In a letter to President George W. Bush, ASSE President Jack Dobson, CSP, urged the administration to appoint heads for OSHA and MSHA. "ASSE is deeply concerned that . . . leadership positions in each of these key agencies remain unfilled," Dobson wrote. "With eight months of your second term having passed, every day that these positions remain unfilled makes it increasingly difficult for someone to provide meaningful leadership in the limited time left until the end of your term in office."
Dobson also remarked on the crucial need to appoint members to the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB). "Of the five positions on the board, two are unfilled," Dobson said. "CSB members involve themselves in the hands-on work of analyzing workplace chemical accidents, then warning industry of the risks and lessons learned from their investigations to help industry avoid making similar mistakes. Less than a full board could mean a delay in sharing this lifesaving information."
During a recent sting operation in North Carolina, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents posed as OSHA trainers and arrested dozens of immigrant workers who thought they were attending mandatory safety training. OSHA has been outspoken in its efforts to let workers know that the agency was not involved and is taking steps to ensure that such impersonation is not repeated. ASSE has expressed its support for OSHA, noting that ICE's actions fulfilled immigrants' worst fears. "Given the wide range of ways the U.S. immigration laws can be enforced, enforcement that sends the message that occupational and health and safety efforts may end in deportation only makes workplaces more dangerous for all workers. That is an unacceptable outcome," says ASSE President Jack Dobson, CSP.
U.S. oil field workers are straining to meet increased worldwide oil consumption levels-a stress that is affecting safety at oil fields in Texas as inexperienced workers fill the increased number of oil field jobs. To help companies better protect workers, ASSE's Permian Basin Chapter (Midland, TX) is teaming with local OSHA offices, the Texas Workers' Compensation Commission and several area companies (Cudd Pressure Control, Tuboscope, Chevron, Kinder Morgan and Patterson Drilling) to cosponsor "Oil Field Safety on Drilling and Workover Rigs." The seminar will be held Sept. 14-15 in Odessa, TX, and will cover topics such as PPE, fall protection, confined spaces, fire prevention, welding on or near rigs, lockout/tagout, hydrogen sulfide and emergency action plans. "The Permian Basin oil field business is booming, yet we lack the skilled workers to fill many of those jobs," explains Permian Basin Chapter President Carl Bailey. "Our chapter is responding to the needs of the community by sharing members' hands-on knowledge and experience in oil field safety."
ASSE's Hospitality Branch has prepared a list of 12 tips aimed at increasing safety for amusement park, fair, carnival and water park visitors:
"Although there is no one-size-fits-all solution for all families when it comes to vacation safety," the Hospitality Branch explains, "these tips are a good first step." Click here for more details on each tip.
National Preparedness Month is a nationwide effort designed to encourage Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and schools. The effort is cosponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security and American Red Cross, and is supported by a coalition group that includes ASSE. In addition to urging members to visit www.ready.gov for preparation tips, ASSE is offering six resources: Business Resumption and Disaster Safety Checklist; Workplace Emergency and Crisis Preparation Checklist; Emergency Preparedness and Response Resources; HazMat Emergency Safety Information; HazMat Emergency Response Resources; and Homeland Security Dept. Emergency Preparedness Quiz.
This year, ASSE Foundation will award more than $90,000 in undergraduate/graduate scholarships and professional development grants. Scholarship applications and guidelines for the 35 scholarship programs and Tally Professional Development Grant are now available. The deadline for submitting applications is Dec. 1, 2005.
The manufacturing sector continues to be among the highest producers of injury and illness cases-accounting for 21 percent of injury cases and 42 percent of all newly reported occupational illness cases in 2003 according to BLS. What can be done to improve safety in these environments? Join ASSE Nov. 17-18 in Atlanta for the Manufacturing Safety Symposium to learn effective strategies for assessing and reducing risk, increasing employee participation, managing contractor safety and improving hazard communication. Other topics will include designing for an aging workforce, manufacturing ergonomics, minimizing threats of terrorism, organizational certifications and operational excellence.
ASSE's Middle Tennessee and Arizona Chapters recently created new scholarships through the ASSE Foundation (ASSEF). The Middle Tennessee Chapter donated $40,700 to establish the Harold F. Polston Scholarship. Under the program, ASSEF will award one $2,000 scholarship each year to an undergraduate or graduate pursuing a degree in the occupational safety, health and environmental profession. The fund honors Harold F. Polston, P.E., CSP, who has been an ASSE member for more than 50 years and has filled several volunteer offices for the chapter.
The Arizona Chapter recently donated $23,000 to ASSEF to establish a scholarship for undergraduates and graduates pursuing an occupational safety and health degree. One $1,000 scholarship will be awarded each year.
ASSE has nominated five members to serve on the Maritime Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (MACOSH). MACOSH advises the assistant secretary for occupational safety and health on issues relating to occupational safety and health programs, policies and standards in the maritime industries.
The nominated members are R. Alan Davis, CSP; DeWitt Davis IV, CSP, CIH; Norman H. Black, CSP; Timothy C. Healey and Dewey L. Whitmire. R.A. Davis is safety and compliance manager for American Seafoods in Seattle; he is a professional member of ASSE's Puget Sound Chapter. D. Davis is a marine consultant based in Virginia Beach, VA; he is a professional member of ASSE's Greater Tidewater Chapter. Black is project ES&H manager at Bechtel's Kwajalein Range Service, Marshall Islands; he is a professional member of ASSE's Hawaii Chapter. Healey is director of Hartford Steam Boiler; he is a member of ASSE's Connecticut Valley Chapter. Whitmire is director of professional development for ASSE; he is a member of ASSE's Northeastern Illinois Chapter.
The latest additions to ASSE's Honor Roll.
To help you get to know who does what at ASSE-and who you might need to call about a specific question-we're launching a new section on the ASSE website called "ASSE Staff Resources." In our first installment, you'll meet the staff of ASSE's Member/Region Affairs Dept. and learn more about what they do and how it benefits you as an ASSE member.