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News Release USDL: 97-107
Wednesday, March 26, 1997
Contact: Frank Kane,(202) 219-8151

Hammer Award Recognizes Expert Advisor Computer Programs Designed To Improve Workplace Safety And Health

Interactive computer programs that bring expert advice on health and safety hazards to employers and workers are also bringing recognition to their designers.

Staff from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and 30 public and private-sector partners will receive Vice President Gore's prestigious Hammer Award today at ceremonies in Washington, D.C.

The group will be recognized for developing three "expert advisor" computer programs featuring step-by-step guidance to prevent over-exposures to cadmium, asbestos and lead, plus a fourth program that helps to determine key safety steps needed for work carried out in confined spaces.

The presentation is scheduled to take place in the Truman Room of the White House Conference Center, 726 Jackson Place, N.W., at 2:30 p.m.

"These programs help save lives and prevent illnesses and injuries, by putting expert advice in the hands of employers and workers who might not otherwise have access to or be able to hire consultants," said Gregory R. Watchman, acting assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. "They contribute directly to safer and healthier working conditions."

The interactive software also carries out the Vice President's objective of providing access over the Internet to information about regulations and health and safety that will help reduce costs, improve awareness and enhance understanding, as spelled out in his recent publication, Access America.

The Hammer Award recognizes excellence achieved by teams helping to reinvent government. Gore established the award as part of the National Performance Review -- the national program to make government work better and cost less. This is the 12th Hammer Award OSHA has received for its reinvention programs.

In addition to Watchman, other speakers scheduled for the event are Joseph C. Fowler, Assistant Executive Director, Laborers' National Health and Safety Fund, Laborers' International Union of North America; and Frank H. Livingston, CPM, CRE, Senior Vice President, Draper and Kramer, Inc., Chicago, Ill. The presentation will be made by Bob Stone, National Performance Review project director.

More than two years ago, OSHA began a computer program in partnership with the International Cadmium Association to help workers determine for themselves how their companies could comply with the complex cadmium regulations.

This first Interactive Expert Advisor called "GOCAD" (the letters to be typed into a computer to gain access to the program) paved the way for a second Advisor on OSHA's asbestos standard and, most recently, a third Confined Spaces Advisor on OSHA's "permit-required confined spaces" standard that requires a permit for work to be performed in confined spaces. A fourth advisor, on the lead in construction standard, is being tested and will soon be released. OSHA has plans for more interactive advisory tools in the future.

OSHA's Advisors guide their users -- small business owners, safety and health personnel in larger establishments, building owners and managers, contractors and workers -- through the regulations by asking questions about the user's worksite and the work performed there. The software relies on such information technology as hypertext, which allows a user to call up additional information on any highlighted word or phrase in the text.

"Users particularly like the instant pop-up glossary of terms in the standard," said Edward Stern of OSHA's Directorate of Policy, who helped provide overall direction for development of the software. "The Asbestos Advisor also includes a list of frequently asked questions and answers, as well as a glossary of highlighted words and phrases, to familiarize users with the main features of the standard."

An estimated 80,000 businesses have used the Asbestos Advisor since it first went on-line in October 1995. It was made available through the OSHA Home Page on the World Wide Web on the Internet and by major trade associations and corporations that distributed it to members and worksites.

In a month, the Advisors will be available for interactive use directly from the Web and thus available to anyone with access to a public library.

The Confined Spaces Advisor, which was just released in final form, was downloaded from the website about 6,000 times in the 11 months it was on the Web for public testing. Altogether the Advisors have been downloaded almost 18,000 times.

The Advisors are available to the public under the heading OSHA Software/Advisors at the OSHA Web address on the Internet: http://www.osha.gov.

(Editor's Note: See attached fact sheet for lists of public and private-sector partners and members of OSHA teams that developed interactive advisors.)

