April 22, 2008
Contact: Rich Kulczewski
Secretary of Labor unveils campaign during NBC's TODAY show
ST. LOUIS -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and construction industry representatives on Monday signed an alliance with Operation Excel/YouthBuild in St. Louis supporting the agency's national 2008 Teen Summer Job Safety Campaign, which focuses on construction. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao unveiled this year's campaign earlier yesterday on NBC's TODAY show from New York City.
"We have a strong and longstanding relationship with the construction community," said Charles E. Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "Through this campaign, we hope to instill a culture of safety at a young age in America's next generation of employees. We look forward to working with construction safety and health leaders to further our mutual goal of ensuring that teens go home safe and healthy at the end of the day."
The kickoff event at the Blumeyer Phase IV Housing Project highlighted an expansion of OSHA's existing alliance with Operation Excel/YouthBuild that will cover the entire state of Missouri and featured participating youth from programs in St. Louis, Columbia and Kansas City, Mo. The campaign is part of OSHA's Young Worker Initiative, which provides information and resources to teenagers, parents, educators and employers to ensure that youth have safe and rewarding work experiences. To learn more about workplace safety for teens, visit www.osha.gov/teens.
Workplaces are safer than they have ever been with fatality and injury and illness rates declining to record lows in this administration. The injury and illness rate was 4.4 per 100 employees and the work-related fatality rate was 4.0 fatalities per 100,000 employees in 2006, the latest data available. Since OSHA's inception in 1971, U.S. employment has increased from 56 million employees at 3.5 million worksites to more than 135 million employees at 8.9 million worksites.
OSHA and its regional partners are striving to reduce work-related injuries among teenagers by teaching them on-the-job safety and integration of principles into their work tasks from this early age. Through working with many strong national and regional Alliance Program participants and other cooperative programs, OSHA plans to reach more than three million teens who work during the summer.
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.
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