November 15, 2003 • Volume 2, Issue 22
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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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
OSHA Extends Target Date for Ergonomic Research Abstracts
Public Hearing on Assigned Protection Factors Scheduled
Construction Institute Latest to Align with OSHA
OSHA Signs Two National Strategic Partnership Agreements
New Emergency Response Training Tool Available
Giving Cardiac Arrest Victims a Fighting Chance
OSHA Co-Sponsors Control Banding Workshop
OSHA's Cleveland Office Taking Workplace Safety and Health to New Levels
Leading Beauty Products Manufacturer Pledges VPP Commitment
Tilt-Up Panel Construction Hazards Subject of Safety Bulletin
Health Care Employees, Immigrant Workers Subject of New York Region Alliances
UNC Schedules Occupational Safety & Health Winter Institute
Voluntary Protection Program Activity


OSHA Extends Target Date for Ergonomic Research Abstracts
     Published researchers now have until Dec. 1, 2003, to submit abstracts on scientific research related to preventing workplace Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs). OSHA extended the deadline to benefit numerous researchers who have expressed interest in submitting information. The abstracts will be used to select speakers for the research symposium to be held in conjunction with the Jan. 27, 2004 meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Ergonomics (NACE). Details are published in the Nov. 7, Federal Register.

Public Hearing on Assigned Protection Factors Scheduled
     A public hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 28, 2004, to discuss OSHA's proposal to amend the Respiratory Protection Standard to include new Assigned Protection Factors (APFs). APFs reflect the workplace level of respiratory protection that respirators are expected to provide workers. Interested parties who intend to present testimony must notify OSHA by Dec. 12. The hearing will be held at the Labor Department in Washington, D.C, beginning at 9 a.m., Jan. 28.

Construction Institute Latest to Align with OSHA
     Crane safety is the predominant focus of a Nov. 3, 2003 Alliance between OSHA and the Construction Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers. The Alliance stresses the importance of incorporating safety and health issues into the construction process and will focus on issues relevant to workers in civil engineering, construction, and construction engineering. While signing the Alliance, OSHA Administrator John Henshaw said "the collective expertise of CI and OSHA can create a significant impact on the safety and health of construction workers."

OSHA Signs Two National Strategic Partnership Agreements
     A construction management firm, along with a concrete association, has signed on with OSHA to advance worker safety and health. AMEC Construction Management, Inc. signed a strategic partnership with the agency Oct. 30, to focus on eliminating the four major workplace hazards prominent in the construction industry; falls, electrical, caught in/between, and struck-by. AMEC also will implement voluntary corporate guidelines for construction ergonomics at specific projects. The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association joined with OSHA on Nov. 4, to strive for a 30% reduction over three years in the total case incident rate for member companies. The partnership also calls for increasing the number of formal safety and health programs and increasing concrete employee participation in OSHA's training courses.

New Emergency Response Training Tool Available
     Having the tools and knowledge to participate effectively in response to major incidents, natural and otherwise, is the goal of OSHA's latest web-based training tool-Incident Command System (ICS). ICS is an integrated and flexible structure that emphasizes cooperation and coordination in local, state, and federal responses to incidents that may cross various jurisdictions and agencies. The electronic assistance tool highlights planning and preparation and the implementation of an ICS system. The tool includes a section on safety aspects outlining OSHA standards that affect ICS workers, and provides additional guidance information applicable to emergency response safety and health.

Giving Cardiac Arrest Victims a Fighting Chance
     OSHA has published a new brochure with life-saving information for worker's who may fall victim to sudden cardiac arrest. Saving Sudden Cardiac Arrest Victims in the Workplace provides information on the importance of readily-available automated external defibrillators (AED), and encourages the installation of the devices in workplaces. Also included is a list of resources for more detailed guidance on the use of AEDs as well as how to obtain qualified training. The brochure highlights three success stories provided by the American Heart Association and NIOSH.

