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Brazilian Language Outreach Continues Under OSHA's Alliance with Brazilian Immigrant Center

Through an Alliance between OSHA's Andover, Massachusetts, Area Office and the Brazilian Immigrant Center, the participants are continuing their efforts to reach out to Brazilian workers and employers in their native language. Jeff Erskine, area director for the Andover Area Office, was interviewed on WJDA-AM 1300 in November 2013. The Somerville, Massachusetts radio station reaches a Brazilian audience from Boston to South Florida. Senior Pasteur, Glauber Morare conducted the interview, and Natalicia Tracy, director of the Brazilian Immigrant Center in Massachusetts, translated. In the interview, Erskine discussed workers' safety and health rights in the workplace, the requirement that safety instructions and training be provided in a language that workers can understand, and the rights of temporary workers to have equal access to safety equipment, training, and instruction.

For more information, contact Jeff Erskine

-- As of November 2013.

Region I Concord Area Office and New Hampshire Construction Roundtable Collaborate to Achieve Safety and Health Goals.

Since signing their Alliance on January 30, 2007, the OSHA Region I Concord, New Hampshire Area Office, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services Consultation Program (NH-DES-CP), and the New Hampshire Construction Safety Roundtable (Roundtable) have worked together to meet the needs of construction contractors and their employees. The Alliance provides information, assistance, and training to enable the employers, workers, and trainees in the construction industry to eliminate and reduce safety and health hazards, specifically those issues brought forward by members of the Roundtable. The Alliance was renewed in April 2009.

Alliance members participate in Roundtable meetings that serve as a forum for construction companies, consultants, and other Roundtable members to discuss and address safety and health issues related to their work areas. Each monthly meeting includes a safety and health training session that focuses on a specific construction issue. Members of the Roundtable choose the subject, OSHA provides a speaker, and then the attendees discuss the topic. Participants exchange technical information and safe work practices and hear updates on OSHA's initiatives and policy issues. During Roundtable meetings, the use of OSHA outreach services and access to OSHA's Compliance Assistance Specialists and the free On-site Consultation Program offered by the State of New Hampshire are promoted.

Representatives from between 20 to 30 construction-related companies (e.g., electrical contractors, framers, road/bridge construction contractors, painters, residential and commercial contractors, heavy equipment operators) attend Roundtable meetings, which are held on the last Tuesday of each month from September through June. The attendees have various job titles (e.g., human resource manager, safety officer, company executive, laborer, and insurance loss control specialist). To publicize the meetings, members of the Roundtable (e.g., the American Society of Safety Engineers, the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center) post notices on their Web sites. The New Hampshire Small Business Development Center emails flyers to construction companies throughout New Hampshire. In addition, Roundtable members distribute business-size cards printed with the dates and topics of upcoming Roundtable meetings to construction companies. Roundtable meetings are held at Ammon Center, an OSHA Training Institute Education Center, in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Topics covered during the Roundtable meetings held during the first 12 months of the Alliance included slips, trips and falls; concrete safety; fall protection; excavation and soil analysis; the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control; scaffolding; ergonomics; fall and ladder safety; and heavy equipment. In addition the Alliance held a "Year-end Jeopardy Seminar."

During 2009, the Roundtable meetings focused on electrical safety, fall protection requirements, health hazards in construction and personal protective equipment requirements, fall protection equipment and abatement methods, OSHA update and regional emphasis programs, OSHA recordkeeping, hearing conservation, and demolition safety. In addition in September 2009, the Roundtable was active in Construction Career Days, during which more than 450 students from vocational schools learned about various trades by watching demonstrations by brick layers, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, welders, and more. Representatives from the OSHA Concord, New Hampshire Area Office and New Hampshire OSHA On-site Consultation Office staffed a booth at which they explained the purpose of OSHA, distributed safety and health literature, and answered questions.

Alliance representatives work with schools throughout New Hampshire. At Pinkerton Academy in Derry, New Hampshire, Alliance members presented a "Teen Safety" course focusing on typical teen summer jobs to approximately 20-25 students enrolled in the OHSA 10-Hour Construction Outreach Training Program. At Keene State College, they discussed OSHA with students in Occupational Safety Studies Program. And, at New Hampshire Community Technical College, they present a yearly session on trench safety to students in the Fire Science program.

According to OSHA's Region I Concord, New Hampshire Area Director, Rose Ohar, "This Alliance has fostered an excellent working relationship between construction members and OSHA. It has opened up lines of communication between OSHA, union and non-union contractors, and insurance representatives and has served as an educational forum for construction-related safety and health topics and regulations. I feel that this Alliance continues to be very pro-active in its efforts to meet its goal to increase safety and health awareness in the construction community, as well as increase OSHA awareness of construction industry concerns."

Alliance Roundtable participant Richard Hanson, Director of Safety and Loss Prevention at R.S. Audley, Inc. commented, "The New Hampshire construction Roundtable has provided me with a valuable forum, not only to learn from but also to share knowledge and experience with others in the industry. I look forward to the Roundtable sessions every month and always leave feeling recharged and ready to tackle safety issues that were discussed."

Attendance at Roundtable meetings has grown from an average of 15 attendees per meeting in 2007 to 20 per meeting in 2010. In addition, attendees from all trades continue to bring representatives from new construction companies to the meetings. For example, 27 people attended an October 2010 seminar on Aerial Lifts. Most members actively promote the Roundtable when they meet with their contractors.

-- As of December 2010.

