OSHA Alliance Agreement
October 10, 2002
Contact: Bill Wright
Phone: (202) 693-1999
AGREEMENT ESTABLISHING AN ALLIANCE BETWEEN THE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND THE AMERICAN INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE ASSOCIATION
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) recognize the value of establishing a collaborative relationship to cultivate healthy and safe American workplaces. OSHA and the AIHA therefore agree to form an Alliance to use their collective expertise to help foster a culture of illness and injury prevention while sharing best practices and technical knowledge. The agreement focuses on general injury and illness prevention programs including ergonomics.
Founded in 1939, AIHA is a premier association of professionals practicing in the field of occupational and environmental health and safety. AIHA's 12,000 members play a crucial role on the front line of worker health and safety every day. Members represent a cross-section of industry, private business, labor, academia, and government.
Ergonomics is a multidisciplinary science that uses principles based on the physical and psychological capabilities of people to design or modify jobs, equipment, process, and workplaces. In the ergonomics area, Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) continue to be an important health and safety issue in the workplace. AIHA has long placed importance on workplace ergonomics improvements and elimination of MSDs.
OSHA and the AIHA agree to establish an Alliance to promote healthy and safe working conditions for all workers by:
- Providing AIHA members with information and guidance that will help them protect employees' health and safety by reducing and preventing employee exposure to ergonomic hazards.
- Reaching out to AIHA members with specific guidance for developing, implementing, or improving ergonomic programs.
AIHA and OSHA will work together to effect the following outreach and communication goals:
- Seeking opportunities to jointly develop and disseminate information at conferences, events, or through print and electronic media, including links from OSHA's and AIHA web sites.
- Promoting and encouraging AIHA members' worksite participation in OSHA's cooperative programs such as compliance assistance, the Voluntary Protection Programs, Consultation, and SHARP. In addition, they will act as facilitators to members that aspire to excellence in health and safety for their worksites.
- Continuing to facilitate dialog between occupational and environmental health and safety organizations and associations to maintain visibility and presence with federal and state policymakers.
- Establishing avenues and processes for AIHA members to mentor and assist OSHA personnel as OSHA personnel proceed with professional certification.
OSHA and the AIHA will work together in the following ways to promote a national dialogue on workplace health and safety by:
- Developing, promoting and sharing information on best worksite practices of AIHA members with others in the occupational health and safety profession through outreach by AIHA and OSHA's various programs.
- Sharing data developed by AIHA members and others that support solutions to ergonomic hazards, as well as providing examples of hazard recognition strategies and analytical tools with OSHA and others in the occupational health and safety profession. The hope is that these steps will encourage wide implementation.
- Convening or participating in forums and roundtable discussions on ergonomic problems to help forge innovative solutions to ergonomic issues in the workplace.
OSHA and the AIHA will also work together to achieve the following training and education goal:
- Assisting AIHA members with developing and delivering training and education programs on ergonomics hazard reduction and elimination in the workplace.
AIHA currently has nine technical publications available for AIHA members and non-members to assist in ergonomics injury prevention. AIHA will continue to expand AIHA products, services and education to continue promoting the importance of understanding ergonomics.
An implementation team made up of representatives of OSHA and the AIHA will meet to 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. OSHA will also afford the opportunity for representatives of the Occupational Safety and Health State Plan Association and the association of state Consultation Projects to participate as well.
This agreement will remain in effect for one year from the date of signing and will be automatically renewed thereafter unless terminated by either of the signatories. This agreement may be modified at any time with the concurrence of the signatories and may be terminated for any reason with 30 days written notice from either of the signatories.
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