Region II Success Stories
- OSHA Region II Staff Participates in Mobile Guatemalan Consulate Events. (2012, May).
- Region II Alliance with The Wind of the Spirit Immigrant Resource Center Trains in Spanish and Portuguese. (2010, October).
- Alliance Between Region II Avenel, New Jersey Area Office and El Centro de Hospitalidad trains Hispanic Workers. (2010, March).
- Alliance Between Region II Puerto Rico Area Office and the Sociedad de Profesionales de Prevención de Accidentes de Puerto Rico (SPPAPR) Provides Safety and Health Education, Training and Outreach to Hispanics. (2008, December).
- Alliance Between Region II Buffalo, New York Area Office and Lehigh Construction Group Provides Construction Safety Training to Thousands of Students in Western New York. (2008, August).
- OSHA's Region II Alliance With the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association Trains over 600 Employees at a Family Health and Safety Fair. (2008, March).
- Region II Working With Community-Based Organizations to Improve Safety and Health for Hispanic Employees in Staten Island, New Jersey. (2007, March).
- Region II Alliance Trains Teachers to Help Protect Young Workers. (2006, December).
- Alliance Between OSHA's Region II Syracuse, New York, Area Office, and the Manufacturers Association of Central New York Brings Safety and Health Training to Small Companies. (2006, September).
- Alliance Between Region II OSHA Area Offices and the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner Address Workplace Fatalities. (2004, August).
- Region II's OSHA/CASA Alliance Recognizes the Value of Early Safety and Health Education for Children of Hispanic Workers. (2003, November).
OSHA Region II Staff Participates in Mobile Guatemalan Consulate Events
Region II has had an Alliance Agreement with the Consulate of Guatemala since 2005; the Agreement was renewed in 2009; another renewal is anticipated during the summer of 2012. As part of the Agreement, the Tarrytown, New York, Area Office works with the Consulate of Guatemala to conduct monthly outreach sessions in New York City. OSHA representatives visit the Consulate and set up tables laden with copies of OSHA Spanish language publications; they also make presentations on OSHA and worker rights to the people in the waiting areas.
The second part of the Alliance Agreement involves outreach to an even larger Guatemalan population than that in the Consulate offices through the use of Mobile Consulates. Diana Cortez, Area Director of the Tarrytown Area Office, noted that her office coordinates with the Consulate to schedule approximately 10 Mobile Consulate events annually throughout New York and New Jersey.
Typically, representatives from the Region II Area Offices along with the Consulate and specific local community or faith-based organization representatives work collaboratively to deliver Consulate services as well as worker rights information or each event. Mobile Consulates are scheduled to accommodate the workers, who do not have the access or the time to visit the Consulate in New York City during regular business hours.
Region II staff begin by explaining employee rights and employer obligations under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the OSHA complaint and inspection processes, and answering questions posed by attendees. OSHA representatives discuss specific safety and health topics, including fall protection, forklift training, and excavations. They also distribute literature ("Todo Sobre OSHA"/"All about OSHA," "Somos OSHA, Podemos Ayudar"/"We are OSHA, We Can Help", and OSHA Quick cards) and contact information, answer questions, take employee complaints, and make presentations to Guatemalan nationals while they wait to be helped by a member of the Consulate staff. Staff from the Consulate work with individuals to provide the same services they provide at the Consulate, office such as birth certificates, passports, and identification cards. Attendees came from the construction, refinery, restaurant, manufacturing, landscaping, and other industries. For many immigrants, attending a Mobile Consulate represents the first time they hear that they have worker rights under OSHA regardless of their immigrant status.
The following list includes some of the recent Region II Mobile Consulate events with the Guatemalan Consulate:
- Saturday, October 22, 2011, in Trenton, New Jersey. Approximately 700 people attended the event.
- Saturday, October 29, 2011, in Plainfield, New Jersey. Approximately 200 people attended the event.
- Saturday and Sunday, November 21 and 22, 2011, in Brentwood, Long Island. Approximately 500 people attended each day.
- February 25, 2012, in Peekskill, New York. More than 600 Guatemalans attended the event.
Each Mobile Consulate event usually draws 500-700 attendees. Diana Cortez estimates that, "Through our [Region II and Consulate of Guatemala] collaborative efforts, we have provided the information, training, and tools to help prevent workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths to more than 35,000 Guatemalans." Region II also has Alliances with the Mexican and Brazilian Consulates.
-- As of May 2012.
