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National News Release: 09-432-NAT
April 28, 2009
Contact: Diana Petterson
Phone: 202-693-1898

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis commemorates Workers Memorial Day at National Labor College's monument ceremony
Remarks unveil OSHA plans for worker safety during Recovery Act efforts

WASHINGTON During a groundbreaking ceremony for a workers' memorial monument held today at the National Labor College in Silver Spring, Md., Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis paid tribute to the men and women who have lost their lives on the job.

"The bricks and mortar of the monument we build today remind us that we are all connected in this life, and the loss of a single worker is profoundly felt by families, neighbors, friends and communities across our nation," said Secretary Solis. "As we dedicate the building of this monument to fallen workers, we must also rededicate ourselves to defending and enforcing every man and woman's rights to a safe and healthful working environment."

Secretary Solis also said that, through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to improve America's infrastructure and put Americans to work, the Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will receive economic recovery funds it will direct toward enhanced and targeted enforcement; technical assistance, guidance, training and outreach; and construction data collection.

OSHA has identified the leading causes of injuries, illnesses and workplace fatalities in construction and manufacturing. The agency has used these data to develop information products that support its enforcement efforts while also educating and training employers and workers about workplace hazards. The materials, available on OSHA's Web site at http://www.osha.gov in English, Spanish and other languages, include advice on avoiding falls, electrocutions, struck-by and caught-between hazards, trenching and construction work zone safety.

Additionally, in her remarks, Secretary Solis said that as part of OSHA's efforts to provide compliance assistance and outreach, the agency will continue to communicate with the nation's immigrant workforce through places of worship, community organizations and consulates. For example, OSHA's Region II has been working with the consulates of El Salvador, Columbia and Brazil to provide information on workplace safety and health.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their workers. 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.

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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) upon request from the COAST office. 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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