AGREEMENT ESTABLISHING AN ALLIANCE
BILLINGS AREA OFFICE
OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
MONTANA RENEWABLE ENERGY ASSOCIATION (MREA)
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Billings Area Office and the Montana Renewable Energy Association recognize the value of maintaining a collaborative relationship to foster safer and more healthful American workplaces. To that end, OSHA and the Montana Renewable Energy Association hereby form an Alliance to provide the Montana Renewable Energy Association members and others with information, guidance, and access to training resources that will help them protect the health and safety of workers, particularly by reducing and preventing exposure to the hazards associated with renewable energy installation and maintenance hazards, 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 Montana Renewable Energy Association 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 information on OSHA's 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 convene or participate in forums, roundtable discussions, or stakeholder meetings on addressing the hazards associated with renewable energy installation and maintenance, to help forge innovative solutions in the workplace or to provide input on safety and health issues such as;
- Falls (from heights);
- Electric shock and arc flash/arc blast;
- Energy storage system (ESS) safety;
- Repetitive motion injuries;
- Effects of Inclement weather on health and safety;
- Failure to use proper personal protective equipment; and,
- Remote and isolated work sites where health care facilities are not immediately accessible.
- To encourage worker participation in workplace safety and health by participating in annual conferences, National Safety Stand-Downs, and Workers Memorial Day.
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 the recognition and prevention of workplace hazards regarding the hazards associated with renewable energy installation and maintenance hazards, and addressing emerging issues as the technologies evolve.
- To develop effective training and education programs for small employers to promote understanding of workers' rights, including the use of the OSHA complaint process, and the responsibilities of employers, and to communicate such information to workers and employers.
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, and to develop ways of communicating such information (e.g., print and electronic media, electronic assistance tools, and OSHA's and the Montana Renewable Energy Association's websites) to employers and workers in the industry.
- To speak, exhibit, or appear at OSHA's or the Montana Renewable Energy Association's conferences, local meetings, or other National Safety Stand-Down events.
- Provide opportunities for OSHA personnel to speak at meetings/conferences, and the staffing of an exhibit booth (e.g., Montana Renewable Energy Association conferences, Safety Fest, and Workers Memorial Day events).
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 Billings Area Office and any other appropriate offices. OSHA will encourage the Montana Department of Labor and Industry to participate on the team.
This agreement will be in effect from October 2018, through October of 2020. The work plan will be reviewed annually and may be revised at any time with the concurrence of all Alliance signatories. The Alliance is for 2 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 9th day of October, 2018
- Art Hazen
- Area Director
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration
- Henry Dykema
- MREA Board President
- Montana Renewable Energy Association