Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a Federal advisory committee called the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH). Over the years, several LHSFNA staff members have served as labor representatives on this committee. The committee meets several times a year. Much of the work is done through work groups set up by the committee. There are normally about a half dozen work groups at any one time. Currently, work groups exist on silica, residential fall protection, diversity- women in construction, multilingual issues in construction, trench safety and safety and health training. LHSFNA staff normally attends and participates in the work group meetings. These work groups make recommendations and reports to the full ACCSH which can then vote on recommendations and send them to OSHA.
OSHA has also created a number of Alliances with industry and labor. We participate in the Roadway Safety Alliance with ARTBA, NAPA, AGC and NIOSH. The purpose of this Alliance is to develop products to promote safety in the industry. We are planning in the coming year to train OSHA personnel using our Roadway Safety Program to help them understand the industry better when they do inspections and compliance assistance. OSHA has also created a Roundtable of all their construction alliances. This Roundtable has a few working groups in which we participate, specifically one on fall protection and one on design for safety. These two work groups have combined and are developing products (e.g., training and fact sheets) on designing projects to prevent falls during construction. The Alliance and Roundtable each meet two or three times a year.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) does research on occupational safety and health issues. It has developed sector research councils to help develop a ten-year National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA). We are on the construction sector council. The council has ten working groups on various topics such as safety culture and health hazards. The sector council is now discussing how to implement the research agenda developed over the past three years. NIOSH also has a Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC) which meets several times a year. The Board reviews NIOSH’s research program and makes recommendations to the Agency. The Board is currently reviewing NIOSH’s response to the assessments of its research programs by the National Academies of Sciences (NAS). LHSFNA has a representative on this Board. LHSFNA also is asked by NIOSH researchers to partner with them on numerous research projects such as preventing backovers of highway workers, reducing silica exposures on asphalt milling operations and ladder safety training effectiveness. NIOSH has also created a Prevention through Design (PtD) working group to help promote this concept. LHSFNA has a representative on the advisory board for this working group. NIOSH has also funded several Centers for Excellence in WorkLife, one being the Harvard School of Public Health. Harvard has proposed working with the Fund on a project to help prevent silica exposures and reduce smoking among Laborers. This project is expected to start later this year.
Building and Construction Trades Department
Safety and Health Committee
Safety and Health Committee
The Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO has a Safety and Health Committee that meets every month and includes representatives from most Building Trades Unions. They mostly focus on what is happening at OSHA with regard to construction. They put together comments and testimony on proposed OSHA standards and other regulatory or legislative matters. This committee has several subcommittees in which we are involved, including the Silica Subcommittee.
Change to Win Safety and Health Committee
The Change to Win Federation has a monthly conference call of safety directors to discuss issues at OSHA, legislation in Congress and how safety and health can assist with ongoing organizing campaigns at the various unions. Much of the focus recently has been on the transition to the Obama Administration, appointments to key positions in the Administration and legislation and hearings before Congress such as the Protecting America’s Workers Act.
American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) develops national "consensus" standards with which industry can comply on a voluntary basis. In the past, these standards were adopted by OSHA, and OSHA often uses them as a basis for regulations. The American Society of Safety Engineers is the Secretariat for the A10 standards. We participate in the A10 committee which develops standards for construction operations. We are involved in many of the A10 subcommittees as well. In 2003, there were two new A10 subcommittees created which drafted new standards on Hearing Loss Prevention (A10.46) and Work Zone Safety (A10.47), both of which we chaired. We are now on subcommittees which are developing a standard on safety in construction of wind turbines (A10.21), a standard on control of health hazards in construction (A10.49), a standard on emergency procedures for construction sites (A10.26) and a standard on incorporating safety into the planning process for construction projects (A10.1). As standards are revised or developed, we have an opportunity to review the draft, make comments and vote.
American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA)
The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) is the largest association dealing with occupational health in the United States. It has several committees on which we work. The committees normally meet one or two times a year in person, generally in conjunction with the AIHA annual conference, and have monthly conference calls. We are on the Noise Committee, Construction Committee, Ergonomics Committee and the Social Concerns Committee. The committees develop ideas for sessions to be held at the annual conference, proposals for AIHA publications and position papers to influence AIHA policy and legislative/regulatory activity. For example, the Ergonomics Committee developed an AIHA position on ergonomics which lead AIHA to oppose the bill in Congress designed to stop OSHA ergonomic rulemaking. The Noise Committee voted to have AIHA ask OSHA to extend hearing conservation protections to construction. The Social Concerns Committee developed an AIHA position paper on Worker's Rights to a safe and healthful workplace. It also sponsored the Earl Dotter photo exhibit and book, and it presents the Upton Sinclair memorial lecture at AIHA annual conference to a journalist who has done a significant investigative report on occupational safety and health in the past year. This year the lecture will be given by Alexandra Berzon, the reporter from the Las Vegas Sun who did a series of articles about construction fatalities on the Strip. The AIHA Construction Committee developed a guidance document for contract specifiers to use to incorporate safety and health into the bid documents.
American Public Health Association (APHA)
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is a large public health organization, representing more than 50,000 epidemiologists, occupational health nurses, health educators and other health professionals. We serve on the Occupational Health and Safety Section, and we chair the Industrial Hygiene Committee for the section. The OHS Section promotes progressive public policy for healthful and safe working environments.
CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training
CPWR is affiliated with the BCTD and has a five-year cooperative agreement with NIOSH to do research on construction safety and health issues. It is applying for a new cooperative agreement now. We work closely with CPWR on some of its research projects. It also convenes some work groups such as the Controls Work Group, which promotes the use of engineering controls for health hazards in construction, and the Mast Climbing Scaffold Work Group, which is looking at safety and training requirements for mast climbing scaffolds, both of which we participate in. Jim Melius also sits on the CPWR Technical Advisory Board.