December 1, 2007 · Volume 6, Issue 23
OSHA 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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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
U.S. Labor Secretary Chao Announces New Membership of OSHA Advisory Committee
OSHA Issues Final Rule on Employer-Paid Personal Protective Equipment
OSHA Introduces New Publications Web Page
OSHA Outreach Training Program Sets Record
Strategic Partnership Program News
Alliance Program Update
"QuickTips" from QuickTakes


U.S. Labor Secretary Chao Announces New Membership of OSHA Advisory Committee

     U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao recently announced the appointment of seven members to the 12-person National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH).  The committee advises the Secretaries of Labor and Health and Human Services on occupational safety and health programs.  "America's workers will benefit from the diverse perspectives and expertise of these committee members who will be working with the department in advancing workplace safety and health," said Secretary Chao.  Members of the committee are selected based on their knowledge and experience in occupational safety and health.  Each member serves a two-year term.

OSHA Issues Final Rule on Employer-Paid Personal Protective Equipment

     OSHA announced in the November 15, 2007 Federal Register a final rule on employer-paid personal protective equipment (PPE).  The rule provides a clear, concise policy that all PPE, with a few exceptions, be provided at no cost to the employee.  "Employees exposed to safety and health hazards may need to wear personal protective equipment to be protected from injury, illness and death caused by exposure to those hazards," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. "This final rule will clarify who is responsible for paying for PPE, which OSHA anticipates will lead to greater compliance and potential avoidance of thousands of workplace injuries each year."  OSHA estimates there will be 21,000 fewer injuries per year as a result of the rule.

OSHA Introduces New Publications Web Page

     Visitors to the new Publications Web page will find a more refined, user-friendly approach to access OSHA's resources.  The page was designed to provide customers with five different ways to search for products:  by publication number; keyword; alphabetically; industry/topic; and by type of publication.  Customers can order up to 25 copies of a maximum of five publications.  As one of the most popular pages on the agency's Web site, OSHA wants the Publications page to serve as the comprehensive resource for safety and health products and information.

OSHA Outreach Training Program Sets Record

     OSHA's Outreach Training Program had another record-breaking year in fiscal year (FY) 2007.  During the year, 522,248 students were trained - an 18 percent increase from FY 2006.  The program sponsored 35,536 classes - an average of over 680 classes per week.  Eighty percent of the students were trained in construction.  The rest received training in general industry and disaster site preparedness. In FY 2007, there was a 26 percent increase in the number of students receiving the 30-hour training courses.  The OSHA Outreach Training Program is the agency's primary method of training employees about occupational safety and health.  Through the program, individuals who complete a one-week OSHA trainer course from either the OSHA Training Institute (OTI) or an OTI Education Center are authorized to teach 10-hour or 30-hour courses in construction or general industry safety and health standards. In the past five years, the number of students has doubled.  More than 1.9 million employees have received outreach training.

Strategic Partnership Program News

     OSHA's Albany, N.Y. area office recently formed a partnership with general contractor, D.A. Collins Construction Co. Inc.; the New York State Department of Labor On-Site Consultation Program; and the Greater Capital Region Building and Construction Trades Council AFL-CIO to increase safety and health protections for more than 120 employees working on the Castleton-on-the-Hudson Bridge Project in upstate New York.  OSHA's Denver area office created a new partnership with Holder Construction Co. to assure the safety and health of employees during the construction of the new Hines 1515 Wynkoop Office Building project.

Alliance Program Update

     National Office: OSHA renewed its Alliance with the Crane, Hoist & Monorail groups to continue providing systems owners and operators in general industry with information to help reduce and prevent exposure to safety and health issues such as electrical hazards, falls from elevations or being struck by moving equipment. OSHA formed a new Alliance with the National Chicken Council and National Turkey Federation (NCC-NTF) to provide the associations' members and others with guidance on machinery hazards and to provide solutions to reduce worksite injuries, such as amputations.

"QuickTips" from QuickTakes

     Millions of Americans make the daily commute to work by car, and as winter approaches and the weather gets colder, this commute can get treacherous. Especially when driving in snow or ice, employees should take extra precautions before and during their drive to make sure they arrive to work safely. Here are a few suggestions from OSHA:

  • Check your car's battery, tire treads, antifreeze, and windshield wipers regularly.
  • During winter, keep a snow brush, an ice scraper, and jumper cables in your car at all times.
  • When behind another car in icy conditions, increase your following distance from what it would normally be.
  • If you become stranded, stay with your car, put bright markers on the antenna or windows, and turn on the dome light.
OSHA's Tips for Safe Winter Driving can help you prevent road accidents by preparing yourself and your car for winter. OSHA's Emergency Preparedness Response Safety and Health Guide for Winter Storms is a good resource for cold weather safety and health tips, including a section on winter driving. Look for more QuickTips on a new safety and health topic in your next issue of QuickTakes.

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