The President announces the successor to SHARE!
The President has announced the establishment of a 4-year Protecting Our Workers and Ensuring Reemployment (POWER) Initiative, covering fiscal years 2011 through 2014. The POWER Initiative will extend the Safety, Health, and Return-to-Employment (SHARE) by setting more aggressive performance targets, encouraging the collection and analysis of data on the causes and consequences of frequent or severe injury and illness, and prioritizing safety and health management programs that have proven effective in the past.
Under the POWER Initiative, the Department of the Interior (DOI) will be expected to improve its performance in seven areas:
DOI will be working with the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Office of Workers' Compensation Programs to establish performance targets in each category. The Secretary of Labor will lead the POWER Initiative and mea
sure both DOI and bureau level performance.
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The Department of the Interior’s Occupational Health and Safety Program supports the Department’s Mission to protect and provide access to our Nation's natural and cultural heritage by:
Applicants sought for OSHA graduate nurse internship program
OSHA is soliciting applications for its 2014 Graduate Nurse Internship Program. The internship is designed for registered professional nurses who are pursuing a graduate degree in either occupational health nursing or public health with an occupational health focus. Internship rotations are a full-time, consecutive, eight-week educational opportunity suited to the intern's schedule between May and September. Selected interns will have the opportunity to work on projects in support of OSHA's mission and goals. To find application materials and additional information, visit OSHA's website. Questions should be directed to the Office of Occupational Health Nursing at 202-693-2120. Applications must be postmarked no later than Jan. 31, 2014.
American Red Cross and OSHA to host free bloodborne pathogens webcast
A webcast, "Bloodborne Pathogens — What You Need to Know to Prevent Disease Transmission in the Workplace," will be presented by the OSHA and the American Red Cross Alliance on Jan. 8, 2014, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. EST. The webcast will include an overview of: the BBP Standard and the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act, methods of compliance, recordkeeping, compliance determination, exposure control plans, personal protective equipment, and training requirements. Through their alliance, OSHA and the Red Cross are working together to help prepare employers and their workers to respond to disasters, life-threatening injuries and emergencies. Through the Alliance Program, OSHA works with groups committed to worker safety and health to prevent workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths. To register for the free webcast, visit: vts.inxpo.com/Launch/QReg.htm?ShowKey=17604&AffiliateData=OSHAeblast.
Silica rulemaking fact sheets now available in Spanish
Fact sheets on OSHA's proposed rule for respirable silica are now available in both English and Spanish, including information for the construction industry, general industry and maritime, and small businesses. For more information and to read the proposed rulemaking, visit www.osha.gov/silica.
Help OSHA evaluate its heat illness prevention campaign
With cooler temperatures providing some relief from this summer's dangerous heat, it's time to gather stakeholder input on the heat illness prevention campaign. OSHA has developed a brief survey to evaluate the usefulness of the heat illness prevention campaign website and to identify possible modifications for next year. The brief survey will not collect any personal information from visitors – only opinions and evaluations of the heat illness prevention campaign. Did you use the educational resources on the Web? Were the materials useful for the work you do? Let us know!
New educational video available on preventing electrocutions with cranes
A new animated video in OSHA's educational series about potential hazards in the construction industry is now available. "Prevent Electrocutions: Work Safely with Cranes near Power Lines" is the 14th video in the series, which are based on real-life incidents and include detailed depictions of hazards and the safety measures that would have prevented the injuries and fatalities. Available in both English and Spanish, the videos are brief, easy to understand, and geared to the needs of employers and workers. To stream or download the videos, visit OSHA's construction v-tools Web page or the Department of Labor YouTube channel.
New educational resources released to better protect workers from exposures to hazardous chemicals
Each year, tens of thousands of American workers are made sick or die from occupational exposures to hazardous chemicals. While many chemicals are suspected of being harmful, OSHA's exposure standards are out-of-date and inadequately protective for the small number of chemicals that are regulated in the workplace. To help keep workers safe, OSHA has launched two new Web resources.
In response to requests, OSHA has extended the public comment period for an additional 47 days on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Occupational Exposure to Crystalline Silica. To allow stakeholders additional time to comment on the proposed rule and supporting analyses, the deadline to submit written comments and testimony is being extended to Jan. 27, 2014. OSHA is also extending the deadline to submit notices of intention to appear at its informal public hearings to Dec. 12, 2013.
