Jan. 11, 2007
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched a new alliance with the Massachusetts Division of Occupational Safety (MA-DOS) and Local 98 of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE). The effort is aimed at improving job safety and health for heavy equipment operators and other workers in central and western Massachusetts.
The alliance seeks to prevent Local 98 members exposure to construction-related hazards, particularly falls, electrical hazards and injuries caused when employees are struck by or caught in between objects on job sites. The two government agencies and the union will develop and deliver safety and health courses and will develop workplace safety and health curricula.
"Construction is, by its very nature, highly hazardous work," said Mary Hoye, OSHA's area director for central and western Massachusetts. "This alliance will equip Local 98's members with the knowledge and skills to identify, prevent and better protect themselves against the most common construction hazards."
Under the alliance, OSHA, MA-DOS and Local 98 will share information about best practices. They will promote and encourage IUOE members and worksites to build relationships with OSHA, participate in OSHA's cooperative programs and work together on specific issues and projects developed through the alliance. They also plan to disseminate and publicize information about recognizing and preventing workplace hazards.
The IUOE represents operating engineers who work as heavy equipment operators, mechanics, and surveyors in the construction industry. The alliance was signed Dec. 19, 2006, in East Longmeadow, Mass., by Hoye and by MA-DOS Commissioner Robert J. Prezioso, Local 98 Business Manager Eugene Melville, Jr., William Fay, Local 98's director of training, and training instructor Phil Chaffee.
For information about this and other OSHA alliances and partnerships in Massachusetts, call OSHA's regional office in Boston at (617) 565-3070, or its area offices in Springfield at (413) 785-0123, in Braintree at (617) 565-6924 and in Methuen at (617) 565-8110.
OSHA safety and health alliances are part of U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao's ongoing efforts to improve the health and safety of employees through cooperative partnerships with trade associations, labor organizations, employers and government agencies. OSHA currently has 447 alliances throughout the nation with organizations committed to fostering safety and health in the workplace.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit OSHA's Web site at www.osha.gov.
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