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Georgia Struck-By Alliance Reaches Thousands with Safety Stand-Downs

In December 2006, the OSHA Region IV Atlanta-East, Atlanta-West, and Savannah, Georgia Area Offices signed an Alliance with several public and private organizations to advance safer and healthier workplaces. Joining the three OSHA Area Offices as signatories to the Alliance were the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), Georgia Division-Federal Highway Administration (Georgia FHWA), Georgia Highway Contractors Association (GHCA), Georgia Utility Contractors Association (GUCA), Association of County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG), Georgia Tech Research Institute's Occupational Safety and Health Division (GTRI), and The 3M Corporation (3M). The Georgia Branch of the Associated General Contractors (Georgia Branch of the AGC), Lamar Advertising, and Georgia Power joined the Alliance in 2009. The Alliance provides its members and others with information, guidance, and access to training resources to help protect workers' health and safety, particularly in reducing and preventing exposure to struck-by hazards. The Alliance also works to design training and education programs for roadway work zone workers and to provide expertise in communicating such information to employers and workers.

On November 4, 2009 and November 9, 2010, members of the Alliance coordinated Safety Stand Downs at construction sites throughout Georgia. During the events, which were conducted between the hours of 7:00 AM and 8:00 AM, workers stopped working, assembled, and participated in hour-long work zone safety training presentations conducted by site safety managers, foremen or forewomen, or superintendents.

Participating worksites were provided with handouts developed by the Alliance to use as instructional tools during the stand-downs. The handouts focused on the prevention of struck-by accidents, work zone facts, hazards associated with work zone operations, and best practices. The Alliance also developed informational flyers for the events. Participants represented more than 63 construction firms-- primarily Alliance Program participants and AGC members--and schools. The events reached more than 20,900 workers. Also through the Alliance, Lamar Advertising posted three billboards in the metropolitan areas of Atlanta, Augusta, and Brunswick to promote the Georgia law banning texting and driving.

R U IN-TEXT-ICATED? Put Down The Phone National Work Zone Awareness - Lamar

In addition, Lamar has also posted billboards that urge vehicle operators to drive safely when they enter roadway work zones.

For more information about this Alliance, contact Anita Fountain.

As of August 2011.

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Region IV's Atlanta-West Area Office and Constru-Guia Al Dia Magazine Alliance Focuses on Spanish Speaking Workers in Construction Industry

On May 11, 2010, the OSHA Region IV Atlanta-West Area Office and Constru-Guia Al Dia magazine signed an Alliance aimed at providing Constru-Guia Al Dia readers and others with information, guidance, and access to training resources to help them protect the health and safety of workers in the construction industry. Each year more than 700 Hispanic workers are fatally injured in the workplace. Constru-Guia Al Dia (Spanish for “Up-to-Date Construction Guide”) is a free, quarterly magazine that targets the 39 percent of Hispanic males over age 25 who are employed in the construction or building maintenance industries. The magazine is published in Spanish, with English translations of articles; the most recent issue is posted on the Web site. Each issue focuses on job-site safety, building techniques, and new products and services.  The magazine was launched in 2007, is distributed at 676 Home Depot stores, and had a circulation of 170,000 in 2010. In the summer of 2010, 7-Eleven stores began to carry Constru-Guia Al Dia in more than 1,900 of its top nine U.S. Hispanic markets (i.e., Northern California, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, San Diego, and Washington, D.C.). Circulation is now more than 260,000. 

During the first year of the Alliance, Atlanta-West Area Office staff worked with Constru-Guia Al Dia staff to develop a system for including a safety and health article in each issue of the magazine.  The arrangement, designed to ensure that the magazine meets the needs of the readers, starts when OSHA representatives suggest topics, usually from emphasis programs, areas of concern, hot issues, or most hazardous/cited standards.  The Constru-Guia Al Dia editorial team makes the final selection of the topic for each issue.  The editorial team develops an outline and writes a draft of the article in English; OSHA reviews it to ensure accuracy. Next, the editorial team translates the article into Spanish, and OSHA again reviews it. And finally, any illustrations used in the article are reviewed and approved by OSHA.  The articles and their dates of publication are as follows:

In the Spring of 2011, Constru-Guia Al Dia magazine launched a weekly radio show called Constru-Guia.  Staff in the Atlanta-West Area Office helped develop the content for eight of the 30-minute programs, which aired during the morning drive time (7:00-9:30 a.m.) in Austin, Dallas/Forth Worth, Houston, El Paso, and San Antonio. Topics for the programs and original dates of airing are:

  • March 27: Work Zone Traffic Safety and Safe Driving Practices
  • April 3: Lead in Construction
  • April 10: Crane Safety
  • April 17: Electrical Safety
  • April 24: Top Four Construction Hazards
  • May 1: Construction PPE and Respirators
  • May 8: Confined Spaces in Construction
  • May 15: Heat Illness Prevention

In 2011, Constru-Guia Al Dia magazine and Constru-Guia radio supported OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention Campaign (Water, Rest, Shade). The 2011 summer edition of the magazine featured an article regarding heat stress, and the radio show focused on the topic.  In March and April 2011, Constru-Guia radio aired OSHA’s safety and health public service announcements. 

For additional information about this Alliance, please contact Marilyn Velez.

As of August 2011

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Florida Alliance Hosts Crane Safety Stand Down

Between 2003 and 2008, five workers died as a result of crane-related accidents in South Florida. Because of these fatalities and crane-related accidents in Miami, New York, Dallas and other cities around the country, in 2008 organizations in South Florida—including the Associated Builders and Contractors of Florida (ABC), the South Florida Associated General Contractors of American (AGC), the Construction Association of South Florida (CASF), and the Florida Crane Owners' Council, Inc. (FCOC)—approached the OSHA Area Offices in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, and Tampa with reference to forming an Alliance to prevent additional crane-related accidents in Florida.

On February 12, 2009, the three Florida OSHA Area Offices —together with ABC, the AGC, the CASF, and the FCOC established the Florida Crane Safety Alliance to foster safer and more healthful American workplaces. The Alliance provides its members and others with information, guidance, and access to training resources to help protect workers' health and safety, particularly in reducing and preventing exposure to building crane accidents and in improving building crane safety. In addition, the Alliance works to design training and education programs for building crane owners, crane operators, riggers, and other construction workers exposed to cranes, and to provide expertise in communicating such information to employers and workers in the industry.

As information about the Alliance spread throughout the construction industry in Florida, the Florida East Coast Chapter of the AGC, the Florida Transportation Builders' Association (FTBA), and the Commercial Builders Council–Florida Home Builders Association (CBC-FHBA) joined the Alliance.

Members of the Alliance formed a committee to develop training materials on crane safety. The Florida Crane Safety Alliance Committee is comprised of one representative from each of the Area Office signatories and two representatives from each of the participating organizations. Since the first meeting in June 2009, the Committee has met monthly to discuss training materials and strategies for involving additional members of the Florida construction industry. The Committee agreed to develop training modules for four areas of crane safety: rigging and signaling; proper crane set-up; crane inspections; and operator qualifications.

After learning about earlier Safety Stand Downs conducted by the Georgia Chapter of the AGC, which focused on crane safety and fall prevention, the Fort Lauderdale Area Office, suggested to the Committee that it consider planning a Crane Safety Stand Down: construction sites in Florida could stop work for one hour, assemble workers, and convene talks on crane safety with the workers.

The Alliance sponsored its first Florida Crane Safety Stand Down on November 4, 2009. Between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m., workers at more than 100 construction sites throughout Florida, listened as contractors discussed the Alliance, crane safety, and rigging safety. Committee members created and emailed a poster to Alliance members and contractors throughout the State to promote the Stand Down and Tool Box Talking Points to assist foremen, supervisors, and other discussion leaders in covering all of the hazards related to crane safety. Vergie Bain, Compliance Assistance Specialist in the Fort Lauderdale Area Office participated at the Crane Safety Stand Down at a Pirtle Construction site in Davie, Florida, where more than 100 workers listened to discussions in both English and Spanish. More than 3,000 workers throughout the state participated in the Stand Down.

