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Region V Eau Claire, Wisconsin Area Office and Chippewa Valley Technical College Alliance Trains CSHOs and Students

More than 2,000 people in western Wisconsin have been trained in workplace safety and health as the result of the Alliance between the Region V Eau Claire, Wisconsin Area Office and Chippewa Valley Technical College (CTVC). Signed in October 2006 and renewed in November 2009, the Alliance provides students, employers, OSHA staff, and members of the community with information, guidance, and access to training and related resources that will help promote and improve worker health and safety. CVTC, which is a member of the Wisconsin Technical College System, offers associate degrees, technical diplomas, and other certificates to a student body of approximately 6,500. An additional 16,000 students take continuing education courses.

Through the Alliance, OSHA and CVTC representatives presented the OSHA 10- and 30-Hour Construction and General Industry Outreach Training Programs at the CVTC training facilities ten times to more than 300 participants. From 2007 through 2010, they presented the OSHA 10-Hour General Industry Outreach Training Program as part of the "Youth Manufacturing Academy," a 2-week course offered in the summer. Steven Senor, Occupational Safety and Health Instructor at CVTC, provided the OSHA 10-Hour Program and the CVTC safety training to approximately 80 participants. The CVTC training focuses on youth and entry-level worker safety principles and practices. During the OSHA 10- and 30-Hour Training Programs, Mary Bauer, Compliance Assistance Specialist (CAS) in the Eau Claire OSHA office presented the worker rights and employer responsibilities portion of the OSHA course. According to Steve Senor, "The Alliance with OSHA has been one our most important and beneficial endeavors. The Agency has proved to be a valuable resource to area employers as they endeavor to meet compliance requirements and maintain a safe working environment for their workers. We look forward to continuing this relationship."

OSHA and CVTC representatives have worked together to develop and tailor training and continuing education courses. For example, they tailored training sessions on powered industrial trucks, hands-on welding, and nanotechnology to the needs of Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs). In addition, Mary Bauer held a training session for 20 local dairy farmers on OSHA inspections, standards, and hazard awareness. Every year CVTC's instructors for electrical power distribution courses offer OSHA staff their seminars on lineworker overhead and underground work that feature hands-on demonstrations or exercises at work stations.

Through the Alliance, Eau Claire Area Office representatives present the worker rights and employer responsibilities and trade-specific hazards portions of several CVTC courses including Supervisory Management, Electrical Apprenticeship Program, Wood Technics, and Residential Construction. Plus, OSHA representatives work with the CVTC Electrical Power Distribution program by presenting portions of several of its seminars throughout the year. "The outstanding results accomplished through this Alliance between OSHA and CVTC exemplify how OSHA's cooperative programs make a profound difference in achieving the goal of ensuring a safe and healthful workplace for everyone" said Mark Hysell, Area Director for the Region V Eau Claire Area Office.

Through the Alliance, OSHA and CVTC representatives actively support organizations involved with the safety and health of workers in the workplace by attending meetings, giving presentations, developing training, and serving on advisory boards. These organizations include Western Wisconsin Safety Council; Dunn County Local Emergency Planning Commission; Chippewa Valley Homebuilders Association (Lead Renovator Training); American Red Cross, another Alliance Program participant; and University of Wisconsin-Stout Risk Management Advisory Board.

For more information on this Alliance, contact Mary Bauer.

-- As of June 2011.

OSHA Region V Alliance with Consulate General of Mexico Educates Mexican Workers About Their Rights
Native Dance

A native dance being performed by one of the Mexican dance groups

On May 11, 2010, the OSHA Region V Illinois and Wisconsin Area Offices signed an Alliance with the Consulate General of Mexico in Chicago, Illinois. The purpose of the Alliance is to establish a collaborative relationship to provide Mexican Nationals in Illinois and Wisconsin with information, guidance, and access to education and training resources to promote workers' rights in protecting their occupational health and safety, particularly with regard to reducing and preventing exposure to safety hazards and/or addressing health issues, and to help them understand the rights of workers and the responsibilities of employers. Specifically, the Alliance works to develop training and education programs for Mexican Nationals in Illinois and Wisconsin on safety and health issues in general industry and construction, including unguarded or inadequately guarded machinery, the unexpected energization of machinery during maintenance, exposure to hazardous chemicals, and falls from elevated work surfaces, and to communicate such information to constituent employers and workers. The signing followed other recent initiatives undertaken by Region V with faith-based, community-based, and workers'-rights groups and formalized an on-going relationship that Region V has had with the Mexican Consulate for many years.

During 2009, staff from Region V OSHA, Region V Wage and Hour Division, and other state and federal agencies participated in weekly sessions, called "Labor Window" sessions, at the Consulate to provide information about workers' rights specifically focusing on unsafe working conditions, wage theft, and workers' compensation violations. The sessions were designed to reach and serve the vulnerable and immigrant workers of Chicago. From 700 to 1,000 attendees participate during an average 8-hour "Labor Window" session. During the sessions, which are in Spanish, the participants ask questions that range from "What are my rights at the workplace" to "How do I submit a complaint"? Discussions generally proceed in no specific order and tend to be of a personal nature; handouts and visual aids are rarely used. Weekly "Labor Window" sessions are planned to continue indefinitely.

The Chicago Mexican Consulate serves all of Wisconsin and Illinois. To meet the needs of Latinos from many nations who are unable to travel to the Chicago area, the Consulate sends out mobile consulates to Wisconsin and Illinois on a regular basis. OSHA Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) from nearby Area Offices and representatives from other Agencies often accompany the mobile Consulate. CSHOs usually give a 5- to 10-minute presentation on workers' rights and the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and they answer questions about workers' rights and workplace health and safety. In addition, staff from the mobile Consulate work with Health Week coordinators to organize health fairs and other outreach activities.

Through the Alliance, the Region V Area Offices work with the Chicago Mexican Consulate on a variety of workers' rights awareness campaigns targeting Mexican workers. During August 2010, Alliance representatives held or participated in several events to address rights of immigrants. On August 24, 2010, the Mexican Consulate in Chicago held a press conference to announce the 3rd Labor Rights Week in Illinois for August 29 to September 3, 2010. The Consul General, Ambassador Manuel Rodriguez Arriaga; representatives from OSHA, Wage and Hour, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 881; and representatives from El Centro de Trabajadores Unidos worker center in Chicago participated in a panel discussion and answered questions from the Spanish-language press. In addition to other topics, the panel discussed immigrant status and concluded that Mexican workers have rights regardless of their immigration status.

Labor Rights Week was started in 2008 when Mexican Nationals who were visiting the Consulate for their documents heard presentations from different agencies regarding workers' rights. The Occupational Safety Department at the Consulate decided to continue the daily sessions and added evening sessions at local churches for people unable to come to the Consulate. Labor Rights Week brings together the Embassy of Mexico and its consulates in 22 cities throughout the United States with the U.S. Department of Labor, local authorities, unions, and faith- and community-based organizations. Typically, Labor Rights Week is held the week before Labor Day and accompanied by outreach events and materials such as press conferences, forums, posters, and leaflets.

In addition to the Labor Rights Week kick-off event hosted by the Mexican Consulate, another event held at a park in Chicago on August 29, 2010, had participants from the OSHA Region V Regional Office, Chicago North Area Office, Calumet City Area Office, other federal and state agencies, workers centers, unions, labor rights groups, and legal assistance groups. The event drew approximately 300 Mexican Nationals who learned about their workers' rights regarding pay, discrimination, and safety and health and were entertained by two Mexican bands and watched two types of Mexican folk dancers. Three representatives from two Area Offices staffed the OSHA booth and answered questions from Mexican Nationals about safety and health at their jobs. OSHA Region V staff members participated in many other labor rights events and educational forums throughout the greater Chicago area during Labor Rights Week.

According to Diane Turek, Area Director of the Chicago North Area Office, "This Alliance offers the opportunity to create an environment of trust with Region V Latino workers and to collaborate with other like-minded organizations and Latino groups. Because Mexican-Americans and other undocumented immigrants often do not trust any agency other than the Mexican Consulate, we at Region V have tried to leverage its association by providing much needed information and support."

The Alliance is planning on continuing with its current efforts as they have helped OSHA reach the targeted population.

--As of November 2010.

Illinois Alliance with International Union of Operating Engineers Presents Crane and HAZWOPER Training

In May 2008, the Area Directors from the OSHA Region V Calumet City, Chicago North, and Aurora, Illinois Area Offices signed an Alliance with the Apprenticeship Skills Improvement Program (ASIP) of International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 150 to provide the apprentices, journeymen, and journeywomen participating in the Local 150 ASIP with the information, guidance, and access to training resources to help them protect workers' health and safety. In addition, through the Alliance, IUOE shares information with OSHA and other safety and health professionals regarding construction best practices. The IUOE Local 150 ASIP, which is located in Wilmington, Illinois, has a training program with more than 600 apprentices.

