September 2021 OSHA Quicktakes

Safe + Sound Week Recap
Safe + Sound Week 2021 Recap

Thank you for participating in this year’s Safe + Sound Week! Download our certificate of recognition for your efforts to promote workplace safety and health programs.

Safe + Sound Week is a nationwide event held each August that recognizes the successes of workplace health and safety programs and offers information and ideas on how to keep America’s workers safe.

OSHA Training Grants
Safety Training Grants
Confined Spaces & Tank Cleaning
Tank Cleaning Safety

A new OSHA initiative seeks to protect workers in the tank cleaning industry from atmospheric and confined space hazards.

OSHA uses the term “permit-required confined space” (permit space) to describe a confined space that has one or more of the following characteristics: contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere; contains material that has the potential to engulf an entrant; has walls that converge inward or floors that slope downward and taper into a smaller area which could trap or asphyxiate an entrant; or contains any other recognized safety or health hazard, such as unguarded machinery, exposed live wires, or heat stress.

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OSHA NEWSLETTER

Women In Construction
Women in Construction Outreach

Last month OSHA met with women in the construction industry to discuss their workplace safety and job opportunities.

The number of women employed in the U.S. construction industry grew substantially, by 81.3% from 1985 to 2007; however, due to a loss of over 2.5 million construction jobs from 2007 to 2010, there has been a sharp decline of women working. As illustrated below in Table I (1), and since its peak in 2007, more than 300,000 women workers left the construction industry by 2010. While only 9% of U.S. construction workers are women, which is a relatively small percentage compared to other industries (see Table II (2) below), there were still over 800,000 women workers employed in construction (i.e., managerial, professional, administrative, and production employees) in 2010. Of those, approximately 200,000 were employed in production occupations, such as laborers, electricians, plumbers, etc.

In addition to the primary safety and health hazards faced by all construction workers, there are safety and health issues specific to female construction workers. These safety and health hazards in construction create barriers to women entering and remaining in this field.

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OSHA NEWSLETTER

Did You Know - flooded street
Severe Weather Recovery and Cleanup

Workers performing recovery and cleanup operations following a tropical storm or hurricane face hazards from flooding, power loss, structural damage, fallen trees and storm debris. Visit OSHA’s Flood Response and Recovery webpage and list of storm recovery safety publications to learn how to keep workers safe.

More info on Flood Preparedness

More info on Hurricane Preparedness

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COVID-19 Safety Training

The Massachusetts On-Site Consultation Program responded to multiple requests from area employers and workers for virtual respiratory protection training.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world. As the science was revealing that the COVID-19 virus was spreading via airborne droplets, public health and safety and health experts were recommending the use of face coverings or respirators when around other people. Starting in 2020 and continuing into 2021, the Massachusetts OSHA Consultation Program received multiple requests for virtual trainings and performed several compliance assistance activities on respiratory protection. Massachusetts Consultation was able to get valuable information about respiratory protection to groups of employers, workers, and future workers during the pandemic.

Examples of these respiratory protection compliance assistance activities were:

  • Massachusetts Senior Care Association. The association’s members include nearly 400 nursing and rehabilitation facilities, assisted living residences, and residential care facilities and communities. In October 2020, Massachusetts Consultation provided virtual training on respiratory protection. The training also covered Issues connected to respiratory protection as found in the long-term care industry. To date, this training has resulted in three virtual Consultation visits for association members and multiple other inquiries about Consultation services.
  • The Safety Stop. The Safety Stop, a collaborative effort between the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators, requested respiratory protection training for school administrators, teachers, and students at technical and vocational schools. The goal was to educate and help protect teachers and students. In December 2020, 65 people attended a virtual respiratory protection training. Many teachers who attended live streamed the training into classrooms for students to watch. A link to the recorded training was sent out to vocational directors, cooperative placement coordinators, and school superintendents across Massachusetts where it will continue to be used to provide valuable information.
  • OSHA and Western Massachusetts Safety Alliance. In January 2021, Massachusetts Consultation provided virtual respiratory protection training to participants in this OSHA Alliance, including Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin contractors (HHFC), local employers, and the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 98 (IUOE) members. This training covered respiratory protection as well as some local COVID-19 requirements. There were 43 people in attendance and over 27 requested the link to the recorded training for future use.

 

The OSHA On-Site Consultation Program offers no-cost and confidential occupational safety and health services to small and medium-sized businesses in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and several U.S. territories, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. Consultants from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards and how to fix them, provide advice for compliance with OSHA standards, train and educate workers, and assist in establishing and improving safety and health programs. On-Site Consultation services are separate from OSHA enforcement efforts and do not result in penalties or citations. To locate the OSHA On-Site Consultation program nearest you, call 800-321-OSHA (6742) or visit https://www.osha.gov/Consultation.

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OSHA NEWSLETTER

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OSHA Updates Coronavirus Guidance

U.S. Department of Labor issues updated guidance on August 13 on protecting unvaccinated and other at-risk workers from the coronavirus.

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OSHA Newsletter

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Katie Kassel
Author: Katie Kassel

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