Sunday, July 15, 2012

OSHA offers free on-site assistance to small businesses

OSHA's On-site Consultation Program offers free and confidential advice to small and medium-sized businesses in all states across the country, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. Each year, responding to requests from small employers looking to create or improve their safety and health management programs, OSHA's On-site Consultation Program conducts over 29,000 visits to small business worksites covering over 1.5 million workers across the nation.
On-site consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations. Consultants from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing safety and health management programs. For more information, to find the local On-site Consultation office in your state, or to request a brochure on Consultation Services, visit, or call 1-800-321-OSHA [6742].

New outreach and training resources for OSHA Fall Prevention Campaign

Falls from heights are the leading cause of death in the construction industry, but these deaths are preventable, and OSHA is working to educate workers and employers about Preventing Falls in Construction. 

OSHA has posted new media resources on its Fall Prevention page, including camera-ready drop-in art for publications. The new resources are available in English and Spanish, and in color as well as black and white. OSHA encourages media to use them to help get the message out to workers and employers that safety pays and falls cost. OSHA has also created new wallet cards as an easy, portable way to spread this lifesaving message of plan, provide and train to the people who need it most. The cards include an illustration of safe work from a roof, as well as a QR code to direct readers to OSHA's Fall Prevention page and educational resources. To order these or any of OSHA's outreach materials, call OSHA's Office of Communications at (202) 693-1999 or visit OSHA's Publications page.

In addition, with the support of OSHA's Susan Harwood Grant Program, the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America is offering a one-day training program on Fall Protection on July 10 in Washington, D.C. The course, which is free and open to the public, was developed in collaboration with OSHA and reflects OSHA standards and best practices. Topics will include fall protection statistics, OSHA standards, fall hazard identification, fall protection systems and equipment, and training requirements. To register, visit the AGC enrollment page.

During heat wave, OSHA calls for "Water. Rest. Shade."

On June 20, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA David Michaels spoke with more than 80 meteorologists and weather broadcasters about OSHA's campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers. Secretary Solis, Dr. Michaels, and Acting Deputy Director of the National Weather Service Steven Cooper also discussed the populations most at risk, the importance of acclimatization, and the value of using the buddy system to look out for heat illness warning signs in coworkers. Read more about the heat call in Dr. Michaels' most recent post on the DOL blog.

 In addition, OSHA is posting more than 100 “Water. Rest. Shade.” billboards across four states to educate employers and workers about the hazards of working outdoors in hot weather. The billboards will appear in Arkansas, Florida, Texas, and Illinois – the four states with the highest number of occupational heat-related fatalities in 2010. They direct viewers, in both English and Spanish, to visit OSHA's heat illness web page for bilingual educational materials, a downloadable smart phone app, workplace training, and other information on how to prevent heat illness and what to do in an emergency. The billboards, provided by Lamar Outdoor Advertising, will be in place for eight weeks, running from mid-June through August.