November 15, 2006 · Volume 5, 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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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 Unveils New Guidance Document for Protecting Employees Against Avian Flu
National Emphasis Program on Amputations Features Major Changes
OSHA Schedules NACOSH Meeting
"SafetyFest of the Great Northwest" Scheduled for Next Month
OSHA Proposes $2.3 Million in Penalties to Painting Contractor
First Drug-Free Work Week a Success
Paper Industry Safety Program a Success
Strategic Partnership Activity
Latest Alliance News
New Event Information Posted to Web Site
'QuickTips' from QuickTakes

OSHA Unveils New Guidance Document for Protecting Employees Against Avian Flu
    OSHA Guidance Update on Protecting Employees from Avian Flu Viruses, and other important resource information on the topic, was recently posted to OSHA's Web site to alert employers and employees about the hazards of occupational exposure to avian influenza from infected birds, and provides practical recommendations on ways to avoid infection. This new document updates guidance on avian flu issued by OSHA in 2004. The update provides separate recommendations for poultry employees and those who handle other animals, laboratory employees, healthcare workers, food handlers, travelers, and U.S. employees stationed abroad. The primary focus is on good hygiene, including the use of gloves and hand washing, as well as respiratory protection for those who work with infected animals or individuals.

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National Emphasis Program on Amputations Features Major Changes
    OSHA recently revised its directive on the National Emphasis Program on Amputations to identify and reduce workplace machinery and equipment hazards which cause or are likely to cause amputations. Changes include identification of industries and establishments associated with amputations rather than equipment; lists of typical machinery and equipment associated with amputations; incorporation of a comparison chart for the Standard Industrial Classification codes and the North American Industry Classification System codes; and new targeting methodology based on more current data from OSHA and Bureau of Labor Statistics sources, and the Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout) and Mechanical Power-transmission Apparatus standards related to amputation hazards.

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OSHA Schedules NACOSH Meeting
    The Frances Perkins Building in Washington is the site for the Nov. 28 meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH), starting at 9 a.m. The agenda includes a presentation on the National Occupational Research Agenda and updates on OSHA's enforcement and cooperative programs, standards/regulations, and the cranes and derricks Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act panel report. NACOSH advises the secretaries of labor and health and human services on occupational safety and health programs. Details are published in the Nov. 6 Federal Register.

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"SafetyFest of the Great Northwest" Scheduled for Next Month
   Some 500 employees and managers, representing a wide range of industries throughout Idaho, Oregon and Washington, are scheduled to attend the "SafetyFest of the Great Northwest" training conference in Boise, beginning Dec 11. The five-day conference is sponsored by OSHA's Seattle Region, the Washington Group International, the Idaho chapter of the Associated General Contractors, and the Idaho Division of Professional Technical Education. Training sessions (offered in both English and Spanish) will focus on scaffold, trench and crane safety, fall protection, defensive driving, accident investigation, and hearing conservation, to name a few. OSHA's 10-hour training certificate will be presented to participants attending construction or general industry training.

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OSHA Proposes $2.3 Million in Penalties to Painting Contractor
    Thomas Industrial Coatings was cited Nov. 9 for 33 willful, including "instance-by-instance" willful, and eight serious alleged safety and health violations as a result of two fatal workplace accidents within two months. Both accidents happened at the same bridge painting worksite in Kansas City and the same suspended scaffold. Another company employee died from a fall in a similar accident earlier in the year in the St. Louis area. Referring to the case, OSHA Administrator Ed Foulke said the employer showed "gross plain indifference to employee safety."

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First Drug-Free Work Week a Success
    The first Drug-Free Work Week (Oct. 16-22) was a resounding success, with organizations across the country implementing innovative ideas to emphasize the value of working drug free. Drug-Free Work Week was a collaborative effort between the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and members of its Drug-Free Workplace Alliance, a cooperative program to improve safety and health in the construction and mining industries through drug-free workplace programs. During the week, alliance members convened to renew the agreement for two additional years. Organizations throughout all industries were invited-and answered the call-to participate in Drug-Free Work Week. Learn more at DOL's Working Partners Web site.

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Paper Industry Safety Program a Success
   Paper companies and contractors are benefiting from a resource helping to improve safety performance. The "OSHA 10+ Safety Program," developed under a partnership between OSHA's Chicago Region and the Wisconsin Paper Council, assures contractors working at Paper Council members' facilities receive consistent, high quality and nationally recognized safety instruction on a wide range of topics related to the paper industry. To date, more than 7,300 individuals have been trained across the country. The ultimate goal is for all Paper Council members to incorporate the OSHA 10+ program into their current safety and health management systems.

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Strategic Partnership Activity
   National Office: OSHA signed a national strategic partnership with the National Association of Tower Erectors to further improve the safety and health of employees in the telecommunications and broadcast tower erection industry. Region V: Ensuring the safety and health of employees at the Kane County Judicial Center construction project is the focus of a partnership formed between OSHA's North Aurora, Ill., Area office, state of Illinois, and the M.A. Mortenson Co.

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Latest Alliance News
   National Office: Reducing and preventing exposure to tree removal and electrical, fall, and struck-by hazards is the focus of a new alliance OSHA formed with the Tree Care Industry Association. OSHA renewed an alliance with the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and Joint Commission Resources Inc. to continue working on arming healthcare employees with resources to stay safe and healthy on the job. Independent Electrical Contractors Inc. renewed an alliance with OSHA to further reduce and prevent exposure to falls, rear-end collisions, and material-handling hazards. OSHA renewed the Safe Tank Alliance to advance safety and health at petroleum and petrochemical liquid storage sites. Region IV: Young employees will benefit from an alliance signed between OSHA's Mobile, Ala., Area Office and Alabama state educators and safety experts to design courses targeted at reducing exposure to safety hazards.

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New Event Information Posted to Web Site
   OSHA added more safety and health-related training information to its events Web page. Check for events near you.

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'QuickTips' from QuickTakes
    We often take it for granted-walking from point 'a' to point 'b' while on the job. But, a routine situation can change quickly and dramatically because of slips, trips and falls-the culprit in the majority of general industry accidents. OSHA is aware of that fact and has an assortment of information-from standards and rules to training programs-to help reduce the hazards that cause these accidents. The tips below may seem obvious; but, they're often overlooked or, worse, ignored. Try them-we're confident they'll help keep employees a bit safer:
  • Keep walkways and stairs clear of scrap and debris; coil extension cords, lines and hoses when not in use.
  • Wipe up spills immediately; wear appropriate waterproof, non-slip footwear.
  • Ensure all wet surfaces are covered with non-slip materials; cover floor openings.
  • When working in icy conditions, wear lug soles; clear parking lots, stairs and walkways, and use salt/sand as needed.

  •     Visit OSHA's Web site for more resources on reducing and preventing accidents involving slips, trips and falls. Walking/Working Surfaces is a Safety and Health Topics page that focuses on standards, hazards and controls, and provides a launching point for even more information. Employers may also want to visit OSHA's Web site on Teen Worker Safety in Restaurants; a separate section of that site highlights slips, trips and falls and offers information suitable across industry. Look for more safety and health 'QuickTips' in the next issue.

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