Matthew Portilla, of the Florida East Coast Chapter of the AGC, and the Committee developed an 8-hour Rigging Awareness 101 Training Course. In January 2010, he presented a draft version to 50 trainers from throughout Florida at two train-the-trainer sessions in South and Central Florida. Their feedback was incorporated into the final version. The course contains discussions of the following topics: overview of load weight calculations, overview of load control; center of gravity movement; application of proper sling and rigging hardware; and requirements for pre-use inspection and identification. In July 2010, the Committee provided a copy of the Rigging Awareness 101 course, which is free, to each Alliance participant for distribution to its members.

“As illustrated by the Florida Crane Safety Alliance, workers, employers, trades, and associations are coming together with OSHA in the development of safety and health materials and training programs that will impact worker safety and health throughout the state. In their first endeavor, they have created a Rigging Awareness 101 Training Course that will bring a higher level of awareness to all contractors and workers utilizing cranes in the course of their jobs. Through this Alliance, Florida's construction workers and their co-workers, family members, and friends will benefit by realizing fewer injuries and deaths,” said Darlene Fossum, Area Director of the Fort Lauderdale Area Office,

The Alliance is planning future Stand Downs but has not yet scheduled them.

As of September 2010.

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Region IV Jacksonville, Florida Area Office and The Northeast Florida Safety Council Alliance Provides Training to Thousands of Florida Employers

Since its original signing in 2003, the Alliance between the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Region IV Jacksonville, Florida Area Office and The Northeast Florida Safety Council (NEFSC or the Safety Council) has trained thousands of Florida workers and supervisors in work zone safety hazard awareness and identification in many different kinds of work places.

Through the Alliance, the Safety Council developed a training program in work zone safety comprised of several courses. From June 2007 through June 2008, 170 students (both supervisors and workers) were trained through the program. One course in the program is the Intermediate Maintenance of Traffic (IMOT) Course, which is required by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for workers who set up, maintain, inspect, or design work zones or traffic control devices. Upon successful completion of this 16-hour course, students are certified to work on FDOT sites for 4 years at which time a refresher course is required for them to remain in compliance with FDOT standards. Another course is the Flagger Course, which is required by FDOT for all people who flag traffic. This 4-hour course includes classroom instruction and field demonstrations. Upon successful completion of this course, students are certified to work on FDOT sites for 4 years. The Safety Council schedules both courses four times per year; it schedules the IMOT refresher class two times per year. Individual members of the Safety Council can request that additional work zone training classes be held at specific locations and on additional dates as long as a critical number of students sign up to attend.

At the May and August 2008 Sheriff's Advisory Council Safety Fairs held in Jacksonville, representatives of the Alliance staffed a Safety Council booth and provided information on OSHA, the Safety Council, and work zone safety. Approximately 700 people attended the Fair and visited the more than 60 free safety awareness and health exhibits including displays by the Safety Council on Occupational Safety and Driving and Alcohol Awareness.

In addition to providing work zone safety training, through the Alliance, representatives provide other types of training. For example, the Safety Council held 12 Supervisor Leadership Development Classes that addressed issues involving safety; 383 students completed the 8-hour long class that is designed to give supervisors the foundation and skill they need to help implement their organizations' safety programs. Supervisors learn the importance of maintaining a safe work environment, the significance of the role they play in the overall success of the program, and the necessity of developing and maintaining a positive safety attitude. Topics covered include communications, employee involvement, industrial hygiene, hazardous communication, personal protective equipment, materials handling and storage, and fire safety. In addition, between June 26, 2007 and June 25, 2008, members of the Alliance provided the OSHA 10-Hour Construction Outreach Training Program eight times to 60 employees. During this time, the Safety Council held 36 National Center for Construction Education Research classes titled "Construction Site Safety Orientation" for 1,147 students and an FDOT seminar for 14 employees.

For more information about this story, contact Tom Bosley.

As of December 2009.

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OSHA Region IV's Alabama Youth Alliance Provides Safety and Health Training for Vocational Educators and Students

Brochure developed by U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Training Center
Figure 1. Brochure developed by U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Training Center.

OSHA's Region IV has a history of successfully providing workplace safety and health train-the-trainer training for vocational school teachers who then provide workplace safety and health training for their students. The Region's Mobile and Birmingham, Alabama Area Offices built on that success when the Area Offices joined the Alabama Department of Education—Career/Technical Education and other organizations in signing the Alabama Youth Alliance on October 25, 2006. Other signatories to this Alliance include the Alabama and Mississippi Chapters of the American Society of Safety Engineers, Association of General Contractors of Alabama, the University of Alabama—Safe State Consultation Program and Alabama Rural Electric Program.

Ken Atha, Director of the Mobile Area Office when the Alliance was signed, said that providing information to career technology instructors would help prepare them to teach their students workplace safety. "The mission of this Alliance is to provide career technology educators throughout the state with the resources necessary to offer effective safety and health training for students," Atha said.

As of August 2008, 68 technical school teachers had completed the OSHA 500 course (Train-the-Trainer Course in OSHA Standards for the Construction Industry) or OSHA 501 course (Train-the-Trainer Course in OSHA Standards for General Industry) as a result of the Alliance. These teachers have issued 314 OSHA 10-hour cards to their students. For example, the Alliance provided an OSHA train-the-trainer course for high school teachers in Montgomery, Alabama at the University of Alabama's OSHA Education Center on June 10, 2008. The course was the first OSHA course ever offered by this Education Center. These high school teachers are now eligible to teach safety courses and provide OSHA 10-hour cards to other teachers and students.

Region IV laid the groundwork for the Alabama Youth Alliance with the Mobile Youth Safety Alliance signed in March 2004. For more information on the success of that Alliance, which provided safety and health training to technical school teachers and students in the Mobile County Public School System, see Alliance Among OSHA's Region IV, Mobile, Alabama, Area Office, Mobile County Public School System, American Society Of Safety Engineers, Alabama Safe State Consultation Program, and Mobile United Helps Young Workers Learn About Safety in the Workplace.

Bill Bice, Mobile Area Office Compliance Assistance Specialist, said that schools outside Mobile County learned about the Alliance's activities and successes and wanted to participate. He said that the Mobile Area Office had considered expanding the Mobile Youth Alliance state-wide, and now there was reason to act.

"We were getting calls from schools outside the Mobile County Public School System wanting their technical teachers to participate in the train-the-trainer program," he said. He approached the other members of the Mobile Youth Alliance and learned that they were also interested in expanding the Alliance throughout Alabama. The Mobile Youth Alliance members met with the Alabama Department of Education and came to an agreement. Bice said, "There were plenty of examples of how well the Mobile program was working. It was clear how it could be useful to technical schools throughout the state." When the Mobile Youth Alliance concluded on October 24, 2006, its members and others formed the new Alabama Youth Alliance.

The Alabama State Board of Education and Governor Bob Riley commended the Alabama Youth Alliance in a formal proclamation in January 2007 for, among other accomplishments, promoting workplace safety and environmental education for Alabama's students, teachers and state residents. The proclamation also recognized the Alliance as being one of the first in the United States to provide state-wide workplace safety and health training for young workers. The Alabama Youth Alliance was publicized in the November 3, 2006 edition of the Anniston, Alabama Anniston Star in a story entitled "OSHA Workplace Safety Course Taught at Career Technical Center."

In addition to becoming state wide, the Alabama Youth Alliance received support from participants in Region IV's Mobile Area Office Wiregrass Alliance in reaching out to young workers. For example, the Wiregrass Alliance sponsored a Safety Day in Dothan, Alabama during which more than 120 high school students attended free workplace safety and health seminars.

Wiregrass Alliance member U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Training Center at Fort Rucker, Alabama supported the Alabama Youth Alliance by developing a brochure entitled "Protecting Teenagers on the Job," which outlines safety and health rules for young workers (see Figure 1). Brenda Miller, Director of the Safety Training Center's Safety Office said more than 500 brochures have been distributed to school guidance counselors, technical school instructors and small businesses. In addition, instructors from the Safety Training Center taught portions of the OSHA 500 course for high school teachers in Montgomery, Alabama.

