Croda Inc - Excellent for worker safety and health!

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Region 3 News Release: 13-1780-PHI (osha 13-90)
Aug. 28, 2013
Contact: Joanna Hawkins      Leni Fortson
Phone: 215-861-5101      215-861-5102
Email: hawkins.joanna@dol.gov      uddyback-fortson.lenore@dol.gov
US Labor Department's OSHA certifies Croda Inc. facility in Mill Hall, Pa., as
'star' site for workplace safety and health

MILL HALL, Pa. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration recognized the employees and management of Croda Inc. for excellence concerning the company's employee safety and health program during a recent ceremony at the manufacturer's Mill Hall facility. The facility has been designated a "star," the highest honor in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs.

"Croda Inc. has demonstrated an outstanding ability to implement a comprehensive safety and health management system," said Mark Stelmack, director of OSHA's Area Office in Wilkes-Barre, who attended the ceremony. "This company is an example of an excellent workplace that values safety and health."

Croda Inc. earned VPP star recognition following a comprehensive on-site evaluation by a team of OSHA safety and health experts. The company employs 148 workers at the facility and 10 to 15 contract employees performing various duties, including security, maintenance, capital projects and janitorial services.

The VPP recognizes private and federal work sites with effective safety and health management systems that have maintained injury and illness rates below national Bureau of Labor Statistics averages. Management, labor and OSHA work cooperatively and proactively to prevent fatalities, injuries and illnesses through a system focused on hazard prevention and control, work site analysis and training. Union support is required for applicant work sites where employees are represented by a bargaining unit. Participating work sites are exempt from OSHA programmed inspections while they maintain their VPP status. For more information, contact OSHA's Wilkes-Barre Area Office at 570-826-6538 or visit http://www.osha.gov/dcsp/vpp/index.html.

Proposed rule for curbing silicosis

ate: August 23, 2013

STATEMENT OF
DR. DAVID MICHAELS
ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF LABOR
US Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Crystalline Silica Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
August 23, 2013

Good afternoon. I am pleased to announce today that OSHA is issuing a proposed rule aimed at curbing silicosis—an incurable and progressive disease—lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease in American workers. The proposal seeks to lower worker exposure to crystalline silica, a deadly dust which needlessly kills hundreds of workers and sickens thousands more each year.

This is a proposed rule and not a final rule. We are inviting and strongly encouraging the public to participate in the process of developing a final rule through submitting written comments and participating in public hearings that are scheduled to begin in Washington, DC in early March. Our process of obtaining public input will take many months, and we encourage and welcome the public to participate.

OSHA's objective is to develop a standard that not only protects workers, but also makes sense in the workplace. In this process, we especially hope to hear from workers and employers who have experience protecting workers from silica-related diseases.

Exposure to silica dust can be extremely hazardous, and limiting that exposure is essential. Every year, affected workers not only lose their ability to work, but also to breathe. OSHA estimates that the proposed rule will save nearly 700 lives per year and prevent 1,600 new cases of silicosis annually, once the full effects of the rule are realized.

Exposure to airborne silica dust occurs in operations involving cutting, sawing, drilling, and crushing of concrete, brick, block and other stone products and in operations using sand products, such as in glass manufacturing, foundries and sand blasting.

We know how to lower silica exposure. Today, many employers across the country apply common sense, inexpensive, and effective control measures that protect workers' lives and lungs—like keeping the material wet so dust doesn't become airborne, or using a vacuum to collect dust at the point where it is created before workers can inhale it. Tools that include these controls are readily available, and the rule is designed to give employers flexibility in selecting ways to meet the new standard.

This proposal is long overdue. OSHA's current standards for protecting workers from silica exposure are dangerously out-of-date and do not adequately protect worker health. The current standards are more than 40 years old, and they are based on research from the 1960's and even earlier. They do not reflect the most recent scientific evidence.

Since our current silica standards were issued in 1971, numerous studies have found increased risk of lung cancer among silica-exposed workers. The U.S. National Toxicology Program, the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health have all identified respirable silica as a human carcinogen—a cause of lung cancer in workers exposed to the dust. This proposed rule brings worker protections into the 21st century.

The proposed rulemaking includes two separate standards—one for general industry and maritime employment, and one for construction. These standards are based on extensive review of scientific and technical evidence, consideration of current industry consensus standards, and outreach by OSHA to stakeholders, including public stakeholder meetings, conferences, and meetings with employer and employee organizations.