Region I Area Offices Form Alliance with Brazilian Immigrant Center to Improve Safety and Health of Portuguese Speaking Workers in Massachusetts

Improving the health and safety of Brazilian workers in Massachusetts through helping them recognize construction hazards is the goal of the Alliance with OSHA Region I Methuen, Braintree and Springfield, Massachusetts Area Offices and the Brazilian Immigrant Center (BIC) at Allston, Massachusetts. The Alliance was signed on April 3, 2006 and renewed on April 20, 2008. Through the Alliance, OSHA and BIC are developing and delivering workplace safety and health training in Portuguese to BIC members and others.

OSHA representatives worked with BIC members prior to forming the Alliance. In 2004, Region I representatives presented Introduction to OSHA and Overview of Landscaping and Residential Construction Hazards to the leaders and outreach workers of BIC. Along with Portuguese-speaking high school students (who often work in landscaping and construction during the summers), they staffed an information booth that focused on construction hazards at the annual Brazilian Festival held in Boston. OSHA representatives also taught the BIC health outreach coordinator how to research accident information on the OSHA Web site, so that she could present training seminars on safety and health awareness to Brazilian laborers.

In 2005, Carol Bates, the Methuen Area Office Compliance Assistance Specialist (CAS), presented hazard awareness training focusing on the four most common causes of injury in the residential construction industry--falls, struck-by, caught between and electrical--to the new youth group at BIC. As a result of their interest in safety, the BIC youth members planned a booth that focused on fall protection in construction for the Brazilian Festival.

In February 2006, CAS Bates and a graduate student attending a local university who had been an occupational physician in her native Brazil and was working for BIC joined forces to present the OSHA 10-Hour Construction Outreach Training Program to a small company of Brazilian roofers. They presented the training program in 2-hour segments after work one Friday evening a month for 2 months. The graduate student took photographs of the work site, which were used during the training to teach the roofers to identify construction hazards and propose corrective actions. The plan was for the company to abate the hazards and share the information with the community, in effect, giving testimony on how the work was completed safely without adversely affecting time and profits. Before the training was completed, however, the lead worker at the roofing company returned to Brazil, and the company abandoned the project. Rather than admit defeat, the CAS and graduate student decided to redesign the project so that its success did not rely on just one small company.

The collaboration between OSHA and the Brazilian Immigrant Center was formalized in April 2006 with the signing of an Alliance. Alliance members refocused the efforts to include providing the OSHA 10- and 30-Hour Construction Outreach Training Programs in Portuguese followed by the 500-level Train-the-Trainer Course so that the community would have the ability to train from within. The project centered around a non-traditional approach to build capacity within an immigrant community to maintain the OSHA-10 Construction Outreach Training Program after being trained and mentored by OSHA. In addition to the required topics, the training included recognizing the hazards inherent in construction work and the causes of workplace fatalities within the Brazilian community. The graduate student became an authorized OSHA 10-Hour and 30-Hour trainer. CAS Bates and the graduate student presented the OSHA 10-Hour Program in Portuguese on weekends to a variety of tradespeople from union and nonunion companies. A few completed the OSHA 30-Hour Construction Outreach Training Program; two participated in the OSHA 500 Train-the-Trainer class in Portuguese and English. Employers who sponsored a class by providing a training location agreed to reserve no more than approximately half of the available seats for their employees; the remainder of the seats was available to other companies and unemployed laborers.

Through the Alliance, eight OSHA 10-Hour Construction Outreach Training Programs were conducted on weekends. Six students were bilingual Brazilians who went on to take an OSHA 30-Hour Construction Program conducted by the CAS. After the graduate student returned to Brazil, the CAS conducted an OSHA 500 Train-the-Trainer course for two of the bilingual Brazilians, who subsequently taught the OSHA 10-Hour Construction Program as part of their training.

During OSHA’s participation in the training and mentoring, 180 Brazilians were trained in Portuguese. The success of this non-traditional approach of community organizing and capacity building is evidenced by the fact the OSHA 10-Hour Training Program continues to be provided by members of the community. Together with representatives from the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH) and BIC, one of the bilingual trainers has conducted the OSHA 10-Hour Construction Outreach Training Programs in Portuguese 16 times training 289 Brazilian workers and employers. Now that the training is sustained by the community, the OSHA CAS has focused on the next project with the BIC Alliance, which is to work on training the Director of the BIC to provide outreach at local Brazilian churches on housepainter lead exposures and to develop the PPE cards for those exposures.

Another project of the Alliance--cards printed in Portuguese or Spanish and English that identified the particular type of personal protective equipment (PPE) required for a specific job, was suggested by laborers participating in the training. The cards would contain photographs so that regardless of language or reading capability of the parties, the laborers could request the proper equipment from their employers. In a potential hiring situation, the laborer could hand the prospective employer the card that noted the correct PPE for the job under consideration. The pilot project for the cards, which began in August 2009, includes house painters from Portuguese and Spanish immigrant advocacy groups.

The success of the OSHA and BIC Alliance has lead to another Center’s advocating for Latino and Brazilian workers in the Boston area. This Center is exploring the possibility of an Alliance with OSHA to replicate the BIC Alliance

For more information, contact Carol Bates.

-- As of September 2009.

