Region 5 News Release: 06-548-CHI
Date: April 24, 2006
Contact: Juan Solano
Wisconsin Occupational Therapists Association Joins OSHA in New Alliance to Raise Job Safety and Health Awareness
CHICAGO -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Wisconsin Occupational Therapists Association (WOTA) today formed a new alliance to help WOTA members and others protect employees' health and safety.
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 committed to fostering safety and health in the workplace.
"This cooperative effort is designed for the prevention and rehabilitation of workplace injuries," said Michael G. Connor, OSHA regional administrator in Chicago. "Joining with WOTA in this effort will enable us to target occupational therapists and employers throughout Wisconsin and ultimately lead to safer workplaces."
OSHA area offices in Madison, Appleton, Milwaukee, and Eau Claire will participate in the initiative. During the three-year alliance, OSHA and WOTA will work together to develop training and education programs on injury prevention and injury rehabilitation, as well as develop continuing education workshops. The alliance will also develop workplace curricula to help protect workers' safety and health.
OSHA and WOTA will work together to develop and communicate information to help employers and workers recognize and prevent job-related hazards. OSHA employees and industry safety and health professionals will be cross-trained on WOTA best practices in occupational therapy. At conferences and public forums, OSHA and WOTA will share information regarding best practices and forge innovative solutions to improve workplace safety and health. WOTA districts will be encouraged to establish workgroups to enable occupational therapists to participate in the alliance.
Information on safety and health will be distributed at seminars, meetings or workshops to raise awareness and demonstrate a commitment to change healthcare industry cultures regarding the transfer and repositioning of patients and residents, as well as change return-to-work protocols used by Wisconsin employers.
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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