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OSHA News Release – Region 5
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 5 News Release: 08-1784-CHI
Dec. 15, 2008
Contact: Scott Allen
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Workers involved in trenching and excavation operations in the Greater Columbus area can expect continued efforts to keep them safe on the job following an alliance renewal by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Greater Columbus Damage Prevention Council.
"This alliance has been very successful in that there have been no fatalities from a trench or excavation cave-in incident in central Ohio since we signed the original alliance two years ago," said OSHA Area Director Deborah Zubaty in Columbus. "With that said, we cannot rest on our laurels. We must stay vigilant in preventing cave-ins and keeping workers safe."
The renewed alliance requires each organization to contribute to the development of training courses and materials on safe trenching and delivery of the courses to appropriate audiences. Further, the groups will share resources and information to raise awareness and commitment to workplace safety and health.
Information will be shared through participation in a variety of forums throughout Ohio. The alliance will concentrate efforts to improve safety by reducing serious injuries resulting from cave-ins, electrocutions, fires, road work-zone and other utility work hazards. The alliance will place special emphasis on emergency preparedness and response activities related to restoring utility services quickly and safely following a major disaster.
The Greater Columbus Damage Prevention Council was created to bring together underground facility operators, government agencies, excavators, industry associations and service providers to address the goals of reducing damage to underground facilities, providing cooperation relating to and coordination of construction activities, and improving communication, involvement and commitment to these goals.
OSHA safety and health alliances are part of U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao's ongoing efforts to improve the safety and health of employees through cooperative partnerships with trade associations, labor organizations, employers and government agencies. OSHA currently has more than 470 alliances throughout the nation with organizations committed to fostering safety and health in the workplace.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote the safety and health of America's working men and women 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.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department 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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