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THE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
PUERTO RICO AREA OFFICE,

THE PUERTO RICO OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
PUERTO RICO DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND HUMAN RESOURCES
AND
THE UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO - RIO PIEDRAS CAMPUS

ANNUAL ALLIANCE REPORT
February 6, 2018


  1. Alliance Background
  2. Original signing: January 22, 2004
    1st Renewal: April 3, 2006
    2nd Renewal: April 15, 2008
    3rd Renewal: September 30, 2010
    4th Renewal: December 18, 2012
    5th Renewal: December 17, 2014
    6th Renewal: February 28, 2017

    Overview

    To provide the Rio Piedras Campus of the UPR, through Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies (DECEP for its Spanish acronym), the Environmental Protection and Occupational Safety Office (OPASO for its Spanish acronym) and the Institute of Labor Relations from the Faculty of Social Sciences (IRT for its Spanish acronym) with information, guidance and access to training resources that will help them protect employees' health and safety, particularly in reducing and preventing exposure to occupational health and safety hazards. This to be achieved through training and educational, outreach and communication, and promoting the national dialogue on workplace safety and health goals.

    Implementation Team Members

    From UPR-Rio Piedras Campus:

      Lymari Orellana - OPASO/ (Liaison)
      Jorge Ramos - OPASO, Director
      Carlos Rosado - DECEP, Director
      Tania García - IRT, Acting Director
      Julie Martínez - IRT, Program Officer
      Sandra Torres - IRT, Program Officer

    From Federal OSHA

      Madelline Medina - Safety Engineer, Region 2, Technical Support
      William Bridges - PR Area Office Director

    From PR - OSHA

      Luis Pardo - Assistant Secretary
      Judith Cruz - Acting Director of Voluntary Program
      Jay Rullan - Director of Evaluation Division
      Maria Rodriguez - Compliance Assistance Specialist

    Evaluation Period

    From January 1st, 2017 to December 31, 2017

  3. Implementation Team Meetings
  4. While some meetings were held in person, most communications occurred periodically through e-mails and phone calls:

    • March 17, 2017 - in person meeting (OPASO)
    • May 12, 2017 – in person meeting (OSHA)
    • July 7, 2017 – in person meeting (PROSHA)

  5. Events and Products
  6. Note: During calendar year 2017, there were two major events that impacted the projected activities of this Alliance: from March 28 until June 5, 2017, a student strike at all UPR campuses, and on September 5 and September 20, 2017, the pass through Puerto Rico of Hurricanes Irma and María, respectively.

    Raising Awareness of OSHA’S Rulemaking and Enforcement Initiatives

    • Events

      Goal 1: To share information on occupational safety and health laws and standards, including the rights and responsibilities of workers and employers.

      • The University of Puerto Rico - Rio Piedras Campus provided health and safety topics courses/lectures at the Institute of Labor Relations:
        • Institute of Labor Relations –During the year 2017, two courses were offered as part of ongoing Course # RELA3131: Occupational Health and Safety. A total of twenty nine (29) undergraduate students attended the class.
      • Federal OSHA, offered an OSHA Update on May 4, 2017 to 46 attendees.

      Goal 2: To convene or participate in forums, roundtable discussions, or stakeholder meetings on construction, general and maritime industry hazards, including the psychosocial hazards such workplace violence, as well as emergency managements issues, and legal aspect focused on employees' right under the OSH Act, to help forge innovative solutions in the workplace or to provide input on safety and health issues.

      • On May 4 and 5, 2017, participated in the Puerto Rico Manufacturing Association (PRMA) Safety and Occupational Health Summit. Over 115 participants attended this activity.
        • Coordinated for PRMA:
          • OSHA Regulatory Update to 46 participants.
          • Changes to the Silica Standard for the General Industry and Construction presentation to 33 participants.
          • Changes to Recording and reporting Occupational Injuries and Illness presentation to 36 participants.

    Training and Education

    • Events

      Goal 1: To develop effective training and education program for employees, students and the general community regarding construction, general and maritime industry related hazards, and to communicate such information to constituent employers and workers.