The work of the Alliance focuses particularly on reducing and preventing exposure to the hazards associated with cranes, earth moving, and other construction equipment including operations associated with trenching/excavations and hazardous waste (HAZWOPER) sites. In July 2010, the participants renewed their Alliance for an additional 2 years because, according Gary J. Anderson, Area Director of the OSHA Region V Calumet City, Illinois Area Office, "This Alliance has benefited both OSHA and the Operating Engineers through the two-way exchange of safety and health information in our respective areas of expertise".

Through the Alliance, OSHA staffers presented the "Introduction to OSHA" portion of the OSHA 10-Hour Construction Outreach Training Program to more than 730 participants at 20 sessions—most of which were held at Local 150's Wilmington Training Center. Each session included a Question and Answer (Q&A) period during which attendees could ask question of OSHA personnel. The Center is situated on 300-plus acres and has more than 300,000 square feet of indoor training area, about 200 pieces of heavy equipment, 30 classrooms, a construction material testing lab, a state-of-the-art welding facility, an equipment simulator lab, and a 200-seat auditorium.

On September 18, 2008, the 2008 American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) Conference on Heavy Equipment, Cranes, and Powered Industrial Vehicles (PIVs) was held in Naperville, Illinois. During the Conference, which was organized by OSHA and ASSE, IOUE representatives provided information to help tradesmen and women from other trades develop hazard awareness when working around heavy equipment.

When the Alliance was renewed in 2010, the Peoria, Illinois Area Office was added and the activities were expanded to include an overview of OSHA at the HAZWOPER refresher training sessions given by Local 150. More than 1,300 participants attended the nine refresher training sessions held at several sites in Illinois and Indiana. Each session included Qs&As, and some sessions were taught by a Compliance Assistance Specialist from the Peoria Area Office.

As a result of several serious accidents involving tower cranes, Local 150 developed and sponsored a 1-day training session. Topics covered during the session included tower crane equipment, inspection procedures, and climbing (jumping) methods. The April 2008 session, which was held at the Wilmington facility, was attended by 31 OSHA staff members from throughout the country and a representative from Engineering News-Record (ENR) who wrote an article which appeared in the April 23, 2008 edition.

As a consequence of several accidents that involved the failure or improper use of "quick coupler" attachments, OSHA and Local 150 developed a Quick Coupler Hazard Awareness Webinar for OSHA staff that was held on August 4, 2008. The Webinar included proper inspection methods for casefile development. The archived Webinar is available on Learning Link for OSHA, State Plan, and On-site Consultation staff.

In addition, Local 150 permits the OSHA Training Institute (OTI) to use the Wilmington Training Center for CSHO training and to photograph and videotape its equipment—specifically examples of quick coupler attachments and proper testing methods—for inclusion in training materials.

Through the Alliance, representatives from the Calumet City Area Office and Local 150 conceived and developed a course for OSHA Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) to provide them with a hands-on experience in inspecting and operating cranes, which is not a part of OTI course 2080 "Cranes and Rigging Safety for General Industry." The new 1-day course, called "General Industry" Overhead Crane Training Course, offers CSHOs the opportunity to understand cranes from the operator's perspective and relate OSHA topics through practical applications. Instructors from the Local 150 Apprenticeship School presented its 1-day "General Industry" Overhead Crane Training course in April 2010 at the Wilmington Training Center. Approximately 30 CSHOs representing the Illinois Area Offices attended the course. Each of them received a manual that is a modified version of a Local 150 training manual and contains schematics of cranes and a glossary of terms. During the morning, participants were in the classroom learning basic terms and operating procedures of overhead cranes; in the afternoon they went into crane bays at the Training Center and inspected and operated the cranes. They also were offered the opportunity to examine the upper portions of the crane via aerial lifts or from the mezzanine.

Next steps for this Alliance include: developing plans for the installation of wind farm equipment at the Wilmington Training Facility for the purpose of training members and CSHOs on proper installation and maintenance techniques; developing Arc Flash Hazard Training for Local 150 members; and developing training programs for OSHA CSHOs on proper rigging and daily crane inspections.

--As of September 2010.

Ohio Alliance Develops Videos and DVDs for Temporary Workers

The Alliance between the OSHA Region V Columbus, Ohio Area Office and the Ohio On-site Consultation Program, the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (Ohio BWC), CBS Personnel Holdings, Inc., and Ohio Staffing and Search Association—the Temporary Workers Alliance—was signed on October 17, 2007. The goal of the Alliance is to provide companies whose business is temporary staffing and employee leasing with information, guidance, and access to training resources that will help them protect workers' health and safety, particularly in reducing and preventing deaths and serious injuries from fall, electrical, struck-by, caught-in, and other hazards related to work performed by temporary workers.

This Alliance was initiated as a result of the large number and cost of injuries to temporary employees in Ohio. According to the Ohio BWC, some of the highest numbers of injury claims from 2005-2008 were from service companies that provide temporary staffing. In addition to the distress to the temporary workers caused by the injuries, the costs to the service companies was a strain to their finances. Lack of knowledge and training in workplace safety often contribute to workplace injuries.

To meet the training and education goals of the Alliance, the Ohio BWC developed a free training course, "Employee Safety for Staffing Companies & Professional Employer Associations," and presented it four times in 2009 throughout Ohio. Approximately 100 people attended these training sessions. Members of the Alliance promoted the training course and initiated discussions about other temporary worker safety issues at the April 2009 Annual Ohio Safety Congress.

As a result of these discussions, members of the Alliance worked with the Ohio BWC Communication Department to create a series of training videos and DVDs that address safety and health issues for temporary workers. They developed scripts in English and shot video footage for seven modules at a variety of worksites throughout Ohio. The main module provides initial safety training for all temporary workers; the remaining six modules focus on issues specific to the construction, food service, industry/ manufacturing, landscaping, office, and warehouse environments. During 2009, Spanish translation and recording of all of the video scripts was begun.

At the April 2010 Annual Ohio Safety Congress, Jordan Barab, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health gave the keynote address. In it, he promoted the Alliance and the safety training videos and announced the completion of the Spanish versions. The availability of the Spanish versions of the DVDs was announced and promoted at the Department of Labor National Action Summit on Health and Safety of Latino Workers in Houston, Texas in April 2010.

The Alliance has worked to make its products readily available. All of the videos are posted on and can be streamed or downloaded from the Ohio BWC Web site. Hard copies of the DVD are available through the Region V, Columbus, Ohio Area Office. As of end of May 2010, 100 copies have been reproduced and distributed. In addition, Ohio BWC will provide two more training sessions of "Employee Safety for Staffing Companies & Professional Employer Associations" during 2010.

"Working together to share best practices and to develop and present safety and health training to temporary workers were the main goals of this alliance," said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA Region V Area Director in the Columbus Area Office. "These videos should help temporary staffing companies provide an initial awareness of safety and health training to their temporary workers before working in a new environment."

"In addition to our safety training classes, we know that these videos will be an excellent asset to the safety and health management systems of all staffing service companies," said Dr. Ibraheem Al-Tarawneh, Superintendent of the BWC Division of Safety & Hygiene. "Providing temporary workers with the knowledge and ability to anticipate, identify and eliminate work-related hazards will bring us closer to eliminating job related injuries."

For more information about this success story, contact James Dillard.

--As of June 2010.

Alliance Between OSHA Region V Wisconsin Area Offices1 and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Center for Ergonomics2 Works to Reduce Ergonomic Injuries to Healthcare Providers

Through an Alliance signed on January 8, 2007, four Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Region V Wisconsin Area Offices and the University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee (UWM) Center for Ergonomics focus on the safety and health of employees in the healthcare industries, especially those who work with patients needing assistance changing their body positions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Nonfatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Requiring Days Away From Work 2006 report, nursing aides, orderlies and attendants rank among the five most hazardous occupations for musculoskeletal injuries, which are often a result of overexertion from manually lifting, transferring and repositioning patients.

Members of the Alliance divided their work effort into speaking at conferences for health care providers, developing a curriculum at the Center for Ergonomics, collaborating with health care professionals throughout the country, writing newsletter articles for distribution throughout Wisconsin, and conducting research for publication in national and international journals.

