December 15, 2005 · Volume 4, Issue 24
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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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
BLS Announces Decline in 2004 Lost-Worktime Injuries and Illnesses
OSHA Unveils New Web Tools
OSHA Offers New HAZWOPER Guidance Document
New Safety and Health Information Bulletin Focuses on Anhydrous Ammonia
OSHA Offers New Construction Compliance Assistance Module
New OSHA QuickCards/Fact Sheet Available
Updated Edition of NIOSH Pocket Guide Published
OSHA-Authorized Training Now Available on Guam
Regional VPP "Star" Recognition Update
Additional Voluntary Protection Programs Activity
OSHA Forms National Alliance, Renews Others
New Regional Alliances
Season's Greetings!

BLS Announces Decline in 2004 Lost-Worktime Injuries and Illnesses
    The number of workplace injuries and illnesses requiring time away from work declined substantially last year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported this month. A total of 1.3 million injuries and illnesses in private industry required recuperation away from work during 2004 - a 4.3 percent decrease from 2003. Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jonathan L. Snare applauded the positive news, saying in a statement that "the insights gained from the BLS data help us to position and enhance our services to workers and employers. We will continue to build on the programs that result in lower injury and illness rates."

OSHA Unveils New Web Tools
    OSHA introduced two new resources on its Web site: a Web-based assistance tool for workers and employers in the tree care industry, and a new advanced search engine allowing users to search topics in a variety of targeted areas. The new safety and health topics page is a product of OSHA's former alliance with the Tree Care Industry Association. Users can access information to develop and implement comprehensive safety and health programs, and learn how to recognize and address potential industry hazards, including overhead power lines, falling branches, and faulty safety equipment, to name just a few. OSHA's new advanced search engine allows users to conduct topical or keyword searches in various sections of the Web site, such as standards, compliance directives, interpretations, small business, training, and many other areas. Searches can be limited to one area or expanded to many different areas of the site.

OSHA Offers New HAZWOPER Guidance Document
   A new Web-based safety and health guidance document will assist workers and employers in determining whether an activity is, or would be considered, an "emergency response" activity under OSHA's Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) standard. The guide provides an overview of the conditions in which a response or cleanup activity may fall under the requirements of HAZWOPER, and is divided into two sections: The Application of HAZWOPER to Worksite Response and Cleanup Activities and Employee Training for Worksite Response and Cleanup Activities. Each section links to useful information and practical guidance to help with the appropriate response. Flowcharts are included in the document for easy reference and to help outline what compliance pathway workers should follow depending on the nature of the worksite situation.

New Safety and Health Information Bulletin Focuses on Anhydrous Ammonia
   Preventing the Uncontrolled Release of Anhydrous Ammonia at Loading Stations is the focus of a new OSHA Safety and Health Information Bulletin. The document outlines the potential for an uncontrolled anhydrous ammonia release during transfer operations at loading stations and other anhydrous ammonia systems/processes without certain safety mechanisms. It also shows examples of devices, work practices and training that employers and workers can use to eliminate or reduce the likelihood of these incidents.

OSHA Offers New Construction Compliance Assistance Module
    OSHA unveiled a new construction module for its Compliance Assistance Quick Start Web tool, the agency's Web-based tool that introduces visitors to the compliance assistance resources on OSHA's Web site. The construction module provides a step-by-step guide to help employers and workers in the construction industry comply with OSHA's construction standards. Visitors to the page can generate a set of compliance assistance materials tailored to their jobsites.

New OSHA QuickCards/Fact Sheet Available
   Workers and employers will benefit from a new group of QuickCards produced by OSHA. Available in both English and Spanish, these straightforward reference materials focus on safety and health topics such as demolition and cleanup, hydrogen sulfide, permit-required confined spaces, portable generators, and respiratory protection. Specific cards on rodents, snakes and insects; mold; and tree trimming are now available in Vietnamese. A new OSHA fact sheet pinpoints grounding requirements for portable generators. These new resources can be downloaded from OSHA's hurricane recovery page, or can be ordered by calling OSHA's publications office at (202) 693-1888.

Updated Edition of NIOSH Pocket Guide Published
    The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently released a new edition of the NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards. The pocket guide contains important safety and health information for 677 chemicals encountered in the workplace. First published in 1978, the latest revision includes updated particulate respirator recommendations. The book's layout is now more user friendly and also includes a new searchable Web version. The print (DHHS NIOSH Publication No. 2005-149) and CD-ROM (DHHS NIOSH Publication No. 2005-151) versions are available from the NIOSH publications office at 1-800-35-NIOSH. In addition to the Pocket Guide, the CD-ROM contains several other databases, such as the 2004 Emergency Response Guidebook, NIOSH and OSHA analytical methods, and the International Chemical Safety Cards.

