OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
OSHA Trade Release
U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Office of Communications
For Immediate Release
OSHA Trade Release
Dec. 6, 2004
Contact: Bill Wright
Phone: (202) 693-1999
Will focus on hazards associated with trenching and excavation, confined spaces
WASHINGTON -- Furthering the safety and health of construction workers is the goal of an Alliance signed today between the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and a national association dedicated to workers in the utility construction industry.
The National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) joined with OSHA in a formal Alliance to reduce and prevent exposure to underground utility construction hazards associated with trenching and excavation, tunneling, and confined space entry.
"Reducing injuries, illnesses and fatalities especially throughout the construction industry is a priority for this agency, said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. "The collective expertise of the National Utility Contractors Association and OSHA can create a significant impact on improving the safety and health of workers in the utility construction industry. This Alliance gives us the tools to achieve positive gains toward that end and also helps encourage employers and workers to commit to safe work practices."
Added NUCA President William Bowman: "NUCA is serious about safety, so we view the creation of an Alliance with OSHA as a positive move. The exchange of information and training that will result from the Alliance can only serve to make underground utility jobsites safer and healthier places to work."
Training and education is a key component to the Alliance which calls for the delivery of NUCA training programs (e.g., Excavation Safety, Competent Person and Confined Space) to OSHA staff, including those offered in Spanish. NUCA will also work with OSHA to help develop training and education programs on utility construction such as a 10-hour outreach program emphasizing trench and excavation safety. The Association will also help OSHA create fact sheets and compliance assistance information cards (in English and Spanish) on trenching and excavations, and confined spaces.
The Alliance encourages NUCA's members to act as mentors to utility contractors who need guidance and assistance with safety and health issues to improve safety performance within the underground utility industry. OSHA and NUCA will share information with industry safety and health professionals regarding NUCA's best practices or effective approaches on trenching and confined space safety. Finally, both organizations will take the opportunity to speak, exhibit and appear at conferences and events such as NUCA's EXPO, Safety Directors Forum, and Institute for Leadership Development training sessions.
With a membership of 2,000 in 43 chapters, NUCA represents contractors, suppliers, and manufacturers in the utility construction industry. The Association provides continuing education to members through the NUCA Foundation for Education and Research.
Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role 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.
This news release text is on the Internet at http://www.osha.gov. Information on this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 693-1999.
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