Alliance among Three OSHA Region I Massachusetts Area Offices, The Massachusetts Division of Occupational Safety On-site Consultation Program and The Massachusetts Board of Building Regulations and Standards Trains Building Inspectors in Hazard Prevention

Three Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Region I Area Offices (Braintree, Methuen, and Springfield, Massachusetts), the Massachusetts Division of Occupational Safety On-site Consultation Program (MADOS), and the Massachusetts Board of Building Regulations and Standards (MBBRS) signed an Alliance on May 19, 2005, to provide training to building inspectors and renewed it on May 18, 2007. The Alliance was formed as a result of an Act* Massachusetts passed in 2004 requiring all employers who bid and contract for work on public construction sites valued at $10,000 or more to have all employees on the sites complete the OSHA 10-Hour Construction Outreach Training Program. The Act, however, does not cover the 600-800 municipal and state building inspectors in Massachusetts. As a consequence, building inspectors came to MADOS and requested that the OSHA 10-Hour Course be provided to them so that they could possess the same background as those covered by the Act.

Compliance Assistance Specialists (CASs) in the OSHA Region I Braintree, Methuen and Springfield, Massachusetts, Area Offices and the Training Specialist with the MADOS Program took the OSHA 500 Train-the-Trainer Course for Construction Industry to qualify them to teach the OSHA 10-Hour Course for construction. Then they designed and developed an OSHA 10-Hour Construction Outreach Training Program tailored to fit the needs of municipal and state building inspectors. The job of the Massachusetts building inspector is to ensure that the construction permits issued to contractors by towns and cities for the construction and repair of residential and commercial properties (e.g., highways, streets, sewer and waste-water systems, dams, bridges) are followed.

From April 2005 through June 2007, the training was provided six times throughout Massachusetts. Approximately 200 building inspectors attended the training sessions; everyone who completed the course received OSHA 10-Hour Construction Outreach Training Program completion card. According to MBBRS, "This training provided to us by the Alliance better qualifies us to do our job and present the professional approach we try to set by demonstrating our concerns for safety and health in the workplace." When they teach the course, members of the Alliance demonstrate how to use the OSHA Web site. For example, course participants learn how to use the "Establishment Search" function to find the past performance records of contractors. According to Walter Cienaski, CAS in the Region I Springfield, Massachusetts Area Office, USDOL-OSHA, potential employers and employees are very interested in learning the number of times a company has been inspected and the results of those inspections. Further, participants learn how to locate the Local, Regional and National Emphasis programs currently in effect in their areas.

As part of the Alliance, its representatives also attended the annual New England Municipal Building Officials Seminar at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, which was held in October of 2005 and 2006. During the Seminar, Mr. Cienaski presented "The Four High Hazards in Construction" (i.e., fall hazards, scaffold safety, electrical hazards, struck-by and crushed-by injuries) to about 150 building inspectors from all over New England. In addition, Jean Manoli, Training Specialist, MADOS gave a presentation, "Health Hazards in Construction and Confined Spaces." Mr. Cienaski and Ms. Manoli also gave a workshop on trench safety to help the building inspectors understand how Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs), CASs, and Area Office directors address government regulations and train employees in best practices in workplace safety and health. The workshop also included a presentation, "Jobsite Considerations," after which Ms. Manoli and Mr. Cienaski encouraged the participants to share their experiences, problems and solutions.

To reach out to building inspectors, the Alliance's participants have monthly telephone conferences and quarterly meetings, which include other interested area groups (e.g., home builders' associations) to update them on OSHA events and policy changes. At a special quarterly MBBRS Alliance meeting in June 2007, Alliance participants developed the schedule for presenting the OSHA 10-Hour Course for the next year. They also decided to offer a scaffold safety seminar focusing on the variety of and safety requirements for different types of temporary elevated work platforms. Along with the building inspectors, area construction contractors were invited to that seminar. In addition, in June 2007, the Alliance held a Hands-On Safety and Health Work Safety Expo in Springfield at the Home Builders Association of Western Massachusetts. The more than 70 participants included OSHA staff and CSHOs from the Springfield, Massachusetts Area Office, building inspectors from Western Massachusetts, local companies, and other companies that demonstrated the proper use of their equipment and discussed its hazards.

According to Mr. Cienaski, "Alliances like this one provide the opportunity for the Agency to reach out to construction companies and reinforce the concept that safety and health in the workplace are part of the job. In addition, through the Alliance, OSHA can demonstrate the many ways available to construction companies to seek help in providing the safe and healthful place of work required by our Agency. Our Alliances become interactive; they show the concern of the employer and the employee along side the regulatory agencies."

For more information about this Alliance and its activities, contact Walt Cienaski or Jean Manoli.

-- As of September 2007.

* An Act Relative To The Health And Safety On Public Construction Projects was passed on August 17, 2004 and took effect on July 1, 2006.

Alliance Among OSHA Region I Area Offices, On-Site Consultation Programs, Vermont OSHA, and the Safety and Health Council of Northern New England Promotes Training Seminars to Protect Employees

To help educate the Safety and Health Council of Northern New England's (SHCNNE) members, many of which are small manufacturers with limited resources, about workplace safety and health issues and programs and reduce and prevent exposure to construction and general industry hazards, Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Region I Area Offices signed an Alliance on September 28, 2005, with, On-site Consultation Programs, Vermont OSHA and SHCNNE1.

Through the Alliance, OSHA is providing training and sharing information at SHCNNE-sponsored Safety and Health Conferences and Expositions (the conferences and expositions are held annually in Maine in the fall and in New Hampshire in the spring) and the Council's meetings to improve its members' awareness of OSHA regulations and policies. OSHA representatives are making presentations on a variety of topics, such as fall protection, recordkeeping and hazard communication.

