News Release USDL: 95-290
Monday, July 31, 1995
Contact: Frank Kane, (202) 219-8151
OSHA's "MAINE 200" Program To Receive Vice President's Hammer
At 1 p.m., on Tuesday, August 1, 1995, the Occupational
Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will receive a "Hammer"
Award for its "Maine 200" partnership program. The award is Vice
President Al Gore's special recognition of significant
contributions to the National Performance Review, President
Clinton's reinventing government effort.
Joseph A. Dear, Assistant Secretary of Labor for
Occupational Safety and Health; Elaine Kamarck, Senior Policy
Advisor to the Vice President who heads the National Performance
Review; and Charles O'Leary, president of the Maine AFL-CIO, will
join company officials at the S.D. Warren Company, a pulp and
paper mill near Skowhegan. O'Leary, Bill Freeman, OSHA's Bangor
Area Director, and James Goffi, vice president of operations for
S.D. Warren, will accept "Hammer" awards on behalf of labor,
government and business.
"In Maine, we took enforcement very seriously," said
Freeman. "We conducted wall-to-wall inspections, issuing more
citations than any one else in the country. There was only one
small problem: We were having no impact on worker health and
safety. It was time for a change."
The successful program, instituted in 1993, identified 200
companies with the highest number of workers compensation claims,
and offered those employers a choice: a partnership with OSHA to
improve safety and health at their facilities, or stepped-up
enforcement. All but two firms chose the former. S.D. Warren,
working in partnership with four unions, had particular success
in the program, identifying 17,000 safety and health deficiencies
in self-inspections, and working to correct them.
Ms. Kamarack said, "The common sense of the "Maine 200"
program typifies OSHA's on-going reinvention efforts and a
cooperative partnership between government, industry, and labor
Results of the "Maine 200" program are stunning. Employers
were able to find and fix hazards at a rate of 14 times more
than OSHA had in the past eight years. And three out of five
employers experienced a reduction in lost work days.
"Ironically while we are in the process of reinventing
OSHA--and achieving significant successes like those demonstrated
in the "Maine 200" program--Congress is moving to stop us," said
Dear. "At the same time we are in Maine celebrating this award,
the House of Representatives in Washington is considering an
appropriations bill that would send a wrecking ball through OSHA
efforts to work with employers to protect the health and safety
of America"s working men and women."
Information on this news release will be made available to
sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-219-8151.