June 25, 2008
Contact: Scott Allen or Brad Mitchell
CHICAGO -- Reducing and preventing exposure to falls and other hazards associated with the installation of drywall are the goals of a new alliance signed by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters (CRCC), the Gypsum Drywall Contractors of Northern Illinois/Chicagoland Association of Wall and Ceiling Contractors (GDCNI/CAWCC) and the Residential Construction Employer's Council (RCEC).
The alliance team will work together to provide expertise to develop training and education programs for carpenters, drywall installers and other related construction employees regarding fall hazards from scaffolds, ladders and other elevated work platforms. They also will provide expertise in communicating such information to employers and employees in the industry.
"The collective expertise of the organizations and OSHA can make a significant impact on the safety and health of construction employees," said Diane Turek, director of OSHA's Chicago North Area Office in Des Plaines, Ill. "The alliance gives us the tools to encourage employers and employees to commit to safe work practices and achieve positive gains toward reducing injuries, illnesses and fatalities."
The CRCC represents 47,000 men and women in 81 counties in northern Illinois, southeast Wisconsin and eastern Iowa. The CRCC has been recognized since 1881 as a positive force in building communities. The GDCNI/CAWCC is a professional trade association dedicated to promoting and protecting the interests of the interior and exterior wall and ceiling contracting industry. The RCEC is an association of construction trade employers and builders who work to consolidate managerial interests and strive to represent the residential construction industry in labor-related matters.
OSHA safety and health alliances are part of U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao's ongoing efforts to improve the safety and health of employees through cooperative partnerships. OSHA currently has more than 480 alliances throughout the nation with organizations committed to fostering safety and health in the workplace.
OSHA has improved workplace safety and health over the past 37 years. This success is reflected in the latest data (2006) showing the lowest national injury and illness incidence rate that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has ever recorded. OSHA will continue to work diligently to focus its resources where they will have the most impact in assuring that every working man and woman returns home safely every day.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote 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 (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department 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.