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On August 12, 2003, OSHA and the American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI) formed an Alliance promoting safe and healthy working conditions for the textile industry’s employees. Through the Alliance, OSHA and ATMI agreed to provide information and guidance to reduce and prevent exposure to cotton dust, noise, and the unintended release of mechanical, electrical, or other energy hazards and by reaching out to members who may benefit from mentoring or guidance in developing, implementing, or improving safety and health management systems.
At the time of the Alliance signing, ATMI was the national trade association for the textile mill products industry. Its members manufactured yarns, fabrics, home furnishings and other textile products and the industry employed approximately 425,000 workers. The association’s Safety and Health Committee, which served as members of the Alliance’s implementation team, addressed a number of workplace safety and health issues including cotton dust, personal protective equipment and ergonomics.
After OSHA and ATMI began working together to implement the goals of the Alliance, the textile industry experienced a sharp economic downturn which resulted in many textile firms closing their facilities or severely cutting back their production. This decline had a very serious impact on ATMI’s membership and resources; resulting in the association’s dissolution on March 31, 2004.
However, the groups’ initial work together to meet the Alliance goals resulted in some successes: