Speeches - (Archived) Table of Contents|
| Information Date:||11/20/2001|
| Presented To:||Construction Industry Partnership Safety Conference|
| Speaker:||Elaine L. Chao|
Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao
Construction Industry Partnership Safety Conference
New York, New York
November 20, 2001
I made a special trip here today to support the signing of this partnership because it means so much to the Americans who are working tirelessly at Ground Zero.
I also want to recognize the outstanding leadership of Mayor Giuliani and Governor Pataki. I speak on behalf of George W. Bush's entire administration when I say how much we appreciate the strength and comfort those two men have brought to New York and to America in these extremely difficult days. Both have done everything possible to ensure the safety of the people working at the World Trade Center site. That job has been, at times, a difficult and sensitive balancing act -- and one that we believe is preserved by today's agreement.
The work going on right now at Ground Zero continues to be painful, sad and necessary; it is important to all of America; and it is also perilous.
We have been fortunate that there have been no fatalities at the World Trade Center Site since September 11. The recovery effort is a noble, but dangerous, job.
Terrorists have made it one of the most hazardous workplaces in America. The partnership we are announcing today will make it safer. To lose any more lives at the World Trade Center site would compound a tragedy. This administration is determined not to let that happen.
At the Department of Labor, we have been committed to the safety and health of these workers from the start. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been providing around-the-clock assistance to identify and facilitate the correction of safety and health hazards.
And today we commit, formally, to preventing any more loss of life.
This alliance of government agencies, trade associations, contractors and unions will ensure that the workers here in New York City are protected.
These men and women have taken on an extremely difficult and dangerous job. And like the firefighters who ran toward danger to help others on September 11th, they've done their jobs without hesitation.
It is a tribute to them that we are here today, formalizing our determination to prevent injuries or fatalities at a place that has already seen too much senseless tragedy.
The agreement we are signing commits each party to exercising leadership and sharing expertise and skills. All personnel involved in the World Trade Center Emergency Project will benefit.
This partnership has five objectives:
- Preventing deaths, injuries and illness for all workers at the site.
- Implementing the World Trade Center Emergency Project Environment, Safety and Health Plan.
- Immediately abating serious hazards.
- Sharing exposure-monitoring data on air contaminants, noise, heat, cold and biological agents; and
- Sharing all safety hazard data.
These protocols cover a workplace like no other in the United States. The combined expertise and experience of the partners -- and above all our concern for American workers -- makes this possible.
The workers at Ground Zero who are reclaiming this site deserve the best protection we can offer, and that is what we're going to give them.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.
|Speeches - (Archived) Table of Contents|