New certificate program for public sector

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Sept. 26, 2013
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: 202-693-1999

OSHA launches new safety and health certificate program for
public sector employees

WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today launched Public Sector Safety and Health Fundamentals, a new certificate program that provides public sector employees training on occupational safety and health to reduce injuries, illnesses and fatalities among workers in state and local governments.

The certificate programs are available in construction and general industry. Students can choose from a variety of courses, including occupational safety and health standards for construction or general industry, safety and health management, accident investigation, fall hazard awareness and recordkeeping. To earn a certificate, participants must complete a minimum of seven courses, consisting of three required courses and additional elective courses, totaling at least 68 hours of in-class training.

OSHA has created a new Web page dedicated to this certificate program. The page provides course descriptions and prerequisites, program information and instructions on how to apply to the program.
The certificate program is administered by OSHA Training Institute Education Centers, which are non-profit organizations authorized by OSHA to deliver occupational safety and health training. All courses required to complete the program are available at OTI Education Centers nationwide. Students can use OSHA's searchable course schedule to find training courses for the certificate program at http://www.osha.gov/dte/ecd/course_otiec_search_public.html. Courses taken at different OTI Education Centers are transferrable and can count toward the certificate program.

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.

Farm Safety Week

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OSHA News Release: 13-1921-NAT (234)
Sept. 16, 2013
Contact: Adriano Llosa      Jesse Lawder
Phone: 202-693-4686      202-693-4659
Email: llosa.adriano.t@dol.gov      lawder.jesse@dol.gov
 
US Labor Department's OSHA working with agriculture community
to promote safety education during Farm Safety Week, Sept. 15-22
Agriculture industry records highest fatality rates of any industry

WASHINGTON – The agriculture sector accounted for 475 deaths in 2012. With a fatality rate of 21.2 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers, agriculture recorded the highest fatality rate of any industry sector. Additionally, 48,300 injuries were recorded in 2011, the last year for which statistics are available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This sector employs more than 2 million people in the United States.

Working Together for Safety in Agriculture - National Farm Safety and Health Week September 15-21, 2013The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is supporting the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety's National Farm Safety & Health Week, Sept. 15-21, by emphasizing the importance of worker safety in the agricultural industry. The theme for this year's National Farm Safety & Health Week is "Working Together for Safety in Agriculture."

"By working together to protect agricultural workers from job hazards and assuring that workers have the right to safety training, we can all make a positive impact on the lives of agricultural workers," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. "OSHA has worked diligently with agri-businesses, farm agencies and communities in recent years to increase awareness of the hazards of confined spaces, farm equipment, grain handling and other hazards in the this industry in an effort to promote safety and health on America's farms."

Farm Safety and Health Week has been observed annually since 1944 during September as farmers prepare for harvest. The National Education Center for Agricultural Safety has posted informational safety and health materials on its website at www.necasag.org.

Farmworkers are at high risk for: fatal and nonfatal injuries, work-related lung diseases, heat exposure, noise-induced hearing loss, skin diseases and certain cancers associated with chemical use and prolonged sun exposure. OSHA has additional information available on its website regarding specific agricultural hazards located at https://www.osha.gov/dsg/topics/agriculturaloperations/index.html.

Additionally, record numbers of deaths and injuries in 2010 led OSHA to develop a Local Emphasis Program for Grain Handling Facilities, focusing on the grain and feed industry's six major hazards including: engulfment, falls, auger entanglement, "struck by," combustible dust explosions and electrocution hazards.
In 2010, at least 26 U.S. workers were killed in grain engulfments, the highest number on record. OSHA has published information related to common grain industry hazards and abatement methods, proper bin entry techniques, sweep auger use and many other grain related topics at www.osha.gov/SLTC/grainhandling/index.html. The Grain Bin LEP is used in 25 states.

The Grain Handling Safety Coalition can also provide all the necessary training materials to train farmers, commercial grain handling employees, youth, rescue workers and more for free or at a very reduced rate. There are five different safety topics available including an overview of grain handling and storage safety, grain bin entry as well as entanglement, fall and confined space hazards. GHSC also offers "Train the Trainer" courses for companies and communities to have a local resource for training. More information is available at www.grainsafety.org.

Information is also available on the employment of youths in agriculture at https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/youth/agriculture/index.html.

Approximately one half of farmworkers are Hispanic. OSHA requires that employers conduct all required training of workers in a language and vocabulary workers can understand. OSHA's Spanish-language outreach resources, which detail how employers can work cooperatively with OSHA, are:
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742). 

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 exist for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.

Policy to improve workplace safety for aircraft cabin crew members

FAA issues policy to improve workplace safety for aircraft cabin crew members

Federal Aviation Administration emblem
The Federal Aviation Administration in coordination with OSHA has issued a final policy for improving workplace safety for aircraft cabin crewmembers (flight attendants). Under the new policy, OSHA will be able to enforce certain occupational safety and health standards currently not covered by FAA oversight, which are hazard communication, bloodborne pathogens and hearing conservation.
"This policy shows the strength of agencies working together and will enhance the safety of cabin crewmembers and passengers alike," said Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "It is imperative that cabin crewmembers have the same level of safety assurances they provide the public."
The following is the FAA News Release:

Press Release – FAA Issues Policy to Improve Workplace Safety for Aircraft Cabin Crewmembers

For Immediate Release

August 22, 2013
Contact: Alison Duquette or Les Dorr
Phone: (202) 267-3883

WASHINGTON –The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), working with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), today issued a final policy for improving workplace safety for aircraft cabin crewmembers.
While the FAA's aviation safety regulations take precedence, OSHA will be able to enforce certain occupational safety and health standards currently not covered by FAA oversight.

“Safety is our number one priority – for both the traveling public and the dedicated men and women who work in the transportation industry,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  “It’s important that cabin crewmembers on our nation’s airlines benefit from OSHA protections, including information about potential on-the-job hazards and other measures to keep them healthy and safe.”

“This policy shows the strength of agencies working together and will enhance the safety of cabin crewmembers and passengers alike,” said Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez.  “It is imperative that cabin crewmembers have the same level of safety assurances they provide the public.” 

Aircraft cabin safety issues that fall under OSHA standards include information on hazardous chemicals, exposure to blood-borne pathogens, and hearing conservation programs, as well as rules on record-keeping and access to employee exposure and medical records.  The FAA and OSHA will develop procedures to ensure that OSHA does not apply any requirements that could adversely affect aviation safety.

“Our cabin crewmembers contribute to the safe operation of every flight each day,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “We’re taking an important step toward establishing procedures for resolving cabin crew workplace health and safety concerns.”

“We look forward to working with the FAA and through our alliance with the aviation industry and labor organizations to improve the safety of cabin crewmembers,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health.

Through the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, Congress required the FAA to develop a policy statement to outline the circumstances in which OSHA requirements could apply to crewmembers while they are working onboard aircraft.

The policy will be effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. OSHA will conduct outreach and then begin enforcement activities after the first six months from the effective date.  The notice is available at http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/ashp/.