On April 20, 2007, the Alliance sponsored the "Implementing A Safe Patient Handling Program" Conference in Waukesha, Wisconsin for over 160 healthcare professionals, safety professionals and administrators from acute care hospitals, home health care agencies and universities. Region V Wisconsin Area Office Directors George Yoksas, Kim Stille, Mel Lischefski and Mark Hysell along with Region V Ergonomics Coordinator and physical therapist, Dana Root and Professor Phyllis King, Chair of the UWM Department of Occupational Therapy and Center for Ergonomics co-director promoted the conference through broadcasting a radio news release and working with industry contacts and networks. Conference speakers included a representative from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health who discussed the importance of a safe patient handling program and the co-director of the Center for Ergonomics, Professor Arun Garg who outlined how to develop and implement a safe patient handling program. In October 2007, at the Wisconsin Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference and Expo in Waukesha, Wisconsin, Alliance members Professor King and Professor Amy Darragh presented "Moving and Handling Patients Safely" to 50 occupational therapists and assistants.

In March 2008, at the 8th Annual Safe Patient Handling and Movement Conference in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, Professor Darragh presented "Risks Associated with Patient Handling in Occupational Therapists" to 50 attendees from Europe and the United States. In her talk, she discussed her research on the prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal symptoms and injuries among 1,158 Wisconsin occupational therapists and physical therapists. With healthcare professionals from the American Physical Therapy Association, the University of South Florida and Mercy College, she co-presented a hands-on workshop on the use of safe patient handling equipment. In addition, she participated in a roundtable discussion for therapists on how to use the equipment during patient treatment sessions. A UWM doctoral student presented a session on the development and implementation of the occupational and physical therapy safe patient handling course curriculum at UWM. On May 30, 2008, the Alliance sponsored the second conference, "Safe Patient Handling for Functional Independence" in Milwaukee, which included sessions on innovative therapeutic techniques. Along with the UWM, the University of South Florida and the state of Illinois provided speakers. Seventy-five occupational therapists, physical therapists, rehabilitation nurses and other health professionals attended the conference.

In addition, Dana Root, presented safe patient handling information to physical therapists at a number of venues in Wisconsin including an April 2007 speech to the University of Wisconsin La Crosse physical therapy students, faculty and area clinicians and an October 2007 presentation at the Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association Conference. Also in 2007, she addressed equipment selection issues at a Safe Lifting Initiative event sponsored by the State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. During January and February 2008, Ms. Root discussed safe patient handling principles at meetings of the Wisconsin chapters of the American Physical Therapy Association and the Wisconsin Health Care Council.

Members of the Alliance from the Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy Department at UWM in association with the Center for Ergonomics also developed a curriculum for the students that included training in how to use assistive devices to move and reposition patients safely. In the course, students set up, practice and use the new lifting, transferring and repositioning equipment.

In addition, Alliance members shared their expertise with OSHA by participating in an OSHA Region V Wisconsin advisory committee on improving therapist awareness of safe-lifting policies and technology-assisted patient handling devices. Members of the committee wrote a series of four articles on safe patient handling and movement for the PT Connections Newsletter and the WOTA Newsletter which are distributed to approximately 2,000 physical therapists and 800 occupational therapists, respectively, throughout the state of Wisconsin. The four articles: "When Good Body Mechanics Fail"; "Good Body Mechanics Does Not Protect from Injury: Why?"; Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders: Are Therapists at Risk?"; and "Achieving Therapeutic Movement Rehabilitation Goals Through the Use of Equipment Technology" were published quarterly from April 2007 through January 2008.

Research conducted by Professors Darragh, King and UWM Physical Therapy Professor Wendy Huddleston resulted in a paper entitled, "Work-Related Injuries and Musculoskeletal Disorders Experienced by Occupational and Physical Therapists," which is scheduled for publication by the American Journal of Occupational Therapy in winter 2008. In addition, "Therapy Practice within a Minimal Lift Environment: Perceptions of Therapy Staff" by Professor Darragh and healthcare colleagues has been accepted for publication in Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment, and Rehabilitation.

Alliance members Darragh, King and Huddleston documented further research from their initial study in two more papers—"Characteristics of Risk of Work-Related Injuries and Disorders Among Older Occupational and Physical Therapists" and "The Relation Between Practice Setting and Injury Characteristics Among Occupational and Physical Therapists." Both papers are being prepared for submission to the Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, an international forum for the publication of peer-reviewed original papers on rehabilitation of the injured worker. "This Alliance has spurred new research and revealed additional evidence of healthcare provider injuries—both of which further support the need for safe patient handling processes. Training occupational and physical therapy students and healthcare providers in these processes provides the impetus for changing the medical culture in the methods that patients are lifted, transferred and repositioned. The Alliance team is passionate about these efforts," stated Ms Root.

For more information about this Alliance and its activities, contact Dana Root.

-- As of June 2008.

  • 1Region V Area Offices in Appleton, Eau Claire, Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  • 2The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System on behalf of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Center for Ergonomics.
OSHA Region V Area Offices' Alliance Focuses on Workplace Injury, Illness Prevention in Ready Mix Concrete Industry

Four Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Region V Area Offices (Appleton, Eau Claire, Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin), the Wisconsin Ready Mix Concrete Association (WRMCA), and the Wisconsin Consultation Program (WisCon) renewed a statewide Alliance (the Alliance) on January 11, 2008 to reduce and eliminate worker exposures to ergonomics hazards and slips, trips and falls as well as to address driver wellness and recordkeeping issues.

The Alliance was originally signed in 2005 following the implementation of Region V's Road Construction Local Emphasis Program (LEP). WRMCA is a state trade association of ready mixed concrete producers representing 115 companies throughout Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. As a result of the LEP and its impact on the industry, WRMCA's member companies wanted to be more familiar with OSHA rules and regulations,

Since 2005, the Alliance's participants have worked together to secure speakers for and participate at various events, develop and deliver training courses, write articles for WRMCA's publications, and disseminate information at conferences and meetings. For example, OSHA and WisCon staff attend the WRMCA Operations, Environmental, Safety (OES) Committee quarterly meetings which serve as a forum to foster an ongoing dialog on workplace safety and health in the industry. In addition, the Madison Area Office arranged for a representative from Frito-Lay, an OSHA Voluntary Protection Programs participant, to make a presentation about Transportation Safety to the OES Committee during its June 2006 meeting. Further, through the Alliance, OSHA and WisCon staff conducted an expanded version of the 10-Hour Construction Outreach Training Program for more than 60 participants at the Annual Occupational and Environmental Safety Workshop in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, in February 2007.

Developing and disseminating compliance assistance information are pivotal activities of the Alliance. Through the Alliance, WRMCA revised eight chapters of its Safety and Health Manual, including chapters on hazard communication, emergency action, and silica. Further, Alliance representatives wrote articles such as "OSHA, DOT and Trucks," that describes jurisdictional requirements for each agency over trucks, and "Most Frequently Cited Standards in the Ready Mix Industry," and "Hazards Associated with Cleaning Mixer Drums," among others. The articles appeared in the following WRMCA's publications: its quarterly e-news product, WRMCA Scoop; its weekly e-newsletter, In the Mix, and its bi-annual Operations, Environmental and Safety Bulletin. These publications were distributed to the thousands of WRMCA members' employees. In addition, OSHA provided WRMCA with more than 100 copies of OSHA's "Concrete Industry Pocket Guide" (OSHA publication 3221) for its distribution at events at which it participated such as the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association's Region V Chapter Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in May 2006.

WRMCA share the results of its voluntary and confidential "WRMCA Operations, Environmental, and Safety Benchmark Survey" with the Alliance's participants. According to WRMCA, between 2004 and 2007, the average of lost time and restricted duty claims per WRMCA member company decreased by 48 percent, recordable injuries were reduced by 37 percent, and the average experience modification rate was reduced by 11 percent.

Recognizing the improved safety records of WRMCA's member companies emphasizes the importance of reducing and eliminating workplace hazards. OSHA representatives participated in a safety recognition ceremony at WRMCA's Annual Convention in March 2006. Companies having the "Best in Class" safety and health injury and illness incidence rates received plaques. Certificates were issued to 35 companies that had injury and illness rates better than the national average.

Kimberly Stille, Region V Area Director, Madison, Wisconsin Area Office, said the numbers underscored how successful the Alliance had been in addressing workplace safety. "OSHA and the Wisconsin Ready Mix Concrete Association will continue to work closely through this Alliance by sharing best practices, and developing and implementing safety and health training for employees," said Stille. "We will continue to provide Alliance organizations' employers and employees with the knowledge and ability to anticipate, identify and eliminate work-related hazards."

