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Aug. 8, 2011
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: 202-693-1999

OSHA forms Alliance with the American Wind Energy Association

WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) today formed an Alliance focused on preventing worker exposures to electrical, crane and fall hazards in the wind energy industry.

"As part of the emerging green jobs industry, wind energy jobs promise to be kinder to our environment and transform our economy. But these jobs are not necessarily safer for American workers," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "I am confident that our Alliance with AWEA will further OSHA's mission to ensure that wind energy workers are protected from preventable injuries and death."

During the two-year agreement, the Alliance participants intend to develop materials for workers that address wind energy maintenance and operations hazards. The participants will also hold forums to discuss these hazards that can expose workers to harm. The participants also intend to raise awareness among workers and employers of OSHA's rulemaking and enforcement initiatives through sharing information on workplace safety and health standards.

AWEA is a national trade association representing 2,500 member companies such as wind turbine manufacturers and component suppliers, utilities, and renewable energy supporters and researchers. Approximately 85,000 workers are employed by AWEA members.

OSHA's Green Jobs Hazards Web page describes workplace hazards and worker safety and health information in the wind energy industry and other green industries including solar, geo-thermal energy, recycling, and weather insulating/sealing.

Through the Alliance Program, OSHA works with groups committed to worker safety and health to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses. These groups include unions, consulates, trade or professional organizations, faith- and community-based organizations, businesses and educational institutions. OSHA and the groups work together to develop compliance assistance tools and resources, share information with workers and employers, and educate workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities. Alliance Program participants do not receive exemptions from OSHA programmed inspections.

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 ensure 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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