Region II Alliance with The Wind of the Spirit Immigrant Resource Center Trains in Spanish and Portuguese
When it was signed in June 2003, the OSHA Region II and Wind of the Spirit Immigrant Resource Center (WOTS) Alliance was among the first of the Alliances with a faith-based organization in the country. It has been renewed three times (in 2004, 2007, and 2010) and is an example of the kind of outreach that Department of Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis has prioritized in that it focuses on reducing injuries and illnesses among Latino workers by enhancing their knowledge of their workplace rights and improving their ability to exercise those rights. The Alliance includes the OSHA Region II Avenel, Hasbrouck Heights, and Parsippany, New Jersey Area Offices; the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development; and WOTS.
Alliance representatives actively recruit workers for training sessions through visits to day-laborer pick-up locations in Northern New Jersey. Diana Mejia, who is a member of the board of WOTS, notes that most of these day laborers work in construction and other high-risk work environments.
Stuart Sydenstricker, a WOTS instructor, a construction worker with over 20 years' experience, and also a WOTS board member, says that, "For most students, the first hurdle to overcome is the fear and distrust of the government. Many day laborers are undocumented immigrants who think that the government ‘is against them.' At the training sessions, we try to instill in the students that the Alliance is there to help them work safe and get paid, that their lives are worth a lot, and that they need to learn how to protect themselves and their fellow workers."
Between 2003 and 2006, WOTS presented the OSHA 10-Hour Construction Outreach Training Program in Spanish and Portuguese 12 times and trained several hundred workers. In 2009, the Alliance members trained more than 150 workers, according to Sydenstricker. During the first half of 2010, they trained more than 70 workers.
While WOTS instructors teach most of the OSHA 10-Hour Construction Outreach Training Program courses in Spanish; Brazilian-born Sydenstricker teaches it in Portuguese. Instructors try to limit the number of students to 20 per class, but they have given sessions for as many as 26 and as few as nine. During the training sessions, instructors hand out job safety and OSHA materials, including Quick Cards, in Spanish and Portuguese.
The courses provided by WOTS focus on the rights of workers, the proper use of construction equipment (e.g., ladders, scaffolding, safety harnesses, goggles), and awareness of chemical hazards. The course is designed to be hands-on so that the students learn by doing. (See the figure for an example of students using the model scaffolding in the training.) According to Mejia, the students ". . . also learn to think about their fellow workers and why they need to do to stay alive, stay safe. The sessions also show the workers that the government through OSHA cares about their lives."
Sydenstricker said he knows of instances where workers who have taken the OSHA 10-Hour training have demanded safer workplaces. He tells the story of one man who, after he had completed the OSHA 10-Hour course, took a job in a silk-screening shop. The shop did not have proper ventilation, but the shop boss insisted that workers work without it, breathing the harmful chemicals. "Because of the training, our guy knew his rights and got the shop to improve the safety of its workplace," Sydenstricker recounted.
In April 2010, WOTS participated in the National Action Summit for Latino Worker Health and Safety in Houston, Texas, and renewed its Alliance there. Said Secretary Solis at the Summit, "Workers have a right to the safety equipment that is required by law and paid for by the employer. They have a right to be trained in a language and in a way they understand. Workers need to know how to use these rights without fear of retaliation. And finally, every worker needs to know that he or she has the right to come home alive and well at the end of the day." According to Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels, "Our longstanding work with Wind of the Spirit stands as a powerful example for other faith-based organizations. It demonstrates how, in partnership, we can break through the language barrier in order to more effectively arm Latino workers with the information needed to stay safe and healthy on the job. Through this joint effort, day laborers and other low-wage workers will better understand their rights and how to protect themselves."
-- As of October 2010.
Alliance Between Region II Avenel, New Jersey Area Office and El Centro de Hospitalidad Trains Hispanic Workers
In April 2007, the OSHA Region II Avenel, New Jersey Area Office and El Centro de Hospitalidad (El Centro) of Staten Island, New York, established an Alliance to foster safer and more healthful workplaces. This Alliance provides its members and other Hispanic low wage workers with information to recognize and limit exposure to safety and health hazards found in the construction industry (e.g., falls from elevation, electrical, struck-by, and caught-between), the landscaping industry (e.g., sprains and strains, lacerations, and trauma), and manufacturing establishments. It also provides information on safety and health to workers employed as domestic help in private residences. Because most of these workers are not proficient in English, the information is provided in Spanish. Originally signed with Project Hospitality (the parent organization) in March 2005, the April 2007 Alliance and its September 2009 Renewal recognized El Centro de Hospitalidad (El Centro) as a separate entity and continued and expanded the goals of the already existing Alliance.