While the LEP that was WRMCA's impetus for entering into this Alliance was discontinued in 2006 as a result of decreased injury and illness rates within the industry, OSHA, WRMCA, and WisCon demonstrated through the Alliance's renewal their continued commitment to their collaborative efforts to reduce and prevent workplace injuries and illnesses.

For additional information about this Alliance and it activities, please contact Julie Evans, OSHA Region V.

-- As of June 2008.

OSHA Region V Alliance with Life Services Network Provides Safety and Health Resources for Nursing Home Employees in Illinois
Example of safety poster developed through the Alliance.

Example of safety poster developed through the Alliance.

Making nursing homes in Illinois safer and more healthful places to work is the focus of an Alliance signed on March 13, 2006 between the Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) Region V Area Offices in Aurora, Calumet City, Chicago North, and Peoria, Illinois; the Illinois On-site Safety and Health Consultation Program (Illinois On-site Consultation); the Life Services Network (LSN); and LSN Trust. LSN is an association representing long-term care and older adult service providers in Illinois. LSN Trust provides workers' compensation insurance for LSN members.

Though the Alliance, the participants developed several resources to help nursing home employees stay safe on the job, including a video and companion workbook, entitled "Slips, Trips, and Falls." According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, slips, trips, and falls were the second leading cause of work-related injuries in nursing homes in 1995 to 2004, behind only injuries caused by overexertion. The video was filmed at a nursing home member of LSN and featured actual employees. It highlights some of the slip, trip, and fall hazards faced by nursing home employees and shows safe work practices that employees can follow to eliminate or reduce their exposure to these hazards. Two thousand DVDs of the video were produced and sent to LSN, LSN Trust, and the Illinois Council for Long-Term Care, for distribution to their members.

The companion 30-page workbook provides another tool for nursing homes to use in training their employees. The workbook includes case studies and other materials designed for nursing homes to use during on-the-job training.

The Alliance's participants also designed and printed several safety posters on slips, trips, and falls. These posters help reinforce the safety training received by nursing home employees. LSN and LSN Trust distributed the posters to their members.

Illinois On-site Consultation played a key role in making this Alliance a success. They provided technical assistance during development of the video and other resources, provided the funding for development of the resources, and posted them on its Web site.

"The training video and other resources developed by the Alliance's participants will help us achieve our goal of making nursing homes in Illinois safer and more healthful places to work," said Nancy Quick, OSHA's Compliance Assistance Specialist in the Aurora, Illinois Area Office.

In addition to developing and disseminating training materials, another goal of this Alliance is to increase participation by nursing homes in OSHA's cooperative programs, including the On-site Consultation Program and its Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). To this end, an LSN Board member requested an Illinois On-site Consultation visit for the member's Oak Crest Retirement Center in DeKalb, Illinois. As a result of this visit and subsequent work to satisfy the requirements for SHARP, including implementing an effective safety and health management system, Oak Crest was approved as a SHARP site in December 2007. The LSN Board member has shared the facility's positive experience with On-site Consultation and SHARP with other LSN members.

For additional information about this Alliance and it activities, please contact Nancy Quick, OSHA Region V.

--As of June 2008.

Alliance among OSHA Region V Peoria, Illinois Area Office, Richland Community College and the Illinois On-site Safety and Health Consultation Program1 Works to Increases Employee Awareness of Hazards in General, Construction and Service Industries

Protecting employees' health and safety, particularly by reducing and preventing exposure to general industry, construction and service industry workplace hazards, is the focus of an Alliance among the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Region V Peoria, Illinois Area Office; the Illinois On-site Safety and Health Consultation Program (On-site Consultation); and Richland Community College, Center for Business Training and Community Education (RCC)2.

Through the Alliance, OSHA Region V Peoria, Illinois, Area Office Compliance Assistance Specialist (CAS) Peggy Zweber provided 2- to 4-hour training portions of the following courses at RCC in 2006:

  • OTI 500—Train-the-Trainer Course in Occupational Safety and Health Standards for Construction;
  • OTI 502--Update for Construction Industry Outreach Trainers;
  • OTI 503--Update for General Industry Outreach Trainers; and
  • OTI 511--Occupational Safety and Health Standards for General Industry.

Ms. Zweber's information included an introduction to OSHA covering the Mission, the Act, an OSHA update and its strategic plan, priorities, inspection procedures, violations and penalties, multi-employer worksite policy, employer and employee rights, effective safety and health programs, the Z Project, current OSHA reform bills in Congress, machine guarding, and recordkeeping. Further, during the construction courses she provided additional information related to the sector including the Safety and Health Information Bulletin (SHIB) on Quick Couplers, and the top 10 construction hazards. Since the Alliance began on August 16, 2005, OSHA representatives have used the RCC facilities as the site for training over 130 employers and employees in portions of the OTI courses involving how to recognize and avoid workplace hazards.

Through the Alliance, Andy Perry, the RCC Training Coordinator, provided the American Heart Association course in First Aid/Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)/Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training to 23 OSHA staffers in the Peoria Area and Fairview Heights District Offices. In addition, RCC is committed to keeping OSHA staff updated on these topics.

RCC also hosts the Annual Z Project Conference as part of the Alliance. The Z Project is a customer-service activity designed and conducted by the Peoria Area Office that encourages local employers to develop effective safety and health programs and to eliminate workplace safety and health hazards. At the Z Project Annual Conference, the OSHA Region V Area Director presents the following awards to recognize effective and innovative methods to control hazards: Lifesaver (for a control that could save a life), Alveoli (for the most effective health control), Pluto (for innovation in hazard control) and the Area Director's Choice (for what he/she considers to be the most effective hazard control for the year). At the 2007 Annual Conference, 25 best practice/hazard control methods were shared with the 40 attendees.

According to Nick A. Walters, Area Director, Region V Peoria Area Office, "I am confident that cooperative efforts, such as the Z Project and the Alliance among RCC, On-Site Consultation and OSHA have enhanced our mutual goal of eliminating injuries, illnesses and fatalities in the workplace. The Z Project provides a great forum to recognize employers that have a strong commitment to workplace safety and health. It also provides a conduit for the sharing of creative solutions to some complex issues."

In addition, RCC representatives have created a Z Project Web page, http://zproject.richland.edu, which contains the hazard controls and best practices provided by the participating employers. The site also has an interactive page for employers to discuss hazard prevention and control issues. The next Z Project Conference is April 1, 2008, at the Richland Community College Shilling Center.

For more information about this Alliance, contact Peggy Zweber.

--As of September 2007.

  • 1The Illinois On-site Consultation Program is a part of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).
  • 2Richland Community College is authorized by the OSHA Training Institute (OTI) to conduct a full range of OSHA-accredited training courses taught, in part, by representatives from the Peoria Area Office. RCC is also the only training site in Central Illinois for the National Safety Education Center, a consortium of Northern Illinois University, the National Safety Council and the construction Safety Council.
OSHA Region V Area Offices'1 Alliance with Wisconsin State Agencies2 Communicates Safety Messages to Youth Workers and General Public

Through the Alliance signed on July 7, 2005, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Region V Area Offices and State of Wisconsin representatives focus on the safety and health of youth workers who work in restaurants. The Alliance also focuses on employees who work in the caregiving industries with patients needing assistance changing their body positions.

In response to OSHA's focus on youth workers and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) observation that restaurants constitute high risk workplaces for teenagers, the Alliance concentrated its first efforts on developing a safety and health training program for teenage employees in Wisconsin's restaurant industry (approximately 15,500 establishments). The result is a safety and health training program, Youth in the Food Service Workplace (Seguridad en el Lugar de Trabajo in Spanish), that any size employer, but especially the small employer, can use. All of the Alliance signatories promote it to the Wisconsin restaurant community. In addition, the Wisconsin Restaurant Association approved the use of the program by its members. The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) distributed 5000 copies of the training booklet to the restaurant industry at state safety and health expos and OSHA also distributes it regularly.

The Youth in the Food Service Workplace (Seguridad en el Lugar de Trabajo) safety and health training program is a series of talking points collected in a binder that the employer/trainer follows to explain both general and specific safety and health information. The program can be customized by the employers to fit the needs of their work places, and it can be completed in 30 minutes. In the "common dangers" section, the safety and health training features hazard communication; slips, trips and falls; burn prevention; knife safety; electrical safety; lock out/tag out procedures; and lifting heavy objects. General information on employee and employer rights is included as is specific emergency information like local emergency telephone numbers.

According to Susan Quam, Executive Director, Wisconsin Restaurant Association Education Foundation (the Foundation), "Oftentimes, a restaurant is a teen employee's first place of employment. Many teens do not realize they can be hurt if they do not pay heed to the restaurant's safety protocols. The Youth in the Food Service Workplace training program is a great training tool because it can be conducted in a short amount of time, and it covers all of the bases. We, at the Foundation, have received many positive comments from restaurant owners and managers on the effectiveness of the program."

