US Department of Labor's OSHA establishes alliance
to protect Ohio engineers and heavy equipment operators
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has entered into an alliance with the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 18 and the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 18 Apprenticeship and Training Program. The alliance aims to provide engineering workers with information, guidance and access to training resources to protect their safety and health, particularly in reducing and preventing safety hazards related to cranes and heavy equipment. The OSHA On-site Consultation Program, funded by federal OSHA but operated by the state of Ohio, also will participate.
"This alliance reflects a recognition of the importance of the safety and health of engineers and heavy equipment operators," said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA's area director in Columbus. "We want to ensure that all workers understand the hazards involved in operating heavy equipment and how best to protect themselves. Alliances such as this one help develop effective safety and health programs, while also opening the lines of communication among OSHA, employers and workers."
As part of the agreement, OSHA representatives will speak and present exhibits at Local 18 apprenticeship training sessions. Additionally, all parties will share information regarding best practices for on-site crane and heavy equipment management; case studies on job site accidents and near-misses involving cranes and heavy equipment; and best practices for reducing employee exposure to noise, heat stress and health hazards associated with operating heavy equipment.
The voluntary alliance is focused on identifying and controlling safety hazards, improving safety and health programs, promoting a cooperative relationship between labor and management, and encouraging employee participation in achieving a safe and healthful workplace. It aims to meet these goals through increased training, implementation of best work practices, and compliance with applicable OSHA standards and regulations. All four of OSHA's Ohio offices, located in Toledo, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus, are participating in the alliance.
Through the Alliance Program, OSHA works with unions, consulates, trade and professional organizations, faith- and community-based organizations, businesses and educational institutions to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses. The purpose of each alliance is to develop compliance assistance tools and resources, and educate workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities. Alliance Program participants do not receive exemptions from OSHA programmed inspections. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov/dcsp/alliances/index.html.
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 ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.