For example, during the SHCNNE fall annual conferences in 2005 and 2006, Bill Coffin, Compliance Assistance Specialist (CAS), in the Region I Augusta, Maine Area Office, updated over 300 attendees on OSHA's regulations. He also taught or assisted in the delivery of several courses to more than 160 employees on a number of topics including trenching, electrical safety and OSHA's resources for businesses.

During 2005 and 2006, Dave Berard, CAS in the Region I Concord, New Hampshire Area Office, and Adrien Polky, Supervisor in the Maine On-Site Consultation Program provided training to more than 300 employees on topics including electrical safety, ergonomics, fall protection, machine guarding and lockout/tagout, health care, recordkeeping and hazard communication. The courses included the OSHA 10-Hour Construction Outreach and Training Program. Mr. Polky also made a presentation on personal protective equipment (PPE) to more than 80 attendees at the SHCNNE's fall 2006 conference. At the SHCNNE spring annual conferences in 2005 and 2006, Mr. Berard presented training seminars on PPE, lifting and electrical hazards to more than 45 attendees. The Concord, New Hampshire Area Office also staffed an exhibit booth during the fall and spring annual conferences. Lisa Sullivan and Linda Lopez, both Industrial Hygienists, and George Kilens, Assistant Area Director, answered questions regarding complying with OSHA standards, general safety and health issues and scheduling safety and health training.

Alliance representatives also shared information with over 45 attendees in October 2006 during SHCNNE's 4th Annual New Hampshire North Country Safety Symposium in Bethlehem, New Hampshire. During the event, Mr. Berard gave an OSHA Update and Ms. Sullivan, Mr. Kilens and Mr. Berard staffed an OSHA exhibit booth.

Since the Alliance was signed, a number of OSHA representatives, including Rose Ohar, Area Director of the Concord, New Hampshire Area Office and Mr. Berard, have provided OSHA updates to more than 45 members of the SHCNNE's New Hampshire chapter during meetings in October and December 2005 and May 2006. In addition, Mr. Coffin attended the SHCNNE's Volunteer Leaders Planning Meetings and provided updates on the Alliance's activities and the scheduled training. As part of the Alliance, Mr. Berard, and Mr. Polky also serve on SHCNNE's New Hampshire and Maine Safety and Health Education Planning Committees, which meet monthly to schedule the training seminars offered to the Council's members.

Through the Alliance, OSHA representatives plan to continue to participate in SHCNNE meetings and conferences including the 36th Annual New Hampshire Safety & Health Conference and Exhibition, which will be held in Nashua, New Hampshire in March 2007. According to Lyman Cousens, Executive Director of SHCNNE, "We are pleased with the results of this Alliance. It has established a new level of cooperation and assistance between SHCNNE and OSHA in both Maine and New Hampshire. OSHA staffers of the Area Offices in Augusta and Concord have reached out with technical assistance to assist SHCNNE in providing much needed training to our 1000 member businesses."

For more information about this Alliance, contact Dave Berard or Kevin Clarke, Alliance & Partnership Coordinator.

-- As of December 2006.

1 The Alliance signatories include the Augusta, Maine and Concord, New Hampshire Area Offices, Maine Department of Labor On-Site Consultation Program, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services On-Site Consultation Program, Vermont OSHA, Vermont On-Site Consultation Program and the Safety and Health Council of Northern New England (SHCNNE). SHCNNE is an accredited chapter of the national Safety Council.

Alliances Between OSHA's Region I Augusta, Maine, Area Office and Public and Private Entities Open Communication Channels To Protect Maine's Employers and Employees

Through the Alliance Program, the Region I Augusta, Maine, Area Office is working with representatives of Maine's business community. Since 2003, the Area Office has signed 10 Alliance agreements that have helped to open the lines of communication between construction, electronic, telecommunications and healthcare industries. In addition, the Alliances are addressing roadway work zone, electrical and personal protective equipment safety and health issues. The primary accomplishments of these Alliances include developing and delivering safety and health training courses, participating in industry conferences and meetings, and distributing outreach materials throughout New England.

Several of the Area Office's Alliances have been established to develop and present training on roadway work zone safety to help protect the health and safety of Maine employees in several different industries. Working with participants of the Alliance with Associated Constructors of Maine, Inc. (ACM)1, OSHA developed a course that focused on the Federal Highway Administration's (FHA) Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), which governs roadway work zone safety on public and private roads, and gave the training to 277 attendees. Members of the Alliance with the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE)2 tailored and focused the MUTCD training course for linemen in the telecommunications industry, presenting the course to 63 employees. Through an Alliance with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 2327 and Verizon3, participants further tailored the MUTCD training to create a train-the-trainer course called the Safety Coach Training. Twenty-two employees took the train-the-trainer course and trained an additional 4000 employees at their respective telecommunications companies.

As part of the Area Office's Construction Alliance4 with IBEW Local 567 and E.S. Boulos Co., OSHA staff presented the OSHA 30-hour course, Occupational Safety and Health Standards for Construction, to approximately 200 employees. In addition, the Area Office presented other training to IBEW including OSHA's 10-Hour Construction Industry Outreach Training Program and a course developed by OSHA's Augusta Area Office staff on National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) Standards for Electrical Safety in the Work Place (NFPA 70E). Michael McCarron, Safety Director, E.S. Boulos Co., said, "The Alliance with OSHA gave our safety program the boost it needed to reach the next level. It was so effective that several of our sub-contractors are in the process of forming their own relationships with OSHA."

