November 15, 2008 · Volume 7, Issue 22
QuickTakes QuickTakes
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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

Thomas M. Stohler is Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA
OSHA Participates in an International Conference on Crane Safety
More Than 110 Million Visitor Sessions to OSHA's Web Site in FY 2008
All Ohio Foundry Day Hosted by OSHA's Toledo, Ohio Area Office
Web Site Promotes Availability of OSHA Outreach Training Program Courses
OSHA Welcomes Delta Air Lines into the VPP Corporate Pilot
New Strategic Partnership Formed During Construction of St. Louis University Arena
OSHA Forum Held to Assist Small Businesses in Complying with Federal Regulations
Alliance Program News
More Information Posted on Events Page
"QuickTips" from QuickTakes

Thomas M. Stohler is Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA

Thomas M. Stohler has been named Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA effective Nov. 10, 2008. Stohler had been OSHA's Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Labor since May 2008.

OSHA Participates in an International Conference on Crane Safety

Representatives from OSHA participated in a conference on crane safety recently held by the New York City Department of Buildings. The meeting addressed concerns over recent crane accidents in New York City and other areas across the country. OSHA is revising its federal standards on crane and derrick safety and has launched a national initiative on cranes and derricks to promote safe construction crane operations. State and local government officials from around the country attended the meeting, as well as representatives from Canada and the United Kingdom.

More Than 110 Million Visitor Sessions to OSHA's Web Site in FY 2008

OSHA's Web site recorded more than 110 million visitor sessions from the public in FY 2008. Visitors viewed potentially lifesaving safety and health information on topics such as bloodborne pathogens and personal protective equipment from more than 180 million pages during this period. The OSHA Web site went online in 1995 and traffic has consistently increased by 12-15 percent annually. The Web site is considered one of the most valuable public outreach tools. It provides employers and employees with all the information they need to create and maintain healthful and safe workplaces.

All Ohio Foundry Day Hosted by OSHA's Toledo, Ohio Area Office

OSHA's Toledo, Ohio Area Office and the AK Steel Mansfield Works Plant, an OSHA Strategic Plan Partner, recently hosted a free, one-day All Ohio Foundry Day Seminar at AK's Mansfield, Ohio facility. More than 60 foundry representatives from Kansas, Missouri, West Virginia, North Carolina and Ohio attended the event. The seminar addressed common hazards OSHA finds during inspections and discussed how personal protective equipment can save lives. Other topics included the benefits of implementing Safety and Health Management Systems and how to recognize and abate common ergonomic hazards.

Web Site Promotes Availability of OSHA Outreach Training Program Courses

OutreachTrainers.org is a free Web site dedicated to the Outreach Training Program community. Developed in cooperation with OSHA's Directorate of Training and Education, the site provides easy access to scheduling information for 10- and 30-hour Construction and General Industry training classes. Employees interested in training can search from more than 700 registered outreach trainers, and find course locations and schedules based on the type of training and proximity. Additionally, authorized outreach trainers can list their class schedules, profile and contact information. OSHA anticipates that this site will become a key component in helping organizations find training that matches their employees' needs. The OSHA Outreach Training Program is the agency's primary method of training employees in hazard recognition and prevention. In the past three years, the program has grown by 80 percent and has reached more than 1.6 million employees.

OSHA Welcomes Delta Air Lines into the VPP Corporate Pilot

Delta Air Lines recently became the eighth approved participant in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) Corporate Pilot. Founded in 1928, Delta is one of the world's largest commercial airlines with more than 53,000 employees. Criteria for VPP Corporate status include a substantial commitment to VPP; a comprehensive, organization-wide safety and health management system; and pre-screening processes to ready sites for VPP approval prior to OSHA review. Delta and its subsidiaries combined have 12 active OSHA VPP sites. The company joins seven other VPP Corporate Pilot participants: The Dow Chemical Company, Fluor Corporation, General Electric Company, Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Parsons Corporation, Washington Division of URS Corporation, and the U.S. Postal Service.

New Strategic Partnership Formed During Construction of St. Louis University Arena

OSHA's St. Louis Area Office formed a Strategic Partnership with Clayco Construction, Inc., St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council, and the Carpenters' District Council of Greater St. Louis to promote safety and health during the construction of the St. Louis University Arena project. Through the implementation of effective safety and health management systems, the Total Case Incident Rate and Days Away, Restricted and Transfer (DART) rate were 17 percent and 78 percent, respectively, below the Bureau of Labor Statistics national average. More than 450 supervisors and employees received 11,000 hours of safety and health training and the Strategic Partnership developed a video promoting safe practices in the industry.

OSHA Forum Held to Assist Small Businesses in Complying with Federal Regulations

"Challenges Small Businesses Face in Complying with Regulations" was the ninth forum in the "Business of Small Business Series" recently held in Washington, D.C., to discuss the advantages to small businesses of implementing workplace safety and health management systems. Speakers included Nicholas Owens, national ombudsman for the U.S. Small Business Administration, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health senior economist Elyce Biddle, and Vincent Santoro, vice president of global manufacturing for Ideal Jacobs, Inc. Topics addressed included OSHA's commitment to regulatory fairness, electronic tools that businesses can use to determine costs associated with implementing safety and health systems, and the benefits of using OSHA's On-site Consultation Program. These useful forums provide another venue for small businesses to obtain safety and health management information.

Alliance Program News

Region III: Students in career and technical centers and vocational technical schools throughout Pennsylvania will gain valuable information on workplace safety and health from a continued alliance between OSHA and the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Bureau of Career and Technical Education.

More Information Posted on Events Page

OSHA posted more safety- and health-related conference and meeting information to the events page on its Web site. Look for activities in your area.

"QuickTips" from QuickTakes

With the holidays fast approaching, many Americans will travel by air to visit family and friends. The airline industry traditionally experiences a significant increase in the number of travelers during this time of the year. Consequently, airline employees who handle passenger baggage will have even more items to lift, carry, push and pull. Ticket agents encounter hazards to the back and shoulder when they retrieve, weigh and tag baggage as well as move it onto a feeder conveyor. Ramp agents who lift and move baggage manually are at risk for developing musculoskeletal injuries.

Employers and employees will find that OSHA's Ergonomic Solutions: Baggage Handling eTool offers tips to prevent these and other potential workplace injuries. Employees can:

  • Perform stretching exercises that help loosen and relax the muscles and joints.
  • Tag excessively heavy baggage and get help from another person or use a lifting aid when handling baggage with heavy bag tags.
  • Use a rotation scheme to rotate agents out of a task that is particularly stressful. This gives the body valuable rest and recovery time.
  • Use a hand truck or cart to move large and heavy bags over long distances.
  • Ensure that ramp agents do not throw baggage or attempt to catch falling baggage.

Incorporating these suggestions can help reduce the number of employee injuries and make the holiday rush less painful. Visit OSHA's Web site and Publications page for more resources on improving safety and health on the job. Look for more "QuickTips" on another occupational safety and health topic in the next issue.

Editor: Kimberly Tucker, OSHA Office of Communications, 202-693-1999