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OSHA News Release
Region 2

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Region 2 News Release: 08-222-NEW/BOS 2008-044
Wed., Feb. 20, 2008
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2074

U.S. Labor Department's OSHA forms innovative alliance with Puerto Rico Shipping Association to improve safety for employees in maritime industry

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- A new, innovative alliance signed today between the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Puerto Rico Shipping Association (PRSA) seeks to reduce hazards and injuries, and to increase safety awareness for employees and employers in Puerto Rico's maritime industry.

"The alliance will provide PRSA members and others with training and information to protect employees against hazards common in the maritime industry," said Louis Ricca Jr., OSHA's acting regional administrator in New York. "This innovative effort will utilize OSHA's new maritime safety course as well as develop new training materials."

José A. Carpena, OSHA's area director in San Juan, added: "Knowledge is the most important tool an employee can possess. The ability to identify and eliminate hazards before he or she gets hurt will reduce injuries and their associated human and financial costs, enhance productivity, and increase employee morale."

Under the alliance, OSHA and PRSA, which represents 35 employers in the territory's maritime industry, will work together to develop a curriculum for accident prevention training for maritime supervisors, deliver the OSHA's new 10-hour course in maritime safety and establish a safety syllabus for training maritime crane operators.

A key component of the alliance will be the first Maritime Industry Safety Awareness Week to be held in June in which all PRSA members will present training sessions for their employees. The alliance also will promote PRSA members' participation in OSHA's cooperative programs, including the Voluntary Protection Programs, safety consultation, and the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program.

The alliance was signed at Antonio's Restaurant in San Juan's El Condado neighborhood by OSHA's Ricca and Carpena and by PRSA President Hernán F. Ayala Rubio. More information about OSHA alliances and partnerships in Puerto Rico is available from the compliance assistance specialist in OSHA's San Juan Area Office, telephone: 787-277-1560.

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 more than 460 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 safe and healthful workplaces 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


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