Through the Alliance Program, the Augusta Area Office is also able to reach out to businesses by participating in meetings and conferences, making presentations and distributing compliance assistance information at exhibits. For example, the OSHA and ACM Alliance holds monthly roundtable meetings in Augusta for the safety personnel from area residential, commercial and industrial construction contractors. Bill Coffin, Compliance Assistance Specialist from the Augusta Area Office, often attends the meetings and gives a presentation on workplace safety and health issues, such as roadway work zone safety. According to Mr. Coffin, "It's a good place to clear up misconceptions, answer questions, and share best practices." Mr. Coffin also staffed an OSHA and ACM Alliance exhibit booth at the North East Transportation Safety Conference (NETSC), which was sponsored by the Maine Transportation Safety Committee and held in Augusta in April 2005. At the Conference, the OSHA Region I Augusta, Maine, Area Office received an "E for Excellence" Award which recognized the work the office did on roadway work zone safety through the Alliance Program.

As part of the OSHA and SCTE Alliance, Mr. Coffin has attended SCTE meetings in Portland, Maine, making presentations on the Alliance Program and safety and health issues such as electrical, personal protective equipment and roadway work zone safety. During the August 2005 Time Warner of New England Employee Health and Safety Fair, he staffed an OSHA and SCTE Alliance exhibit booth and distributed OSHA publications and information about the OSHA and SCTE Alliance.

Through the OSHA and Maine Health Care Association (MHCA)5 Alliance, Mr. Coffin organized nine all-day programs for the association's members and other nursing home representatives. The programs included presentations from State health and safety personnel, an industrial hygienist, and OSHA representatives on topics such as recordkeeping, ergonomics, bloodborne pathogens and electrical safety. Clark Phinney, Central Maine Medical Center Employee Health and Workers Compensation Coordinator was quoted in the December 26, 2005 issue of Mainebiz magazine as saying, "The hospital's Alliance with OSHA resulted in savings of $800,000 in workers' compensation rates." The Alliance plans to organize an additional three training sessions for MHCA members.

According to Bill Coffin, who worked with the organizations to develop many of the Alliances, "The Alliance Program has opened the lines of communication between OSHA and industry. Because of Maine's many Alliances, members of the organizations and others in Maine's business community feel comfortable contacting OSHA to ask questions and address workplace safety and health issues."

For more information about Maine's Alliances, contact Bill Coffin, CAS.

-- As of September 2006.

  • 1 Signatories of the Alliance signed August 17, 2004, are the Associated Constructors of Maine, Inc. (ACM), Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Federal Highway Administration (FHA).
  • 2 Signatories of the Alliance signed June 22, 2005, are the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE), Maine Onsite Consultation Program, MDOT and FHA.
  • 3 Signatories of the Alliance signed March 7, 2005, are the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 2327, Verizon New England, Maine Onsite Consultation Program, MDOT and FHA.
  • 4 Signatories of the Alliance signed October 26, 2005, are the E.S. Boulos Company, Maine Onsite Consultation Program and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 567
  • 5 Signatories of the Alliance signed January 6, 2005, are the Maine Health Care Association (MHCA) and Maine Onsite Consultation Program
Alliance Between Region I's Springfield, Massachusetts, Area Office and Worcester Contractors Formalizes Collaborative Efforts and Provides Safety and Health Training

Signed June 2, 2005, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Region I Springfield, Massachusetts, Area Office and the Worcester Contractors Alliance promotes construction-related safety and health training and outreach in central Massachusetts. OSHA, the Massachusetts Onsite Consultation Program and Worcester Contractors, an association of area construction and construction-related contractors, signed the Alliance agreement to formally recognize the group's ongoing collaborative efforts to provide the construction industry with information, guidance and training on issues such as multiple-employer worksites, scaffolding and electrical hazards.

As part of the cooperative relationship, members of the Alliance and other area contractors (e.g., general, electrical and mason contractors) and businesses attend bimonthly meetings held by the Worcester Contractors. The Alliance uses these meetings as a platform to reach out to the construction community and share expertise.

For example, each bimonthly meeting begins with an "OSHA Update," which is presented by a representative from the Region I Springfield Area Office and followed by a discussion among the attendees about workplace safety and health issues related to their ongoing construction projects. OSHA staff also make presentations or provide training on topics identified by the group such as multiple-employer worksites, scaffolding and electrical hazards at the meetings. For instance, Walter Cienaski, Compliance Assistance Specialist (CAS) for OSHA's Region I Springfield Area Office, and Ralph Minichiello, an attorney from the Solicitors Office in Boston, made a presentation on multiple-employer worksites to over 30 attendees at the bimonthly meeting in March 2006. Mr. Cienaski discussed OSHA's policy on multiple-employer worksites, and Mr. Minichiello discussed related legal issues.

At another bimonthly meeting, Mr. Cienaski led a training session for approximately 15 people on how to calculate scaffold loads and design working scaffolds to accommodate a load safely. In addition, on a different occasion, Mr. Cienaski and Ken Mastrullo, CAS in OSHA's Region I Boston, Massachusetts, Office presented a training session on electrical safety, addressing arc flashes, to electrical and general contractors. "Electrical training, particularly arc flash training, is very important to the health and safety of construction workers because everyone in the industry works on equipment that has the potential to be energized," according to Mr. Cienaski.

Contractors also have learned about OSHA's free Onsite Consultation Program at the bimonthly meetings. Massachusetts Onsite Consultation Program representatives have provided information on the Program including eligibility, services and its recognition program, the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). According to Mr. Cienaski, several members of the Alliance are participating in the Massachusetts Onsite Consultation Program.

