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November 1, 2011
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: 202-693-1999

New OSHA Alliance focuses on workers safety and health
in restaurant industry

WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently formed an Alliance with the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC-United) to help reduce and prevent worker exposures to slip, trip and fall, and cut and burn hazards, as well as address workplace safety issues related to young workers and small businesses.

"Restaurants and other eating and drinking businesses employ 11.6 million people in the United States. Nearly 30 percent of these workers are under 20 years of age," said David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. "Many teens' first work experience is in the restaurant industry, so this Alliance is a great opportunity to reach these and other restaurant workers and employers to raise awareness of ways to promote safer, more healthful workplaces."

The Alliance will create products including fact sheets and a safety and health booklet on topics such as cuts and burns, and slips, trips and falls. The Alliance will also develop case studies on lessons learned, and provide workers and employers with training on hazards and best practices within the restaurant industry.

ROC-United is a national restaurant workers organization representing approximately 7,500 members. Founded in 2008, the organization's areas of focus include improving working conditions for restaurant workers and coordinating national campaigns for workers in this industry.

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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