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OSHA National News Release
U.S. Department of Labor
National News Release 04-1391-NAT
July 22, 2004
Contact: Ed Frank
Phone: (202) 693-4676
ORLANDO -- U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao today told participants at the first-ever Hispanic Safety and Health Summit that the Bush Administration is committed to further driving down workplace fatalities among Hispanics, which in 2002 dropped for the first time in seven years.
"Since 2002, there has been a consistent decrease in all workplace fatalities. I am proud of the fact that for the first time in seven years, workplace fatalities among Hispanic workers declined in 2002," U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao said.
The Hispanic Safety and Health Summit brought together representatives from government, community and faith-based organizations, non-profits, industry, academia and organized labor to share practical safety and health information and success stories and discuss gaps in communication, training and outreach for Hispanic workers in the United States.
"This summit demonstrates the commitment of this Administration and the Department of Labor to protecting the health and safety of our nation's diverse Hispanic workforce," Secretary Chao said.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Hispanic Alliance hosted the Hispanic Safety and Health Summit for Progress -- the first of its kind for the department -- in partnership with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
"We have come to Orlando to get feedback, to hear new ideas, to explore best practices for reaching Hispanic workers," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health John Henshaw. "We want to share what we're doing, but more importantly, we want to listen to others who can suggest additional strategies."
The 17.5 million Hispanic workers in the U.S. play vital roles in virtually every American industry. Workplace fatalities for all workers are at historic lows, decreasing by more than half in the past 30 years. However, 15 percent of the workers who died in 2002 were Hispanic, even though Hispanics comprise less than 13 percent of the workforce. Hispanic workers also are more likely than the general population to be injured or become ill on the job.
OSHA's primary mission is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department news releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this release will be made available in alternative 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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