For more information about this Alliance, contact Bill Bice.

As of September 2008.

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OSHA Region IV Alliance Educates Students About Construction Hazards

The Georgia Youth Alliance, which was signed on June 6, 2006, addresses the training needs of youth workers. The members of the Alliance include the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Region IV Atlanta East, Atlanta West, and Savannah, Georgia Area Offices; the American Industrial Hygiene Association; the American Society of Safety Engineers; the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia (CEFGA); the Georgia Tech Research Institute's Occupational Safety & Health Division and the Georgia Department of Education. According to Cindy Coe, OSHA's Region IV Regional Administrator in Atlanta, Georgia, "Through this Alliance, OSHA and the other participants have effectively educated the next generation of construction workers on the practical benefits of working safely." She added, "Through this Alliance and others like it, OSHA is working to implement a culture change in the construction industry."

Through the Alliance, OSHA's Region IV staff including the On-site Consultation Program personnel work with safety and health professionals from the private sector to provide the OSHA 10-Hour Construction Outreach Training Program course to Career Technology students at three area high schools and the Fulton/Atlanta YouthBuild Program. Between August 2006 and May 2007, 129 students took the course and received the 10-Hour card. In addition, OSHA representatives from the Region provided an overview of employee rights and responsibilities to more than 625 students at the high schools.

According to a recent study published in Pediatrics' magazine*, construction—related accidents represent the third leading cause of fatalities among young employees. Every year 70 teens die and hundreds of thousands suffer injury in construction—related accidents. In addition, the study reported that 52 percent of boys and 43 percent of girls responded that they had used dangerous equipment and that many of the teen workers had not received safety training.
Since this story was posted in December 2007 and updated in September 2008, representatives of the Alliance have trained many more students from high schools and community development programs throughout Georgia. From June 6, 2008 to June 6, 2009, representatives of the Alliance presented the OSHA 10-Hour Construction or General Industry Outreach Training Program nine times to more than 275 students from six schools and other programs. They also presented an OSHA Rights and Responsibilities course and an OSHA Construction Overview training course. In addition, they presented the OSHA Overview for Teen Workers and other youth outreach activities to more than 6,700 students at high schools and colleges and at the CareerExpo, which is conducted annually by the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia in conjunction with the Georgia SkillsUSA competition. Furthermore, representatives of the Alliance coordinated the presentation of an OSHA 500 Train-the-Trainer Course for 12 construction career technology teachers. This first round of training represents an opportunity to reach about 1,500 students across Georgia with the combination of an industry craft training and OSHA safety training.

As of September 2009

Further, OSHA Alliance representatives participated in a variety of conferences throughout Georgia by staffing OSHA exhibit booths and distributing OSHA and Georgia Tech outreach materials developed for youth workers. For example, Alliance representatives attended the Georgia Career and Technical Education Conference in Atlanta in July 2006, the Trade and Industrial Educators of Georgia Conference in Newnan in January 2007, the Gwinnett County Peer Leadership Conference in April 2007 and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Career Fair in Atlanta in April 2007. They also staffed OSHA exhibit booths at Career Day events at several elementary and high schools.

In April 2007, Alliance representatives also participated in the CEFGA CareerExpo, which is conducted annually in conjunction with Georgia SkillsUSA competition. The CareerExpo was held at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds and included exhibits, demonstrations and hands-on activities.

This event was supported by a number of organizations in Georgia including 92 schools and 150 companies. It was attended by 3,200 participants, including 515 company volunteers, 180 student competitors, as well as 2,500 students, teaches and counselors. Alliance representatives conducted safety and health outreach and answered questions from students, parents and instructors.

Members of the Alliance also included safety and health information related to vocational instruction and training in presentations on the Georgia Youth Alliance at the Georgia Southern University Advisory Board meeting on October 24, 2006, the Workforce Development Taskforce meeting on December 12, 2006, in Albany, and the Central Georgia Workforce Development Taskforce meetings on November 16, 2006, and January 16, 2007, in Macon.

Future steps for the Alliance include responding to the requests of local school systems for the OSHA 10-Hour Construction Outreach Training Program and coordinating an effort to train vocational and technical instructors to become OSHA 10-Hour instructors.

For more information about this Alliance, contact Tom Bosley.

As of December 2007; Updated September 2009.

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*C. W. Runyan et al, "Work-Related Hazards and Workplace Safety of US Adolescents Employed in the Retail and Service Sectors," Pediatrics, March 2007, pp 526-34.

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OSHA Region IV Mobile, Alabama Area Office Alliance Develops Courses in Occupational Safety and Health Standards for the Maritime Industry

Signed in May 2004 and renewed in January 2007, the Gulf Coast Maritime Safety Alliance with the OSHA Region IV Mobile, Alabama Area Office, the Gulf Coast Maritime Safety Association, the Alabama chapter of the Physical Therapy Association (ALAPTA) and the Alabama Technology Network (ATN) was formed to reduce and prevent exposure to ergonomic hazards and to develop and provide standardized safety and health training programs to employees and others in the maritime industry.

To respond to the need for safety and health training for the maritime industry, members of the Gulf Coast Maritime Safety Alliance (the Alliance) collected existing safety and health materials and provided them to 92 maritime industry employers in Southern Alabama. Many of the materials lacked maritime industry examples and language because they had come from general industry and construction training. Members of the Alliance recognized the need for standardized and focused safety and health training for their industry.

In March 2007, members of the Alliance formed a group to collaborate with representatives from the OSHA Training Institute Education Center (Ed Center) at the University of South Florida, the OSHA Directorate of Training Education (DTE) and the OSHA National Office to develop an OSHA maritime industry outreach training program similar to the existing programs for general industry and construction but including health hazard recognition in the targeted areas of shipyard employment, marine terminals and longshoring. In addition, representatives from OSHA's National Alliances with the American Shipbuilding Association, the National Shipbuilding Research Program, and the Shipbuilders Council of America participated in the project. In the process of developing the OSHA 10- and 30-Hour Maritime Industry Outreach Training Programs, the group soon realized that a train-the-trainer course was also needed, and so it developed the curriculum and materials for this course as well.

In September 2007 in Mobile, Alabama, the pilot train-the-trainer course was given to members of the Alliance and the Ed Center and national and local representatives from industry, labor, the OSHA Maritime Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health, the OSHA National Office and local OSHA representatives. According to Tom Littlepage, Certified Marine Chemist and President, Gulf Marine Chemists, Inc., "The pilot maritime training program was developed and presented by a diverse panel of OSHA and industry experts, exemplifying the concepts of teamwork —many heads, one mind." Feedback from the participants was used to refine the course. DTE approved the course and designated it as the OSHA 5400 Trainer Course in OSHA Standards for the Maritime Industry (the OSHA 5400 Maritime Trainer Course).

On November 10, 2007, at the Northrop Grumman Corporation in Pascagoula, Mississippi, trainers who completed the pilot OSHA 5400 course provided the first 10-Hour Maritime Industry Outreach Training Program. The course covered shipyard employment, terminal operations and longshoring operations. Recognizing the need to remain current, members of the Alliance suggested, and DTE agreed, that an expiration date would appear on the cards awarded to students successfully completing the course. Unlike the 10- and 30-Hour General Industry and Construction Outreach Training Programs, the cards awarded to students who complete either the 10- or 30-Hour Maritime Outreach course expire in 5 years; the card holder is required to take an update course to retain his/her status.

Ed Center instructors presented the inaugural OSHA 5400 Maritime Trainer Course on December 10-13, 2007 in Clearwater Beach, Florida to 22 attendees. In addition, on January 14-18, 2008, they presented the course in Jacksonville, Florida to 12 participants. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive Trainer cards enabling them to teach the OSHA 10- and 30-Hour Maritime Industry Outreach Training Program; to retain her/his status, the trainer must take an update course within 4 years. As of March 2008, six Ed Centers across the country had offered the OSHA 5400 Maritime Trainer Course. Visit OSHA's Maritime Trainer Courses page for the most recent course offerings listing.

