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U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Office of Communications
Washington, D.C.
For Immediate Release

Trade News Release: 05-1765-NAT
Date: September 21, 2005
Contact: Frank Meilinger
Phone: (202) 693-1999

OSHA Playing Key Role in Disaster Response Efforts, OSHA Head Tells National Conference in Orlando
OSHA, National Safety Council Renew Alliance

WASHINGTON -- OSHA is on the ground and providing technical assistance for thousands of workers involved in the clean-up efforts throughout the hurricane ravaged Gulf Coast, Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jonathan L. Snare told an Orlando, Fla., audience today.

In an address to safety and health professionals, business executives, educators, engineers, and human resource professionals attending the National Safety Council's 93rd Congress and Exposition today, Snare discussed OSHA's role in the disaster response efforts in New Orleans and throughout the Gulf Coast region.

"OSHA is playing two key roles in the disaster response effort," explained Snare. "OSHA personnel are providing technical assistance for workers involved in the clean-up efforts as part of our core mission, and we are coordinating the efforts for Federal Agencies and their employees through the Worker Safety and Health Support Annex of the National Response Plan to ensure that their safety and health is anticipated, recognized, evaluated and controlled consistently." It is the first time that the Worker Safety and Health Support Annex has been invoked by the Department of Homeland Security.

Snare also explained that OSHA has developed and distributed materials specifically designed to provide pragmatic information about how to identify and reduce the risk of exposure to hazards that workers in the Gulf may encounter, including a variety of safety and health challenges toxic water and mold to more traditional dangers such as fall hazards, working with chainsaws and portable generators, unstable structures, and electrocution. The agency has also developed Public Service Announcements that have been provided to radio stations throughout the region, generated dozens of fact sheets on specific hazards and we are distributing more than 100,000 Quick Cards.

OSHA also renewed its Alliance with the National Safety Council (NSC) that allows the two organizations to continue working together on reducing traffic collisions and providing first aid training in the workplace, such as Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and the use of Automated External Defibrillators (AED). The Alliance was first signed in September 2003.

"Renewing this important Alliance allows us to further strengthen our relationship with the National Safety Council and continue to work on vital safety and health issues," said Snare. "We look forward to building upon our successes and establishing more joint efforts that will benefit our nation's workers."

"We believe that promoting a national dialogue on workplace safety and health will further fuel our success in the pursuit of a safer world," said Alan C. McMillan, NSC President and CEO. "Working collaboratively in alliances such as this with OSHA will enable us to do that effectively because we share the same vision to reduce work-related injuries, illnesses and fatalities."

The Alliance renewal calls for OSHA and NSC to continue working to improve health and safety in the general and construction industries and provide the nation's employers and employees, including small businesses and Hispanic and youth workers, with information, guidance, and access to training resources. They will continue to use their joint expertise to develop information on the recognition and prevention of workplace hazards and establish ways of communicating such information to workers in the general and construction industries.

The two organizations will further promote NSC's members' participation in OSHA's cooperative programs such as the Voluntary Protection Programs, and the on-site Consultation Program and its Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program. NSC will also encourage their chapters to build relationships with OSHA's Regional and Area Offices to address general and construction industry health and safety issues, including motor vehicle safety, and provide first aid, CPR and AED training.

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.

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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.
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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