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
April 14, 2005
Contact: Bill Wright
Phone: (202) 693-1999
Exercise in Connecticut and New Jersey
WASHINGTON -- The simulated release of biological and chemical agents in New Jersey and Connecticut set the stage for this year's TOPOFF 3 exercise involving top level public and private officials, including those from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
TOPOFF 3, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Office of State and Local Government Coordination and Preparedness, was the third Congressionally-mandated biennial exercise designed to strengthen the nation's capacity to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks involving weapons of mass destruction.
"Our role is to help safeguard the health and safety of thousands of workers who respond to incidents of national significance," said Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jonathan L. Snare. "The role-playing afforded to us through TOPOFF exercises helps us hone our capabilities to prevent additional fatalities and serious accidents involving rescue and recovery workers."
OSHA joined numerous other Federal departments and agencies, the United Kingdom, Canada, the states of Connecticut and New Jersey, and representatives of the private sector during the weeklong exercise that began April 4. OSHA's participation centered on its overall role in emergency response which is to ensure that threats to worker safety and health are anticipated, recognized, evaluated, and controlled consistently so that response and recovery workers are properly protected. This role is highlighted in the Worker Safety and Health Support Annex included in the DHS National Response Plan (NRP).
Consistent with the annex, OSHA worked with other safety and health professionals at the federal and state levels to address worker safety and health issues. Employees from OSHA's Boston and New York regions and the agency's chemical and biological response teams were sent to the incident sites as well as the various response coordination centers in New Jersey and Connecticut.
OSHA personnel participating in TOPOFF exercises are familiar with chemical, biological, physical and structural collapse hazards, and include occupational safety and health specialists, industrial hygienists, safety engineers, occupational physicians, occupational nurses, and health physicists.
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 process 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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