As more trainers across the country are certified and offer the 10- and 30-Hour Maritime Industry Outreach Training Program, members of the Alliance are confident that employees in the maritime industry will experience fewer incidents. "This Alliance has been a huge success," said Ken Nishiyama-Atha, Region IV Area Director, Mobile, Alabama Area Office. "It has provided a framework for what a local alliance can do and has had a major impact on the Maritime industry nationwide."

For more information about this Alliance, contact Bill Bice.

As of March 2008.

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Region IV and Mexican Consulate Alliance Establish Helpline to Assist Hispanic Workers in the Southeast

Hispanic workers in the southeast region of the United States have better access to safety and health information as a result of a Spanish-language helpline established through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Consulate General of Mexico in Atlanta (Mexican Consulate) and the Georgia Institute of Technology — Safety, Health and Environmental Division (Georgia Tech) Alliance.

Through the Alliance, the Mexican Consulate established a Spanish-language helpline - (404) 262-4466 - in December 2006 for Hispanic workers to call and ask questions about their concerns, including workplace safety and health issues. The Department of Labor (DOL) trained bi-lingual Consulate employees to screen safety and health-related questions and Consulate staff connect callers with the appropriate department for outreach and technical assistance. According to the Consulate, the helpline receives more than 40 calls a month and most calls are from workers in the construction industry.

"We also encourage Hispanic workers to call the hotline if they have questions about unpaid wages or overtime pay, which are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, administered by the Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division," said Consul General of Mexico in Atlanta Remedios Gomez-Arnau.

The Mexican Consulate's helpline complements OSHA's toll-free number, (800) 321-OSHA (6742). The Spanish-language option enables Hispanic employers and workers to access compliance safety and health information in a language they can understand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Mexican Consulate's helpline and OSHA's toll-free number also increases access to information on worker and employer rights and responsibilities.

"Through the Alliance, OSHA was pleased to work collaboratively with the Mexican Consulate to help them establish their helpline that assists Hispanic workers in the southeast gain access to workplace safety and health information, including Spanish-language materials and employee workplace rights" said Cindy Coe, Regional Administrator, Region IV, Atlanta, Georgia, USDOL-OSHA "Often, Hispanic workers do not realize they have protections under the Occupational Safety and Health Act and other Labor Department laws."

OSHA and the Mexican Consulate Alliance are also working to answer questions from and distribute Spanish-language safety and health information to Hispanic workers at numerous outreach and training events, including health and safety fairs and the Consulate's "Mobile Consulate" outreach training program. For example, OSHA and the Mexican Consulate participated in the 1st Annual Latino Construction Workers Day on April 29, 2007, in Atlanta, Georgia. More than 30 organizations, including six construction-related associations, participated in the event. Representatives from OSHA and the Mexican Consulate also participated in the Hispanic Contractors Association of Georgia's (HCAG) first annual Safety and Health Fair on September 23, 2006 in Doraville, Georgia. In addition, the OSHA Atlanta-West Area Office staff maintained an exhibit booth at the Mexican Consulate's Binational Health Week Fair on October 9, 2006. More than 4,000 Hispanics attended the event. OSHA staff also participated in four "Mobile Consulates" throughout Georgia in 2006, reaching more than 150 Hispanic workers. In 2006, the Mexican Consulate developed and distributed a worker rights information card to day laborers that includes the OSHA Alliance Program logo and the Agency's toll-free number.

The OSHA, Mexican Consulate and Georgia Tech Alliance, signed December 7, 2004, focuses on preventing injuries, illnesses and fatalities among the Hispanic workers through outreach, education and training. For more information on the Alliance, please contact Tom Bosley at 404-562-2300.

As of December 2007.

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Alliance Among OSHA Region IV and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Fifth and Tenth Districts, Southeastern Line Constructors Apprenticeship and Training Council and Southeastern Line Constructors Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association, Inc. Trains Employees in the Electrical Utility Industry in Safety

Saving lives, avoiding injuries and teaching employees (e.g., apprentices, journeypersons) how to work safely with electricity is the primary goal of the Alliance between the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Region IV Atlanta, Georgia, Regional Office and labor unions and electrical contractors in the Southeast. The Alliance was signed in September 2003 and renewed in December 2006. Alliance members include the Fifth and Tenth Districts of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), the Southeastern Line Constructors Apprenticeship and Training Council (SELCAT) and the Southeastern Line Constructors Chapter (SLCC) of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

The Alliance came into being because its members sought a way to reduce the high number of accidents resulting from contact with live electrical sources. Between October 1, 1999, and September 30, 2002, OSHA investigated 137 fatal accidents in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi caused by contact with electrical sources. Of these accidents, 65 involved contact with energized power transmission lines and associated equipment. Now, through the Alliance, experienced and apprentice electrical employees in these four states are attending a wide range of safety training courses that teach, among other topics, how to maintain a safe working distance from power sources, use proper grounding techniques and wear proper protective equipment.

During 2006, SELCAT representatives offered the following training and education programs focusing on safety and health issues related to the electrical-utility industry to employees of the Alliance members' companies. The training courses were held at the SELCAT Facility in Newnan, Georgia.

  • The OSHA 10-Hour Construction Outreach Training Program was given several times to approximately 140 students all of whom received 10-Hour Cards;
  • The First-Aid/CPR Course was given to 178 students;
  • The Bucket Truck Rescue Course was given to 108 students;
  • The Pole-Top Rescue Course was given to 103 students;
  • The Flagging Course for Road Way Work Zone was given to 38 students; and
  • The Transformers Course was given to 145 students.

Through the Alliance, approximately 300 supervisory employees received Safety Leadership Training focusing on changing the safety culture, and approximately 500 employees received electrical-utility industry-related training. The participating employers have also provided the employees with job-specific safety and health training.

To meet the outreach and communication goals of the Alliance, SLCC/NECA established a Web site for members to use to share ideas and best practices, injury data and near miss reports in order to address similar issues on other job sites before an accident occurs. According to Cindy A. Coe, Regional Administrator in the OSHA Region IV Atlanta, Georgia, office, "The Alliance allows for more communication between OSHA and the organizations represented by giving employees an avenue to bring their opinions and concerns about OSHA's involvement with the industry to OSHA's attention." SLCC's quarterly newsletter, Safety Alliance Updates, also includes Alliance information, near miss reports, and safety and health updates for the electrical utility industry. According to Steve Gaines, Chapter Manager, SLCC/NECA, feedback on the first edition of the newsletter, which was mailed to 2,000 employers and employees of SLCC/NECA, has been positive. In addition, Alliance participants are attending and making presentations at a wide variety of industry-related events including the IBEW Fifth and Tenth Districts Annual Progress meetings, the IBEW Fifth District Construction Organizing Summit and the Outside Apprenticeship Conference.

To raise awareness and demonstrate their commitment to workplace safety and health in the electrical utility industry, IBEW, SELCAT and NECA leaders frequently address groups throughout the Southeast. For example,

  • On February 9-13, 2004, Steve Gaines and Bill Green, Governor/Board Member of SLCC/NECA gave a presentation promoting the OSHA Alliance at the NECA Membership meeting in Nashville, Tennessee.

  • On August 25-27, 2005, Paula Story, Region IV Labor Liaison, Regional Office, Atlanta, Georgia and Virginia Ames, Compliance Assistance Specialist, Region IV, Birmingham, Alabama, Area Office, USDOL-OSHA staffed the OSHA Alliance Program exhibit booth, distributed printed information and answered participants' questions at the IBEW Fifth District Progress Meeting in Birmingham, Alabama. Approximately 250 local IBEW representatives, delegates and guests attended the Progress Meeting.

  • In January 2007, Les Grove, Area Director, OSHA Region IV, Tampa, Florida, Area Office, and Steve Gaines participated in a panel discussion, gave presentations on the Alliance and answered participants' questions at the Outside Apprenticeship Conference in Orlando, Florida.

  • In August 9-11, 2007, Bill Grimes, OSHA Region IV, Assistant Regional Administrator, Cooperative and State Programs, Atlanta, Georgia, and Steve Gaines gave a presentation on the OSHA and IBEW Alliance and the OSHA Strategic Partnership with the electrical industry at the Fifth District IBEW meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana.

