December 15, 2006 · Volume 5, 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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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
OSHA Unveils New Hurricane Recovery and Response Work eMatrix
Quick Action by OSHA Compliance Officer Protects Employee from Trench Hazard
Spanish-language Version of General Industry Course Continues in Chicago
NAHB, Ryan Homes and OSHA Partner in Training
Strategic Partnership News
Alliance Update
Latest VPP Activity
Additional Event Information Posted to Web Site
‘QuickTips’ from QuickTakes
Season’s Greetings!

OSHA Unveils New Hurricane Recovery and Response Work eMatrix
    Employers and employees involved in hurricane cleanup and recovery efforts will benefit from a new Web-based OSHA resource, Hurricane eMatrix: Hazard Exposure and Risk Assessment Matrix for Hurricane Response and Recovery Work. This new tool offers users access to general recommendations, sampling and monitoring data, and employer/employee responsibilities applicable for any employers conducting response and recovery operations after a disaster. It also features 29 individual task- and operation-specific activity sheets that help employers evaluate hazards and provides guidance on reducing employee exposures during disaster operations like debris collection, tree trimming, utility restoration, building demolition and others.

Quick Action by OSHA Compliance Officer Protects Employee from Trench Hazard
    On Nov. 17, Compliance Safety and Health Officer Anthony Nozzi of OSHA’s North Aurora, Ill., Area Office, while driving on Big Timber Rd. in Elgin, Ill., observed an employee in an unprotected 6 ½ foot trench. He stopped and immediately asked that the employee be removed from the trench due to the imminent danger of the unstable trench walls. The soil was Type C and was freely seeping water. Minutes later, the trench caved-in at the point where the employee had been working. The company had a trench box on site, but was not using it.

Spanish-language Version of General Industry Course Continues in Chicago
    OSHA is joining forces with the Illinois On-Site Consultation Program, Northern Illinois University, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Truman College to offer the Spanish-language version of the agency's 10-hour general industry course. The two-day course will be offered Dec. 19 and 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the West Side Technical Institute, 2800 S. Western Ave. Registration and additional information is available through Truman College by calling (773) 907-3994 (bilingual).

NAHB, Ryan Homes and OSHA Partner in Training
   In early 2007, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Ryan Homes, a subsidiary of NVR Inc., will host a hands-on training session that gives OSHA compliance safety and health officers an inside look at how the residential construction industry operates. OSHA Assistant Secretary Ed Foulke Jr. will kickoff this session—the first for 2007 and fifth in a series. “It’s clear that NAHB and Ryan Homes strive for the same employee protection goals as OSHA. These sessions are very beneficial to OSHA staff. We applaud NAHB’s and Ryan’s commitment to improving workplace safety throughout the construction industry,” said Foulke. In a Nov. 15 posting, QuickTakes incorrectly characterized an excavation encountered at a Ryan Homes construction site as having a “serious” hazard. No hazard existed. We regret the error.

Strategic Partnership News
    Region IV: OSHA’s Atlanta Region joined with CDI Construction and Georgia Tech’s Onsite Consultative Service this month in a strategic partnership to ensure the safety and health of employees constructing a new mall in Augusta, Ga. Region V: Promoting workplace safety and health through cooperative training and education is the focus of a partnership renewed between OSHA’s Des Plaines, Ill., Area Office and the Underground Contractors Association of Illinois. OSHA’s Cincinnati Area Office and Mortenson Messer HealthCare Construction formed a partnership aimed at providing a safe environment for employees working on the Health Alliance Hospital construction project. Ensuring the safety of employees involved in the Argosy Casino expansion project in Lawrenceberg, Ind., is the goal of a partnership signed between OSHA’s Indianapolis Area Office and Cincinnati-based Messer Harmon LLC.

Alliance Update
    National Office: Employees working in the sheet metal and air conditioning industry will continue reaping benefits from an alliance renewed between OSHA and the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association. Region I: Rhode Island’s immigrants will benefit from a new alliance signed between OSHA’s Providence, R.I., Area Office, the Institute for Labor Studies and Research and the Rhode Island Committee for Occupational Safety and Health that focuses on teaching them about employee rights and common workplace hazards. Region II: OSHA’s Buffalo, N.Y., Area Office formed a new alliance with the Niagara Frontier and Rochester Automobile Dealers Associations to help improve the health and safety of employees of more than 300 upstate and western New York auto dealerships. Region V: Healthcare workers will benefit from an alliance renewed between the Illinois Health Care Association and OSHA’s Chicago Region to further reduce ergonomic injuries and other workplace hazards.

Latest VPP Activity
    Visit “recent approvals” on the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) page of OSHA's Web site to see the latest list of employers recently approved for new or continued participation in VPP. We encourage you to examine the entire VPP site to learn more about OSHA's premier cooperative program.

Additional Event Information Posted to Web Site
    OSHA recently added more safety and health-related training and conference information to its events Web page. Check for events near you.

‘QuickTips’ from QuickTakes
    The new year is fast approaching and with it comes the inevitable resolutions. Why not make a resolution to establish or strengthen a safety and health program in your workplace and let OSHA help you? OSHA works to promote a culture of safety and health through education, compliance assistance, cooperative programs and enforcement. Examples of programs OSHA offers to help employers learn about workplace hazards and ways to eliminate them include:
  • On-site Consultation Program
  • Cooperative agreements, such as alliances and partnerships
  • OSHA Training Institute Education Centers
  • Compliance assistance
  • Safety and health topics

  •     Employers are the first and last line of defense in keeping employees safe. Let OSHA help you to make 2007 “the safest and healthiest year ever.” Visit OSHA’s Web site for more resources on reducing and preventing workplace accidents and possible solutions for hazards. Look for more safety and health ‘QuickTips’ in the next issue.

    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, 2007.

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