May 10, 2007
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Reducing hazards and achieving a high level of employee safety and health at the Puerto Nuevo marine cargo terminal in San Juan is the goal of a new safety partnership among the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Horizon Lines of Puerto Rico Inc. and Local 1575 of the International Longshoremen's Association (ILA).
The partnership, which will encompass the yard, marine, crane and maintenance departments at the terminal, seeks to reduce injuries and illnesses by 15 percent a year, expand awareness of the value of safety and health programs, and foster open, continuing communication among all partners regarding safety and health.
Key to these goals will be development of a proactive safety and health culture; implementation of an aggressive safety awareness and self-inspection program to identify and eliminate unsafe conditions; integration of safety and health in all Horizon Line operations; and ensuring employee involvement through training, informal "tool box" discussions between supervisors and workers, and other resources.
"This is an ambitious partnership with strong goals," said Patricia K. Clark, OSHA's regional administrator. "While longshoring can be hazardous work, this partnership will reduce those hazards and increase awareness of and commitment to workplace safety and health."
"The partnership will help us realize our common goal of having all employees at Puerto Nuevo return to their homes healthy and whole at the end of each workday," said José A. Carpena, OSHA's area director in Puerto Rico.
The partnership was signed today in San Juan by Gabriel Serra, vice president and general manager, Horizon Lines of Puerto Rico Inc.; Carlos Ortíz, president, ILA Local 1575; and OSHA's Clark and Carpena.
OSHA's Strategic Partnership Program is part of U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao's ongoing efforts to improve the health and safety of employees through cooperative relationships with trade associations, labor organizations, employers and employees. More than 1.2 million employees and more than 33,000 employers across the U.S. have participated with OSHA in 455 strategic partnerships since the program began in 1998.
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 www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The U.S. Department of Labor 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.