicago Medical and Dental Societies. Region VII: OSHA's Kansas City, Mo., Region formed an alliance with Local 2 of the Sheet Metal Workers International Association to foster safer and more healthful workplaces for employees.

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More Event Information Posted to Web Site
   OSHA updated its events Web page with new safety and health-related conference and meeting information. Check for events near you.

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'QuickTips' from QuickTakes
    With the onset of cooler weather, OSHA is reminding employers and employees to take necessary precautions to prevent and treat cold-related health problems. Employees in construction, commercial fishing, maritime and agriculture are among those who need to take precautions. Here are a just a few ways employers can help protect their employees in cold environments:
  • Recognize the environmental and workplace conditions that may be dangerous.
  • Train workers about cold-induced illnesses and injuries.
  • In extreme cold, allow employees to take frequent short breaks in warm and dry shelters.
  • Use the buddy system - work in pairs so that one employee can recognize danger signs.

  •     OSHA's Cold Stress Card (English/Spanish) is a good resource for additional information to prevent cold-induced illnesses and injuries. 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