Thursday, June 14, 2007
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
NEW YORK -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Hispanics in Real Estate and Construction (HREC) have formed an alliance with the goal of helping New York small businesses provide safe work environments for their employees, particularly Hispanics and teenagers.
Under the alliance, OSHA and HREC will develop and deliver training and education programs focusing on such workplace hazards as falls, electrocution, being struck by or caught in or between machinery, amputations, hazardous materials and chemicals. These programs will include presentations of OSHA's 10-hour construction and general industry courses in English and Spanish. HREC members who speak both English and Spanish will be encouraged to complete OSHA's train-the-trainer courses so they can teach these courses in both languages.
"This alliance is an opportunity to reach employees who may not know how to identify and prevent common workplace hazards," said Patricia K. Clark, OSHA's regional administrator in New York. "Equipping employees with that knowledge, and the ability to impart that knowledge to others, will help prevent injuries and illnesses."
"OSHA will work with the HREC, as well as faith-based and community-based organizations, to increase safety and health awareness within New York's Hispanic community," said Diana Cortez, OSHA's regional Hispanic outreach coordinator and director of the agency's Tarrytown Area Office.
The alliance was signed April 28 by Peter Fontanes, chairman, and Bridget Gonzalez, president, HREC; OSHA's Clark and Cortez; and OSHA Area Directors Christopher Adams (Syracuse), Arthur Dube (Buffalo), Edward Jerome (Albany), Patricia Jones (Long Island), Robert Kulick (Avenel, N.J.) and Richard Mendelson (Manhattan).
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 468 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 www.osha.gov.
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