In late 2005, Alliance members focused on developing, funding and conducting a radio campaign of public service announcements (PSAs) about handling people safely who need assistance with the daily activities of living, such as getting up and out of a chair, getting out of bed, etc. The target audience was families, patients and clients as well as healthcare and personal care workers who might need to care for such a person. The campaign included creating three radio PSAs of 60 seconds each that were aired from January 23 through March 11, 2006, Monday through Saturday between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. In all, 78 radio stations throughout Wisconsin aired the PSAs for a total of 4680 one-minute broadcasts. The estimated number of individuals reached was 250,000.

Further, using PSAs to introduce the concept of safe patient handling to a broad public was so innovative that members of the Region V Area Offices received a [U.S. Department of Labor] Secretary's Honor Award in April 2007 for their contributions to this activity. One important element of the campaign was the tagline that concluded each PSA, which stated that the message was from the Wisconsin Division of Workers Compensation. According to Judy Warmuth, Vice President, Workforce at the Wisconsin Hospital Association, "This public endorsement encouraged the public healthcare providers to consider pursuing safe patient handling because it had been endorsed by the Division." She added, "The public, patients, residents and families have sometimes been reluctant to support back-safety initiatives in healthcare facilities. Lack of public awareness of the risk to healthcare employees caused by lifting, turning and positioning patients along with public concern about the safety of patient-handling equipment has sometimes delayed or even prevented the full implementation of safe-lift programs. To the public, the PSAs represented an impartial, third-party source (other than their own caregiver) of information, which added benefit to our message."

The Alliance is continuing to address safety and health issues. Region V staff and Alliance signatories are working to identify issues that are impacting employees and employers in Region V.

For more information about this Alliance and its activities, contact Leslie Ptak, Compliance Assistance Specialist at 608-441-5388.

-- As of June 2007.

  • 1Region V Area Offices in Appleton, Eau Claire, Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  • 2Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Workers Compensation Division; OSHA Health Consultation Program, Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene; and Wisconsin Department of Commerce, Wisconsin Safety Consultation.
OSHA Region V Alliance With The Marble Institute of America Works to Provide Hazard Recognition in the Stone-Cutting Industry

The dangers associated with silica and slab-handling represent two of the hazards involved in working in the natural stone fabricating business and are the focus of the Alliance signed on March 10, 2006 between the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Region V Cleveland, Ohio, Area Office and The Marble Institute of America (MIA). The Alliance was also signed by the OSHA On-site Consultation Programs in Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. MIA, a trade association serving the natural stone industry, represents professionals working with marble, granite, limestone, quartz-based stone, slate, travertine and other materials.

To meet the Alliance goals of increasing the national dialog and helping to educate employers and employees in the natural stone industry, OSHA and MIA sponsored a day-long seminar in December 2006 for stone industry companies. Fifty representatives from companies located in Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wisconsin attended the event and listened to presentations given by members of OSHA's Cleveland, Ohio, Area Office. For example, Rob Medlock, Area Director, discussed OSHA policies and procedures; Aaron Priddy, Safety Specialist, discussed safe slab-handling techniques; and Julie Weis, Compliance Assistance Specialist (CAS), discussed prevention of silica exposure. In addition, Dave Roll, consultant for the Ohio On-site Consultation Program, discussed Ohio's On-site Consultation Program's ability to work with employers. Each attendee was provided OSHA and MIA compliance assistance materials including safety videos and brochures. Several companies requested more information on how to contact their state's On-site Consultation Program representatives to schedule an evaluation. "This regional Alliance demonstrates our commitment to find cooperative ways to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses," said Michael Connors, OSHA Region V regional administrator in Chicago. "Enlisting the help of The Marble Institute of America in this effort furthers our joint objective of improving safety in natural stone fabricating businesses through enhanced communication about safety issues and development of safety programs."

In addition, a representative from a Cleveland, Ohio, company that had recently been inspected by OSHA offered insight to the audience from a personal perspective. According to Gary Distelhorst, Executive Vice President of MIA, "This highly informative session provided the necessary details for company owners to take back and reassess their own facilities' strengths and weaknesses in their safety and health programs." At the end of the day, OSHA representatives had a panel discussion during which seminar participants were encouraged to ask questions about workplace safety and health hazards.

In November 2006, Julie Weis gave an update on the OSHA and MIA Alliance at MIA's Annual Conference (StonExpo) in Las Vegas, Nevada. She provided information on specific safety and health regulations and ways to comply with OSHA standards. In addition, she answered questions from some of the 150 attendees. MIA representatives found her presentation so informative that they requested a similar talk be given at the StonExpo in Atlanta, Georgia in March 2007. As a result, Jonathan Worrell, CAS in OSHA's Atlanta East, Georgia, Area Office, spoke at the event. Gary Distelhorst commented, "The Marble Institute is very pleased with the positive relationship that we have developed with OSHA, and in particular the OSHA Cleveland, Ohio, Area Office. Following the formalization of our Alliance, we have worked together on safety training videos, safety modules, articles for our newsletter, safety seminars at our annual convention and trade show, and a stand-alone safety workshop here in the Cleveland area."

Through the Alliance, OSHA and MIA representatives also worked together to develop two DVD videos--"Basics of Safe Stone Slab Handling," which is available in English and Spanish, and "Basics of OSHA Compliance for the Natural Stone Industry"--for stone fabricators and distributors. The videos were distributed to MIA member companies and others and inserted in its magazine, StoneWorld, which has a circulation of more than 10,000 subscribers. The videos describe OSHA's basic policies and procedures and OSHA's emphasis on silica exposure and material handling. OSHA personnel, including the Cleveland, Ohio and Phoenix, Arizona Area Office Directors and the Cleveland, Ohio CAS appear in the videos.

Further, to promote the national dialog on safety and health, Alliance representatives worked together to produce a video Web cast about silica exposure in the stone industry. Bill Perry, Acting Deputy Director, Directorate of Standards and Guidance in OSHA's National Office was interviewed extensively during the production about OSHA's silica emphasis program. He explained the background on silica and silicosis and OSHA's official position on the topic of silica. Dr. Peter Mazzone, a pulmonary specialist at the Cleveland Clinic, also participated and described silicosis symptoms. According to OSHA's Perry, where fabrication is done, wet or dry or a combination of both, fabricators should monitor their employees' exposure to the dust. The video was posted on www.stonenewschannel.com in early May 2007.

Said MIA's Gary Distelhorst, "The outcome has been a heightened awareness of safety and safe working conditions throughout the stone industry, and while a lot remains to be done, I am confident that our Alliance with OSHA will contribute to, and facilitate, more and better programs to raise safety awareness and compliance."

For more information about this Alliance, contact Julie Weis.

-- As of June 2007; updated July 2008.

Alliance Among OSHA Region V Area Offices in Illinois*, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Illinois On-site Safety and Health Consultation Program and Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators Reduces and Prevents Exposure to Trenching Hazards, Especially Involving Underground Utilities

Getting the word out to excavation contractors about "Call Before You Dig" has been a success story for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in Region V. On June 10, 2005, the Region V Illinois Area Offices signed an Alliance with the Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators (JULIE) and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (IDCEO)/Illinois Safety and Health On-site Consultation Program (Illinois On-site Consultation Program) to help educate the members of JULIE and its subcontractors, union laborers and others about reducing and preventing exposure to trenching hazards, particularly those involving underground utility issues. Through the Alliance, each of these organizations contributes to the development and delivery of training courses and materials on safe trenching, shares resources and information to raise awareness of and commitment to workplace safety and health and participates in a variety of forums throughout Illinois. The Alliance implementation team hit the ground running by establishing relationships with JULIE.

Through the Alliance, in the winter of 2006, OSHA and the Illinois On-site Consultation Program were invited to participate in the JULIE Excavator Safety Breakfasts by having an exhibit booth staffed by their representatives who could answer questions. For 15 years, JULIE and its membership, which is comprised of utility companies, have sponsored the Breakfasts to update contractors and city and county government personnel on Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) laws and regulations regarding how to locate utilities prior to any excavation or trenching work and the JULIE "One Call" System.

The response to OSHA's booth was positive and many participants said that it was about time OSHA participated in the meetings and welcomed the opportunity to have their questions answered in a non-enforcement atmosphere. During the Breakfasts, the Region V Illinois Compliance Assistance Specialists (CASs) discussed the National Emphasis Program on trenching and other trenching issues, as well as the role of the CASs in OSHA and the role of the On-site Consultation Program. In 2007, for the first time, JULIE Prevention Managers (i.e., JULIE trainers) added some OSHA-created training slides on sloping/shoring trench safety; information on cave-in hazards while digging, trenching or excavating; and information on the On-site Consultation Program into their presentations.