West, Texas, fertilizer company cited following deadly ammonium nitrate explosion
Wyoming OSHA cites Sinclair Refinery for $707,000 in proposed fines for 22 violations
OSHA orders Clean Diesel Technologies Inc. to pay $1.9 million to former CFO fired for reporting conflict of interest
Department of Labor seeks more than $300,000 for Idaho worker who was retaliated against for raising safety concerns
The Department of Labor has filed a whistleblower complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho against Clearwater Paper Corp. in Lewiston, Idaho, for allegedly retaliating against an employee who raised workplace safety and health concerns. The department alleges that a Clearwater Paper employee was fired in 2010 in retaliation for filing a safety complaint with OSHA's Boise Area Office. The employee was first suspended and then fired soon after OSHA conducted an inspection to assess excessive exposure to red cedar dust at Clearwater Paper's sawmill in Lewiston. This facility was later sold in 2011.
In a new op-ed in the Houston Chronicle, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels explains how recent reports of temporary worker deaths prompted OSHA to launch a national initiative on protecting temporary workers. He recounts the story of Michael White, an untrained temporary worker who died after suffering heat stroke on his third day working at Republic Services Inc., a waste management company in Houston. Following OSHA's investigation into White's death, the agency cited not only Republic Services but also its temporary labor provider, Recana Solutions. View the citations and additional details in the press release.
Tens of thousands of construction employers and workers learn how "Safety Pays and Falls Cost"
Since October of last year, OSHA has provided potentially life-saving information on fall prevention to thousands of workers and employers in the construction industry. Working with construction contractors, unions, trade associations, state plan states and many others, OSHA's Fall Prevention campaign conducted more than 1,600 outreach activities to raise awareness of the number one killer in construction and how to prevent falls through the three simple steps, "Plan. Provide. Train." Fall prevention safety stand-downs held across the country have impacted nearly 50,000 construction workers so far. Fall prevention outreach was also an important part of OSHA's efforts to protect clean-up and recovery workers after Hurricane Sandy. In addition, OSHA's On-site Consultation Program has conducted more than 2,000 on-site visits, 450 training sessions and 200 presentations related to fall protection in residential construction.
RAND study finds U.S. workplace fatality rate three times higher than U.K.
Workers in the United States were killed on the job at three times the rate of their peers in the United Kingdom in 2010, according to a study published online Sept. 30 in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine. Authors John Mendeloff and Laura Staetsky also found that U.S. construction workers' fatality rate was four times the U.K. rate in 2010 — a difference that has grown substantially since the 1990s. Read the abstract for additional details about the study findings.
Updated procedures issued for maritime cargo gear certification
OSHA recently issued revised instructions for compliance officers, crane inspectors, state programs, federal agencies and industry groups regarding maritime cargo gear certification. Cargo gear certification standards require that all vessels used to load and unload cargo in the United States, and material handling devices and equipment used to handle cargo on land in marine terminals meet minimum certification and inspection requirements. The instruction was revised primarily to provide information on OSHA's new, Web-based maritime crane application database, which replaces the previous four-part carbon OSHA Forms 71 and 72. The instruction also includes a list of common questions and answers regarding the new database, OSHA enforcement on all vessels and an overview of the maritime 29 CFR Part 1919 Gear Certification Program.
Secretary Perez, Assistant Secretary Michaels meet with victims' families to discuss ways to improve worker safety and health
Florida plastics company works with free On-site Consultation Program to update its safety program and eliminate workplace injuries
After seeing its injury and illness rates nearly double, King Plastics Corporation began working with OSHA's free On-site Consultation Program in 2011 to update its safety program and address hazards involving fall protection, electrical issues, chemical container labeling and the use of compressed air. The company's efforts helped reduce the number of workplace injuries from seven in 2011 to zero in 2013. OSHA has recognized King Plastics' exemplary safety and health management system and efforts in changing its safety culture by accepting the company into OSHA's Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program. See the story on King Plastics' success for more information.
New OSHA resource illuminates lighting practices to protect shipyard workers