National News Release USDL [01-440]
Nov. 20, 2001
Contact: Donna Miles
Phone: (212) 337-2378
Contact: Bill Wright
Phone: (202) 693-1999
Chao Launches Partnership To Protect WTC Site Workers
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao today announced a new partnership with the City of New York, contractors and other organizations to protect the safety and health of thousands of workers at the World Trade Center disaster site.
"Those who work at Ground Zero are selflessly exposing themselves to serious hazards every day," Chao said. "This is a remarkable partnership to ensure the safety of these heroes as much as possible, because we can't let the terrorists claim another American life." [See full remarks]
The WTC Emergency Project Partnership Agreement formalizes a commitment to safety and health among contractors, employees, employee representatives, and governmental agencies participating in the emergency response efforts in lower Manhattan. The agreement was signed by Chao and others today in a ceremony during the Construction Industry Partnership's Safety Conference at the Sheraton Manhattan Hotel. [WTC Emergency Project Partnership Agreement]
In addition to OSHA, participants in the partnership are: the New York City Department of Design and Construction and the Fire Department of New York (co-Incident Commanders); Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York; Building Trades Employers' Association; Contractors Association of Greater New York; General Contractors Association; and the four prime contractors at the WTC site: AMEC Construction Management, Inc.; Bovis Lend Lease LMB, Inc.; Tully Construction Co., Inc.; and Turner/Plaza Construction Joint Venture.
The partnership agreement outlines a cooperative effort to ensure a safe work environment. New safety and health initiatives have already begun, including a new site orientation training program and establishment of a safety committee that includes representatives from labor and management organizations as well as OSHA and other participating agencies. The orientation program familiarizes workers with potential hazards and personal protective equipment requirements.
John Henshaw, OSHA Administrator, praised the partnership for its commitment to worker safety and health. "The World Trade Center site is potentially the most dangerous workplace in the United States," he said. "Our challenge is to ensure the September 11 tragedy claims no more victims in terms of fatalities or serious injuries or illnesses. That challenge demands a cooperative, highly coordinated effort. This partnership provides the framework for that effort."
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