As a part of the Alliance, JULIE representatives also shared with OSHA Region V CASs their mailing lists of more than 4300 employers and employees that they developed over the 15 years of holding JULIE Breakfasts throughout Illinois. The OSHA Region V Peoria, Illinois Area Office staff members used the JULIE mailing lists to promote follow-up training sessions on trenching regulations and safety requirements. OSHA Peoria Area Office CAS, Peggy Zweber and Compliance Safety and Health Officers, Rob Bonack and Ken Koroll used the list to invite the Breakfast attendees to an OSHA Excavation/Trenching Safety Training for Contractors Course that they presented in April 2006 at Illinois Central College to 54 attendees and in September 2006 at Heartland Community College to 46 attendees. They also offered JULIE and Illinois On-site Consultation Program representatives an opportunity to participate in the training. The Illinois On-site Consultation Program representatives made a presentation during the courses and described the services they provide.

During the training, the CASs used a slide presentation of the trenching requirements, a video clip of a local trench accident and a Trenching Safety Card developed by the OSHA Peoria Area Office as visual aids. Zweber copied these training materials onto CDs and distributed them in early 2006 to all of the Illinois CASs, the Illinois On-site Consultation Program, and JULIE representatives.

As shown in the figure, the Trenching Safety Card is the size of a business card with general trenching requirements printed on one side and sloping requirements printed on the other. Since its introduction in December 2006, the card has grown in popularity. As of February 2007, 2,500 cards have been printed and distributed throughout Illinois.

JULIE has proven to be a valuable asset to help OSHA get the word out to the people who perform trenching work around underground utilities. According to Mark Frost, Executive Director of JULIE, "We are very proud of our successful Alliance in Illinois. This collaboration helps JULIE, Inc. to build trusting, cooperative relationships with OSHA and the State of Illinois Onsite Safety and Health Consultation Program, leverage training resources and network with other groups committed to workplace safety and health protection and gain recognition as a proactive leader in our industry." Nick Walters, OSHA Area Director in Peoria, has commented, "This Alliance has been an extremely positive and valuable resource to all of the Illinois Area Offices. Our number one priority is to have every employee go home healthy and uninjured at the end of the day and we are confident this Alliance is helping us meet that goal."

Since the success story was posted in June 2007, the OSHA and Marble Institute of America (MIA) Alliance has created, produced and distributed additional safety and health training videos, conducted seminars, developed a tool kit "Tool Box Talks" and written many articles for The Cutting E-dge, the MIA electronic news resource. Based on the successes of the Alliance during its first 2 years, OSHA and MIA renewed their Alliance in May 2008 for two more years.

Through the Alliance, in February 2008, MIA representatives distributed 11,000 copies of the newest silicosis training DVD, "Silicosis: Incurable but Preventable" to its members; the Spanish and French versions were distributed in June 2008. OSHA staff members participated in the making of the DVD by supplying technical information on silica, including sampling strategies. Approximately 50 participants attended MIA's "OSHA Stone Fabricating Safety Seminar" when it was held in Oakland, New Jersey in July 2007, Fort Lauderdale, Florida in January 2008 and Boston, Massachusetts in April 2008. Compliance Assistance Specialists (CASs) from the local OSHA Area Offices assisted in making presentations, fielding questions and distributing OSHA literature. The MIA seminars included safety and health topics from OSHA inspection protocol to safe handling of stone slabs and silica exposure as well as specific safety and health regulations and how to comply with OSHA standards; three more seminars are planned for later 2008--Minneapolis, Minnesota, San Diego, California, and Cleveland, Ohio. (See http://www.marble-institute.com/education/ sandiego082008_stoneshopsafety.cfm for an agenda.) The MIA Management Tool Kit, which is available in English and Spanish, contains outlines for discussing personal protective equipment, electrical safety, hazard communication, respiratory protection, slab handling, compressed air safety, OSHA requirements and general safety topics at weekly safety meetings. The printed version is packaged in a 3-ring binder; the electronic version is formatted using Microsoft Word; both versions can be modified and adapted for an employer's specific use in the workplace and have three MIA DVDs on Safety—"Basics of Stone Shop Safety," "Basics of Safe Slab Handling" and "Basics of OSHA Compliance for the Natural Stone Industry." Since June 2006, The Cutting E-dge, which has a circulation of 2,500, has published articles on the safety and health seminars, winter shop safety, OSHA recordkeeping, and the OSHA and MIA Alliance, as well as four articles on silicosis.

Future plans for this Alliance include releasing a 2-DVD set of five MIA safety videos and presenting a new MIA Stone Safety Seminar that features a mock OSHA inspection of an operating stone fabrication shop.

--As of July 2008

Deeper Than Five, Use The Three S's To Survive

All excavations deeper than 5 feet, up to 20 feet max., must use one of the cave-in protection systems listed below:

Requirements for working in Excavations
  • Shielding structure (trench box) able to support forces of cave-ins as designed and/or approved by an engineer.
  • Shoring system (hydraulic, timber, screw jack, etc.) that exerts pressure on the excavation walls.
  • Sloping/Benching Requirements: Class A Soil – ¾H to 1V, Class B Soil – 1H to 1V, Class C Soil – 1½H to 1V
Class A Soil Class B Soil

Class A Soil (left/top), Class B Soil (right/bottom)

  • A competent person must inspect the excavation before work starts each day and as needed throughout shift.
  • Classify soil as A, B or C with 1 visual & 1 manual test.
  • All trenches (15' wide or less) 4 feet or deeper must have a way to get in/out, (ladder, stairway, or ramp) every 25 feet.
  • Wear bright vests, use proper signage/barriers near roads.
  • Spoil piles must be at least 2 feet from the edge.
  • Do not work under loads/buckets.
  • Stay at least 10 feet from overhead power lines.
  • All utilities must be located (JULIE: 1-800-892-0123).
  • For further information refer to OSHA Standard 1926.652.

For Questions call OSHA at (309) 589-7033 Website: www.osha.gov

Figure 1. The Trenching Card

For additional information about this Alliance and it activities, please contact Julie Evans, OSHA Region V.

-- As of March 2007.

*The Alliance signatories include the Aurora, Calumet City, Chicago-North and Peoria, Illinois Area Offices and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (IDCEO)/Safety and Health On-site Consultation Program. OSHA's State Plan and Consultation Project partners are an integral part of the OSHA national effort.

Alliance for the Polyurethanes Industry and OSHA Region V and VI Form Alliances to Address Application of Polyurethane

Since this success story was posted on OSHA's Web site in December 2006, the Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI) (formerly known as the Alliance for the Polyurethanes Industry) has developed through its Alliance with OSHA a new document about exposure control in the truck bed liner (TBL) industry. "Exposure Control Guidelines in the Truck Bed Liner Industry for Low Pressure System Applications" provides general information and explains precautions and practices associated with the safe handling of diisocyanates (MDI). Specifically, it discusses engineering controls (for example, adequate ventilation), personal protective equipment and general work practices common to the TBL industry. The CPI guidelines supplement the safe use and handling information in suppliers' material safety data sheets (MSDS) and provide helpful information and examples for MDI users.

According to Barbara Cummings Bayer Material Science LCC, and Chair of the CPI Truck Bed Liner Task Force, "…constructing a spray enclosure with sufficient ventilation can be challenging for this industry, especially for smaller businesses. We hope publication of this document will help address some of the commonly asked questions about exposure control in spray enclosures."

-- As of March 2007

Reducing and preventing employees' exposure to the diisocyanates (MDI) during the application of the polyurethane in the truck bed liners industry is the focus of two Alliances between the Alliance for the Polyurethane Industry (API) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Region V and Region VI Offices.

MDI is a component of polyurethane and special handling and care, including proper ventilation and environmental controls, is needed when spraying the polyurethane on the surface of truck beds. Polyurethane is applied much like paint or coatings. The liner protects the surface of the truck bed against scratches and scrapes, as well as the corrosion that can result over time due to this damage.

