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Region 2 News Release: 04-565-NEW / BOS 2004-077
Thursday, April 08, 2004
Contact: John M. Chavez
Office: (617) 565-2075
NEW YORK -- Improving workplace safety and health for building service employees is the goal of a new alliance forged by the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the New York Association of Realty Managers (NYARM) and the New York State Department of Labor's On-Site Consultation Program (NY Consultation).
OSHA health and safety alliances are part of U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao's ongoing efforts to improve the health and safety of workers through cooperative partnerships.
"This alliance is an example of Secretary Chao's commitment to find cooperative ways to improve health and safety for all workers," said Patricia K. Clark, OSHA's Regional Administrator in New York. "We want to help realty managers and their employees recognize and avoid hazards on the job."
NYARM's 400 members manage residential multi-family buildings. The objectives for the alliance include providing information, guidance and access to training resources to inform NYARM members about health hazards related to the use of methylene chloride, a substance to which building service workers may be exposed while cleaning marble and metal surfaces, stripping floors and degreasing equipment.
The chemical has been responsible for workplace fatalities and is regulated by an OSHA standard. It is sold under many alternative names, including dichloromethane, methylene dichloride and methane dichloride. Building managers, who control the products purchased for use in their buildings, have the responsibility to approve chemicals used by contractors and even building residents.
The alliance will also provide free onsite consultation from the New York State Consultation Program for building managers who request the service. Other hazards to be targeted by the alliance include electrocutions and lead exposures.
Alliance signatories for OSHA included Regional Administrator Patricia Clark; Richard Mendelson, director of the agency's Manhattan area office; Robert Kulick, Avenel area office director; Diana Cortez, Tarrytown area office director; and Harvey Shapiro, Bayside area office director. James Rush signed on behalf of the New York State Consultation Program, and Rochelle Captan, president, and Margie Russell, executive director, signed on behalf of NYARM.
Since 2001, the Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has created more than 160 alliances with organizations committed to fostering safety and health in the workplace. OSHA is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses and protecting the health and safety of American workers. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at 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 at (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.
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