TRADE NEWS RELEASE
Wednesday, Dec.13, 2000
CONTACT: Lydia Kleiner
PHONE: (202) 693-1999
HAMMER AWARD PRESENTED TO OSHA FOR SUCCESSFUL PARTNERSHIPS IN WORKER SAFETY AND HEALTH
The prestigious Hammer Award will be presented today to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for its Strategic Partnerships for Worker Safety and Health -- a national and regional program to improve workplace safety and health through cooperative, voluntary agreements between OSHA, employers and employees.
"We are very pleased to be honored with a Hammer Award for our efforts to encourage voluntary compliance with OSHA's standards through partnership," said OSHA Administrator Charles Jeffress. "OSHA's Strategic Partnerships for Worker Safety and Health create opportunities for OSHA to enter into cooperative relationships to eliminate serious hazards and encourage a high level of worker safety and health."
"Partnership programs emphasize sustained efforts and continuing results," said Assistant Secretary of Labor Jeffress. "They are key to leveraging federal resources and expanding the use of best practices in occupational safety and health."
Three speakers will represent organized labor, private industry, and a construction industry at the awards ceremony. They are Douglas J. McCarron, General President of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBC); Jack Duley, Regional Director of Safety and Health for Clark Construction Group, Inc., and Ralph Riley, Director of Safety and Health for the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (ABC). Clark Construction is a partner with OSHA on the 101 Constitution Avenue project for the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. The UBC is a long time national partner with OSHA for worksite safety and health, and the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a partner with OSHA on the national level, overseeing local ABC chapter agreements with OSHA Area Offices across the nation.
The majority of OSHA's partnerships focus on areas such as silica and lead exposure and serious hazards in the nursing home, food processing, logging and construction industries -- issues the agency has targeted as part of its strategic plan. Most of the worksites that have chosen to partner with OSHA are small businesses.
The partnership program involves pooling resources to make a difference at more workplaces and for more employees than OSHA could reach with a traditional enforcement program focused on inspections of individual worksites. By sharing skills, expertise and limited resources, OSHA and its partners are working to produce the kinds of lasting, systematic changes that save lives and prevent injuries and illnesses.
A partnership can benefit employers by helping them develop practical skills needed to identify hazards and solve problems; helping them establish effective safety and health programs; reducing workers' compensation insurance and other costs of injuries and illnesses; increasing productivity, enhancing employee morale, reducing absenteeism, improving the company's relationship with OSHA and providing opportunities to help other businesses, the employer's industry and the community.
Employees benefit from the partnership because the program helps reducing risk of injury, illness or death on the job; increases practical safety and health knowledge and skills; provides an opportunity to work cooperatively with OSHA and stakeholders; and enhances employee morale and the quality of work life.
The partnerships work effectively for OSHA by providing opportunities to work cooperatively to improve worker protection, enabling OSHA to increase its emphasis on serious hazards; offering a means to gather data and track results; offering opportunities to leverage the agency's limited resources; and producing models of effective, voluntary, cooperative compliance.
"The Hammer Award is an excellent tool for tearing down an outmoded structure and is also very useful in building something new and better in its place," said Morley Winograd, Director of the National Partnership for Reinventing Government, the organization presenting the Hammer Award. "For that reason, the Vice President has chosen it as his way of recognizing the efforts of those federal employee teams who have successfully reinvented a process or program in order to make it work better and cost less."
This award is the 16th Hammer received by OSHA since its first award in 1994. Twenty-seven employees are part of the team recognized for developing and implementing the Strategic Partnership Program this year.
For more information about OSHA's Strategic Partnership Program for Worker Safety and Health, see OSHA's website: www.osha.gov and click on New OSHA Partnership Page.
This news release text is on the Internet World Wide Web at www.osha.gov. Information on this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Phone: (202) 693-1999.