Region 5 News Release: 06-66-CHI
Date: March 16, 2006
Contact: Juan Solano
New Alliance Aims to Protect Nursing Home Workers
CHICAGO -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the state of Illinois On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Service, the Life Services Network and the Life Services Network Trust have signed an alliance to help protect employees' health and safety in nursing homes.
OSHA alliances are part of U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao's ongoing efforts to improve the health and safety of workers. OSHA has created more than 350 alliances with organizations committed to fostering safety and health in the workplace.
OSHA area offices in Aurora, Chicago North, Peoria and Calumet City will participate in the statewide initiative. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity - On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Service will encourage employers to request consultation assistance.
"This cooperative effort will foster a culture of safety aimed at preventing injuries and illnesses," said Michael G. Connor, OSHA regional administrator in Chicago. "Alliance members will strive for a common goal - making nursing homes in Illinois safer and more healthful places to work."
The alliance will develop education programs to reduce and prevent exposure to common health and safety hazards in nursing homes, such as electrical and ergonomic hazards and bloodborne pathogens. Employers will also have access to mentoring and on-site consultation services.
Members of the alliance will develop and communicate information to help employers and workers recognize and prevent job-related hazards. At conferences and public forums, they will share information about best practices and forge innovative solutions to improve safety and health. Information will be distributed at seminars, meetings or workshops to raise awareness and demonstrate commitment to workplace safety and health.
The alliance will also promote and encourage participation in OSHA's cooperative programs. These include compliance assistance, safety and health consultation programs, the Voluntary Protection Programs and the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program.
Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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