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Region 5 News Release: 10-1506-CHI
Nov. 8, 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 renews partnership with electrical contractor
groups to decrease workplace injuries and fatalities

COLUMBUS, Ohio – As part of continuing efforts to improve safety and health for electrical workers, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has renewed a strategic partnership with the National Electrical Contractors Association Central Ohio Chapter, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 683 of Columbus and Union 1105 of Newark, Ohio.

"This partnership reflects our mutual recognition of the importance of electrical workers' safety and health, and our cooperative goal to develop effective safety programs while improving communications," said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA's Columbus area director. "We will take an aggressive and positive approach to place workplace safety and health at the forefront every day."

The goals of the partnership are to decrease participating employees' injury and illness rates, increase accessibility to quality safety training and education, and raise safety awareness. The partnership members also will work in conjunction with the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee to develop improved, effective and meaningful safety training programs for the electrical trade and construction industry.

Partners have agreed to adopt and require use of an industry standard checklist designed to exceed OSHA requirements when working on energized circuits, require mandatory OSHA safety courses for all field employees and supervisors as well as site-specific safety training for new hires, and conduct regular third-party safety audits and quarterly meetings to discuss industry best practices. The partnership will be evaluated annually.

The OSHA Strategic Partnership Program provides the opportunity for OSHA to partner with employers, workers, professional and trade associations, labor organizations and other interested stakeholders. OSHA strategic partnerships are formalized through unique agreements designed to encourage, assist and recognize partner efforts to eliminate serious hazards, and achieve model workplace safety and health practices. Each OSHA strategic partnership establishes specific goals, strategies and performance measures to improve worker safety and health. OSHA strategic partnership models include those focused on improving safety and health in major corporations and government agencies, for at large construction projects and for entire industries. The program is available to private sector industries and government agencies in locales where OSHA has jurisdiction. For more information on this program and other cooperative OSHA programs, visit: http://www.osha.gov/dcsp/compliance_assistance/index_programs.html.

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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