July-August 2016

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 9 of 47

INSIDE NWPCA Capitol Hill Corner By Patrick Atagi, NWPCA Vice President, Advocacy & External Affairs I encourage you to read "Inside NWPCA" on the preceding pages which highlights the successful NWPCA Congressional Fly-in recently held in Washington, DC. What often escapes attention is the education sessions held on the second day where we focus on regulatory actions and federal agencies. The second day began with a presentation by NWPCA invited guest, Doug Kalinowski, Director of the Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs (OSHA-DCSP) . Director Kalinowski started off the briefing by discussing the Region 5 (Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin) Low Emphasis Program (LEP). He noted that since the implementation of the LEP, the most common violations identified by OSHA in the wooden pallet manufacturing sector, Region 5, are as follows: Lockout (45), Hazard Communication (23), Noise (20), Woodworking Machinery (18), Exit Routes (12), Powered Industrial Trucks (11), Electrical General (9), Recordkeeping (9), Personal Protective Equipment (5), Fire Extinguishers (5), and Miscellaneous (28). Low Emphasis Programs are enforcement strategies designed and implemented by OSHA at the regional office and/or local levels to address hazards or industries that pose a particular risk to workers in the office's jurisdiction. LEP's are generally accompanied by outreach efforts to make employers in the area aware of the program as well as the hazards that the programs are designed to reduce or eliminate. OSHA is monitoring the LEP closely, with an eye to possibly expand the program to other regions, or nationally, depending on outcomes. Adele Abrams, NWPCA's OSHA consultant, provided additional background on key emphasis areas and some proactive steps that wood packaging companies can take to advance safety and assure compliance. NWPCA staff and Ms. Abrams have had initial conversations with Director Kalinowski and OSHA regarding the potential for renewing the OSHA National Alliance with the wooden pallet and container industry that existed in the early 2000s. Through the Alliance Program, OSHA works with groups committed to worker safety and health to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses. OSHA would work with NWPCA and its members to develop compliance assistance tools and resources, share information with workers and employers, and educate workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities. The benefits of the Alliance are to increase worker access to workplace safety and health tools, maximize resources for worker safety, and establish a dialogue between companies and the agency. The other educational programs during our Fly-in day included background briefings on the Food Safety Modernization Act, status of the NFPA and ICC Fire Code development process and NWPCA's development of a fire code compliance guide/standard. After reviewing the myriad of safety- related initiatives, the association is looking to make 2017 the "Year of Safety." Look for events such as a "Safety Summit," an overhaul of our Safety Manual, a potential safety alliance with OSHA, regional fire code compliance workshops, and more collaborative efforts with the Material Handling Institute and the Industrial Truck Association, in the future. In a related activity, NWPCA President/CEO Brent McClendon attended the Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation (ITSDF) Trustee meeting on June 13, while NWPCA's Vice President of Advocacy and External Affairs, Patrick Atagi, participated in "National Forklift Safety Day (NFSD)" on June 14. PC 10 PalletCentral • July-August 2016 NWPCA Alabama delegation meets with U.S. Representative Gary Palmer. Congressman Rick Nolan, a former wooden pallet manufacturer himself. Awarding our inaugural "Champion of the Industry" award is Richard Berry.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of palletcentral - July-August 2016