November 1, 2004 · Volume 3, Issue 21
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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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 Renews Partnership to Protect Hispanic Workers
OSHA Launches Internal Effort to Strengthen Agency Health Outcomes
Ergonomics Committee Schedules Final Meeting
OSHA Signs Partnership with U.S. Army, Launches Alliance with Health Association
NIOSH Sponsoring Conference on Workplace Violence Research and Prevention
Hispanic Construction Forum Scheduled in North Carolina
Kansas City, Denver Regions Spotlight VPP Worksites
OSHA Regions Launch New Alliances, Strategic Partnerships
Voluntary Protection Programs Activity
OSHA's Toledo Office Participates in Habitat for Humanity Project


DOL Renews Partnership to Protect Hispanic Workers
     The Department of Labor renewed its partnership last month with the Mexican Consulate in Houston to extend the Justice and Equality in the Workplace Program to help Hispanic workers. First created in July 2001, the partnership formalizes a shared commitment by DOL and the Mexican Consulate to educate Hispanics and immigrant workers about their rights and responsibilities in the workforce. OSHA joined the program in September 2002. Job-related fatalities among Hispanic workers in the Houston area declined by 25 percent from FY2002 through 2004. In addition to OSHA, the partnership program includes the Labor Department's Wage & Hour Division; the Consulates General of Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador; the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; and other community, faith-based, governmental, labor and professional organizations.

OSHA Launches Internal Effort to Strengthen Agency Health Outcomes
    Thirty-four OSHA industrial hygienists met in Washington last month to develop ways to enhance workplace occupational health. One of OSHA's Strategic Management Plan goals calls for improving the agency's impact on occupational health outcomes; the four internal workgroups were formed to develop a program plan to achieve that goal. The workgroups are focusing on four areas jointly developed with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Those areas include: emphasize the importance of industrial hygiene; improve the quality of industrial hygiene services; improve the industrial hygiene targeting process; and improve OSHA's health outcomes measurement. The workgroups, comprised mainly of OSHA field industrial hygienists, will meet over the next six months and develop work plans for eventual agency implementation.

Ergonomics Committee Schedules Final Meeting
   The National Advisory Committee on Ergonomics (NACE) will convene its sixth and final meeting in Washington, D.C. this month. Committee workgroups consisting of research, guidelines, and outreach and assistance will meet on Nov. 16, and will report their findings and conclusions to the full committee on Nov. 17. The meeting is open to the public and will be held at the Holiday Inn on the Hill, 415 New Jersey Avenue, NW. Details on the meeting are in the October 25 Federal Register. NACE was chartered for a two-year term on November 27, 2002, to provide advice and recommendations on ergonomic guidelines, research, and outreach and assistance.

OSHA Signs Partnership with U.S. Army, Launches Alliance with Health Association
   A signing ceremony Oct. 15 joined OSHA with the Department of the Army in improving the safety and health for the Army's civilian workforce at 21 military installations. OSHA Administrator John Henshaw said the new partnership is a strong example of the agency's "commitment to helping federal agencies improve workplace safety and health." The agreement's main goal is to reduce civilian workforce fatalities, injuries and illnesses at each participating installation by at least three percent each year. Meanwhile, a new national Alliance was signed Oct. 26 with the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS) to address ergonomic-related issues for the workers in the medical ultrasound community.

NIOSH Sponsoring Conference on Workplace Violence Research and Prevention
    The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and other associations and organizations will discuss strategic workplace violence research and prevention efforts in Baltimore, Nov. 15-17. "Partnering in Workplace Violence Prevention: Translating Research to Practice" is a national conference developed from NIOSH discussions and research across diverse work settings and types of workplace violence. Presentations and working sessions will focus on violence associated with criminal intent and personal relationships, customer and client violence, and worker-on-worker violence. Details and registration information is available on NIOSH's website.

Hispanic Construction Forum Scheduled in North Carolina
   Raleigh, N.C. is the site of a forum this month focusing on construction issues and their impact on Hispanic workers. The forum will be held Nov. 5 at the St. Raphael Catholic Church, 5801 Falls of Neuse Road in Raleigh beginning at 9 a.m. Agenda topics include electrical, fall protection, trenching and excavation, and how to prevent being struck by equipment on the job site. More information can be obtained by calling Tomas Castillo (North Carolina OSHA) at (919) 662-4597, ext. 258. A brochure on the event is available online in Spanish.

