June - July 2004

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

In This Issue...

Ninth Annual VOSH Conference Held

Despite the heat, humidity and rain, the Ninth Annual Virginia Occupational Safety and Health Conference prevailed, with more than 340 participants, 31 vendors and over 30 speakers in a myriad of sessions ranging from Fire Safety, Medical Myths in the Workplace and Trenching to CPR and First Aid. S ponsored by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry, Division of Cooperative Programs, the conference was held June 16-18, 2004 at The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center, Roanoke, Virginia.

“The objective of the conference was t o provide affordable safety and health training opportunities for employers, employees and safety and health professionals,” said C. Ray Davenport, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry. “While the conference is important for many reasons, one particular reason is the ability to reach employers and employees of small businesses that may not have other training opportunities available to them during the year.”

A highlight of the conference was keynote speaker Dr. Richard Harshberger . Chief Operating Officer and Principal in Strategic Decisions Alliance, LLC, who provided eye-opening wisdom and anecdotes.

New this year was the introduction of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 10-hour course sessions in both General Industry and Construction. Participation in the entire OSHA 10-hour course in Construction or the 10-hour course in General Industry allowed participants to obtain an official completion card.

If you missed the conference this year not to worry, look for upcoming details of next year’s conference in E-Virginia Works or visit the DOLI website.

Visit the 2004 VOSH Conference photo gallery.

Tips for Working in Hot Weather

The sun and warm weather of summer can present additional hazards for employees who work outdoors or in very hot environments. The two most common forms of heat related illnesses are heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which can sometimes be fatal. By recognizing warning signs and taking quick action, precautions can be take to prevent many heat-related deaths and injuries. For more information on working in hot weather, click here.

The following item has been reprinted from OSHA's Quick Takes. It may have been edited for this publication.

Hispanic Safety and Health Summit Scheduled for the month of July in Orlando

Raising awareness about the safety and health issues impacting the nation's Hispanic workers is the foundation of the one-day Hispanic Safety and Health Summit scheduled for July 22 at the Airport Marriott Hotel in Orlando, FL. The event is sponsored by the Department of Labor, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Hispanic Alliance for Progress in partnership with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Approximately 500 people representing government, community and faith-based organizations, non-profits, industry, academia and organized labor are expected to attend. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao will deliver the keynote Administration address; OSHA Administrator John Henshaw will also address summit attendees.

Review of Mechanical Power Presses Standard Published

OSHA announced this month that it would update its mechanical power presses standard to improve safety and productivity by permitting presence sensing device initiation (PSDI) without independent validation. The decision to update the standard comes as a result of OSHA's regulatory review of the standard announced in the June 8, 2004 Federal Register. A PSDI system is a light curtain or other sensing device that indicates when no hands or other objects are in a danger zone during mechanical power press operations. The system "senses" that no hazards are present and initiates the stroke of the press thus increasing speed of operation and improving productivity. OSHA plans to add the update of the standard to the regulatory agenda in the near future.

OSHA Forms Three New National Aliances

OSHA established three new national Alliances this month with organizations dedicated to advancing occupational safety and health. On June 7, OSHA joined with the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association (NWPCA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to focus efforts on ergonomics, forklift safety hazards, and the use of pallet assembly equipment. The American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) signed on with OSHA June 9 to further workers' safety and health when working with commercial display and consumer fireworks. Finally, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) joined with the agency in a signing ceremony yesterday to highlight safety and health programs for small and independent businesses.

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Virginia Works is provided by DOLI, Office of Cooperative Programs.
Tuesday, August 17, 2004 1:01 P.M.