According to Steve Gaines, "This Alliance is confirmation that leaders in our industry have recognized safety issues in the outside electrical trade and are striving to create a safer workforce."

For more information about this Alliance, contact Tom Bosley.

As of September 2007.

_______________________________________________
1IBEW Fifth District Local Unions 84, 130, 222, 329, 443, 446, 505, 558, 576, 605, 676, 779, 852, 861, 903, 917 and 1077. IBEW Tenth District Local Unions 175, 238, 270, 295, 342, 379, 429, 436, 474, 495, 553, 700, 760, 776, 934, 1516, 1925 and 2113.
2Allied Electrical Contractors, Ca-Par Electric, C & C Powerline, Dillard Smith Construction Company, Lawrence Electric Company, Marable-Pirkle, Inc., Mills Electric Service, Inc., New River Electric Corporation, Olson Utility Construction, Inc., Par Electric Construction Company, Service Electric Company, Standard Electric Company, The L.E. Myers Company, USA Airmobile, Inc., Gayco Electric Company, Heart Utilities of Jacksonville, Richardson-Wayland Electrical Company, Bison Electric, and Midwest Electric Control Specialist.

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Alliance Among OSHA Region IV, Mobile, Alabama Area Office and Health and Safety Advocates1 Works to Increase Awareness of Workplace Violence Issues

Bureau of Labor Statistics

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2005 Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, each year over 9,500 healthcare workers experience workplace violence severe enough to require days away from work. In addition, BLS 2005 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries [PDF - 35 KB] states that while transportation incidents are the leading cause of fatalities for women in the workplace, workplace violence is the second-leading cause.

Since the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Region IV Mobile, Alabama Area Office signed this Alliance on June 10, 2006, its members (see footnote) have worked to provide employers in the healthcare industry with educational opportunities and to spread awareness of workplace violence. Says Ken Atha, Area Director, OSHA Region IV, Mobile, Alabama, Area Office, "The primary goals of this Alliance are to prevent injuries to healthcare workers and provide employers and employees with effective safety and health information about workplace violence."

To help train and educate healthcare employers and employees, the Alliance members hosted a Workplace Violence Symposium on June 15, 2007, at the Montgomery, Alabama campus of Auburn University. The event provided employers and employees with strategies for preventing workplace violence, changing the existing workplace culture, understanding and implementing necessary and appropriate policies and reports, evaluating lessons learned, and discovering and using acknowledged best practices. The 65 attendees included healthcare professionals and decision makers from a variety of healthcare settings.

The Symposium was publicized in several ways. The Deep South Center for Occupational Health and Safety announced the Symposium on its Web site and developed a brochure that the Alliance members distributed in hard and electronic copy to over 1,000 employers and employees. Alliance members sent faxes to and visited healthcare professions promoting the Symposium. Bill Bice, Compliance Assistance Specialist in the OSHA Region IV, Mobile, Alabama, Area Office announced it during his many speeches to employers in southern Alabama.

In addition to Robert Vazzi (Region IV Assistant Area Director, Mobile, Alabama, Area Office, USDOL-OSHA), who discussed OSHA policies and procedures regarding workplace violence, speakers at the Symposium included an epidemiologist, a policeman who specialized in domestic violence, a life style coach, and researchers and practitioners in the healthcare industry who discussed workplace violence statistics and new directions in prevention.

For the Symposium, members of the Alliance created and distributed two products for use in the workplace. The first is a small (approximately 3" x 2") Workplace Violence Tip card, which provides practical advice on how to manage a potentially dangerous situation (e.g., stay calm, maintain control of the situation, signal someone, walk away under pretense of "getting assistance"). The second is a compilation of Web site addresses titled "Resources for Teaching Workplace Violence Prevention" that was created by Bill Bice. The list of 18 Web sites is organized by source (e.g., OSHA, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), U.S. Department of Agriculture) and contains a brief description of the information contained on each Web site. In addition, NIOSH distributed copies of its DVD, "Violence on the Job" to attendees.

Exhibitors at the Symposium consisted of a range of organizations active in workplace violence and healthcare and included Alliance members such as The Deep South Center for Occupational Health and Safety, University of Alabama Safe State, workers' compensation insurance companies, employee screening services, and alcoholism and drug abuse treatment centers. From The Deep South Center's exhibit booth, its representatives distributed over 30 copies of its 21-minute long DVD "Violence on the Job," which although not focused on healthcare includes interviews with nurses who had been assaulted.

According to Patricia Vanderpool of EAP Lifestyle Management, "The response to the Symposium was overwhelmingly positive; the attendees said that they benefited from the presentations from experts and the opportunities to interact with their peers. Several attendees sought out an Alliance member and requested a symposium in their areas with a focus on workplace violence in schools or organizations other than healthcare. When asked how the Alliance could assist them in the future, Symposium attendees indicated they desired help with stress management, counseling services, critical incident stress management tools, and policy development."

Commented OSHA's Ken Atha, "The response to our first Symposium on workplace violence was so positive that we have begun planning another one for a different kind of organization and in a different location."

As of September 2007.

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1The Deep South Center for Occupational Health and Safety at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Auburn University, a National Institute for Occupational Safety Health (NIOSH) Education & Research Center; Alabama Safe State Occupational Safety and Health On-site Consultation Program; EAP Lifestyle Management, LLC; Community Health Systems, Inc.; Infirmary Health System; Thomas Hospital; and Select Physical Therapy (formerly HealthSouth).

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Alliance Between Region IV Fort Lauderdale and Tampa, Florida, Area Offices and Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. Provides Training to Thousands of Construction Employees

Through their Alliance, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Region IV Fort Lauderdale and Tampa, Florida, Area Offices and the Florida East Coast Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (ABC) are working together to help educate construction workers, particularly Hispanic workers, about workplace safety and health. Through the Alliance, signed in January 2004 and renewed in March 2006, OSHA and ABC are providing English- and Spanish-language training courses, hosting an executive seminar for business owners and safety and health directors, participating in Hispanic Worker Family Health and Safety Fairs and disseminating information and materials to help to reduce the high fatality rate among area construction workers.

For example, Alliance members taught the OSHA 30-hour course, Occupational Safety and Health Standards for the Construction Industry, and the 10-hour course, Construction Industry Outreach Training Program, more than 30 times to over 4,100 construction industry employees, approximately 300 of whom are Spanish speakers. Luis Santiago, Area Director, Fort Lauderdale Area Office and Vergie Bain, Compliance Assistance Specialist, Fort Lauderdale Area Office along with ABC instructors taught the courses in Spanish and English.

The Alliance also presented several 4-hour safety and health courses to ABC members on topics such as fall protection, aerial lifts, hazard communication, scaffolding, trenching, heat stress and confined spaces. In addition, the Alliance worked with Georgia Tech, an OSHA Training Institute Education Center, to present the OSHA 500 Train-the-Trainer Course: Occupational Safety and Health Standards for the Construction Industry and the OSHA 502 Train-the-Trainer Course: Update for Construction Industry Outreach Trainers to ABC member employees, who were able to return to their companies and train additional personnel. The demand by Alliance members for these courses continues to be great. According to Larry Leiman, Vice President, Safety Services at ABC, "The Florida East Coast Chapter of ABC is getting more interest from local contractors in both Spanish and English training for employees."

In addition, ABC hosted one of several Executive Seminars attended by more than 300 business owners and safety and health directors in the Florida Construction Industry. The seminar raised employers' awareness of the hazards inherent in their industry, to promote the value of workplace safety and health, and encourage employers to support for OSHA's Hispanic Worker Health and Safety Fairs that were held in South and Central Florida.

Members of the OSHA and ABC Alliance promoted and participated in the Hispanic Worker Family Health and Safety Fairs in Hialeah, Florida, in March 2004, in Homestead, Florida, in June 2005 and in Kissimmee, Florida, in August 2005. The Fairs provided workplace safety and health workshops, health screenings and children's vaccinations. In addition to the Executive Seminars, ABC promoted the Fairs by distributing flyers at Alliance-related training courses and ABC members' worksites. ABC representatives supported the Fairs by giving training courses on construction-related topics at the events. ABC members also provided heavy construction equipment, including forklifts and trenching machines, scaffolding and fall protection devices for use during these courses.

