OSHA - meeting of the Federal Advisory Council

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May 23, 2013
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: 202-693-1999

US Department of Labor's OSHA to hold meeting of the Federal Advisory
Council on Occupational Safety and Health (FACOSH)
4 new members appointed and 3 members re-appointed
 
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration will hold a meeting of the Federal Advisory Council on Occupational Safety and Health June 6, 2013, in Washington, D.C.

FACOSH advises the Secretary of Labor on all matters relating to the occupational safety and health of federal employees. This includes providing advice on how to reduce the number of injuries and illnesses in the federal workforce and how to encourage each federal executive branch department and agency to establish and maintain effective occupational safety and health programs.

The tentative agenda includes a discussion on an OPM status report regarding changes to the GS-0018, Safety and Occupational Health Management job series and updates from FACOSH subcommittees.
FACOSH will meet from 1 - 4:30 p.m. EST in Rooms S-4215 A-C, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20210. The meeting is open to the public. Those interested in submitting comments or requests to speak can do so electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, the Federal eRulemaking Portal or by mail or facsimile. See the Federal Register notice for details. Comments and requests to speak must be submitted by May 23, 2013.

Newly appointed members who serve as representatives of management are Dr. Joe Hoagland, Tennessee Valley Authority, Dr. Gregory Parham, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Lola Ward, National Transportation Safety Board. Additionally, Irma Westmoreland, National Nurses United, has been appointed as the committee's new labor representative.

Members re-appointed for additional terms include labor representatives William Dougan, National Federation of Federal Employees and Deborah Kleinberg, Seafarers International Union/National Maritime Union. Curtis Bowling, U.S. Department of Defense, has been re-appointed as a management representative.

Under Section 19 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and Executive Order 12196, the head of each agency is responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for all federal employees by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.

OSHA Offers training to Federal agencies on worker safety and health

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May 21, 2013
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: 202-693-1999
OSHA offers training to federal agencies on worker safety and health

WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has scheduled a three-day training event for federal agency staff responsible for keeping federal workers safe and healthy on the job.
The OSHA Training Institute, in collaboration with OSHA's Office of Federal Agency Programs, will conduct a series of half-day seminars that discuss potential hazards, such as distracted driving, ergonomics, confined spaces, hearing conservation and fall protection. OSHA developed this training event to ensure that federal workplaces have safety programs and standards consistent with those in the private sector.
The event will be held July 30 - Aug. 1, 2013, at the OSHA Training Institute, 2020 South Arlington Heights Rd., Arlington Heights, Ill. Registration will remain open until July 23, 2013. Students can access registration forms, course descriptions, and other details at www.osha.gov/dep/fap/fedweek_fy13.html. Completed registration forms must be emailed to OTI Student Services at oti.registration@dol.gov.
Government agency personnel will not be charged tuition or fees to attend the training courses. However, Department of Labor regulations require OSHA to charge tuition to private sector attendees and federal government contractors.
OTI provides training and education in occupational safety and health for federal and state compliance officers, state consultants, other federal agency personnel and the private sector. For more information on OTI, visit OSHA's Directorate of Training and Education Web page. The basic mission of OSHA's Office of Federal Agency Programs is to ensure that each federal agency is provided with the guidance necessary to implement an effective occupational safety and health program within the agency and to inform them on the progress being made through detailed evaluations, reports and studies of agencies' occupational safety and health programs.

Installation of a burial vault a construction activity?

February 26, 2013

Re: Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard; Is installation of a burial vault a construction activity?

Dear Mr. Mo***

Thank you for your May 31, 2012, letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Directorate of Construction, in which you express the position that equipment used to place burial vaults in an open grave is not covered by OSHA's Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard.

OSHA is aware that members (and customers) of the National Concrete Burial Vault Association (NCBVA) use specially designed trailers and vehicles equipped with a frame-supported beam to lift, move, and install concrete burial vaults. NCBVA asserts that placing concrete burial vaults into graves is a unique activity with specialized equipment, and that this is not a construction operation.

OSHA's Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard covers hoisting equipment used in conjunction with a construction activity. Although the act of excavating a grave would be considered a construction activity, the placement of a burial vault in the grave is not a form of construction. There are no connections, either mechanical or electrical, made from a burial vault to other objects or structures. Once the burial vault is placed in the ground, there is no further construction work performed to build onto or otherwise alter its structure. During the placement process, the burial vault is not arranged in a sequence for further hoisting, an action that indicates construction crane activity.

In contrast to the placement of burial vaults, the hoisting of tanks and precast components/structural members, such as sewer pipes and electric vaults, into an excavation would be considered a construction activity because those components/members are positioned by a crane as part of a larger operation, system or structure, and these objects are then connected to other structures, systems, or foundations. The use of a crane in such situations is part of a construction-related operation and would therefore fall within the requirements of the Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard.

To summarize, because the movement and placement of burial vaults is not a construction activity, the specialized equipment used to move/place burial vaults (in a grave) at the cemetery is not covered by the Cranes nd Derricks in Construction standard. As a result, the hazards associated with placement of burial vaults would be appropriately addressed by requirements of mechanized equipment standards for general industry work, including 29 CFR 1910.180, Crawler, Locomotive, and Truck Cranes, or 29 CFR 1910.178, Powered Industrial Trucks and other Specialized Equipment.

As referenced in your letter, OSHA issued a letter of interpretation to the Honorable Ron Kind on October 15, 1999, which stated that the Agency considers activities related to grave excavation as a construction covered by Subpart P Excavations of 29 CFR Part 1926. During grave excavation, hoisting equipment would be covered by the Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard when used, for example, to move or place trench boxes and shoring needed to protect employees from excavation hazards.