Foulke: MACOSH Insight of Great Importance to OSHA

As OSHA Administrator Edwin Foulke welcomed members of the Maritime Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (MACOSH) at its meeting on Sept. 26, he stressed that recommendations given by advisory committees such as MACOSH do not go unnoticed.

"You know your industries' safety and health needs and you have a particular insight into the potential impact of OSHA activities," he told the committee.

Last year, MACOSH made a couple of recommendations that OSHA heeded that included the launch of the fire-protection module for the Shipyard Protection e-Tool. Foulke called the module a "crucial addition to an important resource," as it would protect shipyard employment workers from fire hazards while conducting ship repair, shipbuilding, ship-breaking and related work activities as well as firefighting activities.

Other recommendations OSHA accepted and completed were the proposal of a hexavalent chromium rule tailored to the maritime work environment as well as OSHA working with national shipyard alliances to obtain industry and labor input on revised Safety and Health Injury Prevention Sheets for the industry.

Alliances, Partnerships Essential for Bottom Line

Foulke emphasized how alliance, strategic partnerships and the Voluntary Protection Program have beneficial outcomes, citing the $2 million saved in workers' compensation costs by three Navy shipyards that participate in VPP.

In addition, Foulke said that the alliance OSHA formed with the National Maritime Safety Association back in June will allow the agency to look closely into issues of importance to the marine cargo handling industry such as intermodal container lashing and marine terminal traffic safety issues.

"Together, we can do so much to help the maritime industries to be safer and more productive places to work," he said.

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