The North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA) completed the first steps of a comprehensive, voluntary work practice program developed in conjunction with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and key contractor organizations.
In December 1995, OSHA announced a list of 18 substances, which the agency viewed as priorities for rulemaking. OSHA agreed that 13 of those 18 substances would be candidates for development of a voluntary standard without the burden of a formal rulemaking. Fiberglass, rock and slag wool, also known as "synthetic mineral" fibers, were substances listed for a voluntary standard.
In preparation, NAIMA reviewed suggested work practices from foreign countries, labor unions and individual synthetic mineral fiber manufacturing companies, and adopted the Health and Safety Partnership Program (HSPP) May 18, 1999. The program is designed to protect worker health and safety by providing specific and uniform jobsite work practice recommendations for the manufacture, fabrication, and installation of fiber glass, rock wool and slag wool insulation products. The voluntary program consolidates existing industry work practice recommendations for the proper handling into an organized educational and training program with OSHA''s seal of approval.
"We are pleased with the progress NAIMA has made in building a foundation for the Health and Safety Partnership Program," says Charles Jeffress, OSHA administrator. "We applaud NAIMA and its members and look forward to continuing our work together on this important program in the coming years."
As part of the HSPP, NAIMA has three years to fully implement all program elements, followed by a five-year compliance period. "In just the first year of the eight-year HSPP, NAIMA has made significant progress in implementing the HSPP," says Ken Mentzer, president of NAIMA. "We have completed more than 10 worker-training sessions across the country, developed the industry''s exposure database, and produced a series of promotional and education materials. Our success in the first year and the positive feedback from users and insulation installers underscores our members'' commitment to this program and to the health and safety of industry workers."
NAIMA and its member companies are currently developing written educational. In addition to the development of brochures, posters, fact sheets and tip sheets, NAIMA is revising the Work Smart video program and support materials. NAIMA will also be developing a training curriculum, including "train the trainer" sessions.
Complete implementation of the program will occur over a three-year period and NAIMA will continually provide written reports to OSHA updating the agency on the program''s progress. For information about how to order HSPP training materials, visit www.naima.org.