Through the Alliances, OSHA and API are developing print and electronic outreach materials, providing training and speaking and exhibiting at conferences and meetings to help polyurethane users, especially small truck bed lining businesses, address workplace safety and health issues including the:

  • Proper use and storage of MDI
  • Proper use, storage and maintenance of the equipment used to apply the polyurethane
  • Fit and evaluation of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as respirators
  • Design of ventilation booths

For example, both Alliances have published information to address polyurethane-related safety and health hazards that may be encountered in the truck bed liner industry. The Region V and API Alliance1, signed July 12, 2005, created a guide; Safety Considerations for the Application of Spray-On Truck Bed Liners TBL, that provides the polyurethane users with recommendations for engineering controls, PPE and work practices. The Alliance also developed a Model Respiratory Protection Program, which is designed to help protect employees from respiratory hazards and facilitate compliance with OSHA's Respiratory Protection Program Standard.

The OSHA Region VI and API Alliance2, signed February 28, 2006, published a brochure, Spray on Truck Bed Liner Applications Using MDI/PMDI; Seven Important Points. Developed for employers, the document includes information on how to recognize MDI-related hazards and reduce employees' exposure to MDI.

In addition, API launched a Truck Bed Liners Web site in September 2006 that contains information for the industry, including publications, events and statistical data. By October 2006, the Web site (www.spraytruckbedliner.com) averaged over 400 visits per month.

The Alliances are also working to reach out to the truck bed liner industry's employers and employees and the public through the dissemination of information through conferences and training seminars. For example, API hosted an exhibit booth at the 2006 Specialty Equipment Market Association Show, October 31-November 3, 2006, in Las Vegas, Nevada that was attended by more than 100,000 specialty auto parts industry representatives. The exhibit promoted the Alliance-developed publications and raised awareness about the workplace safety and health issues associated using polyurethane spray-on liners.

The Region VI Alliance developed a one-day Spray-On Truck Bed Liner Training Seminar, which was held in October and November 2006 for more than 70 people involved in the industry. During the seminar, OSHA representatives provided information about the Agency's enforcement policies, compliance assistance resources and cooperative programs, including the On-site Consultation Program, and a number of safety and health topics, including:

  • Hazard communications
  • Respiratory protection and personal protective equipment
  • Ventilation and engineering controls
  • Equipment cleaning , waste disposal and spills

The seminar's content was modeled after a two-day Spray-On Truck Bed Liner Training Seminar that was hosted by Region VI and API and attended by more than 800 industry representatives on February 11-12, 2006, in Dallas, Texas. The seminar was held prior to the Alliance's signing.

"As a result of the Alliance, many API members have requested and received On-site Consultation visits," according to Susan Monroe, Industrial Hygienist, Region VI.

During 2006, the Alliances also provided an opportunity for OSHA and API to share information and expertise at Agency and API-member company meetings. Representatives from both organizations have talked with OSHA staff and truck bed liners companies and their employers and employees in Illinois and Texas.

"API is excited to be working with OSHA on these worker safety and health issues" says Stephanie Bernard, API. "Due to the small size of many businesses in the truck bed liner industry, it can be difficult for some of those companies to educate workers about how to protect themselves from exposures to MDI. By working through the Alliance, we can help companies learn how to provide adequate worker protection for this industry and provide this important education."

For more information about these Alliances and their activities, contact Charlie Shields, Assistant Regional Administrator, in Region V, or Susan Monroe, Industrial Hygienist, in Region VI.

-- As of December 2006; updated March 2007.

  • 1Region V, Indiana Department of Labor, Michigan Department of Labor, Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, Illinois On-site Consultation Program, Ohio On-site Consultation Program, Wisconsin Health Consultation Program and Alliance for the Polyurethane Industry.
  • 2Dallas Regional Office and Dallas Area Office and Fort Worth Area Office and Alliance for the Polyurethane Industry.
Alliance Reaches Out to Landscapers in Illinois

An Alliance between several OSHA Region V Area Offices in Illinois and the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA) is working to improve safety and health for landscape workers in Illinois. The landscaping industry is one of the high incident/high severity industries identified in OSHA's 2003-2008 Strategic Management Plan. As a result of this Alliance, OSHA has provided safety training to landscape contractors, distributed targeted publications, and contributed monthly articles to industry publications. The Alliance has also helped to open the lines of communication between OSHA and landscapers in Illinois.

Several of OSHA's Area Offices in Illinois signed the Alliance with ILMA on March 8, 2004. The Chicago Area Office took the lead in developing the Alliance, which was also signed by the North Aurora, Calumet City, and Peoria Area Offices. These OSHA Area Offices have worked with the Illinois On-Site Consultation Program to implement the Alliance. While not a signatory, the Consultation Program has contributed its valuable expertise in providing outreach and training to small businesses.

A major accomplishment of the Alliance was the development and delivery of an OSHA 10-hour course tailored for landscape contractors on March 1 and 3, 2005. The course was developed by the Chicago, North Aurora, and Calumet City Area Offices and the Illinois On-Site Consultation Program. Nancy Quick, the OSHA Compliance Assistance Specialist (CAS) for the North Aurora Area Office, was the course instructor. More than 30 company owners and managers attended the two-day course, which was held at the newly established ILCA Institute in Oakbrook, Illinois.

Topics covered during the 10-hour course included an introduction to OSHA, electrical safety (underground utilities, overhead power lines, safety-related work practices), personal protective equipment, machine guarding (hedge trimmers, chain saws, lawn mowers), lockout/tagout, hazard communication (pesticides), vehicle safety and earth-moving equipment, walking and working surfaces (29 CFR Part 1910, Subpart D), ladders and riding vehicles, an introduction to industrial hygiene (hearing protection), bloodborne pathogens, toxic and hazardous substances (29 CFR Part 1910, Subpart Z), and safety and health programs.

Patricia Cassady, Executive Director of the ILCA, said that the 10-hour course "was very well received, with high ratings for the presentations" and that the publications provided at the course were greatly appreciated. She also noted that the participants received a great deal of valuable information to take back to their companies.

As part of the Alliance, OSHA contributes articles to The Landscape Contractor, which is ILCA's monthly publication. The topics, tailored to the landscaping industry, have included:

  • West Nile Virus
  • Working outdoors in the heat
  • Hearing conservation programs
  • Personal protective equipment
  • A review of OSHA standards
  • Tips for working in the cold
  • Alliances/Partnerships developed in the landscaping industry in 2004
  • Transportation issues in the landscaping industry

James Dillard, the CAS with the Chicago Area Office, writes most of the articles. CASs from the North Aurora and Calumet City Area Offices have also contributed articles.

The Alliance has also helped distribute safety and health publications to landscape contractors. The Illinois On-Site Consultation Program printed thousands of pocket-sized cards called "Landscapers Quick Guide to Safety," which are available in English and Spanish. OSHA staff has been distributing the cards to workers in the field. In addition to the card, the Chicago North Area Office developed and distributed a tri-fold brochure entitled "Landscaping and Horticultural Services: The Worker's Guide to Safety," which is also available in English and Spanish.

Diane Turek, Area Director of OSHA's Chicago North Area Office, said, "The Alliance has proven that when government and industry work together, the employees greatly benefit. This benefit is realized in safer and healthier working conditions for all employees. The dissemination of information by both parties, such as training or best practices, will serve to enhance the relationship as well as better working conditions. OSHA looks forward to our continued Alliance with ILCA."

ILCA's Patricia Cassady added, "ILCA has a long-standing history of providing quality educational opportunities to enhance the professionalism of members and the landscape industry. Safety has always been a primary concern and the Alliance has given the Association greater access to classes and materials – both in English and Spanish. This collaboration, and its focus on education, presents OSHA in a positive, helpful, non-threatening manner. Working together for the health and safety of all landscape workers will continue to be the goal."

For more information on the OSHA-ILCA Alliance and its activities, contact James Dillard.

-- As of April 2005.

Alliance Reaches Out to Landscapers in Ohio

An Alliance between OSHA's Area Offices in Ohio and the Ohio Landscape Association (OLA) targets the landscaping industry, which is one of the high incident/high severity industries identified in OSHA's 2003-2008 Strategic Management Plan. As a result of this Alliance, OSHA has provided safety training to landscapers in Ohio, distributed targeted publications, and contributed monthly articles to industry publications. The Alliance has also opened the lines of communication with an industry that historically had little interaction with OSHA.

OSHA's Cleveland Area Office in Region V signed the Alliance with OLA on October 15, 2003. The Cincinnati, Columbus, and Toledo Area Offices are also participating in this statewide Alliance. Through the Alliance, OSHA is helping to improve safety and health in the landscaping industry in Ohio by promoting safety and health programs, exhibiting and speaking at conferences, training landscaping contractors and employees, publishing articles in OLA's monthly publication, and sharing best practices.

"By working with this association we can provide member contractors with information on OSHA requirements on a proactive basis," noted Rob Medlock, Director of OSHA's Cleveland Area Office. "This positive approach to preventing accidents rather than investigating tragedy is the best way for all of us to help workers return safely to their families at the end of each work shift."

