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Evaluation of an Occupational Safety and Health Program for the Small Business Wood Pallet Industry, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Start Printed Page 20129
Background and Brief Description
The Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, section 501, enables NIOSH to carry out research relevant to the health and safety of workers. The goal of this project is to determine whether receipt of a NIOSH informational manual about OSH concerns specific to pallet manufacturing and recycling will motivate owners or managers to take actions resulting in a safer workplace. The theoretical basis of the study follows the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) of Prochaska and DiClemente (1984). This model states that change is defined by 5 stages: (1) Pre-contemplation—people are unaware of problems and are not thinking seriously about changing within the next 6 months (2) contemplation—the stage where people become aware that a problem exists and intend to take action within the next 6 months (3) preparation—investigating options and intending to take action in the next 30 days (4) action—people institute environmental changes and change their overt behavior and (5) maintenance—people continue the gains obtained during the action stage for longer than 6 months.
Small business entrepreneurship is a vital component of the U.S. economy. Occupational safety and health activities including research, regulation, enforcement, and intervention historically have not focused on small businesses despite their predominance and relatively large numbers of employees overall. Few small business establishments provide on-site occupational health units, medical screening tests, pre-placement physicals, or employ, or use, industrial hygiene or safety personnel/consultants. As a consequence, prevention of occupational injury and illness is often difficult in small business establishments because they generally have few safety and health resources, do not hire staff devoted to safety and health activities, and often lack the ability to identify occupational hazards and conduct surveillance.
The pallet manufacturing industry has higher injury rates than general industry. The incidence rate for non-fatal injuries in the wood pallet and skid (SIC 2448) manufacturing industry was 226% greater than that for general industry. The type of injuries sustained at wood pallet manufacturers and their rates of increase (2002) compared to general industry included amputations (2220% higher), cuts and punctures (378% higher), fractures (237% higher), bruises (221% higher) sprains and strains (133% higher) and back pain (305% higher).
Through this study, NIOSH will evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of providing carefully constructed OSH information to one segment of small business pallet makers. The informational manual will be divided into eight chapters targeting specific hazards relevant to pallet work and will provide the owners/managers with suggestions for controlling those hazards. Chapters were selected based on prior NIOSH site visits to a sample of pallet makers and in consultation with the National Wood Pallet and Container Association. The chapters include: An introduction to OSH, developing a site specific safety program, controlling noise, improving ventilation, saw safety, forklift safety, preventing build up of carbon monoxide, and prevention of musculoskeletal injury through ergonomics.
This project will utilize two groups, a treatment group and a control group, in a pre-post design. 180 pallet companies will be randomly selected and assigned to six groups from a list of small pallet businesses in the United States that was provided by a market research firm. Both groups will participate in a baseline survey conducted by telephone. The treatment group will then receive the NIOSH informational manual by mail and the control group will not receive the manual until the conclusion of the study. Five months after the mailing, both groups will participate in a follow-up telephone survey designed to assess whether receipt and use of the material encouraged owners/managers to contemplate, plan, or initiate OSH changes at their facility. The questionnaire will determine whether owners/managers have progressed from baseline along the stage of change continuum because of receipt and use of the NIOSH material, or if some other factor is influencing their safety and health actions. It is possible that improvements in OSH may occur due to other influences and not from the informational manual. For example, it is possible that some event will occur that will make the entire industry more aware of occupational safety and health. Use of a similar control group will help in this determination.
While the entire NIOSH study, including approvals, development and review of the materials effectiveness will occur over a three-year period, data collection will occur within a one-year period. There will be no cost to respondents except their time to participate in the telephone survey.
|Type of respondents||Form name||Number of respondents||Number of responses per respondent||Average burden per response (in hours)||Total burden (in hours)|
|Pallet company safety and health managers; Treatment Group||Initial Questionnaire (incomplete) Initial Questionnaire (complete) Follow-up Questionnaire||17 95 90||1 1 1||3/60 12/60 15/60||1 19 23|
|Pallet company safety and health managers; Control Group||Initial Questionnaire (incomplete) Initial Questionnaire (complete) Follow-up Questionnaire*||17 95 90||1 1 1||3/60 12/60 9/60||8 19 14|
Dated: April 17, 2007.
Joan F. Karr,
Acting Reports Clearance Officer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
[FR Doc. E7-7650 Filed 4-20-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4163-18-P