Thursday, November 18, 2010

New York City Latino/immigrant worker safety and health summit on Tuesday, Nov. 16 hosted by OSHA and NIOSH

NEW YORK – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health will co-sponsor the New York City Action Summit for Latino/Immigrant Worker Safety and Health on Tuesday, Nov. 16, at Lehman College, Bronx, N.Y.

The summit will bring together workers, labor groups, community organizations, consulates, educators, government officials, safety and health professionals, employers and other partners to share the most effective strategies in reaching Latino workers and informing them of their right to a safe and healthful workplace.

The summit is open press. Coverage is encouraged, particularly by Latino and community news outlets and reporters who cover workplace safety issues.

WHAT: New York City Action Summit for Latino/Immigrant Worker Safety and Health
WHERE: Lehman College-Lovinger Theatre
250 Bedford Park Blvd. W.
Bronx, N.Y. 10468
WHEN: Tuesday, Nov. 16
9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. EST

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Occupational Safety and Health News Round-Up

For those of you who haven't visited The Pump Handle (Safety Blog), check out their safety news round-up for a nice compilation of current happenings in the world of health and safety!  They are a great blog with a great writing staff.  Enjoy!

The Pump Handle's Health Round-Up

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

OSHA Encourages Crowd Management on Black Friday

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is encouraging CEOs of 14 major retail companies to take precautions to prevent worker injuries during Black Friday and the holiday season's other major sales events. Toward that end, OSHA has sent a letter and fact sheet on "Crowd Management Safety Tips for Retailers" to the CEOs.

In 2008, a worker was trampled to death while a mob of shoppers rushed through the doors of a large store to take advantage of an after-Thanksgiving Day Black Friday sales event. The store was not using the kind of crowd management measures recommended in OSHA's fact sheet, which is available online at

"Crowd-related injuries during special retail sales and promotional events have increased during recent years," said Assistant Secretary for OSHA Dr. David Michaels. "Many of these incidents can be prevented by adopting a crowd management plan, and this fact sheet provides retail employers with guidelines for avoiding injuries during the holiday shopping season."

OSHA Training

The fact sheet provides employers with recommended elements for crowd management plans. Plans should include having trained security personnel or police officers on-site, setting up barricades or rope lines for pedestrians and crowd control well in advance of customers arriving at the store, making sure that barricades are set up so that the customers' line does not start right at the entrance of the store, having in place emergency procedures that address potential dangers, and having security personnel or customer service representatives explain approach and entrance procedures to the arriving public.

OSHA also recommends not allowing additional customers to enter the store when it reaches its maximum occupancy level and not blocking or locking exit doors.

For a copy of the letter sent to the CEOs and a list of the retailers they represent, visit*.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education. For more information, visit

OSHA Works to Improve Training Program

WASHINGTON — OSHA recently revised its policy for all Outreach Training Programs to address the number of hours each day a student may spend in OSHA 10- and 30-hour classes. OSHA revised the length of daily classroom instruction to prevent workers from being saturated with so much information that they may miss content that could prevent injuries, illnesses and death.

Revised program policy now requires OSHA trainers to limit worker training classes to a maximum of 7½ hours per day. Before OSHA made this change, there were no limitations on how long these classes could last each day. With 10 hours of OSHA training, along with necessary breaks and lunch, students could sit in classes for up to 13 hours a day. OSHA became concerned that long, mentally-fatiguing class days might cause students to miss essential safety and health training.

Another concern was that, in some cases, one- and three-day training classes were not meeting 10- and 30-hour program time requirements. This concern became evident after OSHA conducted random records audits and unannounced monitoring visits.

To address these issues, the agency now requires OSHA outreach trainers to conduct 10-hour courses over a minimum of two days and 30-hour courses over at least four days. The agency also set up an outreach fraud hotline at 847-725-7810 to which the public can call to file complaints about program fraud and abuse.

"Limiting daily class hours will help ensure that workers receive and retain quality safety training," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA David Michaels.

This policy change is effective immediately and will be reflected in the next revision of the Outreach Training Program Guidelines. OSHA will not recognize training classes that exceed 7½ hours per day or do not meet all program content requirements. In such cases trainers will not receive completion cards to distribute to students. Trainers may, however, submit written requests for exceptions to limiting training days to 7½ hours based on extenuating circumstances.

The Outreach Training Program, a voluntary participation information resource, is part of OSHA's Directorate of Training and Education, comprises a national network of more than 17,000 independent trainers who teach workers and employers about OSHA, workers' rights and how to identify, avoid and prevent workplace hazards. There are 10- and 30-hour outreach classes for construction, general industry and maritime and 16-hour classes for disaster site workers. Students who successfully complete classes receive completion cards.

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 assure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit