November 1, 2007 · Volume 6, Issue 21
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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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
BLS Reports Workplace Injury and Illness Overall Rate Lowest Ever Recorded
Two New Modules Added to Ergonomics Solutions for Electrical Contractors eTool
Alliance Program Update
Latest Events Information
“QuickTips” from QuickTakes

BLS Reports Workplace Injury and Illness Overall Rate Lowest Ever Recorded
    The rate of workplace injuries and illnesses in private industry declined in 2006 for the fourth consecutive year, the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported. Approximately 4.1 million injuries and illnesses occurred in 2006. The number translates to a rate of 4.4 cases per 100 full-time employees, slightly less than the 4.6 rate reported last year. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao said that “workplace injuries and illnesses declined three percent in 2006 over the previous year against the backdrop that overall hours worked increased (two percent). The Department of Labor continues to focus on ensuring that workplace injury and illnesses rates continue to decline and that workers are healthy and safe on the job.”

Two New Modules Added to Ergonomics Solutions for Electrical Contractors eTool
   Employers and employees in the electrical contracting industry will benefit from the launch of two new modules as part of OSHA’s interactive Web-based Ergonomics Solutions for Electrical Contractors eTool. The modules and eTool are products of the agency’s alliance with the Independent Electrical Contractors. The modules identify potential ergonomic hazards and possible solutions to reduce injuries from electrical installation, repair and prefabrication processes.

Alliance Program Update
    National Office: OSHA renewed an alliance with the National Shipbuilding Research Program (NSRP) to continue providing NSRP members and others in the shipbuilding industry with health and safety information to reduce or prevent employee exposure to shipyard hazards. OSHA also renewed its alliance with the National Safety Council to continue providing safety and health information to the construction and general industries. The alliance will specifically focus on encouraging motor vehicle safety and drug-free workplaces. It will also address first aid training in the workplace, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of automated external defibrillators. The American Forest & Paper Association, Pulp and Paper Safety Association, and OSHA renewed their alliance stressing workplace ergonomics and machine safety issues throughout the forest, pulp, paper and paper-converting industries. Region V: OSHA’s Milwaukee, Wis., area office, the Metropolitan Builders Association, and the Wisconsin Occupational Safety and Health Consultation Program formed a new alliance to reduce injuries and worksite hazards, and enhance safety and health for construction employees in five Wisconsin counties.

Latest Events Information
    OSHA updated its events Web page with new safety- and health-related meetings and training information. Check the site for events near you.

“QuickTips” from QuickTakes
    Molds are found almost everywhere and can grow on virtually any substance as long as moisture and oxygen are present. Molds can damage building materials and, if left unchecked, can eventually cause structural damage. Some molds have the potential to cause adverse health effects, including asthma attacks in some people who are allergic to mold. Exposure to mold can also cause other types of allergic reactions, including hay fever-type symptoms, skin rashes, and irritation to the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs in both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. That is why OSHA encourages building managers, custodians, and others responsible for building maintenance to learn how to avoid, control and remove mold in buildings leading to the reduction of health risks. Moisture control is the key to mold control. Here are a few tips on mold prevention:
  • Repair plumbing leaks and leaks in the building structure as soon as possible.
  • Perform regularly scheduled building/heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) inspections and maintenance, including filter changes.
  • Clean and dry wet or damp spots as soon as possible, but no more than 48 hours after discovery.
  • Pinpoint areas where leaks have occurred, identify the causes, and take preventive action to ensure that they do not reoccur.

  •     OSHA’s Safety and Health Information Bulletin entitled A Brief Guide to Mold in the Workplace offers more recommendations on how to prevent mold growth, the proper use of personal protective equipment, ways to assess mold or moisture problems, and methods to cleanup damage caused by moisture and mold growth. OSHA’s guide on Preventing Mold-Related Problems in the Indoor Workplace, Safety and Health Topics page on Molds and Fungi, and Mold QuickCard™ (English/Spanish/Vietnamese) are additional resources for protecting employees involved in the prevention and cleanup of mold. Look in your next issue of QuickTakes for new “QuickTips” on another safety and health topic.

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