To further educate employees in the construction industry, members of the Alliance distributed--at no charge--copies of health and safety materials developed by OSHA's Region IV Office at the Alliance-related training courses. The materials included 100 copies of a Tool Box Review Booklet covering 26 construction topics, 200 CDs on falls, 100 CDs on struck-by (which includes a Spanish-language version of the Tool Box Review Booklet), and 150 CDs containing photographs illustrating various construction hazards. In addition, the Fort Lauderdale Area Office added the names of ABC's Florida East Coast Chapter members to the distribution list for the OSHA Region IV quarterly newsletter.

According to Vergie Bain, "The construction fatality rate has dropped, and most importantly, the fatalities rate has dropped among Hispanic workers. We would not have had such success without the Alliance with ABC."

For more information about this Alliance and its activities, contact Vergie Bain, the Region IV Compliance Assistance Specialist in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

As of September 2006.

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Alliance Between OSHA Region IV, Mobile Area Office And The Wiregrass Safety Alliance Provides No-Cost Training to Small Businesses

Since signing their Alliance on January 21, 2003, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Region IV Mobile, Alabama Area Office and the Wiregrass Safety Alliance have continued to work together to help small businesses in the Wiregrass area of Alabama, Georgia and Florida with no-cost safety and health training and information. The following organizations initially formed the Wiregrass Safety Alliance--The Dothan Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Troy University Dothan, the Wiregrass Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers, and the Dothan/Houston County Emergency Management Agency. Durden Outdoor Display, Incorporated, joined the Alliance in August 2005 and began providing five free billboards in the Wiregrass area to serve as outreach tools in reaching small business. The Wiregrass Safety Alliance is promoting a culture of safety and health by providing small businesses with training on hazards in both general industry and construction and by showing small businesses how to comply with safety and health regulations

Through the Wiregrass Safety Alliance, OSHA staff members attended four Alliance meetings and helped focus the meetings on the goals of the Alliance by providing updates of OSHA activities. In May 2003, Compliance Assistance Specialist William Bice gave a presentation on the Alliance program and the safety and health training courses available to small businesses to an audience of 15 lending institutions in the Wiregrass Area. The lending institutions subsequently shared this training information with their customers. In June 2003 at the SBDC State Convention, Mr. Bice gave an overview of the OSHA/Wiregrass Alliance's outreach efforts to reach small business employers to 25 SBDC coordinators. Also in June 2003, he conducted an OSHA recordkeeping training course for 13 small businesses OSHA's outreach to small businesses is focused on three areas of activities-holding "Safe Day for Small Business" seminars, developing tools for small businesses and distributing safety and health materials,

In October 2004, 121 small businesses participated in a safety and health training course during the "Safe Day for Small Business" seminar, which was conducted and coordinated by Troy University Dothan. The training provided small businesses with the tools to develop safety and health programs designed to eliminate hazards, and it showed them how to comply with safety and health regulations. Approximately 125 small businesses participated the safety and health training course offered during the October 2005 "Safe Day for Small Business" seminar. Additionally, Troy University Dothan is scheduled to host a course entitled "Bio-Terrorism Safety for Small Businesses" on January 26, 2006.

The Alliance is developing a public service announcement on the Wiregrass Safety Alliance to be aired later this year on television and radio stations throughout the Wiregrass Area. In addition two tools for small businesses that have been developed through the Wiregrass Safety Alliance are now available on the OSHA website:

  • A flyer that provides information on a wide range of no-cost safety and health training available in the Wiregrass area and
  • A small business tool kit that contains a comprehensive manual on developing safety and health expertise.

Since late 2003, members have distributed 77 small business tool kits, 40 tool box construction safety pamphlets and 34 CDs on electrical hazards to small businesses. The small business tool kits contain information on safety and health policies designed for small business application. One member of the Wiregrass Safety Alliance--the Dothan Chamber of Commerce--has devoted space in its office for displaying safety and health information that targets small businesses. Called the Small Business Resource Center, it serves as a clearinghouse for small businesses in the Wiregrass area and is used by area employers as an information outreach center. Steve Turkowski, a member of the Chamber, said the Chamber is interested in sharing best business practices and other information with small businesses, addressing occupational safety and health in its Small Business Handbook and distributing OSHA's safety materials. In addition, in April 2005 Alliance members assisted in the distribution of a letter from OSHA on the hazards of zero-turn mowers (mower with a 360-degree turning radius) to local businesses. This letter, which was originally developed by the OSHA Tampa Area Office, is directed to employers in the landscaping industry and addresses the need for Rollover Protective Systems (ROPS) on zero-turn mowers. All of these materials were designed to increase the awareness of small businesses about the safety and health of worksites and the recognition of hazards. The materials also demonstrate the value of the leveraging of resources to provide critical information in a timely manner.

For more information on the OSHA/Wiregrass Safety Alliance, contact Region IV's Alliance Coordinator, Tom Bosley.

As of October 2005.

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Alliance Among OSHA's Region IV, Mobile, Alabama, Area Office, Mobile County Public School System, American Society Of Safety Engineers, Alabama Safe State Consultation Program, and Mobile United Helps Young Workers Learn About Safety in the Workplace

From left to right: Patty Hughston, Mobile County School Board Representative; Ken Atha, Area Director, Mobile Area Office, USDOL-OSHA; Sandra Frobus, Mobile United Official; and Janice Bequette, President, Mobile Chapter ASSE. The children, in the background are from Sims Middle School and Adams Middle School in Mobile, Alabama.
From left to right: Patty Hughston, Mobile County School Board Representative; Ken Atha, Area Director, Mobile Area Office, USDOL-OSHA; Sandra Frobus, Mobile United Official; and Janice Bequette, President, Mobile Chapter ASSE. The children, in the background are from Sims Middle School and Adams Middle School in Mobile, Alabama.

Ms. Avery Fick provides training to students at Murphy Career/Technical School as part of the Alliance.
Ms. Avery Fick provides training to students at Murphy Career/Technical School as part of the Alliance.

In March 2004, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Region IV Mobile, Alabama Area Office formed an Alliance with the Mobile County Public School System (MCPSS), the American Society of Safety Engineers--Mobile Chapter (ASSE Mobile) and Mobile United to promote the teaching of safe and healthy work habits to technical school students. The Alabama Safe State Consultation Program joined the Alliance in July 2004. The Alliance members are sharing their information, guidance and access to training resources to help protect the health and safety of employees--in particular young workers--before they enter the workforce.

Members of the Alliance met in 2004 and worked together to provide the OSHA 10-Hour General Industry Training Course free-of-charge to teachers and students at the MCPSS Career/Technical schools. ASSE Mobile Chapter president Gary Gamble stated, "In the first year of the program 275 students and educators earned the OSHA 10-Hour cards (awarded at the successful completion of the course)." Bill Bice, OSHA Region IV Mobile Area Office, Compliance Assistance Specialist, added that the numbers do not include the educators trained by the Alabama Safe State Consultation Program (Safe State). Under the direction of Dr. Bill Weems, Safe State has offered the OSHA 10-Hour course free-of-charge to an additional 131 educators.

Members of the business community and the Alliance realize that students participating in the training program are the workforce of the 21st Century. Tommy Lawshe, an electrical contractor in Mobile, said his company emphasizes the importance of safety training by discussing it during interviews. Members of his company ask prospective employees what kind of safety or OSHA training they have received. Since June 2005, Tommy Lawshe's company has hired three MCPSS OHSA-trained students. Ken Atha, OSHA Region IV Area Director in Mobile stated, "This [MCPSS] effort will assist our youth here in Alabama to be prepared to enter into the workforce and make a difference in saving lives through proactive safety and health measures; they will join the workforce knowing that safety and health add value."

