Volume No. 38
CONN-OSHA Director Named
CONN-OSHA Signs Alliance Pacts with UCONN CTI & CHSSA
Richard T. Palo
Named Director of CONN-OSHA
By Joe Weber
The early retirement incentives offered to state employees last spring had a
profound effect on every state agency, with many experienced long-tenured
employees opting to take advantage of the extra benefits obtainable by retiring
in mid-2003. The CONN-OSHA Division of the Connecticut Labor Department lost
some valuable assets, among them their director Don Heckler, who left with 31
years of state service. The Division is fortunate, however, to have on staff
someone with the experience and training necessary to fill the void and continue
to maintain the tradition of excellence CONN-OSHA has always enjoyed. Who is
Rich Palo? Where did he come from and why has his background made him such an
obvious choice as our new Director?
life-long resident of Connecticut, Rich was born and raised in Trumbull,
graduating from Trumbull High School. From there he attended Bridgeport
University for his B.S. degree and Quinnipiac College for his M.S. degree in
public health/industrial hygiene. After graduating, he was employed as an
Industrial Hygienist at the General Electric Company for Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office years before coming
to the Connecticut Labor Department 19 years ago. Along the way he became a
Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) and a Certified Medical Technologist (CMT).
Currently, Rich lives in Newtown with Beverly, his wife of 28 years and their
three children: Todd, Kyle and Meredith.
Starting as an Industrial Hygienist in the CONN-OSHA Division, Rich was soon
promoted to Supervisor and then to Occupational Health Manager before becoming
Acting Director in June 2003 and Director effective October 2003. His
commitment to safety and health is reflected in the memberships he holds in
safety organizations outside the workplace including: the American Industrial
Hygiene Association, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial
Hygienists, the State Emergency Response Commission, and past-president of the
Connecticut Safety Society. Among Rich’s proudest achievements while at the
Labor Department are being a member of the Ad Hoc Committee for the Connecticut
Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE) on Indoor Air Quality in Connecticut
Schools and currently representing the Northeast as a board member for the
Occupational Safety and Health State Plan States (OSHSPA).
The goals that Rich has set for the CONN-OSHA Division include expanding
occupational safety and health training and education programs and working with
Connecticut organizations and associations to continuously improve safety and
health in the state. He would also like to promote the use of consultation
activity and voluntary compliance, as well as foster Connecticut’s small
business participation in the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program
staff and all those who have become acquainted with Rich Palo in his almost 30
years of dedicated work in the field of occupational safety and health wish him
well as he embarks on this challenging and important role. We know his
experience and skills will serve the safety and health community well.
CONN-OSHA is the sponsor of the Second Annual Safety and Health Achievement
Recognition Program (SHARP) Luncheon to be held on October 20, 2004, at the
Laborers’ Training Academy, in Pomfret, CT.
The first luncheon, held in Massachusetts on January 26, 2004, was attended by
about 50 people, including the OSHA Region I Administrator, Marthe Kent,
numerous other Region I officials, representatives from current New England
SHARP companies, and people from companies interested in pursuing SHARP
certification in the future.
It was a gala affair with presentations to new SHARP companies, and awards for
long-term SHARP participants. Save the date to attend and mingle with top OSHA
officials, proud safety-conscience companies, and the consultants that make it
More information about the SHARP program is available on-line at:
CONN-OSHA SIGNS ALLIANCE PACTS
WITH UCONN CTI AND CHSSA
Two alliances signed recently by the Connecticut Department of Labor's
Occupational Safety and Health Division (CONN-OSHA), will provide additional
training and resources for members of the participating organizations to help
protect their employees’ health and safety.
Alliances, explains Tom Hozebin, CONN-OSHA Program Manager, have proven to be
valuable tools in promoting workplace safety and health. “They are designed to
open a dialogue between CONN-OSHA and a partner for the purposes of training and
education, outreach, and communication promoting the national dialogue on
workplace safety and health,” he said.
The first alliance, according to Hozebin, was signed in April between CONN-OSHA
representatives and the University of Connecticut, “to provide additional
training and resources for the students in the school’s Connecticut
Transportation Institute Technology Transfer Center (UCONN CTI) and to provide
state and local highway and street maintenance personnel with training and
education designed to reduce workplace injuries.”
Through the UCONN CTI agreement:
The parties will develop and
disseminate information through print and electronic media, including links from
CONN-OSHA’s and CTI’s web sites;
CONN-OSHA will speak, exhibit and
appear at CTI’s conferences, local meetings and other events, such as the
organization’s Fall Expo and Connecticut Career Days series; and
CONN-OSHA and CTI will share best
practices with others in the industry and publicize the results through outreach
by CTI, and through CONN-OSHA or CTI developed training programs and materials.
The second, a May alliance agreement signed between CONN-OSHA and the
Connecticut Highway Street Supervisors Association (CHSSA) is intended to
provide additional training and resources for members of the organization to
help them protect employees’ health and safety. Reducing and preventing
exposure to road construction hazards and addressing work zone safety issues are
main goals of the agreement.
CONN-OSHA and CHSSA, Hozebin said, will work together to achieve the following
training and education goals:
Develop training and educational
programs on Supervisor Responsibility and Road Construction Hazards targeted to
the public works industry.
Deliver or arrange for the
delivery of Supervisory Responsibility and Road Construction Hazard
Deliver or arrange for the training
of the OSHA Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office-Hour Construction Industry Outreach Training course.
The two parties will also work together to achieve the following outreach and
Develop and disseminate information
through print and electronic media, including links from CONN-OSHA’s and CHSSA’s
CONN-OSHA will speak, exhibit and
appear at CHSSA’s conferences, local meetings, and other events.
