Alliance -- An OSHA Cooperative Program<< Back to Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc. (SPI)

  1. Alliance Background

    Date Signed

    September 19, 2002


    The OSHA and Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc. (SPI) Alliance focuses on providing employers with information and guidance that will help them protect employees' health and safety, particularly in identifying and eliminating hazards likely to result in amputations and reducing and preventing exposure to ergonomic hazards. The goals of the Alliance include:

    Training and education:
    • Jointly developing training addressing machine safety and safe ergonomic practices, to be delivered in conferences, meetings and through SPI's Plastics Learning Network.
    Outreach and communication:
    • Encouraging the continuing development of ergonomic guidelines by the plastics industry.
    • Jointly developing and disseminate information and guidance on workplace safety and health issues, including but not limited to amputation and ergonomic hazards and control mechanisms such as lockout tag-out and machine guarding through SPI workshops, meetings, and print and electronic media.
    • Promoting OSHA's cooperative programs within the industry.
    Implementation Team Members
    Susan Howe
    Larry Halprin
    Wayne Wilson
    Cathy Cronin
    John Hermanson
    Jim Washam
    Travis Hannan
    Edward Lewis
    Nilgun Tolek
    SPI, Washington Counsel
    SPI, United Southern Industries, Inc.
    OSHA Training Institute
    OSHA, Region V
    OSHA, Region V
    OSHA, Salt Lake Technical Center
    North Carolina OSHA
    OSHA, Office of Outreach Services and Alliances
    Doug Simon
    Dana Root
    Doug Halsey
    Bob Monteith
    Loren Mills
    James Dillard
    Bill Coulehan
    Gary Weil
    Pete Hosten
    Rebecca Jones
    Greg George
    OSHA Training Institute
    OSHA Region V
    SPI Midwest Region
    Milacron Inc. (SPI member)
    Van Dorn Demag (SPI member)
    OSHA Region V
    OSHA Region V
    OSHA Region V
    OSHA Region V
    OSHA Region V
    OSHA Salt Lake Technical Center
    Evaluation Period  
    September 19, 2002 through October 10, 2003
  2. Implementation Team Meetings
October 29, 2002
December 2, 2002
January 16-17, 2003
February 4, 2003
April 1-4, 2003
July 28, 2003
September 8, 2003
Kick-off implementation team meeting
Implementation team meeting (in person and by teleconference)
Implementation team meeting (in person)
Implementation team meeting (in person and by teleconference)
Implementation team meeting (in person and by teleconference)
Implementation team meeting (in person and by teleconference)
Implementation team meeting (in person and by teleconference)
  1. Events and Products

    Training and Education


    • Machine Safety for Injection Molding Machines

      This train-the trainer course has been presented, free-of-charge by the Alliance. The course focuses on mutual concerns for injuries seen in the plastics processing industry. The presenters, Jim Washam, of OSHA's Region V, and Wayne Wilson, of United Southern Industries, Inc., describe the types of injuries seen in the injection molding industry; discuss the causes of these injuries; and describe the ways that employees can protect themselves by recognizing the hazards in the job they are doing, understanding the requirements for guarding machines, and implementing solutions for identified problems. Participants receive a package of training materials, including PowerPoint presentations and other resource materials, so they can deliver the course at their own workplaces. The course has been presented at the following locations:

      • Isothermal Community College, Forest City, NC, August 6, 2003
      • NEP 2003, Chicago, IL, June 26, 2003

    • Injection Molding Machine Safety Course
    Outreach and Communication


    • NPE 2003

      The Alliance showed a strong presence at NPE 2003, the triennial, international plastics exposition, at McCormick Place in Chicago from June 23 - 27, 2003:

      Alliance Booth. The Alliance had a booth within the SPI Pavilion. Among the materials distributed were over 1,300 copies of a targeted CD, produced for the event, containing ergonomics resources and references, the materials used in the ergonomics workshop, machine safety information, and other industry-related materials.

      How to Develop an Ergonomics Process. This interactive workshop described how to set up successful ergonomics processes, identify and analyze problem tasks, and develop solutions that are successful in reducing injuries. The workshop was delivered twice.

      Face to Face with OSHA. An informal workshop was held with a diverse group of OSHA personnel representing various OSHA program areas. Experts in lockout/tagout, ergonomics, cooperative programs and OSHA's Region V, including the Assistant Region V Administrator, were there to answer questions and build relationships.

    • Safety and Health Topics page - OSHA Assistance for the Plastics Industry

      The Alliance implementation team supported OSHA's development of the Safety and Health Topics page - OSHA Assistance for the Plastics Industry, which features information on what standards apply to the industry and identifies hazards and solutions.
    • eTool

      The Alliance implementation team provided input on a new module on plastics machinery for the OSHA Machine Guarding eTool.

    • CD ROM

      The Alliance produced a targeted CD for NPE 2003 and for training course deliveries.
  2. Results

    The effect of this Alliance on the plastics industry has been even greater than anticipated. The injection molding community responded favorably to the training and electronic tools that were developed in the first year or the Alliance. Trainings have been very well attended and the usage of web-based tools has remained close to 1,000 hits per month. Further evidence of their value can be seen in the fact that SPI members in other sectors of the plastics industry, extrusion and thermoforming, responded by asking for the same tools and training for their sectors.

Type of Activity (Conference, Training, Print and
Electronic Distribution, etc.)
Number of Individuals
Reached or Trained
"Machine Safety for Injection Molding Machines" training course at NPE 2003, June 23-27, 2003 40
"Machine Safety for Injection Molding Machines" training course at
Isothermal College, August 6, 2003
"Machine Safety for Injection Molding Machines" training course at
Sinclair Community College, November 18, 2003.
Alliance Booth at NPE 2003 1300
Targeted CDs distributed at NPE 2003 1300
OSHA eTool: Machine Guarding Data not available
Interactive Safety Tour of a Horizontal Injection Molding Machine Data not available
Safety and Health Topics page: OSHA Assistance for the Plastics Industry Data not available
"How to Develop an Ergonomics Process," workshop delivered at NPE 2003 20
TOTAL 2760

  1. Upcoming Milestones

    • Renewal of the Alliance.
    • Developing eTool and training modules on safety and health concerns in other sectors of the plastics industry, including thermoforming and extrusion.
    • Providing training through Webcasting and satellite broadcasting now that OSHA has these capabilities. Members of the extrusion community on the extrusion workgroup have informed OSHA staff that this would be a very convenient and widely utilized medium, due to the capability to deliver on any shift.
    • Developing an eTool on ergonomics for the plastics industry, if funded. The SPI Ergonomics Committee worked for a year to survey the membership on ergonomic issues, and has come to the conclusion that there is no support for the industry developing its own guidelines at this time. There is, however, widespread interest in getting help with ergonomic solutions, so the SPI Ergonomics Committee has requested help from the Alliance in the form of an eTool.
    • A joint presence at Plastics USA, September 28-30, 2004, at McCormick Place East, Chicago, Illinois.
    • Plans are underway to make the Machine Safety for Injection Molding Machines training available through OSHA Ed Centers.

Report prepared by: Nilgun Tolek, OSHA/SPI Alliance Coordinator, November 1, 2003