August 9, 2007
Contact: Dan Fuqua Michael Wald
Phone: (404) 562-2078 (404) 562-2076
Agency addresses hazards and recognizes compliance to reduce construction fatalities
ATLANTA -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has one quarterly, no-notice "Swept Up in Safety Week" remaining in its yearlong campaign to curb construction-related fatalities in the Southeast. OSHA's safety week series began Oct. 1, 2006, and will conclude Sept. 30, 2007. Previous safety weeks were conducted in December 2006 and in March and June 2007.
Unannounced safety weeks are aimed at reducing an upward trend in construction-related fatalities in the Southeast, which includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. OSHA compliance officers focus enforcement efforts on construction sites in the region.
The "Swept Up in Safety Week" series is intended to identify and eliminate safety hazards, thereby reducing exposure to the four leading causes of employee fatalities in the Southeast: falls, struck-by objects and vehicles, crushing and electrocutions. OSHA compliance officers also will stop by construction sites when they see conditions that are "in compliance" with safety and health standards and guidance in an effort to recognize and further encourage the safe behaviors of those employers.
"OSHA's goal is to raise awareness about the safety hazards that lead to employee deaths," said Cindy Coe, the agency's regional administrator in Atlanta. "Our compliance officers will conduct immediate inspections when they observe unsafe scaffolds, fall risks, trenches and other construction hazards."
"OSHA's previous 'Swept Up in Safety Weeks' were very successful in eliminating hazardous conditions and raising the awareness of employers," she emphasized.
OSHA has several special emphasis programs that allow immediate inspections when safety and health hazards are observed at a worksite. The programs also include separate outreach, education and training components that encourage employers and employees to visit the agency's Web site or to call an OSHA office for information about providing safe and healthy worksites.
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. 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 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.