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OSHA National News Release
U.S. Department of Labor
National News Release 04-1841-NAT
Date: Sept. 27, 2004
Contact: Mike Biddle
Phone: (202) 693-5051
WASHINGTON -- The U.S., Mexico and Canada have agreed to an active program of cooperative efforts to advance job safety and health next year under labor accords that the three nations have established under the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC), the NAFTA labor side agreement.
The 2005 program was set earlier this month at a meeting of the Trinational Occupational Safety and Health Working Group in New Orleans, La., that for the first time included labor and industry stakeholders. The working group has held four previous meetings.
Formed in 2002, the working group consists of government experts from the U.S., Mexico and Canada who seek to strengthen cooperation on safety and health issues in line with NAALC. John L. Henshaw, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, led the U.S. delegation.
"As we continue our cooperative efforts, we are picking up some real momentum, resulting in this being the most productive meeting so far," Henshaw said. "Working together on common governmental safety and health issues, and having our stakeholders actively participate in our discussions benefits workers and employers in all three countries."
Highlights of the 2005 work plan include:
- An expanded and enhanced Web page,
- A training workshop for safety and health inspectors,
- A workshop on risk assessment for chemicals in the workplace,
- Continued work on the Globally Harmonized System for hazard communication, and
- Establishing a recognition program for companies that excel in occupational safety and health.
The group plans to report the results of its efforts at the World Safety Congress in Orlando next September. Since an April meeting in Toronto, the working group has upgraded its joint Web page and has held several training sessions for inspectors in Mexico. It also conducted a workshop on ergonomics in the automotive industry; participated in the first International Congress on Labor Inspection hosted by Mexico, and sponsored a workshop on recognition programs. More information on the group and its activities is available on the trinational Web page at www.naalcosh.org.
U.S. Labor Department (DOL) 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.
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