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Alliance -- An OSHA Cooperative Program << Back to Concluded Regional Alliances - Region V

I. Alliance Background

Date Signed

March 10, 2006

Alliance Overview

OSHA and MIA formed an Alliance to provide MIA members and others with information, guidance and access to training resources that will help them protect employees’ health and safety, particularly in reducing and preventing exposure to silica hazards and addressing safety related hazards in natural stone fabricating businesses, including, but not limited to material handling, with emphasis on slab handling issues.

The MIA is the largest trade association serving the natural stone industry.

Implementation Team Members

Julie Weis, CAS, Cleveland OSHA Office
Gary Distelhorst, Executive Vice President, MIA
Jim Hieb, Special Project Director, MIA

II. Implementation Team Meetings

Once the Alliance was signed, the Implementation Team met several times to discuss possibilities to assure success of this endeavor. Discussions were also held many times via phone conferences regarding the planned activities. All face to face meetings were held at the MIA headquarters in Westlake, OH. In the evaluation period there were 4 onsite meetings and numerous phone conversations.

III. Activities and Products

Evaluation Period.

This report covers activities from March 10, 2006 to April 10, 2007.

Alliance Activity.

  • Training and Education: Cleveland OSHA CAS provided numerous brochures and other information to the MIA headquarters on many different safety and health related topics that would ultimately benefit the MIA members. CAS explained OSHA regulations and opportunities for stone businesses to become more acquainted with their responsibilities under the OSHA Act.

  • Outreach and Communication: On Dec. 19, 2006, MIA and OSHA sponsored a day long seminar for companies in the stone industry. This was held in the Cleveland, OH area with companies from four other states in attendance. The day included sessions on OSHA polices and procedures, safe slab handling techniques, prevention of silica exposure, state consultation availability for assistance, and a first hand account from a local company that had recently been inspected by OSHA.

    MIA has placed an OSHA link on their website, thereby encouraging visitors to become involved in learning more about how to improve the safety and health of their companies and employees.

  • Promoting the National Dialogue on Safety and Health: MIA has promoted this Alliance and the safety and health topic in general during their internal meetings, conferences, and other discussions throughout the nation.

    Cleveland CAS was invited to speak at the MIA’s Stoneworld National Conference (StonExpo), November 2006, on the OSHA Alliance. Additional information was provided during the presentation regarding specific safety and health regulations and how to comply with OSHA standards. Questions were answered as well. Companies from almost all states were represented. There were approximately 150 attendees at the session. Because of the success of this forum, OSHA was requested to put on a similar presentation at the StonExpo in Atlanta, Georgia, thereby educating even more businesses on this topic.

Alliance Products.

Training and Education

  • OSHA actively participated in the production of MIA’s DVD video on the "Basics of Safe Stone Slab Handling" and "Basics of OSHA Compliance for the Natural Stone Industry." The industry realized that companies needed to be better informed on safety and health related issues. They incorporated OSHA personnel, including the Cleveland and Phoenix ADs and Cleveland CAS in the video describing basic OSHA policies and procedures as well as the emphasis OSHA has on silica exposure and material handling. These videos were produced professionally and distributed to MIAs member companies in the magazine, "Stoneworld." This magazine reaches over 10,000 companies!

  • Cleveland OSHA CAS assisted MIA in the review of their soon to be published "Tool Box Talks" for the stone industry, specifically to assure that the appropriate regulatory standards were referenced and well as an overview of the covered subjects.

  • Promoting the National Dialogue on Safety and Health: A video webcast was produced by MIA, highlighting silica exposure in the stone industry. An OSHA rep. in Washington, DC was interviewed extensively on OSHA’s emphasis in this area. The background on silica was reviewed and included an expert in the pulmonary field from the Cleveland Clinic. Information was provided to help companies understand that they must have air monitoring conducted to determine what their employees’ exposures to silica actually are. It can be viewed on

IV. Results

This report outlines the successful activities that have been accomplished during the first year of this Alliance. OSHA has "opened the door" to communicating with the largest trade association representing the stone industry. This industry has many inherently hazardous operations that employees are exposed to, including, but not limited to, silica exposure and slab handling. We feel as though we have begun the process to provide the necessary information and education, through discussions, seminars, video webcasts and DVDs to this industry through this cooperative Alliance and look forward to another year of progress.

Type of Activity
(Conference, Training, Print and Electronic Distribution, etc.)
Number of Individuals Reached or Trained
Speech @ Stoneworld National Conference, Nov., 2006, Las Vegas, NV 150
OSHA newsletter articles 10,000 (subscribing members)
Day long S & H Seminar, Cleveland, Dec. 19, 2006 65
DVD on Safe Slab Handling and Basic Shop Safety 10,000 produced and distributed
OSHA assistance on development of Safety Tool Box Talks for Stone Industry Number not known at this time.
MIA @ OSHA DC for video on Silica (webcasts on Stoneworld’s ( and MIA websites)
TOTAL Difficult to quantify from above information

V. Upcoming Milestones

During the next period of the Alliance, we will be working on developing a DVD that involves creating a "mock OSHA inspection" at one of MIAs member companies. This locally developed project will be able to visually depict how a compliance officer performs a typical OSHA inspection at a stone fabricating company. During the course of this "inspection," procedures will clearly be demonstrated, hazards will be pointed out, employees will be interviewed, etc. After editing, this DVD can then be shared with other companies in order for them to become better educated on the OSHA inspection process and how to find and correct potential hazards in their own shops.

Report Prepared by: Julie Weis, CAS, Cleveland OSHA Office, 216-615-4260