"The Alliance has given its participants a better understanding of how OSHA works and of the many resources available to the employers and employees. The meetings generate feelings of cooperation because we know we are all there for the dual purposes of promoting safety and health in the work place and sharing experiences gained in the field.," according to Mr. Cienaski.

For more information, please contact Walter Cienaski.

-- As of September 2006.

Alliance Between Region I's Braintree and Methuen Area Offices and Construction Safety Roundtable Continues to Grow and Reach Out to Students

Since signing their Alliance, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Region I Braintree and Methuen, Massachusetts, Area Offices and the Construction Safety Roundtable of Eastern Massachusetts have worked together to meet construction contractors' needs. The groups are providing information, assistance, and training to enable the construction industry's employers, employees and trainees to eliminate and reduce safety and health hazards. As a result of the relationships Patrick Griffin (then Compliance Assistance Specialist in the Braintree Area Office) began building in 2000 with the construction industry in his area, 47 construction companies and contractors signed the Alliance agreement in June 2003.

Through this Alliance, Roundtable meetings are held and training is shared that has led to the establishment of an excellent working relationship between the Alliance's participants and OSHA. In addition, the Alliance has strengthened the commitment of Alliance members to focus on safety and health issues on construction sites, increased communication and understanding of the safety and health needs of the companies and their contractors between the construction industry and OSHA and encouraged greater cooperation with OSHA.

About 60-65 representatives of the Alliance's member companies, and at least two new interested companies, attend Roundtable meetings on the second Tuesday of each month, from September through June. The attendees include safety directors from union and non-union companies, insurance representatives, union apprentice directors, safety consultants, attorneys and the Massachusetts Consultation Service.

During the meetings, the attendees exchange technical information and safe work practices, hear updates on OSHA's procedures and policy issues and provide instruction on construction safety and health issues. The Roundtable meetings also promote the use of OSHA outreach services and provide access to OSHA's Compliance Assistance Specialists and the free Onsite Consultation Program offered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Topics covered in the past 12 months include mast climbing scaffold systems, the Massachusetts Consultation Program, confined space hazards, electrical safety, fall protection, welding and cutting, demolition and health hazards in construction.

According to OSHA's Region I, Braintree, Area Director, Brenda Gordon, "This longstanding Alliance has fostered an excellent working relationship between its construction members and the OSHA Region I Braintree Area Office. It has opened up lines of communication between OSHA, union and non-union contractors and insurance representatives and has served as an educational forum for construction-related safety and health topics and regulations. I feel that this Alliance continues to be very pro-active in its efforts to meet its goal to increase safety and health awareness in the construction community, as well as increase OSHA awareness of construction industry concerns."

In addition, the Alliance members are traveling to vocational high schools throughout Massachusetts to provide the OSHA 10-hour OSHA Construction Outreach Training Program to the students free-of-charge. The members are also providing vocational school teachers with the OSHA 500 and 501 Train-the-Trainer Courses in Construction and General Industry. Since 2000, over 8,000 students have received the OSHA 10-hour card, which is awarded upon successful completion of the course, and more than 300 teachers have attended the OSHA 500 and 501 Train-the-Trainer Courses. During the summer of 2006, the OSHA courses will each be offered twice.

Glenn Narrow of AON Risk Services, an Alliance participant, comments, "This Roundtable was one of Braintree's first and is the largest multi-group organization in the OSHA Alliance Program. It provides a non-competitive environment for representatives from both union and non-union contractors, labor organizations, the insurance industry and the safety consultation community to share best practices in loss control as they promote greater safety and health for the American construction worker. One of the goals of the members of this Alliance is providing safety and health training to every graduate of a vocational/technical high school because we believe that young people educated in this manner will be safer and healthier as they work in the construction industry."

Companies participating in the Alliance's roundtable meetings have grown and now include 110 construction companies and contractors from New Hampshire and Rhode Island in addition to Massachusetts. The Alliance is committed to continuing to its outreach activities through holding the ongoing Roundtable meetings and providing education and training to students and teachers.

For additional information on this Alliance and its activities, please contact Timothy Irving, OSHA Region I, Braintree, Massachusetts, Area Office Compliance Assistance Specialist.

-- As of May 2006; updated November 24, 2008.

Since this success story was posted on the OSHA Web site, the OSHA Region I and Construction Safety Roundtable of Eastern Massachusetts Alliance has been renewed two times. The Alliance continues to provide information, assistance, and training to enable the construction industry's employers, employees, and trainees to eliminate and reduce safety and health hazards.

For example, on September 25, 2008, the Alliance provided safety training focusing on tower cranes to more than 90 Bay State safety professionals, including contractors, safety directors from union and non-union companies, insurance representatives, and the safety consultation service of the Massachusetts Department of Labor's Division of Occupational Safety, at the Local 4 Operating Engineers’ Training Facility in Canton, Massachusetts. The training, sponsored by Gilbane Builders, was designed to help contractors understand and identify the hazards involved with the assembly and disassembly of construction tower cranes. A panel of OSHA and contractor representatives outlined the criteria and documentation needed for the selection of a tower crane versus a mobile crane or other equipment; identified and discussed the various federal, states, and industry standards covering tower cranes; and reviewed and discussed the hazards associated with the different types of tower cranes. The training also included a "lessons learned" segment using real-life examples of successful crane operations as well as accidents to facilitate discussion and analysis and reinforce the importance of proper crane operations.