Share information on best practices
with others in the industry and publicize the results through outreach by CHSSA,
and through CONN-OSHA or CHSSA developed training programs and materials.
According to Hozebin, an implementation team comprised of CONN-OSHA and CHSSA
representatives will develop a plan of action, determine working procedures, and
identify the roles and responsibilities of the participants. In addition, they
will meet at least quarterly to track and share information on activities and
results in achieving the goals of the alliance.
The UCONN CTI
and CHSSA agreements are the first two public sector alliances carried out by
CONN-OSHA. Both will remain in effect for two years.
Automobile Hits Two Public
Works Employees in Work Zone
By Jeff Saltus, Occupational Safety Compliance Officer
On Wednesday, February 11, 2004, a municipal public works
department was involved in a tree trimming operation on a local town road. The
operation involved five employees – two flagmen, a chipper operator, a bucket
operator and the foreman. The road crew had set up “Tree Work Ahead” signs at
opposite ends of the work zone along with traffic cones around vehicles and in
the center of the median. At approximately 12:45 p.m. two workers were struck
and knocked down by a passing motorist. Both employees were sent to a local
hospital for the treatment of their injuries. Injuries involved head lacerations
and a broken leg. A third member narrowly escaped injury by jumping out of the
way of the car.
INVESTIGATION - FACTS
It was determined that there were deficiencies in the work
zone set up relating to the use of the traffic control devices to properly
control automobile flow patterns. This includes proper placement of traffic
cones, warning signs, barrier trucks and flagman. The automobile had an
unobstructed route into the work zone/employees.
CONCLUSION – RECOMMENDATIONS
Effective temporary traffic control enhances traffic safety
and efficiency, regardless of whether street construction, maintenance or
utility work are taking place in the work zone. Effective temporary traffic
control must provide for the safety of the workers, road users and pedestrians.
At the same time, it must provide for the efficient completion of whatever
activity suspended the normal use of the roadway. In order to do so, it is
recommended that employers:
Ensure that a traffic control plan is in place prior to work zone set
up. A good traffic control plan will ensure the safety of the traveling
public, as well as the safety of the workers inside the work zone.
Ensure that the work zone is set up in accordance with 29 CFR 1926.201 and
1926.202, which incorporate by reference the Millennium Edition of the MUTCD
(Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices). The MUTCD provides for uniform
design and setup of highway work zones. It contains exhaustive specifications
for signage, pavement and curb markings, and traffic signals. It also prescribes
temporary traffic control measures for numerous scenarios involving lane
closures, lane shifts, detours, shoulders, training, personal protective
equipment, speed reduction, barriers, and lighting.
Train employees on the MUTCD.
Close the road completely and reroute traffic
Train all flaggers consistent with their level of responsibility and work zone
conditions. Flaggers should know the traffic flow, the work zone setup, and
proper placement of channeling devices.
Require all workers to wear high visibility safety apparel.
Compliance with OSHA regulations 29 CFR 1926.201 and
1926.202, which incorporate MUTCD by reference, is a necessary first step in
providing a safe and healthy work zone environment. This incident could have
easily been a fatality investigation. Stay Alert – Work Safe
Breakfast Roundtable Discussion Group
August 17, 2004, September 21, 2004, October
(The third Tuesday of every month)
The intent of these free 90-minute workshops is to discuss safety and health
issues in a supportive and informal environment. These meetings cover subjects
ranging from evacuation plans and fire extinguishers to air quality and
ergonomics. The roundtable meetings are held from 8:15 am to 9:45 am at the
Division’s offices located at 38 Wolcott Hill Road, Wethersfield, CT.
Pre-registration is encouraged, but not required.
Powered Industrial Trucks*
September 14, 2004 or December 9,
With well over one million lift trucks in operation
today, emphasis must be placed on both operator and pedestrian safety. This
half-day program will help you understand OSHA safety and health regulations
governing these pieces of equipment, in addition to providing you with
assistance in developing training for your lift truck operators and other
OSHA 300 Recordkeeping Training—What Does and
Does Not Need to be Recorded*
September 17, 2004, December 2, 2004,
or March 3, 2005
The purpose of this workshop is to introduce the requirements and procedures
related to the OSHA 300 log. The class will help develop skills to accurately
report occupational injuries and illnesses. Resources and reference materials
will be provided.
Indoor Air Quality*
October 7, 2004
Concerns with Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) have increased since energy conservation
measures were instituted in office buildings during the 1970s, minimizing the
infiltration of outside air and contributing to the buildup of indoor air
contaminants. Complaints about IAQ range from simple complaints such as the air
smelling odd to more complex, where the air quality causes illness and lost work
time. It may not be easy to identify a single reason for IAQ complaints because
of the number and variety of possible sources, causes, and varying individual
sensitivities. This session will provide practical safety and health information
and resources relevant to indoor air quality.
Trenching and Excavation*
November 4, 2004 or May 5, 2005
Studies show that excavation work is one of the most hazardous types of work
done in the construction industry. The primary concern in excavation-related
work is a cave-in. Cave-ins are much more likely to be fatal to the employees
involved than other construction-related accidents. This session delivers a
thorough overview of 29 CFR 1926.650 -652, including the role of the competent
*Classes are free and will be held at 200 Folly
Brook Boulevard, Wethersfield, CT in Conference Room A from 9 am - 12 noon,
unless otherwise noted. Pre-registration is required.
To register for any of these sessions, call John Able at (860) 566-4550, ext.
398 or send an email to
for more training information.
April 17, 2018