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Region 5 News Release: 10-1318-CHI
Sept. 27, 2010
Contact: Rhonda Burke    Scott Allen
Phone: 312-353-6976    312-353-6976
E-mail: burke.rhonda@dol.gov    allen.scott@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA establishes strategic partnership
at Big Sky Wind Project with White Construction
Edison Mission Energy partnership focuses on safety and health

AURORA, Ill. - In an effort to provide a safe environment for workers at the Edison Mission Energy Big Sky Wind Project in north central Illinois, White Construction Inc. of Clinton, Ind., the Region V Wind Farm Response Team and the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration have established a strategic partnership. The partnership is the first of its kind in the wind energy industry.

Developed by Edison Mission Energy of Irvine Calif., the Big Sky Project is a 240-megawatt wind farm located in an area that includes Ohio, and East Grove and May Townships in Bureau and Lee Counties, Ill. When complete, the Big Sky Project will be one of the largest wind farms in the Midwest. EME, part of the Edison International family of companies, owns 28 wind energy projects that are in operation or under construction in 10 states.

By utilizing the knowledge and resources of OSHA and the Region V Wind Farm Response Team, White Construction expects to reduce exposure to construction hazards and incidents of serious injuries at the Big Sky Wind Project through increased training, implementation of best work practices, enhanced safety and health programs, and compliance with OSHA standards. The partnership will also promote and recognize job sites that have developed effective safety and health programs.

"We would like to ensure that all construction companies, big and small, are prepared to effectively control the workplace hazards their employees may encounter," said Kathy Webb, OSHA's area director in Aurora, Ill. "This first of its kind partnership in the wind energy industry sets a standard for future construction projects in the emerging field of alternative energy. I believe this partnership helps to ensure all work sites have developed effective safety and health programs, and employees are trained to be more aware of work hazards and ways to prevent injuries."

OSHA's Strategic Partnership Program helps encourage, assist and recognize the efforts of partners to eliminate serious workplace hazards and achieve a high level of worker safety and health. Most strategic partnerships seek to have a broad impact by building cooperative relationships with groups of employers and workers. These partnerships are voluntary relationships among OSHA, employers, worker representatives and others, including trade unions, trade and professional associations, universities and other government agencies. For more information on OSHA's Strategic Partnership Program or Voluntary Protection Programs contact OSHA's Office of Partnerships and Recognition at 202-693-2213.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at http://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 http://www.dol.gov/compliance.


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