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OSHA News Release – Region 2
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 2 BOS 2003-294/03-587-NEW
Monday, November 3, 2003
Contact: John M. Chavez
Phone: (617) 565-2075
Aims to Benefit Immigrant Workers, Reduce Fatalities
NEW YORK -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offices that service the five boroughs of New York City have formed an alliance with the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) to foster a culture of fatality prevention while sharing best practices and technical knowledge. OSHA Health and Safety alliances are part of Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao's ongoing efforts to improve the health and safety of workers through cooperative partnerships.
This alliance brings the two agencies together to address workplace fatalities. It will serve to ensure that no workplace fatality goes unreported by employers, especially in circumstances where the victim may have entered a secondary facility, such as a hospital, prior to his or her death. The alliance addresses construction fatalities, immigrant workers, and youth workers - all priorities under OSHA's strategic management plan.
New York City's large immigrant population every year suffers a disproportionate number of occupational fatalities, a number of which go unreported despite the legal requirement for employers to report workplace deaths to OSHA. Meanwhile, the Medical Examiner is involved in investigating and ruling on the cause of all unattended deaths.
One of the features of the alliance is cross training of staff from both agencies on the specifics of each other's mission. "OSHA and the OCME have worked together for a long time on issues regarding workplace fatalities, but this alliance formalizes that relationship and focuses their work together on prevention through outreach and training efforts," said Patricia K. Clark, OSHA's regional administrator in New York.
Together, OSHA and the New York OCME will use their resources to promote workplace safety and health issues, especially those related to major hazards in the construction industry. The agencies will also share information with each other during investigative procedures.
The alliance signatories for OSHA included Clark and OSHA area directors Robert Kulick in Avenel, Richard Mendelson of Manhattan and Brooklyn, Harvey Shapiro of Long Island and Diana Cortez, Tarrytown. Chief Medical Examiner Charles M. Hirsch, and Barbara Butcher, director of investigations, signed on behalf of the New York City office of the Chief Medical Examiner. An implementation team representing both agencies will develop an action plan, determine working procedures and identify the roles and responsibilities of the participants.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration 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.
U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7773 or TTY (202) 693-7755.
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