Society Of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, OSHA Form Alliance

November 08, 2004

Workers in the medical ultrasound community stand to benefit from an Alliance signed here today between the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The SDMS and OSHA signed the formal Alliance to provide SDMS members and others in the medical community with resources that will help focus on reducing and preventing exposure to work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSD).

In a joint statement, Donald F. Haydon, SDMS Executive Director, and Joan P. Baker, Chair, SDMS Work-Related MSD Conference said: "SDMS is proud to have formed an Alliance with OSHA to address the issue of work-related MSDs in the sonographer population. We believe that our organizational cooperation holds real promise for reducing the MSD incidence rate among sonographers and enhancing the lives of those who dedicate their careers to providing access to quality diagnostic medical ultrasound for the American public."

The SDMS will work with OSHA to develop training and education programs on work-related MSD issues for the medical ultrasound community (e.g., employees, employers, educators, medical facilities, and equipment manufacturers). The Alliance calls for OSHA and SDMS to share information regarding SDMS best practices or effective approaches and then publicize results through developed materials, training programs, workshops, seminars, or lectures. Both organizations will also speak, exhibit and appear at conferences, local meetings or other events, and also disseminate information for the workers in the ultrasound industry through the media and from both organization's websites.

The SDMS and OSHA will work with other Alliance participants on specific issues and projects related to MSDs and overall ergonomics issues that are addressed and developed through OSHA's Alliance Program. Finally, both organizations will participate in forums and roundtable discussions on MSD and ergonomic issues related to sonography to help forge innovative solutions in the workplace.

Founded in 1970, the SDMS is an international non-profit professional health association of more than 16,000 members. The SDMS develops and implements educational programs and encourages research to enhance the art and science of medicine through the advancement of medical sonography.

OSHA Probing New York Electrocution

OSHA is currently investigating the recent electrocution of an engineer performing a routine inspection of a Bank of New York regional service center.

Gerald C. Langford, 61, a chief engineer with Grubb & Ellis Management Services Inc., was inspecting a transformer in a substation behind the service center near the Oneida County, NY Airport.

During the course of his inspection, he came in contact with an electrified terminal on the transformer. Sheriff's deputies attempted to revive Langford at the scene and in transit. He was pronounced dead at St. Elizabeth Medical Center.

In addition to the OSHA investigation, the Oneida County Sheriff's Office is currently investigating the incident.

OSHA, American Biological Safety Association Renew Alliance

OSHA Administrator John Henshaw recently signed a two-year renewal of the American Biological Safety Association (ABSA) Alliance that will continue focusing on the control and mitigation of biological hazards in the workplace.

The renewal for the ABSA Alliance, signed Oct. 13, will continue providing more opportunities for advancing workplace safety and health within the industry. Originally launched on Sept. 23, 2002, the ABSA Alliance identifies emerging biological safety issues and potential methods to address those issues.

ABSA members continue to participate on biological hazard-related editorial boards for various OSHA Safety and Health Topics web pages and electronic assistance tools including: blood borne pathogens; hazardous waste operations; emergency response; indoor air quality; and Legionnaires' Disease.

ABSA and OSHA will continue to focus on a number of outreach and communication goals to address biological safety issues in the workplace, including the sharing of technical information and best practices, while also providing OSHA with technical advice, information and recommendations on biological safety concerns. Both organizations will work together to identify emerging occupational biological safety issues and develop methods to address them.

Many other information and data-sharing initiatives remain a focus of the Alliance, including joint efforts to encourage employers to incorporate biological safety strategies into their overall safety and health programs.

ABSA was founded in 1984 to promote biosafety as a scientific discipline and serve the growing needs of biosafety professionals in more than 20 countries. The field of biosafety promotes safe laboratory practices, procedures, and proper use of containment equipment and facilities, and stimulates responsible activities among laboratory workers.

Chicago Zoo Cleared By OSHA Following Mauling

OSHA has issued its final report on the recent lion attack and mauling of a keeper in the yard of ChicagoÆs Lincoln Park ZooÆs lion house.

The report cleared the zoo of any blame for the attack, saying it found no violations of federal workplace safety and health regulations. No citations were issued.

The agency's policy is not to determine the cause in such incidents, and the report offered no insight into how the attack happened. Zoo officials at a Thursday afternoon news conference announcing the OSHA findings also offered no new insights on the attack.

The zoo has completed its own internal investigation.

The injured keeper, Nancy DeFiesta, 60, is still recovering from wounds she suffered when two lions jumped on her as she cleaned the bottom of a moat separating the lion yard from a public walkway.

It is unclear whether DeFiesta or another keeper ignored or forgot safety protocol, allowing her entry into an enclosure while dangerous animals were present.

While OSHA found no fault with zoo facilities and procedures, it did issue some non-binding recommendations. The zoo has complied, instructing keepers to radio colleagues of their position when entering an exhibit, both as an informational precaution and to make certain their radios are working. DeFiesta called for help on her radio during the incident; other keepers fired bursts from fire extinguishers to herd the animals away from DeFiesta and out of the yard.

Georgia Ice Company Faces OSHA Citations

OSHA has issued five citations against Reddy Ice Company of Albany, GA, following allegations that the company failed to train and certify employees who operate powered industrial trucks. The company was also cited for improperly logging broken equipment and improperly labeling electrical equipment and chemical containers.

The company faces proposed penalties of over $17,000. Another Reddy Ice facility located in Jacksonville, FL, was also cited recently by OSHA when a worker died after being caught in an unguarded ice-leveling machine.

The Reddy Ice Corporation has 15 working days to contest all citations.