I am asking stakeholders to participate in this rulemaking effort, to help us develop effective solutions that will protect workers like Alan White, who has joined us today to talk about his experience as a silica-exposed foundry worker and how that exposure has affected his health and his life.

I now turn the call over to Alan White who will deliver a brief statement.
<Alan White Statement>
Thank you, Alan.
And we are also joined by Frank Hearl, Chief of Staff of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
<Frank Hearl Statement>
Thank you, Frank.

To provide the public with additional information about the proposal and ways to prevent silica-related disease, we have created a website which you can find by going to www.osha.gov/silica. The website includes five fact sheets that explain our proposals as well as the process for participating in the rulemaking. It also has a link to OSHA's new "Deadly Dust" video about the tragic effects of silicosis and the readily available methods to limit worker's exposure to silica.

To further demonstrate the historic commitment of the United States Department of Labor to preventing silicosis, we have also included a video entitled "Stop Silicosis," featuring a former Secretary of Labor—in this case Frances Perkins, who was President Franklin Roosevelt's Labor Secretary. The video was made in 1938.

It is seventy-five years since Frances Perkins committed the Department of Labor to ending silicosis in the United States. This proposal is an important step forward in fulfilling this commitment.

Thank you.

Heat illness prevention hits airwaves, app downloads exceed 100,000

OSHA is taking its Water-Rest-Shade message to the airwaves and using technology to help employers protect outdoor workers from heat illness. In cities like Philadelphia and Little Rock, OSHA staff are speaking on English- and Spanish-language radio and TV about heat illness and workers' rights to safe workplaces. 


The past few summers have shown that heat illness from high temperatures is one of the most serious challenges to the safety and health of workers throughout the nation. Since 2010, Arkansas has experienced at least two heat-related deaths per year and last year three heat-related fatalities in the state were reported to OSHA. Workers die from heat related illnesses every summer and every death is preventable. Every year, OSHA tries to get its heat-illness prevention message out before the start of higher temperatures to prevent these fatalities.

Carlos Reynolds, Area Director of OSHA's Little Rock Area Office, has been able to use local television and radio interviews to reach millions of workers exposed to heat in indoor and outdoor worksites. During the interviews, he highlights OSHA's Water/Rest/Shade message to protect from the hazards of working during the summer months, including heat stress, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.

On May 29, 2013, Mr. Reynolds appeared on the KATV, Channel 7, noon news show. On June 18, 2013, Mr. Reynolds appeared on the KTHV, Channel 11, Morning News. On July 3, 2013, he was interviewed on the Clear Channel radio broadcast, 94.9 TOM with Tom Wood which was broadcast starting July 4, 2013, and rebroadcast each day through July 7, 2013. Both television shows have a viewer base of between 25,000 and 30,000 households and the Clear Channel radio broadcast reaches a weekly audience of 310,000 listeners with the expectation that 75-80 percent of that number will hear the interview broadcasts.

During his interviews, Mr. Reynolds told viewers and listeners how to obtain OSHA publications, including the informational booklet entitled "A Guide for Employers to Carry Out Heat Safety Training for Workers," and posters and QuickCards that detail how to avoid heat stress. He emphasized that by providing water, frequent breaks, and shade, an employer can take the appropriate steps to prevent heat stress illnesses. He also mentioned how OSHA is now using social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and the free OSHA Heat Tool App in an effort to provide more avenues for heightened public awareness of the hazards posed by working in high temperatures.

During the radio broadcast, Mr. Reynolds also discussed OSHA's ongoing Fall Prevention Campaign and the three major points of the campaign, Plan, Provide and Train. Since the broadcast was taped the day before the 4th of July, Mr. Reynolds also reviewed tips on how to safely handle fireworks.


Meanwhile, during four hot weeks in July, 18,661 people downloaded OSHA's heat safety app — bringing the total number of downloads to 103,530 since the app's launch two years ago. For more information and resources, visit National Safety Compliance

On-site Consultation Program

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Aug. 7, 2013
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: 202-693-1999

OSHA withdraws proposed rule to amend On-site Consultation Program

WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today announced its decision to withdraw a proposed rule to amend its regulations for the federally-funded On-site Consultation Program. OSHA is withdrawing this rule based on stakeholder concerns that proposed changes, though relatively minor, would discourage employers from participating in the program.

"The On-site Consultation Program, including recognition through the Safety and Health Recognition Program, is a valuable way to assist small-business employers who are working to improve their workplaces," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "We remain committed to encouraging participation in this program."

