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
Michael Loflin, Special Project Coordinator, MIA

II. Implementation Team Meetings

The Implementation Team met several times to discuss possibilities to assure success of this alliance. 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. In addition, several OSHA offices throughout the country were contacted by MIA regarding assistance for the development and implementation of educational seminars in those areas.

III. Activities and Products

Evaluation Period.

This report covers activities from March 10, 2007 to March 10, 2008.

Alliance Activity.
  • Training and Education: Numerous outreach sessions were conducted nationwide for companies in the stone industry. Sessions included OSHA polices and procedures, safe slab handling techniques, prevention of silica exposure, and state consultation availability for assistance. See chart below for specifics.

  • Outreach and Communication: Since the beginning of the alliance the Cleveland OSHA CAS has provided numerous brochures and other information to the MIA headquarters on many different safety and health related topics. 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. Multiple OSHA personnel have participated in nationwide seminars for the stone industry on safety and health topics from inspection protocol to safe handling of stone slabs and silica exposure. Additional information was provided during the presentations regarding specific safety and health regulations and how to comply with OSHA standards. Questions were answered as well. Because of the success of this forum, OSHA was requested to put on a similar presentations thereby educating more businesses in this industry.

  • 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.

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!

    • New Jersey OSHA CAS assisted with S & H Seminar
    • Florida OSHA CAS assisted with S & H Seminar
    • Produced & distributed Silicosis video to industry
  • 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. The Cleveland Office also assisted in the development of informational handouts on silica exposure.

  • 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
    • Numerous newsletter articles promoting S & H

The list below contains contributors to the success of the alliance, but are not part of the implementation team:

Lou Lento, CAS, OSHA Hasbrouck Heights Area Office, NJ
Michael Yarnell, CAS, OSHA Avenel Area Office, NJ
Martin Davis, CAS, OSHA Marlton Area Office, NJ
Michael Corbett, Asst. Chief, NJ Labor and Workforce Development
Nancy Newman, Asst. Area Director, OSHA, Cleveland, OH
Ray Rivera, IH, OSHA, Cleveland, OH
Mindy Wessel, General Manager, Alpha Professional Tools, Oakland, NJ
Marc Rosenkrantz, President, Schechner Lifson Corporation, Summit, NJ
Vergie Bain, Compliance Assistance Specialist, OSHA Ft. Lauderdale Area Office, FL
Condell Eastmond, Compliance Officer, OSHA Ft. Lauderdale Area Office, FL
William Tomlin, Safety and Health Compliance Specialist, USF Safety Florida, Tampa, FL
Bill Heffernan, President, Marble Systems, Inc., Miami, FL
Jonathan Zanger, President, Walker Zanger, Sylmar, CA
William V. Levy, President, Levy Media Group, Cleveland, OH
Susan D. Meyers, Clear Blue Sky Design, Cleveland Heights, OH

IV. Results

This report outlines the successful activities that have been accomplished during the second year of this Alliance. Other OSHA offices throughout the country have "opened the door" to communicating with the largest trade association representing the stone industry. We are renewing this alliance and look forward to another two year period of progress.

Type of Activity (Conference, Training, Print and Electronic Distribution, etc.) Number of Individuals
Reached or Trained
2006 translated 3 Safety videos into Spanish (not included in 06-07 Report) 120
1/07 Revised/updated – "Safety in the Stone Business" tech module (previously called "Stone Shop Safety") distributed free to membership (not included in 06-07 Report) 2,000
3/07 requires fabrication shops applying for MIA Accreditation to have applied for a voluntary OSHA review within the previous 12 months OR had an actual review (voluntary of non-voluntary) and are currently in compliance 120
4/07 Produced Safety Meetings Tool Kit 300
4/07 MIA Safety presentation @ Coverings trade show, Chicago, IL 100
5/07 Stone News Channel: special report- Silicosis: Free DVD distributed w/newsletter 2,500
5/07 Stone News Channel: special report- Silicosis: online download 2,000
5/07 Stone News Channel: special report- Silicosis: online download 2,500
7/19/07 Day long S & H Seminar, New Jersey 50
8/07 Newsletter article: front page S&H seminar article 2,500
10/07 MIA Safety presentation @ StonExpo trade show, Las Vegas, NV 50
12/07 Newsletter article: OSHA PPE final ruling 2,500
12/07 Newsletter article: OSHA PPE final ruling 50
2/08 Newsletter article: Winter Shop Safety article 2,500
2/08 Produce & distribute Silicosis training video 11,000
2/08 Newsletter article: OSHA recordkeeping reminder 2,500
TOTAL 17,220

V. Upcoming Milestones
  • Renewal of the Alliance for a two year period, change from Regional to Local Alliance.
  • Distribute Spanish and Canadian French translations of Silicosis: Incurable but Preventable Video.
  • Translate Management Tool Kit: Safety Meetings into Spanish.
  • Release 2 disc DVD set of 5 stone safety videos.
  • Early 2009-New format Stone Safety seminar in Cleveland, OH. This will feature a mock OSHA inspection of an operating stone fabrication shop.
  • Continue Safety &Health seminars:
    • In Las Angeles, CA March 2008
    • In San Diego, CA March 2008
    • In Boston, MA April 2008

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.
The last page of this report depicts the covers of safety and health related projects that have been developed as part of the Alliance with OSHA. Several have been translated into Spanish. They include DVDs, webcasts, and written programs.

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