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Region 2 News Release:    05-919-NEW /BOS 2005-146
Tuesday, June 7, 2005
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074

OSHA, Finger Lakes Occupational Health Services, Form Alliance to
Educate Construction Workers About Lead and Silica Hazards

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Educating construction workers in New York's Finger Lakes region about hazards of working with lead and silica on construction jobsites is the goal of a new alliance between the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the University of Rochester, through its Department of Environmental Medicine's Finger Lakes Occupational Health Services.

OSHA health and safety 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.

Under the alliance, OSHA's Buffalo and Syracuse area offices and Finger Lakes Occupational Health Services will develop and distribute to small contractors in the nine-county Finger Lakes region information and training resources on reducing employees' exposure to lead and silica. These will include a series of toolbox talks -- one focusing on lead hazards, the other on silica hazards - to help contractors deliver accurate health and safety information to their employees.

Lead can adversely affect the blood, cardiovascular, reproductive and central nervous systems, while silica exposure can cause silicosis, a debilitating lung disease. Both substances are often present in a variety of forms on construction sites.

"This alliance will be an invaluable tool to enhance worker health and safety, especially for employees of smaller contractors whom we particularly want to reach," said Patricia K. Clark, OSHA's regional administrator. "Our goal is to equip small contractors and their employees with the knowledge and ability to identify and address potential health and safety hazards before they affect workers."

The alliance was signed May 19, at the University of Rochester Medical Center by Clark; William Beckett, medical director of Finger Lakes Occupational Health Services; Art Dube, OSHA's Buffalo area director; and Chris Adams, OSHA's Syracuse area director.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has created more than 325 alliances with organizations committed to fostering safety and health in the workplace. More information about the alliance is available from Gordon DeLeys in OSHA's Buffalo area office; phone (716)-684-3891.

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

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Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

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