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OSHA News Release
Region 2

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Region 2 News Release: 08-717-NEW/BOS 2008-159
Thurs., May 29, 2008
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2074 


U.S. Labor Department's OSHA and Association of Water and Sewer Excavators join to reduce cave-in hazards in New York City
Alliance to provide training to contractors and employees who install water and sewer lines

NEW YORK -- Reducing excavation and trenching hazards for employees who install and repair private water and sewer services in the five boroughs of New York City is the goal of a new alliance between the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Association of Water and Sewer Excavators (AWSE), a trade association representing water and sewer installers, plumbing suppliers and insurance companies in the New York City area.

Under the alliance, OSHA and AWSE will work together to provide OSHA's 10-hour construction safety course, and other training and education programs to association members, contractors and employees. The alliance also will develop additional ways to communicate construction safety information, and provide information and materials to immigrant employees in their native languages. Additionally, the alliance will encourage AWSE members to complete the OSHA train-the-trainer course so they can continue to provide training to new employees on an ongoing basis.

"Knowledge of excavation hazards and the means to eliminate them can reduce hazards and save lives," said Louis Ricca Jr., OSHA's acting regional administrator in New York. "This alliance is exciting because it will reach employees and employers throughout the five boroughs, and help reduce the risk of cave-ins and other excavation hazards now and into the future."

The alliance was signed today in Brooklyn by OSHA Area Directors Richard Mendelson (Manhattan), Diana Cortez (Tarrytown) and Robert Kulik (Avenel), and by AWSE President John Figliolia, Vice President Steve Kogel and Treasurer Jim Nistad. More information about OSHA alliances in New York is available by contacting OSHA's Manhattan Area Office at 212-620-3200.

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 480 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 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. For more information, visit



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