-- As of November 2008

Alliance Among OSHA Region I Braintree, Methuen and Springfield, Massachusetts, Area Offices; Massachusetts Consultation Program; and Massachusetts Nurses Association Provides Information on Hazardous Chemicals, Workplace Violence and Ergonomic Hazards

On October 8, 2004, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Region I Area Offices in Braintree, Methuen and Springfield, Massachusetts; the Massachusetts Consultation Program (MCP) and the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA)* signed an Alliance. The Alliance provides MNA members and others in the healthcare industry with information, guidance and access to training resources to help them protect employees' health and safety. In particular it focuses on reducing and preventing occupational exposure to antineoplastic and other hazardous drugs, hazardous chemicals and materials (including glutaraldehyde; ethylene oxide and anesthetic gases; bloodborne pathogens and infectious diseases; sharps; and natural rubber latex), and workplace violence and ergonomic hazards.

"This Alliance is an example of OSHA's commitment to foster compliance assistance for workers and employers to improve health and safety for health care workers," said Marthe Kent, OSHA's New England Regional Administrator. "It focuses on how to prevent worker exposures to hazardous drugs and chemicals, workplace violence, as well as ergonomic injuries in health care settings."

Through this Alliance, the three organizations have arranged for and conducted training sessions on hazardous drugs, chemicals and materials and workplace violence. On October 25, 2005, OSHA, MCP and MNA conducted a seminar, "OSHA Compliance with Hazardous Drugs," at Tewksbury (Massachusetts) State Hospital to provide information on recognizing, evaluating, and controlling antineoplastic and other hazardous drugs. The 39 seminar attendees included nurses, health care administrators, hospital safety and risk managers, environmental services, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, students, respiratory therapists, industrial hygienists, and other healthcare workers that might be exposed to hazardous drugs. The planners and presenters at this 4-hour session were Compliance Assistance Specialists from Region I's Providence, Rhode Island, Area Office, Industrial Hygiene Team Leaders from the Braintree and Methuen Area Offices, the staff of the MNA Division of Health and Safety and the Project Supervisor from the MCP Division of Occupational Safety.

On November 3, 2005, the OSHA, MCP and MNA team conducted the same seminar at Massachusetts Hospital School in Canton, Massachusetts. About 50 people attended this seminar. The seminar was also presented on May 25, 2006, at Rhode Island Hospital in Rhode Island, and approximately 30 persons attended.

Members of this Alliance are also sharing and communicating information on effective approaches to addressing workplace violence issues. During December 2005 and January and February 2006, MNA's Evie Bain and the three OSHA Region I Area Office Directors—Brenda Gordon, Braintree, Massachusetts; Francis Pagliuca, Methuen, Massachusetts; and Mary E. Hoye, Springfield, Massachusetts--met to discuss topics and speakers for the Workplace Violence Seminar they were planning for March 2006.

On March 29, 2006, the OSHA/MNA Workplace Violence seminar was held in Randolph, Massachusetts. Speakers included Lieutenant Mary M. Sennott, RN, Massachusetts State Police; Jonathan Rosen, Director of Health and Safety, New York State Professional Employees Federation; Jean Haertl, Director of Workplace Violence Prevention, Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Thomas Lynch, Director of Security, Baystate Medical Center; Thomas Galassi, Deputy Director of Directorate of Enforcement Programs OSHA, Washington, D.C. Approximately 150 people attended the seminar and visited the exhibits that had been set up by Federal OSHA, the Massachusetts State Consultation program, and the MNA. Handouts included workplace violence publications from OSHA, the MNA, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). According to Evie Bain of MNA, "The evaluations and feedback from the audience were excellent . . . people really appreciated the program."

The next seminar that the Alliance is planning will address ergonomics issues and will be held in the fall of 2006. Other future Alliance plans include adapting the OSHA Compliance with Hazardous Drugs seminar material to on-line and classroom-style continuing education programs to assist nurses in recognizing hazardous drugs, understanding the hazards and utilizing the appropriate protection strategies when working with the drugs.

For additional information about this Alliance and it activities, please contact Kevin Clarke, OSHA Region I.

-- As of May 2006.

* The MNA has more than 22,000 members who work in 85 health care facilities and is the largest union and professional association of registered nurses and health professionals in Massachusetts. It is the second state nurses association in the Nation to establish an OSHA Alliance; the other is the New York State Nurses Association.

Alliance Between OSHA Region I and Iron Worker's District Council of New England Labor Management Cooperation Trust Protects the Safety and Health of Construction Workers
Iron workers receiving OSHA's 30-Hour Construction Training at their Local 7 Training Center, South Boston, Massachusetts.

Iron workers receiving OSHA's 30-Hour Construction Training at their Local 7 Training Center, South Boston, Massachusetts.

Protecting construction industry workers from being electrocuted, struck-by, or crushed- by hazards and providing education on the use of fall protection is the focus of an Alliance between OSHA Region I and the Iron Workers District Council of New England Labor Management Cooperation Trust (LMCT). Both groups recognize the value of a collaborative and proactive relationship to foster safer and more healthful American workplaces; they are working together to provide information, guidance, and access to training resources for construction industry employees.

According to Robert E. Banks, the Safety Director for LMCT, "This agreement broke new ground and as a result broke down barriers, gave the contractors and employees a new perspective, and made both groups more open to OSHA inspections and inspectors. The Alliance helped clarify where everyone stood on job-site safety."

