Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

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AGREEMENT ESTABLISHING AN ALLIANCE
BETWEEN
THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR'S
OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
AURORA, CHICAGO NORTH AND CHICAGO SOUTH OSHA AREA OFFICES
AND
The Chicagoland WERCOUNCIL of the WAREHOUSE EDUCATION AND
RESEARCH COUNCIL (WERC)


The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Aurora, Chicago North, and Chicago South Area Offices and he Chicagoland WERC Council recognize the value of establishing a collaborative relationship to foster safer and more healthful American workplaces. WERC is comprised of members and non-members from the warehouse and storage, distribution, fork truck manufacturers, and support service companies. To that end, OSHA and the Chicagoland WERCouncil hereby form an Alliance to provide the Chicagoland WERCouncil members and industry stakeholders with information, guidance, and access to training resources that will help to protect the health and safety of workers, particularly by reducing and preventing exposure to safety and health hazards associated with material handling, forklifts, loading docks, conveyors, hazard communication, machine guarding, and lockout/tagout in the warehouse and distribution industry, and understand the rights of workers and the responsibilities of employers under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act).

This agreement provides a framework and objectives for the Alliance's activities. Alliance participants will summarize specific activities and timeframes for completion in a written work plan.

Through the Alliance, the organizations will use relevant injury, illness and hazard exposure data when appropriate to help identify areas of emphasis for Alliance awareness, outreach, and communication activities. The Alliance will also explore and implement selected options to evaluate the effectiveness of the Alliance and measure the impact of its overall effort on improving workplace safety for employers and workers. In developing this Alliance, OSHA and the Chicagoland WERCouncil recognize that OSHA's State Plan and On-site Consultation Project partners are an integral part of the OSHA national effort, and that information about the products and activities of the Alliance may be shared with these partners for the advancement of common goals.

Raising Awareness of OSHA's Rulemaking and Enforcement Initiatives

The Participants intend to work together to achieve the following objectives related to raising awareness of OSHA's rulemaking and enforcement initiatives:

  • To share publicly available information on OSHA's National/Regional/Local Emphasis Programs, Regulatory Agenda, and opportunities to participate in the rulemaking process.
  • To share information on occupational safety and health laws and standards, including the rights and responsibilities of workers and employers.
  • To organize and/or participate in forums, roundtable discussions, or stakeholder meetings to discuss industry hazards and help forge innovative solutions, best practices, or other approaches on the recognition and prevention of safety and health hazards in the warehouse industry.

To encourage worker participation in workplace safety and health by speaking at WERC events and conferences.

Training and Education

The Participants intend to work together to achieve the following training and education objectives:

  • To develop effective training and education programs for OSHA Compliance Officers (CSHO's) and the Chicagoland WERCouncil members and industry stakeholders regarding struck by hazards, fork lift operational issues and any other hazards within the warehousing industry, and to communicate such information to constituent employers and workers.
  • The Chicago South Area Office will conduct two-hour introduction to OSHA presentations (as resources allow) for OSHA 10 and 30 hour courses offered by WERC members.

Outreach and Communication

The Participants intend to work together to achieve the following outreach and communication objectives:

  • To develop information on the recognition and prevention of workplace hazards, along with ways to communicate such information (e.g., print and electronic media, electronic assistance tools, and OSHA's Website and the Chicagoland WERCouncil's Webpage) to employers and workers in the industry.
  • To speak, exhibit, or appear at OSHA's or WERC conferences, local meetings, or other warehouse events (as resources allow).
  • To share information among OSHA personnel and industry safety and health professionals regarding WERC good practices or effective approaches through training programs, workshops, seminars, and lectures (or any other applicable forum) developed by the participants.
  • To work with other Alliance participants on specific issues and projects on warehousing that are addressed and developed through the Alliance Program.
  • To develop and disseminate case studies on hazards related to fork lift operations and publicize their results.

OSHA's Alliances provide parties an opportunity to participate in a voluntary cooperative relationship with OSHA for purposes such as raising awareness of OSHA's rulemaking and enforcement initiatives, training and education, and outreach and communication. These Alliances have proved to be valuable tools for both OSHA and its Alliance participants. By entering into an Alliance with a party, OSHA is not endorsing or promoting, nor does it intend to endorse or promote, any of that party's products or services.

An implementation team made up of representatives of each organization will meet to develop a work plan, determine working procedures, and identify the roles and responsibilities of the participants. In addition, they will meet at least two times per year to track and share information on activities and results in achieving the goals of the Alliance. OSHA team members will include representatives of the Aurora, Chicago North and Chicago South Area Offices. OSHA will encourage State Plan States' and OSHA On-site Consultation Projects' participation on the team.

This agreement will remain in effect for two years. Either signatory may terminate it for any reason at any time, provided they give 30 days' written notice. This agreement may be modified at any time with the written concurrence of both signatories.

Signed this 27th day of September 2018.


  • Kathy Webb, Area Director
  • OSHA - Chicago South Area Office

  • Angie Loftus, Area Director
  • OSHA - Chicago North Area Office

  • Jacob Scott, Area Director
  • OSHA - Aurora Area Office

  • Michael Mikitka, Chief Executive Officer
  • WERC

  • Dan Beard, Chair
  • Chicagoland WERCouncil

  • William Miller, Vice Chair
  • Chicagoland WERCouncil
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