October 15, 2008 · Volume 7, Issue 20
QuickTakes 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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

DOL Awards More Than $6 Million in Safety and Health Training Grants
Updated eTool for Healthcare Industry Helps Employees Avoid Injuries
Latest OSHA Resource Addresses Shipfitting in the Maritime Industry
OTI Education Center Offers Training Courses in Raleigh, N.C., and Knoxville, Tenn.
OSHA to Showcase National Office Exhibit in Indianapolis and California
Deputy Assistant Secretary Welcomes Fluor Corporation into VPP Corporate Pilot
Strategic Partnership Helps Decrease Logging Injuries and Fatalities in Louisiana
Alliance Program Update
Latest OSHA Strategic Partnership Activity
Upcoming Events
"QuickTips" from QuickTakes

DOL Awards More Than $6 Million in Safety and Health Training Grants

OSHA awarded more than $6 million in grants for safety and health training and educational programs to 36 nonprofit organizations. The Susan Harwood Grants support workplace safety and health training programs that educate employees in industries with high hazard and fatality rates, employees with limited English proficiency, hard-to-reach employees, and small business employers. The grants support training programs that address topics such as construction and general industry hazards, and other safety and health topic areas including shipbreaking hazards and Native American tribal safety and health issues. The training grants are named in honor of the late Susan Harwood, a former director of the Office of Risk Assessment, who helped develop OSHA standards on protection from bloodborne pathogens, cotton dust, benzene, formaldehyde, asbestos, and lead in construction.

Updated eTool for Healthcare Industry Helps Employees Avoid Injuries

Employers and employees in the healthcare industry stand to benefit from the new sonography and updated surgical modules featured in OSHA's Hospital eTool. The sonography module provides guidance on how sonographers--medical professionals who use high frequency ultrasound to create diagnostic images--can reduce their risk of musculoskeletal disorders. The surgical module now features updated information on bloodborne pathogens, waste anesthetic gases, laser safety, and other topics related to workplace safety and health in surgical suites. OSHA's eTools are stand-alone, Web-based training tools on occupational safety and health topics.

Latest OSHA Resource Addresses Shipfitting in the Maritime Industry

Employers and employees in the maritime industry will benefit from a new OSHA resource which addresses the hazards of shipfitting in vessel construction and repair and ways to avoid those hazards. The Safety and Health Injury Prevention Sheet (SHIPS) on Shipfitting highlights this information through actual shipyard incidents and the solutions successfully implemented on site. Each example offers an analysis of the problem and provides abatement measures specific to the situation that could have prevented the incident. A SHIPS uses a short and highly visual format to enhance its use where potential language barriers may exist. It can be used by employers as a visual tool during ad hoc safety meetings and briefings. This SHIPS is the second in a series. The first is Hot Work--Welding, Cutting and Brazing. Additional SHIPS are under development.

OTI Education Center Offers Training Courses in Raleigh, N.C., and Knoxville, Tenn.

The new Southeastern OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Center located at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C., is offering the following OTI courses scheduled this fall.

  • #502 Update for Construction Industry Outreach Trainers (Oct. 28-30)
  • #2250 Ergonomics Applied to Musculoskeletal and Nerve Disorders (Oct. 28-31)
  • #7500 Introduction to Safety and Health Management (Nov. 5)
  • #7300 Understanding the OSHA Permit-Required Confined Spaces Standard (Dec. 15)
  • #7405 Fall Hazard Awareness for the Construction Industry (Dec. 16)

Classes are also forming in the spring at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, the Southeastern OTI Education Center's partner organization. To register for classes or obtain additional information, call 1-800-227-0264 or visit the center's Web site.

OSHA to Showcase National Office Exhibit in Indianapolis and California

OSHA will host an exhibit with informative materials and resources for attendees at the National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Convention at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Oct. 22-24. OSHA's exhibit will also be featured at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting and Expo in San Diego, Oct. 25-29.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Welcomes Fluor Corporation into VPP Corporate Pilot

On Oct. 3, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Don Shalhoub officially welcomed Fluor Corporation as the newest Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) Corporate Pilot participant during a ceremony at Fluor's Greenville, S.C., campus. Based out of Irving, Texas, Fluor is one of the world's largest publicly owned engineering, procurement, construction, and maintenance services companies. At the celebration, Shalhoub remarked, "I am grateful for the support that Fluor has demonstrated for OSHA's mission of protecting employees. We have an opportunity to make a lasting impact on lives here and around the world, and I am glad that Fluor has chosen to take this bold leadership role." Fluor Corporation is OSHA's sixth participant in the pilot and the second from the construction industry.

Strategic Partnership Helps Decrease Logging Injuries and Fatalities in Louisiana

In May 2000, the Louisiana Forestry Association and Louisiana Logging Council formed an OSHA Strategic Partnership (OSP). The goal was to reduce injuries, illnesses and fatalities in the state (and industry) by increasing safety and health training, and identifying and abating hazards through self-inspections. Through the OSP, partners identified the main cause and type of injury among loggers, which is a knee sprain or strain from dismounting equipment. Proper procedures are now emphasized in safety workshops and training courses, resulting in the near elimination of this injury. Since the OSP was implemented, the number of logging industry fatalities in Louisiana has decreased significantly--an almost 80 percent reduction between 2000 and 2006. Due to the significant impact of this partnership, it was renewed in July 2008.

Alliance Program Update

National Office: Encouraging safe working conditions and sharing technical knowledge on ergonomics with employees in the dental profession is the goal of an alliance renewed between OSHA and the American Dental Association. OSHA formed a new alliance with the American Fire Sprinkler Association to address reducing and preventing exposure to material handling as well as fall hazards and motor vehicle safety issues. Region I: The goal of a new alliance signed among OSHA's Braintree, Mass., Area Office, the Massachusetts Division of Occupational Safety, and the Massachusetts Port Authority's (MassPort) Aviation Operations and Fire-Rescue departments is to enhance the safety and health for MassPort employees and others at Logan Airport.

Latest OSHA Strategic Partnership Activity

Region V: OSHA's Eau Claire, Wis., Area Office formed a strategic partnership with the St. Croix Falls National Park to develop and implement an effective comprehensive safety and health management system, and to reduce injuries and worksite hazards at the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway.

Upcoming Events

OSHA posted more safety- and health-related conference and meeting information to the events page on its Web site. Look for activities in your area.

"QuickTips" from QuickTakes

Protecting employees from potential head injuries is a key element of any safety program. A head injury can impair an employee for life or can be fatal. Wearing a hard hat is one of the easiest ways to protect an employee's head from injury. Hard hats can protect employees from impact and penetration hazards as well as from electrical shock and burn hazards. Employers must ensure that their employees wear head protection if objects might fall from above and strike them on the head; if they might bump their heads against fixed objects, such as exposed pipes or beams; or if there is a possibility of accidental head contact with electrical hazards. Some occupations in which employees should be required to wear head protection include construction employees, carpenters, electricians, linemen, plumbers and pipefitters, timber and log cutters, and welders, among many others. In general, whenever there is a danger of objects falling from above, such as working below others who are using tools or working under a conveyor belt, head protection must be worn. Hard hats must meet American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard Z89.1, Protective Headgear for Industrial Workers. In addition, OSHA's Personal Protective Equipment Standards for general industry, construction and maritime require employers to provide hard hats at no cost to employees where OSHA standards require their use.

  • Class A hard hats provide impact and penetration resistance along with limited voltage protection (up to 2,200 volts).
  • Class B hard hats provide the highest level of protection against electrical hazards, with high-voltage shock and burn protection (up to 20,000 volts). They also provide protection from impact and penetration hazards caused by flying or falling objects.
  • Class C hard hats provide lightweight comfort and impact protection, but offer no protection from electrical hazards.

Note that another class of protective headgear on the market is called a "bump hat," designed for use in areas with low head clearance. They are recommended for areas where protection is needed from head bumps and lacerations, but are not designed to protect against falling or flying objects and are not ANSI approved. It is essential to check the type of head protection employees are using to ensure that the equipment provides appropriate protection.

OSHA's booklet on Personal Protective Equipment is a resource offering more information on the proper use of hard hats and other personal protective equipment so that employers and employees can prevent injuries. Printed copies can be ordered from OSHA's Publications Web page or by calling the Publications Office at 202-693-1888. Turn to your next issue of QuickTakes for more "QuickTips" on a new occupational safety and health topic.

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