Wed., April 9, 2008
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Secretary of Labor unveils campaign during NBC's TODAY show
BATAVIA, N.Y. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today joined with representatives from Lehigh Construction and students and instructors from the Genesee Valley Board of Cooperative and Educational Services (BOCES) in support of OSHA's national 2008 Teen Summer Job Safety Campaign, which focuses on construction. U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao unveiled this year's campaign earlier today on NBC's TODAY show from New York City.
"We have a strong and effective relationship with the Genesee Valley BOCES and Lehigh Construction here in western New York," said Louis Ricca Jr., OSHA's acting regional administrator in New York. "Through this campaign, we hope to instill a culture of safety at a young age in America's next generation of employees. We look forward to working together to further our mutual goal of ensuring that teens go home safe and healthy at the end of the day."
The kickoff event in Batavia took place at a residential house that the BOCES students, all of whom have completed OSHA's 10-hour safety course, are constructing. Lehigh Construction, an OSHA alliance partner, has worked for the past five years with OSHA and BOCES to provide safety training to students.
The campaign is part of OSHA's Young Worker Initiative, which provides information and resources to teenagers, parents, educators and employers to ensure that youth have safe and rewarding work experiences. To learn more about workplace safety for teens, visit www.osha.gov/teens.
Workplaces are safer than they have ever been with fatality and injury and illness rates declining to record lows in this administration. The injury and illness rate was 4.4 per 100 employees and the work-related fatality rate was 4.0 fatalities per 100,000 employees in 2006, the latest data available. Since OSHA's inception in 1971, U.S. employment has increased from 56 million employees at 3.5 million worksites to more than 135 million employees at 8.9 million worksites.
OSHA and its regional partners are striving to reduce work-related injuries among teenagers by teaching them on-the-job safety and integration of principles into their work tasks from this early age. Through working with many strong national and regional Alliance Program participants and other cooperative programs, OSHA plans to reach more than three million teens who work during the summer.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote 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.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.