Foulke Promises Emphasis Programs on Popcorn Flavoring, Refineries

OSHA chief Edwin Foulke Jr. told attendees of the 2007 American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Expo June 6 in Philadelphia that two new national emphasis programs will be announced this month. Both are addressing areas for which OSHA has been criticized by members of Congress, and one--petrochemical refineries--responds to the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board's criticism that OSHA has neglected oversight of that sector.

Foulke announced them during Wednesday's opening session, which featured a Q&A format with Foulke, NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard, and moderator Dave Johnson, editor of ISHN magazine. The popcorn flavorings NEP, aimed at respiratory ailments triggered by the flavoring ingredient diacetyl, is a direct response to a NIOSH investigation.

OSHA also will release ergonomic guidelines soon for shipyard employers and employees, Foulke said. He said ergonomic injuries have been declining steadily since OSHA's ergonomics standard was rescinded by Congress in early 2001, and this decline indicates OSHA's four-pronged approach of outreach is working well, Foulke said.

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