OSHA Co-Sponsors Control Banding Workshop
    A two-day practicum on an alternate approach to protecting worker health is scheduled next March in Cincinnati. The 2nd International Control Banding Workshop will center discussions on the effectiveness of control banding which directs resources on exposure controls; that is, rather than assigning a set exposure limit to each chemical, hazard classifications are developed for "bands" of chemicals. OSHA, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the American Industrial Hygiene Association, and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), are sponsoring the workshop to be held at the ACGIH Professional Learning Center beginning March 1. Interested parties are invited to submit abstracts for papers and poster sessions by Dec. 1, 2003.

OSHA's Cleveland Office Taking Workplace Safety and Health to New Levels
     OSHA's Area Office in Cleveland recently signed a local Alliance with the Ohio Landscapers Association (OLA) to focus on a safer work environment for workers in the landscaping and horticulture industries. OLA represents approximately 500 landscaping contractors throughout the state. The office also teamed up with the Frito-Lay Company in Wooster, OH, to address workplace safety and health issues for teen workers. Along with the Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division, the Cleveland staff has conducted Youth Worker Outreach Seminars for more than 700 students in the Cleveland Area; the Frito-Lay site in Wooster (a "Star" VPP site) donated snacks to each of the "graduating" students.

Leading Beauty Products Manufacturer Pledges VPP Commitment
     L'Oreal USA, a manufacturer of beauty products, made a public commitment Nov. 5 pledging to bring its nine U.S. manufacturing plants into OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program "Star" status by 2008. The commitment was formalized in a ceremony at its Franklin, NJ plant (a STAR site for six years running). In addition to Franklin, L'Oreal has three other sites currently flying the VPP Star flag: Clark and Piscataway, NJ, and North Little Rock, AR.

Tilt-Up Panel Construction Hazards Subject of Safety Bulletin
    OSHA recently issued a safety and health information bulletin for the construction industry. The Tilt-Up Panel Construction Hazard bulletin alerts contractors and construction personnel about hazards associated with unsupported panel walls during construction. The bulletin provides safety recommendations to employers and workers involved in tilt-up construction and also highlights investigation details of a North Carolina accident where three workers were killed when a 20-ton concrete panel collapsed.

Health Care Employees, Immigrant Workers Subject of New York Region Alliances
     OSHA's New York Region recently formed an Alliance to focus on safety and health for health care workers, and signed another agreement to ensure the correct reporting of workplace fatalities. The New York State Nurses Association joined with OSHA Nov. 3, to develop workplace safety and health "Best Practice Guides" for use by its 34,000 members. The Alliance also provides information, guidance, training and access to valuable resources to protect employees' health and safety. Another Alliance was signed the same day with the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) to foster a culture of fatality prevention. The Alliance bonds OSHA and OCME with ensuring that employers report workplace fatalities, and also addresses construction fatalities, immigrant workers, and youth workers.

UNC Schedules Occupational Safety & Health Winter Institute
     The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will present the 24th annual Occupational Safety and Health Winter Institute in Safety Harbor, FL, Jan. 26-30, 2004. Approximately 30 courses will be offered in the areas of occupational and environmental safety and health. Details are available online or by calling (888) 235-3320.

Voluntary Protection Program Activity
     The following companies were approved recently for new or continued participation in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program (VPP): Motorola Inc., Ed Bluestein Facility, Austin, TX (Cont. Star); Mundy Contract Maintenance Svc. @ Solutia, Alvin, TX (Cont. Star); International Paper, Lafayette, LA (Cont. Star); International Paper, Springhill Wood Products, Springhill, LA (Cont. Star); NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX (Cont. Star); Oxy Chemical, Oxy Tower, Dallas, TX (Cont. Star); BP Chemical's Green Lake Plant, Port Lavaca, TX (Cont. Star); Solutia, Inc., Alvin, TX (Cont. Star); Nexfor/Norbord LP, OSB Facility, Nacogdoches, TX (Cont. Star); Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., Borger, TX (cont. Star); SAIC @ NASA JSC, Houston, TX (Cont. Star); and Weyerhaeuser Containerboard Packaging & Recycling, Amarillo, TX (Cont. Star).

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