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OSHA News Release – Region 5
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 5 News Release: 05-1136-CHI
Date: August 24, 2005
Contact: Juan Solano
TOLEDO -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) entered into a partnership today with the North Coast Building Industry Association to ensure the safety and health of construction workers in northern Ohio.
OSHA health and safety partnerships are part of U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao's ongoing efforts to improve health and safety for workers through cooperative programs.
The partnership with OSHA's area offices in Toledo and Cleveland is designed to check and limit some of the most common workplace injuries and illnesses. The North Coast Building Industry Association will administer the partnership.
A key goal is to prevent the top causes of construction-related fatalities: falls, electrical hazards, moving equipment or machinery and workers who are caught between equipment. Contractors will develop a comprehensive safety and health management process to reduce workplace injuries and illnesses by three percent each year.
"This partnership will give businesses the tools to develop safety and health programs," said Jule Jones, OSHA's area director in Toledo. "It will help them identify and control hazards before they can cause injuries."
Under the terms of the partnership, members will develop and administer a comprehensive written safety and health program. Supervisors and workers will receive safety and health training, and hazards will be identified and corrected through frequent worksite inspections. Participating members also will develop a disciplinary procedure for violations of safety and health rules and each will have one of their worksites inspected at least once per year by an independent, third party occupational safety and health firm.
To be in the partnership, contractors must plan and put into use a safety and health program that includes management commitment and leadership, employee involvement, worksite analysis, hazard prevention and control, and safety and health training. Contractors must require a permit for confined space and excavation work, provide fall protection for work performed more than six feet above a lower level, ensure that loads are not lifted over the heads of employees, provide reflective material to employees exposed to car and truck traffic, and take other safety measures.
Participation in the partnership is voluntary but carries incentives for those who participate. OSHA may reduce penalties by 10 percent and will provide free safety and health information, training and materials. The agency will randomly select and inspect partnership members to verify the effectiveness of the safety and health programs.
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.
U.S. Labor Department 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 at (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.
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