ANNUAL ALLIANCE REPORT
CLEVELAND OSHA OFFICE,
COUNCIL OF SMALLER ENTERPRISES (COSE),
OHIO BUREAU OF WORKERS’ COMPENSATION (BWC) and
OSHA ON-SITE CONSULTATION
June 11, 2012
May 10, 2011
This alliance was formed to provide small businesses with information, guidance and access to training resources to protect the safety and health of workers in the manufacturing, service, and construction industries. The alliance assists employers in developing effective safety programs and controlling hazards at their work places. It focuses on identifying and controlling safety hazards, improving safety and health programs, promoting a cooperative relationship between labor and management, and encourages employee participation in achieving a safe and healthful workplace. Another goal is to open the lines of communication with OSHA, employers and workers.
Implementation Team Members
Cleveland Area OSHA Office, COSE (Council of Smaller Enterprises), Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation and OSHA On-Site Consultation Program
COSE utilizes the services of SCT (Safety Control Technologies), a consulting company that assists member companies with safety and health issues, such as developing programs, providing training and assisting with OSHA regulations and compliance.
This report covers from May 10, 2011 to May 10, 2012.
Implementation Team Meetings
July 13, 2011 Implementation Team Meeting August 8, 2011 Implementation Team Meeting August 17, 2011 Partial Implementation Team Meeting November 2, 2011 Implementation Team Meeting December 13, 2011 Implementation Team Meeting March 19, 2012 Implementation Team Meeting
(Throughout the year, many informal phone conversations were held between the team members regarding the above meetings and the progress of the alliance)
Events and Products
Training and Education
There were 65 COSE member companies who utilized consultation services (provided by SCT) for safety and health. These visits included assistance with OSHA compliance issues, hazard identification, loss prevention, training and program development, and industrial hygiene assessments. Over 1500 hours were logged as part of the company visits and subsequent followups. This COSE 'Safety Plus' program is a successful component of the many offerings available and have received favorable comments from its members.
No specific products were developed during this time frame.
Outreach and Communication
The alliance members hosted two Town Hall Forums, August 31, 2011 and December 13, 2011) for small businesses who are members of COSE. Industries represented included general industry, construction and the service industry. The events were designed to acquaint businesses with government entities and to understand the services available to them. Services include access to safety and health information, available OSHA training, networking and educational resources to benefit member companies. These services also help to protect a company's bottom line and keep them OSHA compliant as well as remaining productive. The companies that attended the forums were open and direct in their comments as to their needs and struggles as small entities. They echoed similar themes such as the need for more concise access to safety and health information and regulations that apply to their particular industry and how to comply with those regulations. Each agency discussed their mission and ways for the small businesses to take advantage of the available services.
Although a specific product was not developed per se, the businesses expressed their appreciation for this venue and opportunity to network with Ohio BWC and OSHA. They began to understand the inner workings of government agencies and how they can be utilized for their safety and health needs.
Promoting the National Dialogue on Workplace Safety and Health
All participating alliance members routinely promote safety and health to their constituents whether it's through consulting visits, speaking engagements or enforcement activities with OSHA.
The COSE website has a link for the OSHA website on related safety and health pages. COSE includes safety and health articles in their monthly magazine that over 14,000 members receive. The Ohio BWC website is full of educational materials and offers consulting visits free of charge to companies, including OSHA On-Site Consultation visits, which are funded mostly through the federal government.
After one year of alliance activities, we have demonstrated the beginnings of improved communication and service to employers. This has been achieved through the Town Hall Meetings, consultation visits made through Ohio BWC and COSE, and promotion of member websites with safety and health information.
The focus group meetings provided opportunity for intimate and candid conversations with employers. During these meetings, employers learned more about each alliance partner (COSE, BWC, OSHA), the services each member can provide and how to access those services. The Alliance partners learned from the employer community about the issues and struggles they have around safety and health management and how the alliance could better address these needs. These meetings helped to alleviate some of the anxiety that employers often have when dealing with OSHA or BWC, opened what we hope will be ongoing dialogue, and left each participant with a better understanding of resource available and what we need to work on as we move forward.
As a result of the focus group meetings, BWC received requests for assistance from several of the employers. BWC immediately responded to each request and now has an ongoing working relationship with these employers. This may not have happened had it not been for the Alliance and the focus group meetings.
BWC has also received several referrals for safety and health assistance from COSE (through SCT). Most of these requests involved ergonomic assistance with specific job tasks involving high ergonomic risk factors. As a result of these referrals, BWC is actively engaged with these employers.
Type of Activity (Conference, Training, Print and Electronic Distribution, etc.) Number of Individuals Reached or Trained Two Town Hall Forums held for small businesses 18 company representative COSE Consulting Visits to companies (through the alliance), totaling 1500 hours 65 Articles on safety and health related topics in COSE magazine; topics include Back Safety, Safety Made Simple, Safety Your Way, Someone's Knocking…It's OSHA (disseminated through direct mail and COSE.org) 14,000 Receipt of ergonomic assessment referrals from COSE to BWC. These companies have the potential to receive monetary grants for implementing engineering controls to reduce or eliminate ergonomic stressors. 5 companies TOTAL Greater than 14,000
The members of the alliance are looking forward to having another productive year. One goal is to populate the COSE website with Facebook entries for each of the entities involved (Safety Alliance Facebook page). The segment will be populated with videos and narratives of offerings to the public regarding safety and health information such as requests for consultation visits.
An off shoot of this alliance is the potential development of a satellite education center through COSE and a local community college. This area of the country is lacking in coverage for official OSHA training courses, and this will greatly aid the public in availability for local professional training on safety and health subjects.
Another goal is to discuss the prospective development of a safety and health workshop to assist smaller businesses with a hand-on approach to improving their workplaces regarding OSHA compliance as well as program development.
It has not been determined at this time whether the alliance will be renewed at the end of the two year time period in May 2013.