OSHA-Authorized Training Now Available on Guam
    In an effort to bring affordable, quality training to the Pacific region, the OSHA Training Institute at WESTEC is partnering with Guam Community College (GCC) to offer OSHA-authorized courses through GCC's Office of Continuing Education. From January through July 2006, GCC will be offering academic credit courses and non-credit continuing education unit classes on Saturdays. For-credit training includes: OSHA 510 Standards for Construction, March 4, 11, 18; OSHA 2225 Respiratory Protection, April 8, 15, 22; OSHA 2264 Permit-required Confined Space, Feb. 11, 18, 25; and OSHA 3110 Fall Arrest Systems, July 8, 15, 22. Non-credit classes include: OSHA 10-hour Construction Course, Jan. 14; OSHA 7100 Introduction to Machinery and Machine Guarding, Jan. 21; and OSHA 7845 OSHA's Recordkeeping Rule Seminar, Jan. 28. GCC is an OSHA-training affiliate of WESTEC, one of two designated Region IX OSHA Training Institute Education Centers. WESTEC serves Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and Pacific Territories. To register, visit GCC on the Web, or call 671-735-5574.

Regional VPP "Star" Recognition Update
    Region I: OSHA's Boston Region recognized Acushnet Company's Titleist Ball Plant III in New Bedford, Mass., as a Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) "Star" site. Marthe Kent, OSHA New England regional administrator, praised the plant for its illness and injury rates remaining below the industry average. Kent also recognized General Electric Aircraft Engines, Hooksett, N.H., Plant for again receiving "Star" certification for its safety and health management system. One specific area of excellence is the 100 percent employee participation in the company's "Safety Awareness for Everyone" observation program. Kent also acknowledged Solutia Inc.'s Indian Orchard Plant in Springfield, Mass., for its safety and health management program, especially the company's use of trend analysis to effectively target and reduce employee injuries. Region II: The U.S. Postal Service's Jamestown, N.Y., post office and mail processing facility earned its membership into the "Star" family for its outstanding workplace safety and health management system. Region III: The Maryland Occupational Safety and Health program recently awarded its own VPP "Star" designation to Performance Pipe, a division of Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP. Robert L. Lawson, Maryland's commissioner of labor and industry, recognized the organization for its outstanding safety and health management system, employee involvement, and very low injury and illness rates. Region VI: John Miles, OSHA's Dallas regional administrator, recognized Entergy Transmission and Substations in Gretna, La., for their outstanding efforts in "maintaining an illness and injury rate 71 percent below the national average for their industry." Valero's Corpus Christi, Texas, Refinery West and East plants were also acknowledged for maintaining injury and illness rates substantially below the national average for the petroleum refining industry.

Additional Voluntary Protection Programs Activity
    The following companies were approved this month for new or continued participation in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP): Region II: Turner Construction at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute, Experimental Media Performing Arts Center, Troy, N.Y. (New Star); Turner Construction at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, N.Y. (New Star) and Region IV: Delavan Spray Technologies, Bamberg, S.C. (New Star); Georgia Pacific, Chip-n-Saw Mill, Prosperity, S.C. (New Star).

OSHA Forms National Alliance, Renews Others
    OSHA and the International Carwash Association recently formed an alliance to further protect the safety and health of members in the professional car wash and car care industry, including small businesses and non-English or limited English speaking employees. The alliance will focus on reducing and preventing exposure to workplace hazards associated with slips, trips and falls, and addressing hazard communication issues and vehicle operation safety. OSHA also renewed an alliance with the Society for Chemical Hazard Communication (SCHC). The renewal allows OSHA and SCHC the opportunity to continue providing information and education on hazard communication and chemical safety. The American Council of Independent Laboratories renewed its alliance with OSHA to further increase awareness of OSHA's Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory program.

New Regional Alliances
    Region I: Enhancing safe and healthful working conditions for workers in Connecticut's construction industry is the goal of a newly signed alliance between OSHA's Hartford and Bridgeport, Ct., Area Offices and Associated Builders and Contractors of Connecticut (CT ABC). Under the alliance, the organizations will work together to develop and deliver training and education programs for Connecticut ABC members. The training will focus on reducing employees' exposure to construction and bloodborne pathogen hazards. Region IV: OSHA's Tucker, Smyrna and Savannah, Ga., Area Offices teamed up with the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Local Union 72, Mechanical Contractors Association of Georgia, and Georgia Institute of Technology, Safety, Health and Environmental Technology Division. The alliance focuses on reducing worker injuries, illnesses and deaths by developing and implementing programs to recognize and abate workplace hazards.

Season's Greetings!
    On behalf of all of us at OSHA, we wish you and yours a happy holiday and a safe, healthy and prosperous new year. QuickTakes will not be published on Jan. 1, so please continue to visit the agency's Web site for news and updates. Look for your next issue of QuickTakes on Jan. 15, 2006.

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