OLA's Executive Director Sandy Munley added: "We have been very pleased with the progress since the signing of the Alliance with OSHA. Our members have shown a great amount of interest in learning more about safety and health and the protection of their employees. We are continuing to work together with OSHA for the common goal of reducing injuries/illnesses and fatalities in our industry."

Julie Weis, OSHA's Compliance Assistance Specialist (CAS) in the Cleveland Area Office, provided training sessions at OLA's WinterGreen Expo and Conference in February 2004. The training sessions covered written safety and health programs, as well as recent fatalities and accidents. OSHA also had a booth at this event. At OLA's WinterGreen Expo and Conference in February 2005, OSHA provided four training sessions: written safety and health programs, documentation needed for an OSHA inspection, OSHA's protocol during an inspection, and a hands-on session with various landscaping equipment.

In November 2004, the Cleveland Area Office participated in OLA's annual meeting, which was devoted almost entirely to safety and health issues. Over 100 employees and contractors attended. As part of the training, an OSHA Compliance Safety and Health Officer gave a hands-on demonstration on skid steer loaders and other landscaping equipment and hazards. The CAS from OSHA's Cleveland Area Office gave a presentation on the OSHA standards applicable to landscapers and written safety and health programs.

Since this Alliance was signed, the CAS has published monthly articles in OLA's "Growing Concern" publication on a variety of safety and health topics, including heat stress, back injuries and ergonomics, electrical hazards, and personal protective equipment. The CAS is also developing a toolbox handout that will provide material targeted to landscapers.

To further promote outreach to this industry, the Cleveland Are Office provided OLA with copies of a trifold brochure called "Landscaping and Horticultural Services: The Worker's Guide to Safety." The brochure, developed by the Chicago North Area Office in English and Spanish, includes sections on why workers should care about safety, major hazards, employee rights and responsibilities, summaries of recent accidents and fatalities, and how OSHA can help.

In January 2005, OSHA participated in a major landscaping convention in Columbus, Ohio, which was attended by over 15,000 people. The event, the 76th Annual Central Environmental Nursery Trade Show (CENTS), ran concurrently with the Ohio State University Nursery Short Course. Both OSHA and OLA had booths at CENTS. OSHA also conducted a seminar at the Short Course on how to prevent landscape fatalities. Over 130 people attended the seminar.

For more information on the OSHA/OLA Alliance and its activities, contact Julie Weis.

-- As of March 2005.

Madison Area Office and the Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice of South Central Wisconsin Sign an Alliance to Reach Out to Hispanic Workers

Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Region V, Madison, Wisconsin Area Office and the Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice of South Central Wisconsin (ICWJSCW)1, a faith-based coalition, signed an Alliance on March 3, 2003 to reach out to Hispanic and non-English speaking workers to promote worker rights and safe and healthy workplaces. The Alliance encourages employers of Hispanic and Latino workers to protect workers' health and safety by reducing exposure to hazards in the workplace. The goals of this Alliance include: conducting training in Spanish on safety and health issues, worker rights and responsibilities, and providing outreach materials to employers, community, faith-based and labor organizations.

"Statistics have shown that the language and cultural barriers contribute significantly to on-the-job accidents and injuries. The Alliance with ICWJSCW has allowed the Madison OSHA Office to build bridges into the Latino business community and its community leaders in hopes of removing those barriers. It has afforded us the opportunity to proactively approach and educate employees and employers alike on safety and health issues and in turn positively impact injury/illness rates. The Alliance has proven to be a great opportunity for the Agency and our Hispanic and Latino customers", said Kimberly Stille, Area Director Madison OSHA Office.

Through the Alliance, the OSHA Madison Area Office has provided OSHA publications, pamphlets and videos, in English and Spanish, to the Center. The Area Office also has contributed CDs to the center that contain OSHA, Department of Labor and National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health publications in Spanish, Chinese, Cambodian, Hmong, Polish, and Russian.

The Coalition's members have assisted OSHA and local Wisconsin safety councils by speaking to Hispanic and non-English speaking groups at local events. Also, ICWJSCW has supported OSHA activities by conducting training seminars for employers of Hispanic workers on a number of topics, such as safety and health hazards and outreach services that are available to Hispanic and other non-English speaking workers. Area Office personnel attend interfaith meetings, breakfast and luncheon meetings and other local events, offering safety and health assistance and advice.

"The ICWJSCW Alliance with OSHA has been a valuable tool to educate ourselves and immigrant workers about health and safety rights and responsibilities," said Sarah Shatz, Director of the coalition.

For additional information about this Alliance and it activities, please contact Julie Evans, OSHA Region V.

-- As of October 2004.

  • 1ICWJSCW was established in Madison, WI during 1999. The coalition's membership includes religious congregations, interfaith bodies, labor unions and community organizations. The ICWJSCW is committed to educating and mobilizing the religious and labor communities of South Central Wisconsin to improve the workplace for immigrant workers.
OSHA and Northwest Carpenters Alliance -- Working to Protect the Safety and Health of Construction Workers

A goal of OSHA's 2003-2008 Strategic Management Plan is to achieve a four percent drop in construction industry injuries and illnesses and a three percent drop in fatalities. OSHA has defined a number of strategies for meeting these goals including, providing compliance assistance, outreach training and education and working with organizations through OSHA's cooperative programs, such as the Alliance Program.

OSHA's Region V Toledo, Ohio Area Office recognized the positive impact it can have on improving the safety and health of construction industry workplaces through working collaboratively with local organizations and, as a result, signed an Alliance with the Northwest Ohio Carpenters1 on March 5, 2003. The agreement focuses on reducing and preventing exposure, for construction workers, to electrical, fall, struck-by and crushed-by hazards.

During the OSHA/Northwest Ohio Carpenters Alliance Implementation Team meeting on October 15; Laura A. Ulczynski, Compliance Assistant Specialist in the Toledo, OH Area Office, spoke to more than twenty attendees including carpenters and members of the Associated General Contractors. During her presentation, Ms. Ulczynski talked about the construction fatalities that have occurred within Ohio since 1991. Following her talk, the group had a productive discussion that focused on fatality statistics, OSHA's Strategic Partnership Program, residential construction hazards and the reporting of observed unsafe working conditions.

Implementation Team members were pleased with the productive discussions that resulted from the presentation. According to Ms. Ulczynski, the team members agreed that it is beneficial to have groups interested in the Alliance, such as members of the Associated General Contractors, attend future meetings.

For additional information about this Alliance and it activities, please contact Julie Evans, OSHA Region V.

-- As of October 2003; updated February 2007.

Since this success story was posted on OSHA's Web site in October 2003, OSHA's Region V and the Northwest Carpenters renewed their Alliance on February 23, 2007 for two years.

Through the Alliance, Region V has reached out and provided safety and health information to the construction industry in Northwest Ohio by participating in the Northwest Carpenters conferences, meetings and especially their training program. OSHA representatives spoke during workshops and provided information on trenching awareness, employee rights, noise and hearing loss information and Ohio construction-site fatality statistics. In addition, OSHA representatives met with construction employers and employees at quarterly meetings, annual visits and the apprenticeship classes designed for the Alliance's unions' training for individuals to become journeyperson carpenters, floor-layers, and millwrights. Topics that OSHA representatives discussed during the meetings included OSHA's inspection activities and statistics, the unions' participation in informal conferences and OSHA's Residential Construction Local Emphasis Program (LEP) in Region V.

In addition, through the Alliance, OSHA's On-site Consultation Program representatives together with staff from OSHA Area Offices in Cleveland and Toledo, the Alliance's union members, Building Industry Association, and private consultants developed a residential construction training CD; hundreds of which have been distributed via informal conferences. In June 2005, OSHA's article, "Labor and Government Working Together" was published in Carpenters Blue Print Magazine, which has a circulation of 19,500; in June 2006, another OSHA article, "The History of OSHA," was published in the magazine.

Further, a representative from one of the Alliance's unions attended an OSHA Area Office staff meeting to discuss residential construction and new scaffold equipment. Finally, the unions' Carpenters' Training Center offered all Region V compliance staff members free attendance at its classes including the Associated General Contractors (AGC) Passport Class, which is a course similar to the OSHA 10-Hour General Industry Outreach Course.

-- As of February 2007

  • 1The Northwest Ohio Carpenters Alliance includes Teriors Systems Local 248, Carpenters Local 1138, Carpenters Local 2239, Carpenters Local 1581, Carpenters Local 372, Millwrights Piledrivers Local 1393 and Residential Carpenters Local 1365.
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