Kansas City, Denver Regions Spotlight VPP Worksites
   Nebraska and Missouri worksites were recently recognized for their superior safety and health management systems. On Oct. 28, Kiewit Construction Company in Omaha earned membership in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs "Star" category for excellence in safety and health management during the construction of the Holland Performing Arts Center, a 175,000 square foot concert and symphony hall. Georgia-Pacific, Kansas City Packaging also earned its VPP "Star" flag in a recognition ceremony Oct. 21. The facility employs about 125 workers producing corrugated and solid fiber boxes. Finally, Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming was recognized Oct. 21 for achievement in protecting employee safety and health. The park was designated a VPP "Merit" site in the VPP program. VPP Merit sites meet the safety and health program elements that far exceed minimum OSHA standards. Yellowstone National Park has realized more than a 40 percent reduction in its accident rate since 1998 and is the first national park to receive OSHA's VPP Merit award.

OSHA Regions Launch New Alliances, Strategic Partnerships
    OSHA's New York, Atlanta, Chicago and Dallas regions have established local Alliances and partnerships with various associations and organizations to continue the advancement of safety and health in the workplace. OSHA's New York Region signed a strategic partnership recently with the Utility and Transportation Contractors Association of New Jersey and the construction trades to reduce injuries and fatalities throughout New Jersey's construction industry. The Parsippany, NJ Area Office is working with two Hispanic work organizations. A new Alliance with New Labor was signed Oct. 28 during a Hispanic-Latino Alliance Conference at Rutgers University. The office extended an existing agreement with the Wind of the Spirit Immigrant Resource Center. OSHA's two Atlanta Area Offices are focusing efforts on reducing trenching hazards through a new Alliance signed Oct. 22 with the Georgia Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers and the Georgia Institute of Technology. The Illinois Health Care Association (IHCA) signed on with OSHA's Chicago Region, Oct. 19, to reduce and eliminate lower back pain and other ergonomic-related injuries faced by healthcare workers. Finally, OSHA's area offices in Corpus Christi, TX and Lubbock, TX signed separate alliances Oct. 28 with the South Texas Exploration and Production Safety (STEPS) Network (focus on safety and health of oil and gas industry workers in south Texas, and with the Allegiance HR Solutions Group in Odessa (highlighting construction safety for Hispanic workers), respectively.

Voluntary Protection Programs Activity
    The following companies were approved last month for new or continued participation in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP): Region III: Hilex Poly Co., LLC, Milesburg, PA (Cont. Star) Region IV: Milliken & Co., Kex II Plant, LaGrange, GA (New Star); Georgia Pacific, Oxford Laminating Facility, Oxford, MS (Cont. Star); Georgia Pacific, Warm Springs Plywood, Warm Springs, GA (Cont. Star); Milliken & Co., Humphrey Plant, Toccoa, GA (Cont. Star); Milliken & Co., Sibley Plant, Lavonia, GA (Cont. Star); Spring Industries, Bath Products, Hartwell Finishing Plant, Hartwell, GA (Cont. Star); Milliken & Co., Kingsley Plant, Thomson, GA (Cont. Star); NutraSweet Co., Augusta, GA (Cont. Star) Region V: CF Industries, Cincinnati Warehouse, Cincinnati, OH (Cont. Star); GE Medical Systems, Repair Development Ctr., Milwaukee, WI (Cont. Star); Dupont de Nemours & Co., Circleville, OH (Cont. Star), and Region VI: Exxon Mobil Hull Underground Storage Facility, Hull, TX (Cont. Star).

OSHA's Toledo Office Participates in Habitat for Humanity Project
    A single mother of two children was presented the keys to a brand new home in Toledo, OH, October 23, thanks to the efforts of many who donated their time and resources, including nine OSHA personnel (and one spouse) from the Toledo Area Office. Led by Area Director Jule Jones, the OSHA staff recently worked to put the finishing touches on the new home, which included priming and painting. Sponsored by the Toledo Habitat for Humanity and Owens Corning, the three-bedroom home will be ready for occupancy this month. The Toledo Area Office is in OSHA's Chicago Region.

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