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National News Release USDL: 03-476
September 9, 2003
Contact: Bill Wright
Phone: (202) 693-1999
CHICAGO -- The "triple bottom line" for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor is reducing injuries illnesses and deaths on the job, OSHA Administrator John Henshaw told a Chicago audience today. He said the agency's strategy is fully focused on reaching that goal, and signed an Alliance with the National Safety Council to advance workplace safety and health.
Addressing safety directors and managers, presidents and chief executive officers, educators, engineers and human resource professionals at the National Safety Council's 91st Congress and Exposition here, Henshaw said the nation's return on its investment in job safety and health must be a continual reduction in workplace fatalities and injuries.
"We have a sound plan, a balanced approach, and an innovative and creative strategy," Henshaw said. "We will continue our work with safety and health professionals, employers and workers to get results. This strategy can move us forward to our ultimate goal -- zero injuries, illnesses and deaths in America's workplaces."
The pursuit of that goal is the foundation of OSHA's five-year Strategic Management Plan, Henshaw said. Calling for a "balanced approach to achieve maximum results," he said OSHA will focus on performance measures, outcomes, and leading and trailing measures to determine its impact, allowing the agency to continue to target high hazard workplaces, focus on hard-to-reach workers such as immigrants and contract workers who frequently change jobs and place additional efforts on issues facing teenaged workers.
Henshaw said OSHA must also address "nontraditional areas" such as homeland security and workplace emergencies, motor vehicle accidents and workplace violence, using a variety of outreach and cooperative programs.
Henshaw also examined OSHA's accomplishments since he addressed the NSC in 2002, citing an enhanced enforcement program to address recalcitrant employers, continuing progress for the agency's comprehensive plan on ergonomics, intensified outreach to Hispanic and immigrant workers, and a steady increase in strategic partnerships and new Alliances.
Goals for the future include a dramatic increase in the Voluntary Protection Program, with three new VPP pilot programs: VPP Challenge, VPP Corporate, and VPP Construction that may add up to 2,000 additional VPP sites.
Emphasizing the significance of the agency's cooperative programs, the National Safety Council used its annual conference and exposition to join with OSHA in a new Alliance. "We've enjoyed a superb association with NSC," Henshaw said. "This Alliance will strengthen that relationship as we work more closely together on vital issues such as reducing traffic collisions, providing first aid training in the workplace, and delivering safety and health management system programs."
Added Alan McMillan, President and CEO of NSC: "The Alliance between the National Safety Council and OSHA builds on a long-standing and successful relationship between two organizations that are committed to similar goals. Formalizing the relationship allows us to strengthen the link and make even greater progress in achieving workplace safety and health. We look forward to the enhanced collaboration and the results it will bring, particularly in the areas of reducing traffic-related worker fatalities and injuries, improving first aid, and increasing training."
OSHA and NSC will work together to provide the nation's employers and workers with information, guidance and access to training resources. Part of the first aid training the Alliance addresses will focus on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automatic External Defibrillators (AED).
The Alliance also calls for cross training of OSHA personnel and industry safety and health practitioners in best practices or effective approaches as jointly defined by OSHA and NSC. Both organizations will participate in forums, roundtable discussions, or stakeholder meetings related to vehicle safety and first aid training to help forge innovative solutions in the workplace. Finally, both organizations will work with OSHA's regional and area offices to facilitate joint outreach activities with NSC chapters to address the specific safety and health issues outlined in the Alliance.
During the National Safety Congress, Henshaw also welcomed Abbott Laboratories and the International Safety Equipment Association as new Alliance program participants.
OSHA is dedicated to assuring worker safety and health. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace and life. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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.
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