December 1, 2004 · Volume 3, Issue 23
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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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 Administrator Announces Successful Year for Enforcement
Ergonomics Committee Presents Recommendations to OSHA
NACOSH Meeting Scheduled for Dec. 8 in Washington
OSHA Proposes Update on Agency Standards that refer to National Consensus Standards
Federal Agency Recordkeeping Rule Published
OSHA's New Hampshire Office Participates in Ergonomics Workshop
New Alliances Focus on Machine Automation Industry, Colorado Safety Association
VPP Recognition Granted to Wisconsin Company
Consultation Program Offers Free On-Site Safety and Health Services
OSHA's Dallas Region Makes Office Moves
Voluntary Protection Programs Activity


OSHA Administrator Announces Successful Year for Enforcement
     John Henshaw, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, said Nov. 18 that OSHA's enforcement program for FY 2004 proved strong and effective, revealing an agency inspection goal that was exceeded, plus an increase in total violations. Henshaw released the 2004 enforcement statistics during an OSHA press conference, saying the data affirms that "OSHA's balanced approach to workplace safety and health includes strong, fair and effective enforcement programs." OSHA cited 86,708 violations during FY 2004 that included a dramatic increase in the number of serious and willful violations issued.

Ergonomics Committee Presents Recommendations to OSHA
    The National Advisory Committee on Ergonomics (NACE) presented a litany of recommendations to OSHA following its final meeting in Washington, Nov. 17. Recommendations included improving ergonomics success story collection and distribution processes, ensuring that ergonomics is part of an overall safety and health program, and the identification of numerous research gaps, among others. The meeting culminated a process begun two years ago when NACE first received its charter by the Secretary of Labor. The committee was charted to provide advice and recommendations to help OSHA accelerate the decline of musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace.

NACOSH Meeting Scheduled for Dec. 8 in Washington
   The National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH) will meet Dec. 8 in Washington. Agenda items center on OSHA and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) activities and include OSHA health targeting, NIOSH nanotechnology, Hispanic outreach, motor vehicle safety, and emergency response. The meeting is open to the public and will begin at 9 a.m., at the Holiday Inn-Capitol, 550 C Street, SW. Details on the meeting are in the Nov. 18, 2004, Federal Register.

OSHA Proposes Update on Agency Standards that refer to National Consensus Standards
   OSHA announced last month that it would begin the process to update OSHA standards that reference or include language from outdated consensus standards. To accomplish that, the agency will use a number of regulatory approaches, including formal (notice and comment) rulemaking, direct final rulemaking, and technical amendments. The first rulemaking action involves a direct final rule to revoke references found in standards on Temporary Labor Camps, Guarding of Portable Power Tools, Sawmills, Flammable and Combustible Liquids, and Arc Welding and Cutting. Public comments are due to OSHA by Dec. 27, 2004. Details on the proposals are in the Nov. 24, 2004 Federal Register.

Federal Agency Recordkeeping Rule Published
    OSHA announced Nov. 24 the publication of a final rule amending the occupational injury and illness recording and reporting requirements that apply to Federal agencies. The rule makes the Federal sector's recordkeeping and reporting requirements essentially identical to the private sector by adopting applicable OSHA recordkeeping provisions as a requirement for Federal agencies. Those new requirements, published in the Nov. 26 Federal Register, will become effective Jan. 1, 2005.

OSHA's New Hampshire Office Participates in Ergonomics Workshop
   As part of a regional alliance with the New Hampshire Grocers Association, the New Hampshire Consultation Service and the UNH Small Business Development Center, OSHA's area office in Concord, NH recently participated in a workshop focusing on ergonomic guidelines for the retail grocery store industry. Rose Ohar, area director at Concord, said "the workshop provided valuable information and resources to assist businesses striving to address ergonomic risk factors at stores or warehouses."

New Alliances Focus on Machine Automation Industry, Colorado Safety Association
   OSHA signed a national Alliance Nov. 29 with the Association for High Technology Distribution (AHTD) to advance safety and health for workers in the machine automation industry with a particular focus on machine guarding and lockout/tagout procedures. OSHA's Denver Region formed an Alliance the same day with the Colorado Safety Association (CSA) to provide Colorado workers with training opportunities in contractor safety awareness, vehicle safety and first aid information such as cardio pulmonary resuscitation and the use of automated external defibrillators.

VPP Recognition Granted to Wisconsin Company
    Jacobsen, a Textron Company, based in Johnson Creek, WI, joined an elite group of businesses last month when it was welcomed as a "Star" recipient in OSHA's prestigious Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP). The Johnson Creek operation manufactures turf maintenance equipment, personnel and burden carriers for the golf course, professional lawn care, sports field and general grounds maintenance markets. Kim Stille, area director at OSHA's Madison, WI office, said "the cooperation between management and employees at this site is key to their success and we hope the entire industry will seek to emulate their effort."

Consultation Program Offers Free On-Site Safety and Health Services
    OSHA offers numerous avenues for businesses and organizations to establish a cooperative working relationship with the agency. One of those programs primarily targeted for smaller businesses involves a free on-site consultation service funded mostly by the agency. The Consultation Program is a service delivered by state governments using trained professional staff to educate employers about potential hazards at their worksites and to help them improve their safety and health management systems. The safety and health consultation program is confidential and completely separate from OSHA inspection efforts. Detailed information on this valuable program is available on OSHA's website and includes specifics on how to get started, benefits of participation, and a description of the walk-through.

OSHA's Dallas Region Makes Office Moves
    OSHA's Dallas Region moved its existing Austin Area Office to a new location to serve 34 counties. Paul Brantley, Austin's Area Director, said that the relocation of the Austin Area Office, along with the recently established San Antonio district office "will allow OSHA to better assist central Texas counties by providing safety and health information and outreach to employers and employees, including bilingual assistance." Both offices have been meeting with the Mexican Consulate and other Hispanic worker advocates to address the needs of the working community in the area. Austin's office is located at 1033 La Posada, Suite 273 in Austin and can be reached by calling (512) 374-0721. San Antonio's new office opened last August and is headed up by Rupert Chavez. Located at 800 Dolorosa St., Suite 203, you can contact the office by calling (210) 472-5040.

Voluntary Protection Programs Activity
    The following companies were approved last month for new or continued participation in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP): Region II: Curtis Lumber, Granville, NY (Cont. Star); General Magnaplate, Linden, NJ (Cont. Star); Curtis Lumber, Schroon Lake, NY (Cont. Star) Region IV: Duracell, LaGrange, GA (Cont. Star) Region V: Prairie Packaging, Inc., Woodridge, IL (New Merit) Region VI: Always in Mind (AIM), Inc., Thibodaux, LA (New Star); Maybelline-Garnier, Little Rock, AR (New Star); Entergy, Louisiana Training Ctr., Bridge City, LA (New Star); Ashland Chemical, Jacksonville, AR (New Merit); Superior Industries, Rogers Plant, Roger, AR (New Star), and Region VIII: Marvin Windows & Doors, Grafton, ND (Merit to Star).

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