In April 2007, Michael Yarnell, Compliance Assistance Specialist, Region II Avenel, New Jersey Area Office, helped form an Implementation Team whose members met to plan the future activities of the Alliance, arrange for the loan of safety and health training videos from various resources, and provide OSHA safety-related literature in Spanish to El Centro. To help the workers learn about the safety and health records of prospective employers, he gave a presentation on recordkeeping to the staffs of both El Centro and Project Hospitality during which he focused on what a recordable event is and how recordable event data can be used as an indicator of employers' safety performance. Through the Alliance, he attended an October 2007 "Providers Conference," sponsored by charitable, faith-based, and other benevolent organizations that donate goods and services to those who are at-risk in Staten Island. Yarnell provided OSHA literature to the group and gave a short talk outlining the OSHA and El Centro Alliance, its activities, and its benefits to the community members.
On November 2008, Yarnell and Isabel DeOliveira, Industrial Hygienist, Region II, Avenel, New Jersey Area Office, participated in a day-long Mobile Consulate event, which was co-sponsored by El Centro and the Mexican Consulate in New York for Mexican workers residing in Staten Island who are seeking assistance and services from the Consulate. The Mobile Consulate is operated by the Mexican Consulate in New York, also an Alliance Program participant, to provide Mexican citizens and their families with an opportunity to meet with Consulate representatives, process legal documents, and obtain information without traveling to the Consulate office itself. The OSHA representatives distributed OSHA Spanish-language literature on workplace safety and health and responded to questions from participants.
Through the Alliance, in April 2008, DeOliveira gave a presentation on safety and health hazards including bloodborne pathogens, chemical exposure, and ergonomics in the domestic help environment to 45 female workers. In June, DeOliveira and Signey Hernandez, Safety Specialist, Region II, Long Island, New York Area Office, gave the OSHA 10-Hour Construction Outreach Training Program in Spanish at a community outreach center to 55 workers. The presentation focused on the four main hazards in construction (falls from elevation, electrical, struck-by and caught-between hazards). In November 2008 and April 2009, DeOliveira and Hernandez presented a comprehensive review of construction hazards in Spanish to low wage workers at El Centro. The 40 and 55 participants (respectively) asked many questions and left the sessions with increased knowledge of their rights as workers and ways to protect themselves from workplace hazards.
On 2009 Worker Memorial Day, the New York City Department of Buildings, an Alliance Program participant, distributed 25 full-body fall protection harnesses to workers at El Centro headquarters. Yarnell demonstrated how to wear the harness, watched several of the workers don them, and commended the wearers when they used the harnesses properly. In addition, he provided additional OSHA Spanish-language literature about other types of fall protection systems including engineering controls such as guardrails.
At the El Centro headquarters, low wage workers who have not been selected for work on a given day can watch safety and health videos that focus on the top four hazards in construction and read Spanish-language documents on a wide range of construction hazards provided by the Alliance. According to Project Hospitality Director Reverend Troia and Gonzalo Mercado, Program Director, El Centro, since the inception of this Alliance, there has not been a single workplace fatality among the low-wage workers at El Centro. The Avenel Area Office has also fielded at least one workplace complaint investigation as a result of the relationship.
-- As of March 2010.
Alliance Between Region II Puerto Rico Area Office and the Sociedad de Profesionales de Prevención de Accidentes de Puerto Rico (SPPAPR) Provides Safety and Health Education, Training and Outreach to Hispanics
In October 2008, the OSHA Region II Puerto Rico Area Office renewed its Alliance (originally signed June 2004 and renewed August 2006) with the Puerto Rico Accident Prevention Professionals Society (SPPAPR, in Spanish) to provide information, guidance, and access to training resources that help protect the health and safety of the employees of Alliance members. SPPAPR works with local organizations and educational institutions including the Metropolitan University Institute of Environmental Education, the Atlantic OSHA Training Center, the Puerto Rico University, and the Bayamón Central University to address the safety and health concerns and issues raised by employers and employees in general industry and in construction. The Alliance focuses on reducing and preventing exposure to safety and health hazards--particularly those related to falls, confined spaces, indoor air quality, noise exposure, workplace violence and ergonomics.
