Jan. 18, 2007
Contact: Leni Uddyback-Fortson
Phone: (215) 861-5102
PITTSBURGH -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), has joined forces with the University of Pittsburgh Center for Public Health Preparedness (UPCPHP) and the Center for Public Health Practice (CPHP) to promote workplace safety and health for rural responders, particularly in preventing exposure to pandemic influenza hazards.
OSHA, UPCPHP and CPHP officially began their partnership at a signing ceremony today at which Marie Cassady, OSHA's acting regional administrator in Philadelphia, represented the agency.
OSHA health and safety 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.
UPCPHP, which is located in the CPHP, trains public health professionals to respond to bioterrorism, infectious disease outbreaks and other public health threats and emergencies. A major goal of the alliance with OSHA is to address occupational hazards specific to rural emergency responders and to communicate that information to employers and employees.
"Rural emergency responders provide a critical service," said Cassady. "This alliance is designed to equip them with the tools they need to protect themselves against hazards they face every day."
Through the alliance, OSHA, UPCPHP and CPHP will deliver training to responders in Pennsylvania's rural counties that addresses public health emergencies, specifically focused on pandemic influenza, common hazards, biological hazards, personal protection and OSHA's role in disaster response.
The alliance was developed primarily through the efforts of OSHA's area office in Erie and the University of Pittsburgh's branch campus at Bradford, Pa. It will cover all of OSHA's area offices in Pennsylvania, including Allentown, Erie, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Wilkes-Barre. For further information, visit www.osha.gov for a locator map, directory of OSHA offices and to contact a compliance assistance specialist.
OSHA currently has nearly 450 alliances throughout the nation with organizations committed to fostering safety and health in the workplace. OSHA is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses, and protecting the health and safety of America's working men and women.
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.