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for 29 CFR 1908, Consultation Agreement, published Sept. 3, 2010, provided clarification of the length of the exemption period provided to "recognized" sites that have been removed from OSHA's programmed inspection schedule and the initiation of certain unprogrammed inspections at both sites that have achieved recognition and sites undergoing a consultation visit.
See the Federal Register notice on the withdrawal of proposed rule.

OSHA administers and provides federal funding for the On-site Consultation Program, which offers free and confidential safety and health advice to small- and medium-sized businesses across the country, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. Employers who successfully complete a comprehensive on-site consultation visit, correct all hazards identified during the visit and implement an ongoing safety and health program to identify and correct workplace hazards may achieve status in OSHA's Safety and Health Recognition Program (SHARP). Exemplary employers who receive SHARP status receive an exemption from OSHA's programmed inspection schedule during a specified period.

Changes to Recordkeeping for Federal Agencies

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Aug. 2, 2013
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: 202-693-1999

OSHA announces changes to recordkeeping rule for federal agencies to
improve tracking of federal workplace injuries, illnesses

WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today issued a final rule that will require all federal agencies to submit their OSHA-required injury and illness data to the Bureau of Labor Statistics every year. This data will allow OSHA to analyze the injuries and illnesses that occur among the more than two million federal agency workers and develop training and inspection programs to respond to the hazards identified.

"This change provides OSHA an opportunity to collect injury and illness data from all federal agency establishments," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "The data will us help streamline and improve programs to reduce occupational hazards and prevent injuries, illnesses and deaths within the federal workforce."

Other changes to the recordkeeping rule include amending the date when agencies must submit their annual reports to the secretary of labor and the date when the secretary must submit a report to the president. The rule will also restate that volunteers are considered employees of federal agencies and explain how volunteers' injuries should be recorded in agency injury and illness logs. The rule will clarify the definition of federal establishment and explain when contract employees should be included on an agency's log.
Collection of establishment level information will enable OSHA to develop programs to assist agencies in meeting their injury and illness targets under the Protecting Our Workers and Ensuring Reemployment initiative. The POWER Initiative, which covers fiscal years 2011 through 2014, was established by President Obama to extend prior federal government workplace safety and health efforts by setting 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.

Federal agencies have been required to follow the same recording and reporting requirements as the private sector since January 2005. Information on the final rule can be found in the Federal Register notice.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

OSHA stand-down at work sites focus on fall prevention

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Region 4 News Release: 13-1480-ATL (200)
August 01, 2013
Contact: Michael D'Aquino    Lindsay Williams
Phone: 404-562-2076    404-562-2078
Email: d'aquino.michael@dol.gov    williams.lindsay.l@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA announces August 6 safety stand-down at
work sites throughout the Southeast to focus on fall prevention

ATLANTA – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, along with trade associations and employers throughout Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, will conduct a one-hour safety stand-down at construction sites and workplaces on Tuesday, Aug. 6. The stand-down supports OSHA's nationwide outreach campaign to raise awareness among employers and workers about the hazards of falls. Workers will voluntarily stop work from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. EDT to conduct safety training focused on the prevention of falls in the workplace.
In 2010, there were 264 fall fatalities out of 774 total fatalities in construction nationwide. When working from heights, such as ladders, scaffolds and roofs, employers must plan projects to ensure that the job is done safely. To protect workers, employers must provide fall protection and the right equipment for the job, including the right kinds of ladders, scaffolds and safety gear. Workers need training to understand the proper setup and safe use of specific equipment they will use to complete the job. Falls can be prevented and lives can be saved through three simple steps: plan, provide and train.

"This stand-down is intended to raise awareness among employers and workers about common fall hazards in all industries, focusing on how falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs can be prevented and lives can be saved," said Teresa Harrison, OSHA's acting regional administrator for the Southeast. "It is the employer's responsibility to protect workers from injury and illness."

OSHA has developed fall prevention educational materials in English and Spanish, as well as information to be used for workplace training. Additionally, OSHA invites the public to join in the effort by helping to reach workers and employers in local communities with the resources on fall prevention, developed by OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and National Occupational Research Agenda. 

These resources are available at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls/index.html#plan.

You can register for the stand-down event at the Associated General Contractors of America Inc., Georgia branch's website at http://www.agcga.org/cs/safety_stand_down_program/safety_stand_down_on_fall_protection_august_6_2013. An informational flier and toolbox, in English and Spanish, are also available on the website.

Members of the public interested in more information about OSHA's fall prevention campaign, or to obtain copies of fall prevention-related publications, should contact their local OSHA office. To locate an OSHA office, visit http://www.osha.gov/html/RAmap.html.