Through the Alliance, SPPAPR has presented several different OSHA Training Courses to more than 445 occupational safety and health professionals; the courses include the OSHA 30-Hour Construction Outreach Training Program; the OSHA 500, 501, 510, and 511 Train-the-Trainer Courses; the OSHA 521 Course on Industrial Hygiene; the OSHA Cranes Training; and the OSHA Steel Erection Training. The OSHA 500 and 510 courses focus on construction, while the 501 and 511 courses focus on general industry. The OSHA Cranes Training and the OSHA Steel Erection Training are each 1-day courses that focus on improving crane safety and avoiding crane accidents, identifying steel erection hazards, identifying safety hazard risks in the construction industry, identifying legal aspects of safety and health, developing contingency plans in case of worksite emergencies, preparing and establishing emergency action plans, performing accident investigation and root cause analysis, and improving safety and health programs by modifying behavior, among others. In addition, in February 2008, the Alliance held a 1-day Introduction to Accident Prevention and Root Cause Analysis Seminar at the Universidad Central de Bayamón for 80 participants. All courses are given in Spanish.
Tu Sociedad Informa is a quarterly bulletin that SPPAPR writes for its members. SPPAPR Secretary, Leticia Moctezuma, who is a safety inspector for a private company in Puerto Rico, helps to write and produce the bulletin, and Dr. Carlos Lausell, past President, SPPAPR, and Myriam Fuentes, current President, SPPAPR, translate articles from English into Spanish. The Alliance distributes 250 hard copies of each edition to SPPAPR members and more than 1,000 electronic copies to the public at large. In addition, each edition is posted on the SPPAPR Web site. SPPAPR managers estimate that more than 2,250 professionals benefit from the publication. Recent articles in Tu Sociedad Informa have included "Preventing Solvent Exposure in the Construction Industry," "Biological Dangers Associated with Waste Water Processing Plants," "Radiation Hazards," "Pain in the Lower Back and its Prevention," "Wrap your Festive Days in Safety," and "General Description of the Most Common Work Hazards That May Be Present At your Worksite."
Every other Monday, SPPAPR members participate in a 1-hour radio program called Hablando Claro during which they discuss updated information about safety and health issues including changes to regulations and standards. Based on ratings, the radio station estimates the audience of this radio program to be 13,500 listeners per month.
For more information about the Alliance, contact Mike Silva.
-- As of December 2008.
Alliance Between Region II Buffalo, New York Area Office and Lehigh Construction Group Provides Construction Safety Training to Thousands of Students in Western New York
More than 8,000 students in western New York have been trained in construction safety and health as the result of the Alliance between the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Region II Buffalo, New York Area Office and Lehigh Construction Group. Signed on May 15, 2003 and renewed for a second time on April 4, 2007, the Alliance's goal is to provide future members of the construction industry with training on the fundamentals of construction safety and health. The training has been provided to students at high schools, vocational and technical schools, Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) schools, and local colleges with construction courses.
Through the Alliance, Gordon DeLeys, OSHA's Compliance Assistance Specialist (CAS) in the Buffalo Area Office, worked with Thomas Glomb, Vice President of Lehigh Construction Group, to develop a joint training presentation that would appeal to high school and college students who plan to enter the building trades. During the two to three hour class on the "focus four" construction hazards (fall, electrocution, caught-in, and struck-by), Mr. DeLeys focuses on OSHA's construction standards and the recognition of these hazards. Mr. Glomb provides a construction company owner's perspective, including how to establish a safety culture and the legal and financial costs associated with workplace fatalities and injuries. He also highlights the human cost of workplace fatalities and injuries, including the difficult task of having to notify a family if one of their own has been killed or injured on the job.
Mr. DeLeys and Mr. Glomb also present this information to local students as part of the OSHA 10-hour Outreach Training Program construction course. For example, an OSHA 10-hour construction course was provided to students in the Construction Design and Engineering curriculum at Erie Community College in May 2008 and to students in the Electrical/Electronic Service Department at Alfred State University of New York College of Technology in March 2008. One of the goals of this training is to make these students aware that safety and health considerations should be incorporated into a project's estimates and design costs.
In addition, the OSHA 10-hour construction course was provided to students and contractors on the Seneca Nation of Indians reservations in Salamanca and Irving, New York through the Alliance. For example, the Alliance participants provided this course in March 2008 for 45 students who were engaged in a casino construction project. The class was such a success that a second OSHA 10-hour construction course was held at the Irving, New York reservation in July 2008.
Through the Alliance, representatives from Lehigh Construction Group attended a Region II kickoff event on April 21, 2008 in support of OSHA's 2008 Teen Summer Job Safety Campaign. The event took place at a residential construction site in Batavia, New York where students from the Genesee Valley BOCES school were building a house as part of their curriculum. The event was covered by the morning shows from the local NBC and CBS television stations.
