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Aug. 21, 2013
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: 202-693-1999

OSHA and The Joint Commission renew alliance to protect safety and health
of health care workers

WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today renewed its alliance with The Joint Commission to provide information and training resources that will help protect the safety and health of health care workers. Through the alliance, OSHA and TJC will address ways to reduce and prevent worker exposure to physical, chemical, biological and airborne hazards in health care and address emergency preparedness.

"Health care workers face serious risk of work-related injury and illness," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "Through this Alliance, we will continue to work together with TJC to provide information and education to the health care industry on preventing worker injuries and illnesses in hospitals and nursing homes. The alliance will also focus on helping the health care industry recognize the close link between improving patient safety and improving worker safety."

TJC evaluates and accredits more than 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. As part of the alliance, OSHA will work with Joint Commission Resources, the official publisher and educator of TJC, to provide members and others with information, guidance, and access to training resources that will help them protect the health and safety of workers and understand the responsibilities of employers under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

OSHA and TJC will work together to raise awareness of the agency's rulemaking and enforcement initiatives, and share information on occupational safety health laws and standards, including the rights and responsibilities of workers and employers. Outreach and communication resources will focus on the recognition and prevention of workplace hazards in the health care industry.

For more information, visit the OSHA-TJC Alliance page. The agreement will remain in effect for five years.

Through its Alliance Program, OSHA works with unions, consulates, trade and professional organizations, faith- and community-based organizations, businesses and educational institutions to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses. The purpose of each alliance is to develop compliance assistance tools and resources and to educate workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities. Alliance Program participants do not receive exemptions from OSHA inspections or any other enforcement benefits. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov/dcsp/alliances/index.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 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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