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Region 2 News Release: 04-668-NEW /BOS 2004-092
Thursday. April 22, 2004
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Office: (617) 565-2074
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Improving the safety and health of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport is the goal of an alliance formed today between the Buffalo office of the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the TSA.
OSHA safety and health 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 with trade associations, labor organizations, employers and government agencies.
The alliance will develop training and education programs designed to increase TSA employees' awareness of hazards associated with baggage handling and passenger screening. It will cover approximately 185 TSA employees at the airport and it is expected to have a ripple effect on other airline and airport personnel.
"Alliances such as this are key to reducing injuries and illnesses among these frontline workers," said Patricia K. Clark, OSHA's regional administrator. "OSHA looks forward to working with TSA in developing and delivering safety and health training and information to its employees."
The Transportation Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security started operations at the Buffalo airport in February 2002. The Buffalo Niagara International Airport is the largest Category II airport in the country. The airport operates with nine major airlines - US Airways, Northwest, Southwest, American Eagle, Comair, AirTran, Continental, JetBlue, and United Express. On an average day, TSA employees screen 5,600 passengers and handle 8,400 pieces of baggage.
"Baggage handling may lead to back injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders," said Art Dube, OSHA's Buffalo area director. "This alliance will equip TSA workers with the knowledge and training to perform these operations in an ergonomically safe manner."
Clark, Dube, and David Bassett, acting TSA federal security director, signed the alliance today at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. It will remain in effect for two years.
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 promoting 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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