"OSHA and Lehigh remain committed to cooperative and proactive efforts to improve safety and health in the construction industry in western New York," said Arthur Dube, Director of OSHA's Buffalo Area Office. "Providing the newest construction employees with a strong foundation in safety and health will pay off in fewer injuries, greater productivity, and safer workplaces."
"Lehigh is committed to working with OSHA to educate youth in western New York on hazards typically found on construction sites and the safe practices that can be implemented to reduce or eliminate the hazards," said Thomas Glomb. "Young workers often want to make a good first impression on the job, are willing to take risks, and have a perception that they are invincible, but usually have little or no on-the-job safety training. This can lead to injuries to themselves or others. The awareness training provided through this Alliance is therefore extremely important for these inexperienced employees."
For more information on this Alliance, contact Gordon DeLeys.
-- As of August 2008.
OSHA's Region II Alliance With the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association Trains over 600 Employees at a Family Health and Safety Fair
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5,703 workers were killed on the job in 2006. Commented Diana Cortez, Area Director, Region II Tarrytown, New York Area Office, "One contributing factor is that the employees do not know how to recognize unsafe conditions and what action to take to avoid them or have them corrected. In order to impact the employees' future safety and health, I believe we need to instill awareness of hazards in all employees--including young employees. By also reaching out and educating the future workforce, we significantly impact our ability to eliminate workplace accidents."
To reach out to Hudson Valley and greater New York City area employers and employees and their families, the OSHA Region II and the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association Region II Chapter (VPPPA Region II Chapter) Alliance along with the Region II Tarrytown, New York Area Office and the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) (a certified OSHA Education Center offering safety and health training courses) co-sponsored a Family Health and Safety Fair in White Plains, New York, on September 16, 2007. The Fair featured workshops, health information and screenings, demonstrations and activities.
Over 600 attendees were trained during the Fair's many workshops offered by the 22 volunteer safety and health trainers from professional organizations including RIT and local companies. These included:
- Eleven workshops on safety and health topics presented to employers and employees in English and Spanish.
- Six workshops on restaurant, retail and landscaping safety and health hazards tailored for youth workers.
Many training sessions consisted of a combination of slide presentations and hands-on training, and many workshops were repeated throughout the day.
In addition to the workshops, the Fair had an area for the 60 exhibiting organizations to set up their booths and displays. More than 20 members of the local fire and police departments provided safety demonstrations and information on topics such as seat belt use, bike helmet use, and hands-on fire extinguisher demonstration with a controlled fire. They also displayed fire trucks, a hazardous materials response truck and a variety of emergency equipment. In booths staffed by health professionals, fair attendees were able to receive eye exams (Figure 1) and to be screened for diabetes, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), blood pressure, and cholesterol. Physicians in a health van also performed medical exams. Some attendees discovered that they were diabetic, needed glasses or had high blood pressure and were referred to their doctors for treatment.
To ensure that the Fair was successful, the Alliance and RIT obtained the support of community organizations and safety and health professionals from New York and New Jersey who volunteered their time and expertise in various ways from marketing the event to presenting workshops and staffing booths. The local chapters of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) and the Chambers of Commerce were the source of many volunteers. Other volunteers came from local fire and police departments; from national, state and local health organizations; and from manufacturers of construction equipment, a toy store chain and a professional soccer team. The volunteers created and distributed flyers, posters and invitations to employers and employees encouraging them to bring their families and publicizing the activities and entertainment of interest to their children. They posted a banner on the front of the Westchester County Center (Figure 2), where the fair was held, for 6 weeks prior to the Fair. Volunteers' in-kind contributions included thousands of dollars in marketing and printing costs and overtime and travel expenses.
According to Ms. Cortez, "The purpose of our Fair was to educate and inform the workforce of today as well as the workforce of tomorrow about how to prevent workplace accidents to reduce injuries, illnesses and fatalities." Ms. Cortez noted that many attendees stated that they learned about potential workplace safety and health hazards and methods of correcting them. For example, some of the attendees did not know about the need to use fall protection when working on swinging or pump jack scaffolds. Others learned what type of personal protective equipment they should be using and said that they would be asking their employers for what they needed at their worksites.
For more information about the Fair, contact Diana Cortez.
-- As of March 2008.
Signed in July 2005, the Alliance provides young employees, immigrant employees, including Hispanics, and others with information, guidance, and access to training resources to help protect their safety and health, particularly by reducing and preventing exposure to the most common hazards encountered in both construction and general industry.
