February-March 2004

An e-newsletter with information and updates from the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry for the Commonwealth's workplaces

In This Issue


Alloy Polymers, Inc. of Richmond Achieves SHARP Designation
Secretary of Commerce and Trade Michael Schewel announced that Alloy Polymers, Inc. of Richmond, Virginia has achieved designation as a Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) site under the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry's (DOLI) Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). SHARP is specifically for companies with 250 or fewer employees. Complete listings of both VPP Star and SHARP participants are available on DOLI's Web site.

Bulldozer Related Drowning
An incident with a bulldozer at a worksite clearly shows why a flotation device must be a mandatory part of the jobsite hazard elimination effort whenever working on a site "over or near water," where the danger of drowning exists.

Kingsmill Resort Sponsors Culinary Apprenticeship
The culinary team at Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg was recently registered to offer a fully certified culinary apprenticeship to eligible candidates who are accepted for a 6000-hour program of study and supervised work in the Resort's hotel. Click here to learn more about the apprenticeship program and the culinary team at the Resort.

Ninth Annual VOSH Conference
The Ninth Annual Virginia Occupational Safety and Health Conference sponsored by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry will be held June 16-18, 2004 at The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center, Roanoke, Virginia. For an agenda and registration form click here.

Safety and Health Training
Visit DOLI for a listing of VOSH Consultation Services training courses for the first quarter of 2004. The Department of Human Resource Management, The National Resource Center for OSHA Training - George Meany Center, and the National Safety Council also offer training sessions in Virginia.

The following items have been reprinted from OSHA's Quick Takes. Some items have been edited for this publication.

Crushing Hazards from Rear-loading Trash Trucks Subject of Safety Bulletin
A new safety and health bulletin was published last month to arm workers and employers with information and guidance on recognizing and preventing hazards associated with the use of rear-loading trash trucks and dumpsters. In the five-year period ending 2003, OSHA investigated at least six fatalities involving workers crushed when dumpsters were dislodged from the trucks. The bulletin describes hazards and recommended preventative measures to protect workers, and also outlines relevant provisions from applicable ANSI standards.

New Injury and Illness Posting Requirements Effective This Month
Beginning February 1 and continuing for 90 days, employers must post a summary of the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred last year. OSHA and the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry reminds employers that the summary, OSHA's Form 300A (not the complete Form 300 log), should be displayed in an area where all workers have access to view it and must list the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred in 2003 and were logged on the OSHA 300 form. Companies with no recordable injuries or illnesses still need to post the summary form with zeroes on the total line.

New Safety and Health Topic Added to OSHA's Website
OSHA has added a new health-related topics page on its website. Tularemia, also known as "rabbit fever" or "deer fly fever," is a severe and sometimes fatal bacterial disease that can infect workers through a variety of environmental exposures, including insect bites, contaminated food or water, airborne bacteria, or in a laboratory setting. Approximately 200 human cases are reported each year in the United States. The page provides information on hazard and disease recognition, a bioterrorist threat evaluation, and important resources for control and prevention.

OSHA, WHD and NIOSH Join Forces to
Increase Awareness of Young Workers and Forklift Safety

Forklift hazards are well documented and continue to take the lives of young workers every year. In the summer of 2003, two teens were fatally injured in forklift accidents that occurred in warehouses in Georgia and Massachusetts. Both teens were under 18 years of age and were operating forklifts illegally. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Employment Standards Administration's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) have joined forces with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to increase awareness of the hazards associated with the operation of forklifts and the youth employment provisions that prohibit most workers under age 18 from operating forklifts.

Proposed Rules on Tuberculosis, Glycol Ethers Withdrawn
The general industry standard on respiratory protection will be extended to workers exposed to tuberculosis following OSHA's decision to withdraw its 1997 proposal on TB. The agency announced the withdrawal Dec. 31 citing a 40 percent decrease in the number of TB cases in the U.S. over the past 10 years. OSHA also announced last month it would terminate rulemaking to reduce permissible exposure limits on glycol ethers because of a decline in both their production and use. The substances, once commonly used in the automobile refinishing industry, and in construction paints, printings inks, and the semiconductor industry, are now mainly used in closed systems where employees have little opportunity for exposure.

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Virginia Works is provided by DOLI, Office of Cooperative Programs.
Wednesday, February 18, 2004 10:38 A.M.