January-February 2009

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

In This Issue...


Boiler Safety Tips For Winter Weather

It’s the time of year again when businesses and home owners are firing up heating boilers that were shut down last spring when the weather turned warm. To learn how to fire up your heating boiler safely click here.

Carbon Monoxide Hazards

As the weather turns colder, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry is encouraging you to be aware of an invisible killer that can seep through your workplace and home as well. Unfortunately, each year many people die from carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas. Because of its nonirritating properties, carbon monoxide can overcome people without warning. To learn more about carbon monoxide hazards click here.

Virginia Workplace Fatalities in 2007

The Virginia Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) reported a preliminary total of 141 occupational fatalities in the Commonwealth in 2007, down by 15 percent from the revised total of 165 fatalities reported in 2006. (See Chart)  The total number of fatalities for 2007 was at its lowest level since 1995 when 132 fatalities were reported.  Workers from the prime working age group (age 25 to 54) accounted for 64 percent of the fatalities.  Click here to learn more.

Department of Labor and Virginia State Association of Occupational Health Nurses Sign First Alliance

The Department’s first Alliance was signed on October 31, 2008 with the Virginia State Association of Occupational Health Nurses, the state-wide professional association that promotes educational and leadership opportunities for occupational health nurses in the Commonwealth. The Alliance will enable both groups to address workplace health and safety issues of mutual concern and will extend for two years, after which it may be renewed. To learn more about the Alliance click here.

Filing a Claim for Unpaid Wage

The Labor Law Division of the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry enforces the Payment of Wage Act through a process of investigations and hearings or legal proceedings.  The Virginia Payment of Wage Law, which requires that employers establish a rate of pay, a regular pay period and that employees be paid for all work performed,  is codified in the Code of Virginia § 40.1-29.  Click here to learn more about the Payment of Wage Act

Innovation in Apprenticeship

Registered Apprenticeship can be a solution to many different dilemmas that face today’s employers.  The most common of these is the topic of training.  Since Registered Apprenticeship combines a full-time on the job component with a related instruction component, employers are confident that their employees, new or incumbent, will be trained in the theory and process of their occupation.  Additionally, many employees are eager to find employers who are willing to provide something more than just a job.  When they find each other, those employers and employees often create a career pathway rather than just a job.  To learn more about the Department of Labor’s Registered Apprenticeship Program click here.

The 25 Most Frequently Cited Standards for Construction for 2007-2008

Click here to view the Department’s list of most frequently cited standards for 2007-08.

The 25 Most Frequently Cited Standards for General Industry for 2007-2008

Click here to view the Department’s list of most frequently cited standards for 2007-08.

14th Annual VOSH Conference To Be Held in Roanoke

The 14th Annual Virginia Occupational Safety and Health Conference will be held June 2 – 5, 2009 at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center in Roanoke, Virginia. To learn more about this year’s conference click here.

Larry Shaffer is Winner of VPP’s Fourth Annual National SGE of the Year Award

During the Aug. 25 opening session of the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association (VPPPA) Conference in Anaheim, Calif., then Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., presented the Voluntary Protection Program’s (VPP) National Special Government Employee (SGE) of the Year plaque to Larry Shaffer of International Paper. This award recognizes an SGE who epitomizes and exhibits exceptional mentoring, outreach and OSHA support in VPP. Shaffer has been an SGE for the past five years and is a member of the Philadelphia region VPPPA Board of Directors.

Three New Safety and Health Information Bulletins Available on OSHA’s Web Site

OSHA's latest Safety and Health Information Bulletins (SHIBs) highlight specific workplace hazards and ways to minimize the potential for serious or fatal injuries. The Bulletin on Compactor Rollover Hazards addresses rollover hazards when operating roller/compactor machines and the use of roll-over protective structures and seatbelts to reduce the risk. Hazards of Transporting, Unloading, Storing and Handling Granite, Marble and Stone Slabs describes ways to reduce crushed-by, caught-by, or struck-by hazards associated with these potentially dangerous tasks of unloading stone slabs from containers, storing them in "slab-racking" systems, moving and handling stone slabs with equipment, and loading stone slabs onto trucks. Hazards of Using Flammable Liquids in Cutting Laminated Glass SHIB offers safer alternative methods for cutting laminated glass, and recommendations for safe work practices to accomplish this goal.

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