Region II Working With Community-Based Organizations to Improve Safety and Health for Hispanic Employees in Staten Island, New Jersey
Improving the health and safety of Hispanic employees in Staten Island, New Jersey through helping them recognize safety is the goal of the OSHA Region II Avenel, New Jersey Area Office, Project Hospitality Inc. and El Centro de Hospitalidad Alliance signed March 4, 2005. The Alliance focuses on preventing exposure to hazards in the landscaping and construction industries, such as falls from elevation; electrical; struck-by and caught-between; sprains and strains, cave-ins; lacerations; and trauma caused by machinery, tools and improper lifting techniques.
"OSHA health and safety Alliances are part of U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao's ongoing efforts to improve the health and safety of employees through cooperative partnerships," said Patricia K. Clark, OSHA's Regional Administrator. "Our goal is to advance safety and health awareness within Staten Island's Hispanic worker community."
Through the Alliance, OSHA, Project Hospitality Inc. and El Centro de Hospitalidad are developing and delivering Spanish-language safety and health training to El Centro de Hospitalidad members and other Hispanic day laborers. In addition, the Alliance participants are distributing Spanish-language safety and health materials to Hispanic day laborers and at Project Hospitality and El Centro de Hospitalidad meetings and other community forums.
For example, representatives of the Alliance attended a Hispanic safety fair sponsored by Project Hospitality, Inc. in Staten, Island, New Jersey on April 10, 2005 that was attended by more than 225 Hispanic employees. At the fair, OSHA staff distributed copies of the Agency's Spanish-language safety and health materials and answered the attendees' questions. In addition, OSHA staff from the Avenel, New Jersey Area Office delivered four Spanish-language safety training sessions to more than 250 day laborers on June 21 and July 20, 2005 and on January 25 and July 19, 2006, at the El Centro headquarters in Staten Island. The training sessions focused on hazards in landscaping, including falls from elevation; excavation hazards; and hazards in construction, including electrical, struck-by and caught-between.
According to Mike Yarnell, Compliance Assistance Specialist, OSHA's Region II Avenel, New Jersey Area Office, no day laborer belonging to El Centro has suffered a fatal injury since the Alliance's signing.
The OSHA Region II, Project Hospitality, Inc. and El Centro de Hospitalidad Alliance will be renewed in the spring of 2007.
For additional information about this Alliance and it activities, please contact Michael Yarnell, OSHA Region II.
-- As of March 2007.
Region II Alliance Trains Teachers to Help Protect Young Workers
Providing New Jersey public school teachers and administrators with occupational safety and health information and training to protect students and other young workers and to promote on-the-job safety and health is the focus of an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Region II Alliance. The agreement, signed on October 31, 2005, with four Region II Area Offices, the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division (WHD), the New Jersey Department of Education, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute1, formalized the signatories' ongoing efforts.
Through the Alliance, OSHA staff, with assistance from the Alliance's other members, are providing basic safety and health and hazard awareness training to New Jersey cooperative education and structured learning experience teachers and apprenticeship coordinators, and other school administrators. The training, known as the OSHA 10 Plus Program, includes OSHA's 10-Hour General Industry Outreach Program, information on youth-related employment laws and New Jersey's public school safety and health procedures. For example, WHD representatives provide information on the other youth-related employment requirements, such as activities young workers are prohibited from doing on the job (e.g., operating powered industrial equipment, slicing machines, etc). The Program's materials focus on retail, fast food and other industries that typically employ young workers. Since Alliance was signed October 31, 2005, the OSHA 10 Plus Program has been conducted 16 times throughout the state with more that 400 teachers taking the class.
During the training, the participants also learn how they can use OSHA's Web site to determine if potential employers have any OSHA citations before placing students with the businesses. In addition, the teachers and school administrators are instructed on how to identify safety and health hazards that might impact students; such as a leaking ceiling that could cause mold and violate New Jersey's indoor air quality standard. The course also provides information about New Jersey's public sector On-site Consultation Program, including how to request a free and confidential consultation visit to address workplace safety and health concerns. "The auditors can share information about the On-site Consultation Program and its benefits with school principals and superintendents across New Jersey," according to Lou Lento, Compliance Assistance Specialist (CAS) in the Region II Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey Area Office.
In addition to providing the OSHA 10 Plus Program, the Alliance encourages school personnel to enroll in the Agency's train-the-trainer programs; OSHA 500 Trainer Course in OSHA Standards for Construction and OSHA 501 Trainer Course in OSHA Standards for General Industry. The courses are presented to school personnel at the Atlantic OSHA Training Center, free of charge, through New Jersey's Safe Schools Program. According to Mr. Lento, 21 teachers that participated in the OSHA 10 Plus Program completed the construction course and are authorized to teach the OSHA 10 Hour Construction Outreach Program. Another 29 teachers completed the general industry train-the-trainer course and are authorized to teach the OSHA 10-Hour General Industry Outreach Program. As a result, teachers who were trained through the Safe Schools Program have taught the OSHA 10 Hour General Industry Outreach Program to 77 students and the OSHA 10 Hour Construction Industry Outreach Program to 377 students.
