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TRADE NEWS RELEASE
Thursday, April 3, 2003
Contact: Frank Meilinger
Phone: (202)693-1999


NORTH AMERICAN OFFICIALS MEET IN TEXAS AND MEXICO TO
DISCUSS WORKPLACE SAFETY AND HEALTH PROGRAMS

WASHINGTON - Occupational safety and health officials from the United States, Mexico, and Canada have agreed on criteria to recognize excellence in workplace safety and health programs in all three nations. The group also reached consensus on key elements for establishing effective occupational safety and health management systems.

"Worker safety and health is a high priority for each of our nations and together we are addressing key issues and exchanging ideas in order to produce tangible results that will benefit all of our workers," said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. "An important part of our joint efforts includes recognizing excellence in workplace safety and health programs and sharing that information with workers and employers throughout North America."

The officials, who serve on one of four subgroups of the Tri-national Occupational Safety and Health Working Group, met March 10-12 in Texas and Mexico, to discuss best practices, partnerships, voluntary programs, and occupational safety and health management systems.

A fact sheet with details of the meeting follows this press release.

OSHA is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses, and protecting America's workers. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace and life. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.


FACT SHEET

Trinational Working Group Meeting March 10-12
El Paso, Texas/ Cuidad Jurez, Mexico

One of four subgroups of the government-to-government Trinational Occupational Safety and Health Working Group reached consensus on the key elements of effective occupational safety and health management systems and on criteria for recognizing excellence in workplace safety and health programs.

A technical workshop on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Management Systems and Voluntary Protection Programs was held on March 10-12 in Texas and Mexico to discuss best practices and lessons learned from all three countries on building cooperation and partnership with companies, and their experiences in implementing their voluntary programs and occupational safety and health management systems. The group also participated in site visits of medium sized businesses in Cuidad Jurez and construction companies in El Paso, Texas.

The subgroup agreed on key elements for an effective occupational safety and health management system, including: management commitment and responsibility, employee involvement and responsibility, worksite analysis and approaches, hazard/risk prevention and control, and training. They also established criteria for recognizing best practices in excellence in workplace safety and health programs, including application and evaluation processes, criteria to participate, and a recognition strategy. Meeting results will be posted on the TriNational web page http://www.naalcosh.org/.

The subgroup agreed to meet again during the full working group meeting in April 2003 in Toronto, Canada to focus on specific applications of safety and health management systems. Topics that the subgroup is considering for future technical workshops include: Canada's OSH auditor certification process, programs aimed at construction and small businesses, OSH education for youth, issues specific to Hispanic workers, and the collection and reporting of injury and illness statistics.

Established under the auspices of the North American Free Trade Agreement's side accord on labor -- the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC) -- the Trinational Occupational Safety and Health Working Group brings together technical experts from the three nations to advance cooperation and programs in key areas of occupational safety and health. The Working Group is headed by each nation's top occupational safety and health official.
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This news release text is on the Internet at http://www.osha.gov. Information on this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 693-1999.


Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

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