Mexican Consolate Health Fair in Atlanta

Representatives from OSHA and the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division were among 25 exhibitors at a mobile Mexican Consulate Health Fair in Gainesville, Ga., from August 19 – 22. The four-day event was attended by more than 2,000 visitors, many of them workers in the poultry and construction industries. OSHA personnel provided information in English and Spanish on workplace safety, workers’ rights and how to file a complaint. 

OSHA has an alliance with the Consulate General of Mexico in Atlanta, which provided consular identification cards and passports at the event. The health fair was a joint effort between OSHA’s Atlanta Area Offices, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health/Ventanilla de Salud Atlanta and Cielos Abiertos Christian Church.

Bilingual OSHA staff at Mexican Consulate Health Fair 
Bilingual OSHA staff at the Mexican Consulate Health Fair in Gainesville, Ga. From left: Presidential Management Fellow Ethel Moreno and Compliance Officers Francine Cruz, Maria Martinez and Hector Julian-Camacho

Initiative to help employers protect workers from occupational noise

“Buy Quiet” is a prevention initiative launched by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to help companies buy, rent or design quieter machines and tools for their workplaces. Each year millions of U.S. workers are exposed to noise loud enough to be hazardous to their health.

Buy Quiet

Overview

Noise-induced hearing loss is the most common work-related illness in the United States. Each year approximately 22 million U.S. workers are exposed to noise loud enough to damage their hearing. To create a more healthful workplace, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends preventing hazardous noise through controls for noise exposure and encourages business owners to create Buy Quiet programs as a first step.

What is Buy Quiet? 

Buy Quiet is a prevention initiative which:
  • Encourages companies to purchase or rent quieter machinery and tools to reduce worker noise exposure. This is accomplished when new businesses start up or when older equipment is replaced.
  • Provides information on equipment noise levels, so companies can buy quieter products that make the workplace safer.
  • Encourages manufacturers to design quieter equipment by creating a demand for quieter products.

Why Buy Quiet?

Noise-induced hearing loss can't be reversed, but it is 100% preventable. NIOSH recommends that workers should not be exposed to noise at a level that amounts to more than 85 decibels (dBA) for 8 hours. Buy Quiet can help you stay below the recommended exposure level for noise.
Play the audio files and compare two same sized yet different circular saws cutting a 1 inch thick piece of oak board. Can you hear the difference?

 Benefits of Buy Quiet?

  • Reducing the risk of hearing loss.
  • Reducing the long-term costs of audiometric testing, personal protective equipment, and workers compensation. Conservative estimates provide $100 per dBA of savings when purchasing the quieter product.1 This savings is applicable across a wide variety of machinery and equipment.
  • Helping companies comply with OSHA and other noise regulation requirements.
  • Reducing the impact of noise on the community.

OSHA, NIOSH Publish recommended practices

OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recently released Recommended Practices (PDF*) for staffing agencies and host employers to better protect temporary workers from hazards on the job. The Recommended Practices publication highlights the joint responsibility of the staffing agency and host employer to ensure temporary workers are provided a safe work environment.

“An employer's commitment to the safety of temporary workers should not mirror these workers' temporary status,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. Michaels. “Whether temporary or permanent, all workers always have a right to a safe and healthy workplace. Staffing agencies and the host employers are joint employers of temporary workers and both are responsible for providing and maintaining safe working conditions.”

The new guidance recommends that staff agency/host employer contracts clearly define the temporary workers’ tasks and the safety and health responsibilities of each employer. Staffing agencies should maintain contact with temporary workers to verify that the host has fulfilled its responsibilities for a safe workplace. For more information the news release below.

Trade News Release Banner Image

Aug. 25, 2014
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: 202-693-1999


OSHA, NIOSH announce recommended practices to protect temporary
workers' safety and health

WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health today released Recommended Practices for staffing agencies and host employers to better protect temporary workers from hazards on the job.

Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels made the announcement today at the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association annual conference in National Harbor, Md. The new Recommended Practices publication highlights the joint responsibility of the staffing agency and host employer to ensure temporary workers are provided a safe work environment.
"An employer's commitment to the safety of temporary workers should not mirror these workers' temporary status," said Dr. Michaels. "Whether temporary or permanent, all workers always have a right to a safe and healthy workplace. Staffing agencies and the host employers are joint employers of temporary workers and both are responsible for providing and maintaining safe working conditions. Our new Recommended Practices publication highlights this joint responsibility."

Temporary workers are at increased risk of work-related injury and illness. OSHA's Temporary Worker Initiative, launched last year, includes outreach, training and enforcement to assure that temporary workers are protected in their workplaces. In recent months, OSHA has received and investigated many reports of temporary workers suffering serious or fatal injuries, some in their first days on the job. The Recommended Practices publication focuses on ensuring that temporary workers receive the same training and protection that existing workers receive.

"Workers sent by a staffing agency to a worksite deserve the same level of protection from workplace hazards as the host employer's workers do," said NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard. "Recognizing that temporary workers are often new to the workplace to which they are sent, we believe these recommended practices will provide a strong foundation for host employers and staffing agencies to work together to provide a comprehensive program that protects the safety and health of all workers."

The new guidance recommends that staff agency/host employer contracts clearly define the temporary worker's tasks and the safety and health responsibilities of each employer. Staffing agencies should maintain contact with temporary workers to verify that the host has fulfilled its responsibilities for a safe workplace.