"This Alliance works," according to Mr. Lento. "The Alliance's members realize the importance of providing training to America's future workforce. In addition, organizations such the American Society of Safety Engineers, the NJ Industrial Safety Committee, the Northern NJ Federal Safety & Health Council, labor unions, and volunteers from the safety and health community all answered the call to provide resources and assistance."
For more information about this Alliance, contact Lou Lento, CAS.
-- As of December 2006.
1 Region II's Hasbrouck Heights, Parsippany, Avenel and Marlton Area Offices; the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, Southern New Jersey and Northern New Jersey District Offices; the New Jersey Department of Education, Division of Education Programs and Assessment, Office of Vocational-Technical, Career and Innovative Programs; the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Division of Wage and Hour Compliance; the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Public Health; and the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute.
Alliance Between OSHA's Region II Syracuse, New York, Area Office, and the Manufacturers Association of Central New York Brings Safety and Health Training to Small Companies
Educating manufacturers, especially small businesses about workplace safety and health is the focus of an Alliance between the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Region II Syracuse, New York, Area Office and the Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY). Through their Alliance, signed on March 19, 2004 and renewed on June 13, 2006, OSHA and MACNY are reaching out to MACNY members with training and mentoring opportunities to help them establish safety and health programs. The organizations signed the Alliance because close to half of MACNY's approximately 300 members are small manufacturers with limited resources to devote to implementing workplace safety and health programs to reduce workplace injuries and illnesses.
According to Anne Kassel, Vice President, Human Resource Services, MACNY, "The purpose of the Alliance is to provide small manufacturers, that don't typically have the resources the large firms do, with the tools and support to develop 'world class' safety training, safety support, and safety programs. Representatives from MACNY get involved by providing safety training, performing mock OSHA inspections and looking at company records/logs to make sure they are in compliance. Factories that put safety programs in place can cut their workers' compensation costs and ensure a safe and healthy working environment for all their workers."
The OSHA and MACNY Alliance recognized the need to provide information to both manufacturing company owners and employees. As a result, Region II Regional Administrator, Patricia Clark, was asked to present an OSHA Overview and Update at the quarterly MACNY General Meeting held on April 21, 2004 for approximately 60 company owners and directors. Her message helped to promote OSHA and the value of workplace safety and health to MACNY's members.
To reach employees responsible for day-to-day safety and health at MACNY companies, the Alliance offered the OSHA 10-Hour General Industry (GI) Outreach and Training Program at the MACNY headquarters in Syracuse. Mike Casler, Compliance Assistance Specialist in Region II's Syracuse Area Office, and MACNY representatives presented the course during 2004 to more than 50 students. "The course went over really well," according to Mr. Casler. "In fact, the course was so successful that MACNY hired an instructor from the Rochester Institute of Technology, an OSHA Education Center, to present the OSHA 501 Train-the-Trainer [Occupational Safety and Health Course for General Industry]." As a result of the Alliance, MACNY was able to leverage its resources, training eight MACNY members as trainers, who have presented 10-hour courses to at least 350 additional MACNY member employees.
Because the Alliance realized there was a need for additional specialized training, OSHA staff and MACNY representatives presented a series of four half-day seminars to Syracuse-area businesses on specific workplace hazards affecting the manufacturing industry. A seminar on recordkeeping was presented on December 16, 2004; industrial hygiene on February 23, 2005; lockout/tag out and hazard communication on May 18, 2005; and emergency action planning on November 16, 2005. Over 60 attendees participated in each of the seminars.
Building on the success of its training efforts, in February 2005 the Alliance created a new mentoring initiative to assist MACNY members that are small businesses in developing effective safety and health programs. Through the initiative, smaller companies are encouraged to request assistance from larger MACNY members that have effective safety and health programs and that have volunteered to serve as mentors. The mentors visit the smaller companies' facilities, identify the areas of concern and provide guidance on how to implement effective safety and health programs. Mr. Casler answers technical safety and health questions and provides guidance to the companies but does not participate in the visits. To date, approximately ten MACNY member companies have requested mentors.
During the upcoming year, the Alliance will continue to leverage its resources to promote the value of workplace safety and health to MACNY members, by continuing to provide the 10-hour course and additional training seminars that address manufacturing industry-related issues and MACNY member concerns.