FACT SHEET

Expert Advisors Project:

Labor, Business, Government Partners who assisted OSHA in testing, refining and disseminating the expert advisors software:

  • Aluminum Corporation of America (ALCOA): Karen Krall, Industrial Hygienist

  • American Iron and Steel Institute, Peter A. Hernandez, Vice President Employee Relations

  • American Petroleum Institute, Andrew M. Jaques, Health & Environmental Department, State Fire Protection Group Building Operating Management Magazine, Edward Sullivan, Editor

  • Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA), Michael A. Jawer, Assistant Vice President for Government and Industry Affairs

  • Center to Protect Workers' Rights, Pamela Souzy

  • Consad Research Corporation, Wilbur A. Steger, President Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., Alexis Winter, Safety and Health Engineer

  • International Cadmium Association (ICA), Hugh Morrow, President, and Edwin Seeger, Counsel Laborers' National Health and Safety Fund, Laborers' International Union of North America, Bill Kojola, Executive Director, Joseph C. Fowler, Assistant Executive Director National Multi-Housing Council and National Apartment Association, Eileen C. Lee, Ph.D., Vice President (Environment)

  • Organization Resources Counselors (ORC), Frank White, President

  • Organization Resources Counselors (ORC), Darryl Mathias

  • Rubber Manufacturers' Association, Kim Pregartner-Weber, Industrial Hygienist

  • Safe Buildings Alliance, Jeff Taylor, Vice President

  • Small Business Administration, Ronald F. Matzner, General Counsel

  • United Brotherhood of Carpenters, Michael Buchet

  • United Brotherhood of Carpenters, Joe Durst, Industrial Hygienist, Director of Field Services and Communications

  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Robert E. Stout, Industrial Hygiene Programs Manager

  • U.S. Army Reserve Command (Atlanta, Ga.), Gray Scott, Safety and Occupational Health Manager

  • U.S. Navy, Northern Division/Naval Facilities Engineering Command (Lester, Pa.), Thomas Snyder

  • U.S. Postal Service Technical Center, Norman, Okla., David Lewis

  • USX, Joseph J. Schwerha, M.D., General Manager of Health Services

The five Expert Advisor Teams:

Overall Direction and Support

  • Edward Stern, Supervisory Economist, OSHA, Directorate of Policy--Facilitator for Expert Systems

  • David Hershfield, Ph.D., OSHA, Economist, Directorate of Policy

  • Steve Brady, Webmaster, OSHA, Directorate of Technical Support

GOCAD Team (Cadmium Biological Monitoring Advisor) - 1994

  • Caroline Freeman, Supervisory Health Scientist, OSHA, Directorate of Health Standards

  • Melissa A. McDiarmid, M.D., OSHA, former Director, Office of Occupational Medicine, Directorate of Technical Support

  • Michael Montopoli, M.D., OSHA, Directorate of Technical Support

  • Robert Biersner, Attorney, USDOL, Office of the Solicitor

  • Jewelia Cameroon, Consultant

Asbestos Advisor Team - 1995

  • Carol Jones, Health Scientist, OSHA, Directorate of Health Standards

  • Wanda Bissell, Industrial Hygienist, OSHA, Directorate of Compliance Programs

  • Jack Powasnick, Attorney, USDOL, Office of the Solicitor

  • Edith Nash, Attorney, USDOL, Office of the Solicitor

  • Ronald Bird, Ph.D., Consultant

  • Lynn MacDonald, Consultant

Permit Spaces Advisor Team - 1996

  • Wendell Glasier, Safety Specialist, OSHA, Directorate of Safety Standards

  • Sherman Williamson, Safety Engineer, OSHA, Directorate of Safety Standards

  • Don Kallstrom, Safety Specialist, OSHA, Directorate of Compliance Programs

  • Stephen Jones, Attorney, USDOL, Office of the Solicitor

  • Noah Connell, Attorney, USDOL, Office of the Solicitor

  • Thomas Mockler, Economist, OSHA, Directorate of Policy

  • Ronald Bird, Ph.D., Consultant

Lead in Construction Advisor - 1996

  • Kathryn Condit, Economist, OSHA, Directorate of Policy

  • Robert Manware, Industrial Hygienist, OSHA, Directorate of Health Standards

  • Douglas Ray, Industrial Hygienist, OSHA, Directorate of Construction

  • Jack Powasnick, Attorney, USDOL, Office of the Solicitor


Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

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