February 16, 2007
Contact: Sharon Worthy or David Sims
Phone: (202) 693-4676 (202) 693-1898
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Labor celebrated the extension of the presidential Safety, Health and Return to Employment (SHARE) initiative and presented achievement awards Thursday, Feb. 15, to five federal agencies that obtained exemplary results during the initiative's first three years.
At a ceremony in the Labor Department's Frances Perkins Building, the Department of the Navy and the Social Security Administration were recognized for best overall performance in accomplishing all four SHARE goals. The Labor Department was recognized for achieving the highest timely filing rate of injury and illness notices, and Department of Defense agencies achieved the most notable reduction in the rate of lost production days among civilian employees due to injuries and illnesses. The Treasury Department was recognized for the greatest reduction in injury and illness case rates.
"Fewer federal employees were injured, became ill, or died on the job over the past three years as a result of the SHARE initiative and a greater awareness of workplace safety and health," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. "We look to build on these tremendous results, which benefit not only federal employees and their agencies, but all American taxpayers."
"Extending SHARE gives us a chance to broaden our break-through improvements by building on the momentum of the first three years of the initiative," said Shelby Hallmark, director of the Employment Standards Administration's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs. "We can make major reductions in injuries, illnesses and days lost from work and everyone wins when we do."
In FY 2006, the federal government (excluding the U.S. Postal Service), exceeded all four of its workplace safety and health goals for the first time since the SHARE initiative's start in 2004. Compared to the FY 2003 baseline, the federal government ended the year with approximately a 17 percent decrease in the total case rate (Goal 1); an 11 percent reduction in the lost time case rate (Goal 2); a 43 percent increase in timely claim submissions (Goal 3); and a 7 percent decrease in the rate of lost production days (Goal 4).
President Bush established the 3-year SHARE initiative on Jan. 9, 2004, and directed all executive branch agencies to participate in this government-wide effort to improve safety and health in federal workplaces. SHARE's four goals focus attention in the most critical areas of a safety, health, and injury case management program: lower total injury and illness case rates; lower lost-time injury and illness case rates; improved timely reporting of injuries and illnesses; and reduced rates of lost production days due to work-related injuries and illnesses. On Sept. 29, 2006, President Bush extended the initiative through fiscal year 2009.
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