For more information about this Alliance and its activities, contact Mike Casler, the Region II Compliance Assistance Specialist in Syracuse, NY.
-- As of September 2006.
Alliance Between Region II OSHA Area Offices and the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner Address Workplace Fatalities
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration's (OSHA) Region II Area Offices including Avenel, New Jersey, Manhattan, Bayside/Long Island, and Tarrytown, New York and the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (NYCOCME) signed an Alliance on October 30, 2003. The Alliance is promoting a culture of fatality prevention while facilitating the sharing of best practices and technical knowledge.
The NYCOCME investigates the deaths of individuals in New York City in order to determine the cause of death. A medicolegal investigator is sent to the scene to gather evidence, an autopsy is conducted by a medical examiner, and a cause of death is determined. The OSHA/NYCOCME Alliance assists in identifying workplace injuries that may go unreported, especially those related to falls, struck-by, electrical and caught-in-between. This effort will serve to help ensure that no workplace fatality goes unreported, which remains a serious issue, particularly among New York City's large immigrant population.
In order to assist the medicolegal investigators, OSHA is providing training in the form of its 10 hour construction course. This knowledge allows the investigators to better identify workplace hazards and common workplace injuries, ultimately leading to more accurate investigations and safer work environments. This training also serves to help ensure that the investigators practice proper safety techniques in their own work in the field. Thus far, 20 of the 32 investigators at the NYCOCME have received this training.
OSHA has also presented information to the NYCOCME on high fatality hazards, OSHA statistics, and reporting procedures. By helping the investigators to understand these topics, OSHA is helping to educate the investigators about what kind of information the Agency has available to assist in determining whether or not a fatality is the result of an accident on the job.
At the same time, the NYCOCME is offering training sessions to OSHA staff members to help them understand how the medical examiner determines the cause of fatalities. About 35 OSHA staff members have attended a training session delivered by the NYCOCME.
"We have enjoyed tremendous success from our Alliance with the Medical Examiner's office. They are extremely professional and share our interest in reducing fatalities. The Alliance is especially helpful in addressing immigrant fatalities," said Richard Mendelson, OSHA Manhattan Area Office Director.
For more information on the OSHA/NYCOCME Alliance and its activities, contact Patricia Jones.
-- As of August 2004.
Region II's OSHA/CASA Alliance Recognizes the Value of Early Safety and Health Education for Children of Hispanic Workers
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Region II Hasbrouck Heights Area Office formed an Alliance on November 17, 2003 with the Community Action for Social Affairs (CASA), a local organization primarily representing the Hispanic community in Paterson, NJ. The OSHA Strategic Management Plan calls for the Agency to identify new and innovative ways to improve the safety and health of immigrants and other hard-to-reach workers. Region II's OSHA/CASA Alliance is working towards this goal with innovative safety and health programs for Hispanic workers and their children.
Through training sessions conducted at CASA's Job Readiness Training Workshops, CASA and OSHA's Region II Hasbrouck Heights Area Office are working together to provide safety and health information in Spanish to Hispanic adults entering the workforce. During the workshops, OSHA focuses on personal protective equipment, machine guarding, powered and other hand tools, emergency evacuation, bloodborne pathogens, respirator use and repetitive motion injuries. Thus far 63 participants have been trained.
Recognizing that the children of these workers would benefit from learning about safety and health at an early age, as well as how OSHA is working to protect their parents from workplace injuries and illness, OSHA's Region II and CASA are also offering educational sessions at the CASA Day Care Center. Three classes were presented covering basic safety and health, along with general child safety and fire prevention. The youngsters were taught by two OSHA employees; Tarrytown Area Office Compliance Safety and Health Officer (CSHO) and volunteer fire fighter/chief Pete West and Hasbrouck Heights CSHO Nancy Diaz. CASA Executive Director Ilia Villaneuva and Hasbrouck Heights Area Office Compliance Assistance Specialist Lou Lento coordinated the sessions and thus far 90 children have received this educational training.
Each youngster participating in the program was given a take home bag containing OSHA publications, safety coloring books, pencils and an OSHA informational magnet with the expectation that other family members might be exposed to this safety and health information at home. Region II and CASA hope that both the employees and their children will benefit from this program. The parents should be better able to assure their children that they will be safe at work, and the children have the opportunity to gain a better understanding that there is a government agency looking out for both their parents and their own future safety.
For additional information about this Alliance and it activities, please contact Michael Silva, OSHA Region II.
-- As of November 2003.