After the Alliance was signed on September 29, 2003, OSHA and LMCT began convening forums, roundtable discussions, and stakeholder meetings on electrical, fall, struck-by, and crushed-by issues to help forge innovative solutions in the workplace. Foremen, superintendents, and journeymen employees in the Iron Workers District Council of New England Local 7 (Boston, Massachusetts) took OSHA's 30-Hour Construction Training. David Grafton, Labor Liaison/Special Assistant to the OSHA Region I Administrator, assisted in coordinating the training. He was involved in tailoring a Hazard Awareness Program to incorporate illustrations of common job-site hazards instead of the written descriptions previously used; he is finding them much more effective as a teaching tool.

To share and disseminate safety and health information among Iron Workers, the Alliance is publishing a series of articles under the heading Safety Alert in the New England District Council's newsletter, The Column. A recent Safety Alert article reported that the safety of a latch being used for fall protection was underrated.

The positive relationship established through the Alliance has allowed OSHA and LMCT to respond quickly in providing safety and health information and training when accidents have occurred on job sites. For example, after an accident involving a serious injury occurred in January 2004, an Alliance member informed the contractor responsible (a steel erector contractor) of the new OSHA standard subpart R on Steel Erection, which sets forth requirements to protect employees in the construction industry from the hazards associated with erecting steel. The contractor worked quickly and provided the OSHA-developed 16-hour training course for subpart R to his employees--all 50 workers on the job site were trained and paid for their training time.

This contractor's approach to providing his workers with safety training helped raise awareness of the need for providing education to other contractors and union members in the area. Some union members had already taken the subpart R training; the Alliance encouraged the rest to take the course in the near future. In addition, the contractor instituted a policy stating that it would no longer hire workers who had not taken the subpart R training. This policy has been adopted by other contractors in the area and has, as a consequence, provided additional impetus for union members to complete the training.

Dave Grafton said that, "This Alliance has given its members the opportunity to get to know each other better, to open new lines of communication, and to encourage the development of training courses that focus on specific job-site hazards." He added that there are about 6400 Union Iron Workers in New England and that with the support of this Alliance every one has been trained or will be trained via either the 10- or 30-hour OSHA program. The LMCT has mandated that all apprentices take the OSHA 10-hour program.

For more information on this Alliance and its activities, contact. David Grafton, Labor Liaison/Special Assistant to the OSHA Region I Administrator.

-- As of June 2005.

Region I's OSHA and Lamar Bridgeport Alliance Working to Improve the Safety and Health of the Outdoor Advertising Industry's Employees

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Region I, Bridgeport Area Office, and Lamar Outdoor Advertising's Bridgeport, Connecticut Office (Lamar Bridgeport), signed an Alliance on February, 3, 2003. Together, OSHA and Lamar are using their expertise to help foster a culture of accident prevention while sharing best safety practices and technical knowledge. Through OSHA's Alliance Program, organizations are establishing collaborative relationships with the Agency to promote safer and more healthful American workplaces.

Lamar Outdoor Advertising is one of the largest companies in the outdoor advertising industry and operates 152 companies in 44 states across the nation. The company owns 550 billboards in southern Connecticut.

James Robertson, Lamar's Corporate Safety Director said "This is an exciting opportunity for Lamar of Bridgeport and OSHA to pool our knowledge and skills in a new and creative way. Together, we seek to ensure that workers in the outdoor advertising industry in Connecticut are trained to recognize and prevent the hazards posed by their work."

OSHA and Lamar Bridgeport are working on a number of projects to meet the goals of the Alliance. For example:

  • Lamar is posting safety messages on unused billboards in the Bridgeport area.
  • The company's employees have attended safety training classes on electrical hazards; ladders and portable hand tools; and fall protection/fall retrieval.
  • OSHA and Lamar Bridgeport developed an action plan for use in the event an employee falls from a billboard while performing a job task.

At Lamar's request, the Agency researched whether there are any health issues associated with the cellular antennas that are attached to billboards.

These efforts are providing the public, Lamar's workers, as well as employees of other companies in the outdoor advertising industry with information and training to help them reduce and prevent injuries. "Knowledge and training are the best defenses against workplace hazards. OSHA and Lamar will leverage their combined resources to advance worker safety in the state's outdoor advertising industry," said Robert Kowalski, OSHA's Bridgeport Area Office Director.

For more information on the OSHA/Lamar Bridgeport Alliance and its activities, contact Leona May, the Region I Compliance Assistance Specialist in Bridgeport, CT.

-- As of February 2003; updated September 2004.

Billboard safety message.

Billboard safety message.


Since this success story was posted on OSHA's web site, two news stories1 have been printed that report on billboard-related incidents where fall protection has helped to save contractors from harm. Through the Region I and Lamar Alliance, billboard owners are training their contractors on fall protection and fall retrieval.

In Stratford, Connecticut on April 21, 2004, two men working on a pair of billboards, 60 feet above the ground, were not harmed when one of the billboard's supports buckled and the signs toppled to the ground. Both men were wearing harnesses, in accordance with OSHA's rules, that prevented them from falling from the structure.

On May 25, 2004, a gust of wind sent a man working on a billboard off the sign's platform in Erie, Pennsylvania. He was wearing a safety harness that prevented him from falling more that 100 feet to the ground. The harness held him in place, 15 below the platform, until a bucket truck was able to reach the employee and transport him to the ground.

-- As of September 2004

1 News stories appeared in The Connecticut Post on April 21, 2004 and the Erie Times-News on May 25, 2005.

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