      • A 3-hour seminar on Laboratory Safety, including "The Hazard Communication Standard: Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals and Bloods Borne Pathogens", was offered to employees of US Forest Service and US Food and Drug Administration on May 26, 2017. A total of 18 participants attended the seminar.

      Goal 2: To develop effective training and education program for construction, general, and maritime employees and employers to promote understanding of workers' rights, including the use of the OSHA complaint process, and the responsibilities of employers and to communicate such information to workers and employers.

      • Coordinated and planned a 10 and 30 hour OSHA General Industry and Construction Industry courses for the employees of the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras and Mayaguez Campuses and the Iron Workers labor union. Hurricanes Maria's and Irma's pass through Puerto Rico caused the postponement of these courses.

      Goal 3: To deliver or arrange for the delivery of the safety and health courses through the Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety of DECEP.

      • Prepared the academic offerings for the Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety of DECEP courses to be offered during 2017-2018.

    Outreach and Communication

    • Events

      Goal 1: To develop information on the recognition and prevention of workplace hazards, and to develop ways of communicating such information (e.g. print and electronic media, electronic assistance tools and OSHA's, PR OSHA's and the Río Piedras Campus of the University of Puerto Rico Web sites) to employers and employees in the industry.

      • Prior to the Workers' Memorial Day commemoration, a communication is prepared and sent to approximately 5,000 e-mail recipients throughout the Island to provide information on the importance and significance of this commemoration. Recipients are people from the academic community, stakeholders, and workers/employees from the general, construction, and maritime industries.
      • Note: Due to the UPR Rio Piedras Campus students' strike, the planned event for the Workers' Memorial Day Commemoration was not held.

      Goal 2: To speak, exhibit, or appear at OSHA's, PR OSHA's or the Río Piedras Campus of the University of Puerto Rico conferences, local meetings, or other educational events.

      • On May 4 and 5, 2017, participated in the PRMA Safety and Occupational Health Summit; 115 participants attended this activity.

      Goal 3: To share information among OSHA and PR OSHA personnel and industry safety and health professional regarding the Río Piedras Campus of the University of Puerto Rico's good practices or effective approaches through training programs, workshop, seminars, and lectures developed by the participants.

      • No products or resources have been developed to meet this Alliance goal.

      Goal 4: To work with other Alliance participants on specific issues and projects on construction, general and maritime industries, that are addressed and developed through the Alliance Program.

      • Coordinated and planned the "8th Annual Conference on Safety, Occupational Health and Environment of Puerto Rico." The Conference would take place on October 19 and 20, 2017, at the Río Piedras Campus of the University of Puerto Rico. Hurricanes Irma's and Maria's pass through Puerto Rico caused the postponement of the conference.

  7. Results
  8. The UPR-Río Piedras Campus continues to be instrumental in promoting awareness and prevention of hazards associated with the construction, general and maritime industries. Through OPASO, it has also been actively involved in reaching out to safety and health professionals in an effort to advance their knowledge and academic preparation in occupational safety and health issues. The integration of the Institute of Labor Relations has been of great help to reach union and hard-to-reach workers.

    Type of Activity (Conference, Training, Print and Electronic Distribution, etc.)

    Date

    Number of Individuals Trained

    Aprox. Number of Individuals Reached

    Workers' Memorial Day e-mails

    April 28

    5000

    10000

    PRMA Safety and Occupational Health Summit

    May 4 and 5, 2017

    115

    345

    The Hazard Communication Standard: Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals and Bloods Borne Pathogens
    (Forest Service and Food and Drugs Administration employee)

    May 26, 2017

    18

    54

    Course # RELA3131: Occupational Health and Safety.

    2nd semester 2016-2017 (January to August 2017)

    19

    57

    1st semester 2017-2018 (September 17 to February 18)

    10

    30

    Total

     

    5,162

    10,486

  9. Upcoming Milestones

    • To hold the 8th Annual Safety, Occupational Health and Environmental Conference of Puerto Rico (2-day event) in 2018.
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