The Alliance is always looking for new ways to reach young people. For example, OSHA's Bill Bice served as a judge at the annual Craft Olympics held by MCPSS. During this event, which is sponsored by the Associated Building Contractors -Mobile chapter, young people throughout Mobile compete in welding and electrical activities. For the first time, the 2005 Craft Olympics included safety as part of the judging criteria. The Alliance hopes that incorporating this criterion into the Craft Olympics will help teens understand the important role safety plays in the workplace.

Patty Hughston, Director of Career Technical Education Department for MCPSS, said the program helps both employers and future employees enrolled in it. "This education will help the employers as well as the students by providing better trained and educated workers who will need less initial safety training and who are ready to enter the workforce as productive employees," she said.

Based on its success in providing safety training to young workers at MCPSS, the Alliance developed more milestones for 2005. The first milestone is to provide the OSHA General Industry Train-the-Trainer Course to teachers so that they will be able to train students without assistance from either OSHA or ASSE. This course is scheduled for August 2005. It will be taught in Mobile by staff from the University of South Florida; 30 teachers are expected to attend and earn certificates. The second milestone is to integrate the safety program into the Mobile County Public School System's mainstream curriculum. An even more distant milestone of the Alliance is that one day this safety program or one similar to it will be incorporated into the school systems throughout the State. For additional information, please contact Bill Bice.

As of June 2005.

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Alliance Between OSHA Region IV and the Sunshine Safety Council Strives to Reduce Work-Zone Traffic Accidents

(L to R) Luis Santiago, then-Area Director, Region IV, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Area Office; Monty Mountcastle, CEO, Sunshine Safety Council; and Joseph Roesler, Compliance Assistant Specialist, Region IV, Jacksonville, Florida Area Office at the Alliance signing.
(L to R) Luis Santiago, then-Area Director, Region IV, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Area Office; Monty Mountcastle, CEO, Sunshine Safety Council; and Joseph Roesler, Compliance Assistant Specialist, Region IV, Jacksonville, Florida Area Office at the Alliance signing.

Making traffic work zones safer for workers and drivers is the goal of the Alliance between OSHA's Region IV, Jacksonville and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Area Offices and the Sunshine Safety Council, Inc. (SSC). SSC is a not-for-profit organization that offers occupational safety and health training programs including information on OSHA compliance and injury prevention. The Alliance, which was signed in December 2003, is providing SCC and others with information, guidance, and training resources-all aimed at reducing work-zone injuries and accidents.

"From October 1, 2003, to September 30, 2004, six Florida workers were struck and killed in traffic work zones. Although this number is less than the 12 workers who died in fiscal year 2002, this type of accident remains one of the most prevalent causes of on-the-job deaths in the state," says James D. Borders, OSHA's Region IV Area Director in Jacksonville, Florida. "This Alliance has helped employers, workers, and the public recognize and eliminate safety hazards that lead to work-zone accidents."

Since this success story was posted on OSHA's Web site in June 2005, OSHA and the Sunshine Safety Council (SSC) renewed their Alliance on February 26, 2006 for an additional two years. This Alliance has reached out to hundreds of individuals through its training courses, conferences, safety and health fairs, and meetings.

At the Daytona Beach Senior Expo in May 2006, SSC reached approximately 3000 attendees, telling them to be especially alert when entering work zones, heed the warning signs, take special precautions and slow down not only for their sake but also for the sake of the employees working to improve the highways and roads in Daytona. In May 2006, SSC participated in the Florida section of the International Municipal Signal Association's (IMSA) State Conference held in Clearwater, Florida by distributing Alliance and other handout materials.

In the area of traffic safety, SSC was recertified by the Florida Department of Transportation in September 2006 to provide its 8-hour Intermediate Maintenance of Traffic (MOT) Refresher Course and has partnered with other Florida safety councils to provide the MOT Course throughout the State. In addition, SSC worked with IMSA to provide safety training for IMSA certification and has incorporated work-zone safety information into its Principles of Safety Management courses, which include Incident Reporting and Investigation, How to Develop a Safety Program, Loss Control and Employment Screening and Safety Orientation.

As of March 2007

Through the Alliance, OSHA and SSC are working together to reduce the number and severity of work-zone accidents by providing:

  • Safety and Health Management Systems training and education programs, which are held regularly at SSC offices throughout the Region;
  • Lunch and Learn sessions about the benefits of OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP), which are hosted by SSC throughout the year and throughout the Region; and
  • Work-Zone Traffic and Safety Controls classes, which are held regularly at SSC training centers and at specific company sites.

OSHA was able to provide work-zone safety awareness training at a number of SSC events, including:

  • In February 2004 at a VPP Lunch and Learn session held at the SSC facility in Daytona Beach, OSHA staff discussed work-zone awareness with 32 SSC members.
  • In March 2004, an SSC-authorized instructor presented OSHA's 10-hour course, and OSHA staff discussed work-zone safety with the 12 students.
  • In October 2004, during the OSHA-500 course presented by the University of South Florida's OSHA Technical Center and hosted by SSC, OSHA staff presented an update and work-zone safety discussion to the 15 attending companies.

Through the Alliance, SSC has accomplished the following:

  • Trained 303 employees and supervisors on work-zone safety;
  • Formed a cooperative agreement with the International Municipal Signal Association (IMSA) to provide work-zone training to people needing the IMSA certification;
  • Submitted work-zone safety information for inclusion in the Advanced Safety Management and Principles of Safety Management courses given by the National Safety Council; and
  • Provided work-zone information and talking points to its staff of traffic-safety instructors for use in their driver-improvement courses. By the end of 2004, SSC instructors had given the courses to 6800 drivers.

In addition to continuing its outreach and training activities through the Alliance in the upcoming year, OSHA will be participating in the SSC's new membership breakfast meetings at which the Agency will share information on safety and health resources and cooperative programs including the VPP.

For more information on this Alliance and its activities, contact Joseph R. Roesler, OSHA Region IV, Jacksonville Area Office Compliance Assistance Specialist.

As of June 2005; updated March 2007.

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Ft. Lauderdale, FL Area Office, the University of South Florida (USF), SafetyFlorida Consultation Program and the USF/OSHA Training Institute at the College of Public Health, Host a Hispanic Worker Family Health and Safety Fair

Workers from Laborer's International Union of North America Local 800 listen intently to Cesar Asuaje from the University of Florida, during the "Pesticide and Personal Protection Equipment" training seminar
Workers from Laborer's International Union of North America Local 800 listen intently to Cesar Asuaje from the University of Florida, during the "Pesticide and Personal Protection Equipment" training seminar.

Workers gather around during the hands-on "Scaffolding and Falls" training seminar presented by Iván Alicea from Safway Scaffolds
Workers gather around during the hands-on "Scaffolding and Falls" training seminar presented by Iván Alicea from Safway Scaffolds.

On March 27, 2004, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Region IV, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida Area Office, the University of South Florida (USF), College of Public Health SafetyFlorida Florida Consultation Program and the USF/OSHA Training Institute, hosted a Hispanic worker Family Health and Safety Fair, a safety and family health education event at Milander Park and Auditorium in Hialeah, Florida. USF, College of Public Health, includes the USF SafetyFlorida Consultation Program, which provides free on-site safety and health consultations and training to small businesses. The college also hosts the USF OSHA Training Institute, which offers safety and health training courses designed to help businesses reduce the incidence, and resulting cost of, workplace injuries and illnesses.

The fair was developed to promote outreach to Hispanic families and "hard to reach" employees, especially those individuals unable to read and/or understand instructions in English. It focused on educating Hispanic workers and their families on workplace safety and health issues to help reduce injuries and fatalities, especially in the construction and landscaping industries. According to the USF, College of Public Health, there is one workplace fatality each week in South Florida. Over the course of one year, sixty percent of these fatal injuries were suffered by Hispanic workers.

Over three hundred workers and their families attended the fair, which included twenty-four safety training workshops, health screenings and children's' vaccinations. The workshops, offered several times throughout the day by safety experts lecturing exclusively in Spanish, covered eight safety and health training subjects highlighting the dangers and risks in the construction and landscaping industries that can lead to injuries and death. The workshops for employers and employees included: Scaffolding and Falls, Trenching and Excavations, Roofing and Masonry, Tool Safety, Drowning and Electrocution, and Pesticides - Personal Protective Equipment, Application and Spills. Workers were encouraged to attend the safety training workshops through an incentive program. This program offered whoever attended a minimum of three sessions the chance to win a 1995 Chrysler Concorde.

