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OSHA News Release
Region 5

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Region 5 News Release: 09-1236-CHI
Oct. 15, 2009
Contact: Brad Mitchell or Scott Allen
Phone: 312-353-4807 312-353-6976


U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA signs alliance with International Union of Operating Engineers Local 399

CALUMET CITY, Ill. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)'s Calumet City Area Office has signed an alliance with the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 399 to enhance worker safety.

Local 399 represents approximately 9,500 members in the Greater Chicago area and throughout Illinois and Indiana. Members of Local 399 are primarily involved with maintenance and service of all types of building facilities in both the private and public sectors. These services include heating and cooling systems, building automation, energy management and green technology.

The goals of the alliance are to enhance safety training provided to the members of Local 399 with an emphasis on asbestos awareness, an issue in many older buildings in the Chicago area. Local 399 currently sponsors OSHA 10-hour classes for its members, and OSHA will provide assistance with this safety training. Local 399's new Chicago facility also will be used to provide training to OSHA compliance personnel about the types of hazards associated with heating and cooling systems commonly found in commercial and industrial buildings.

"Working with organized labor is an important strategy OSHA utilizes to assist in ensuring safe and healthful working conditions for men and women," said Gary J. Anderson, the agency's area director in Calumet City. "We also find that knowledge obtained from organized labor can help OSHA's compliance officer better understand and address hazards found in workplaces."

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education. For more information, visit


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