November 15, 2007 · Volume 6, Issue 22
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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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
New OSHA Web Page on Wildfire Cleanup and Recovery Operations
MACOSH to Meet This Month
New Fact Sheet Available for Healthcare Workers
Public Health Notification on Hazards Associated with Cleaning and Disinfecting Medical Equipment
New OSHA Outreach Training Program Guidelines
New Spanish Teaching Materials
OSHA Education Center Now Offering Safety Training in Delaware
Strategic Partnership Program News
Latest Alliance Program Activity
Voluntary Protection Programs Update
“QuickTips” from QuickTakes

New OSHA Web Page on Wildfire Cleanup and Recovery Operations
    OSHA has unveiled a new Web page showcasing free occupational safety and health information related to wildfire cleanup and recovery. The wildfires recovery page offers more than 40 fact sheets and easy-reference QuickCards™ in English and Spanish, along with links to more than a dozen Safety and Health Topics pages. These resources provide response and recovery crews with information about ways to recognize and avoid injury from occupational hazards.

MACOSH to Meet This Month
   The Frances Perkins Building in Washington, D.C., is the site for the two-day meeting of the Maritime Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (MACOSH), beginning Nov. 27 at 8:15 a.m. MACOSH focuses on occupational safety and health issues for maritime employees involved in shipbuilding, ship breaking, ship repair, and longshoring. Details on the meeting are in the Nov. 7 Federal Register.

New Fact Sheet Available for Healthcare Workers
    The latest addition to OSHA’s ongoing series of safety and health fact sheets is Seasonal Influenza Vaccination—Important Protection for Healthcare Workers. The document discusses the importance of employers encouraging influenza vaccination for their healthcare employees to help reduce the risk of contracting influenza and spreading the illness to their families and patients.

Public Health Notification on Hazards Associated with Cleaning and Disinfecting Medical Equipment
    OSHA joined forces with the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Environmental Protection Agency to publish a public health notification that examines the hazards of using excess cleaning and disinfecting liquids on certain electronic medical equipment and offers solutions to avoid those hazards.

New OSHA Outreach Training Program Guidelines
    OSHA has issued new Construction and General Industry Outreach Training Program guidelines. The guidelines replace the 2003 versions and significantly change the training topics required in the OSHA 10- and 30-hour training programs. There are additional mandatory topic requirements, and the new report form requests additional training data. The guidelines affect an estimated 13,000 active outreach trainers in addition to many more thousands of eligible OSHA-authorized outreach trainers.

New Spanish Teaching Materials
    OSHA’s Directorate of Training and Education collaborated with the University of South Florida, an OSHA Training Institute Education Center, to compile safety and health PowerPoint presentations in Spanish. These new resources are designed to assist OSHA construction and general industry outreach trainers and others in conducting Spanish-language training for employees.

OSHA Education Center Now Offering Safety Training in Delaware
    Employers can help to ensure their employees’ safety in the workplace by fine-tuning their skills through an OSHA construction training opportunity being offered Nov. 27-30 in Wilmington, Del., by instructors from the West Virginia University Safety and Health Extension, an OSHA Training Institute Education Center. The Trainer Course in Occupational Safety and Health Standards for the Construction Industry is tailored for individuals interested in becoming trainers and teaching the 10- and 30-hour safety outreach program to their employees and other interested groups. For more details, contact Missy Stewart at Missy.Stewart@mail.wvu.edu or 1-800-626-4748.

Strategic Partnership Program News
    Ensuring the safety and health of construction employees is the goal of two partnerships recently formed with OSHA. The first is among OSHA’s Parsippany, N.J., area office, Hunter Roberts Construction Group, Florham Park Development LLC, the Morris County Building and Construction Trades Council, and the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development On-site Consultation Service to protect employees constructing the New York Jets’ new training facility. The second is among OSHA’s New York region, Mascaro Construction Co. LP, the Buffalo Building and Construction Trades Council, the AFL-CIO, the New York Department of Labor’s safety consultation program, contractors, and subcontractors to protect employees building the new federal courthouse in Buffalo, N.Y.

Latest Alliance Program Activity
    National Office: OSHA renewed its alliance with the Club Managers Association of America to continue focusing on promoting safe and healthful working conditions for membership club employees. The two organizations will also continue to address safety and health issues related to membership clubs’ landscaping and horticultural activities. Region I: Construction and general industry employees in central and western Massachusetts and Connecticut stand to benefit from a new alliance signed among OSHA’s Springfield, Mass., and Hartford, Conn., area offices and the Safety Council of Western New England. The organizations will work towards enhancing employee safety and health through training and education. Region III: OSHA’s Allentown, Pa., area office launched an alliance with the Graphic Arts Association to promote workplace safety and health for employees in the printing and graphic arts industries. Region V: The goals of a new alliance established among OSHA’s Columbus, Ohio, area office, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, OSHA On-site Consultation, CBS Personnel Holdings Inc., and the Ohio Staffing and Search Association are to reduce injuries and other worksite hazards, develop stronger training programs, and enhance safety and health for temporary employees throughout Ohio.

Voluntary Protection Programs Update
    Visit “recent approvals” on the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) page of OSHA’s Web site to view the latest list of employers approved for new or continued participation in VPP. We encourage you to examine the entire VPP site to learn more about how OSHA’s premier cooperative program can help protect employees and lower workers’ compensation costs.

“QuickTips” from QuickTakes
    It is that time of year; that’s right—shopping season is back. The holiday season can bring out the best in people while, at the same time, present serious work-related challenges to those employees working in various retail industries. From repetitive stress and musculoskeletal disorders to workplace violence—some important precautions are in order to help ensure that this holiday season is truly a joyous time for working men and women in the industry. Here are a few tips, and some helpful resources:
  • To help reduce workplace violence incidents, employers should establish engineering controls including good visibility and lighting, video surveillance, door detectors and buzzers, and alarms.
  • Good administrative and work practice controls include increasing staffing at high-risk locations and times; locking delivery doors and establishing rules for employees leaving facilities; and establishing emergency procedures and systems of communications.
  • To help reduce debilitating ergonomic-related injuries involving lifting, employers should routinely review the jobsite and activities of employees for possible ergonomic issues, paying particular attention to risk factors relating to “force,” “repetition,” “awkward and static postures,” and “contact stress.”
  • Employers should equip stockrooms and central processing areas with turntables and roller bed conveyors to reduce lifting and carrying; when lifting is required, employees should focus on using leg muscles and keeping the back straight.

  •     OSHA has superb resources on its Web site for additional information to help prevent workplace violence as well as for reducing musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace. Look for more safety and health “QuickTips” in the next issue.

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