According to OSHA's Ft. Lauderdale Area Director Luis Santiago, "The fair was a tremendous success, training about two hundred workers in several of the twenty-four sessions conducted, while about one hundred of their spouses and children participated in safety and health clinics." Santiago added that workers exiting the fair commented that this event was the first time that they had ever been warned about hazards to which they are regularly exposed and of the means to protect themselves.

In addition, the fair attendees had the opportunity to take part in free health screenings which included among others, checking for high blood pressure, heart rate and pulmonary condition, cholesterol levels, eye examinations, and information and shots to prevent childhood diseases.

The USF, College of Public Health in Tampa, Florida was integral to the success of the Family Health and Safety Fair. USF SafetyFlorida provided the administrative and planning support for the fair. They also developed and distributed a free CD with the fair's information to help employers deliver safety training to their Hispanic workers.

A Region IV Ft. Lauderdale Area Office Alliance and a Region IV Ft. Lauderdale Area Office Strategic Partnership were also instrumental in the planning, implementation and success of the fair. The Ft. Lauderdale Area Office, and Florida East Coast Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Inc., signed an Alliance on January 19, 2004, focusing on developing training and education programs for youth and Hispanic workers in the construction industry. Through the Alliance, OSHA and ABC members promoted the event by distributing information at many of their sites and throughout the local communities. Several ABC members also contributed funds and resources, such as providing Hispanic trainers for the fair's construction training sessions. In addition, various ABC members exhibited and provided safety information for the trades that they represented, including potential employment opportunities.

The Strategic Partnership agreement, between the Ft. Lauderdale Area Office and the Associated General Contractors of America's (AGC) South Florida Chapter, was signed on September 19, 2002 and focuses on reducing injuries, illnesses, and fatalities in the construction industry. In support of the Strategic Partnership, the AGC members participated in the planning committee for the fair. Several AGC members were also major sponsors, contributing funds and resources such as Hispanic trainers for three of the fair's construction training sessions.

As a result of the success of the March 2004 fair, OSHA's Region IV Regional Office plans to host four additional safety and health fairs before October 2005. While specific dates have not been selected, these events will take place in Birmingham, Alabama, Gainesville, Georgia, and two in Florida, possibly in Orlando and Homestead. For more information on the fairs, please contact OSHA's Region IV Assistant Regional Administrator Bill Grimes in Atlanta, GA at telephone (404) 562-2300.

As of November 2004.

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Region IV's OSHA Alliance Signed with Alabama Organizations to Enhance Work Zone Safety

Since this success story was posted in March 2004, the participants in the Alabama Struck-By Alliance renewed the Alliance on February 3, 2005 and have continued to develop resources and provide outreach and training on roadway work zone safety. Several new participants have joined the Alliance, including Lamar Outdoor Advertising; Auburn University - Alabama Technology Transfer Center (Auburn University T-2 Center); Alabama Power Company; Alabama Public Employee Safety Council; and Alabama Asphalt Pavement Association.

In 2008, the Alliance participants developed a DVD on work zone safety that is shown at rest areas throughout Alabama. The DVD features information on work zone hazards, the Alabama Struck-By Alliance, Alabama's efforts to reduce injuries in work zones, and data on work zone accidents. The DVD also highlights the impact of work zone accidents on employees, their families, and drivers. A copy of the DVD was provided to the Georgia Struck-By Alliance to assist efforts to reduce work zone accidents in Georgia.

Lamar Outdoor Advertising has provided billboards throughout Alabama since 2005 featuring work zone safety messages. More than 300,000 people a day viewed these billboards during the 2008 National Work Zone Awareness Week in April 2008. In addition, the Alabama Power Company and other Alliance participants supported the 2008 National Work Zone Awareness Week by providing litter bags with work zone safety tips at rest areas through Alabama.

Alliance participants also continued to provide training on work zone safety. For example, Alliance participants worked with the Construction Safety Council to present three Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) training courses to an estimated 90 employers and employees in 2008. In 2006, the Auburn University T-2 Center provided work zone safety training for 249 students.

As of November 2008


Al Wright, 3M Corporation, Birmingham, Alabama delivers an Alliance Training Session.
Al Wright, 3M Corporation, Birmingham, Alabama delivers an Alliance Training Session.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Region IV's Birmingham and Mobile Area Offices, the Safe State of Alabama, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT), the 3M Company and local groups have mobilized to create an Alliance to protect workers at state highway work zone and construction sites.

On April 16, 2003, the "Alabama Struck by Hazards Alliance" was signed by:

  • OSHA's Region IV's Birmingham and Mobile Area Offices;
  • The Safe State of Alabama (Safe State);
  • The Alabama Associated General Contractors of America (Alabama AGC); and
  • The Alabama Road Builders Association (ARBA).

Since the original signing of the Alliance three more groups have joined in the Alliance, they are:

  • FHWA;
  • ALDOT; and
  • The 3M Company.

These groups recognized the value of establishing a collaborative relationship to foster safer construction worksites within the state of Alabama. As a result they agreed to form this Alliance to use their collective expertise to build a culture of prevention while sharing best practices and technical knowledge on preventing struck-by injuries and fatalities.

According to the "Work Zone Safety Fact Sheet," issued by the FHWA a work zone fatality occurs once every 7 hours and an injury occurs once every 15 minutes based on the most recent statistics. In a brochure developed by the Struck-By Hazards Alliance promoting the groups "Awareness Training," it noted that eighty-three or 30% of the occupational fatalities in the South East Region IV were caused by struck-by incidents.

According to Bill Bice, a Compliance Assistance Specialist from OSHA's Mobile Area Office, the driving factor that launched this Alliance was a tragic fatality in which a local road builder lost a long time employee in a struck-by accident. The employee was picking something up in the "blind spot" of a road grader that started to back-up. The employer was devastated by the loss and approached Charlotte Kopf, Executive Director of the Alabama AGC and asked the simple question, "How can we prevent something like this from ever happening again?" Ms. Kopf went to Lana Graves, the then Area Director in the Mobile Area Office for OSHA and their meeting essentially kicked off the development of the Alliance.

The Alliance has had several positive results so far. Eight Alliance training sessions were held throughout the state of Alabama last fall. The five segments of the training included; OSHA - Introduction, AGC/ARBA discussion on traffic control planning, SafeState and 3M presentation on the use of Personal Protective Equipment, ALDOT discussion on traffic control, and SafeState presentation on "The Need for Training In and Outside the Work Zone." Over 500 employees were reached through this statewide effort.

Al Wright, an Account Executive with 3M Personal Safety and a member of the Alabama Struck-By Alliance, participated in all eight struck-by sessions. He shared his perspective on the importance of enhanced visibility for people exposed to vehicular traffic and low light conditions. He states, that "If 3M's participation in the Alabama Struck-By Alliance can prevent one worker injury that was caused by low visibility, it's a success." Or, as Ms. Kopf put it, "If one life is saved or one accident prevented, then it was all worth it."

In addition, the outreach session given at Auburn University on March 23, 2004 was taped for future use. The Alliance members jointly contributed to fund the taping. As Bill Bice said, "I recently reviewed (the DVD) with the AGC/Roadbuilders representative and thought it was well done. It shows what a cooperative Alliance can produce. It was professionally done and hopefully there is a way that we can take advantage of this as a tool."

Several additional projects of the Alliance are under way. 3M is working with other Alliance members to develop a Highway Construction Work Zone Hazard Assessment Sheet which is expected to be made available this summer. The Alliance is also hoping to make the DVD of the outreach program that was presented at Auburn University available throughout the State.

As Bill Bice added, "I appreciate everyone's interest and support in Mobile's Alliance activities. The Alliance has moved from a tragic incident in the workplace to something that is having a positive impact!"

For more information on the OSHA/Struck-By Alliance and its activities, contact Tom Bosley, the State Plans Programs Manager for Region IV at (404) 562-2277.

As of March 2004; updated November 2008.

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