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Region 8 News Release:   USDL 03-41
Thursday, July 3, 2003
Contact: Rich Kulczewski
Phone: (303) 844-1302

OSHA and North Dakota Energy Coalition Form Alliance
Goal to Train and Educate Local Construction Companies

BISMARCK -- An alliance to train and educate construction companies, vendors and other contractors who perform work for a group of energy companies in North Dakota has been signed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Bismarck area office and the Energy Coalition for Contractor Safety (ECCS).

ECCS is a group of North Dakota energy companies working together to achieve workplace safety and excellence of energy industry contractor employees. Members include the Dakota Gasification Plant, Great River Energy, Montana Dakota Utilities, Otter Tail Power Company, Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Minnkota Power Cooperative and the Tesoro Refinery in Mandan.

The alliance will develop training and education programs for construction companies in North Dakota to encompass construction-related safety and health hazards and to share best practices to eliminate or reduce hazards.

"The companies involved in this alliance place safety and health of their employees as their number one priority," said Bruce Beelman, OSHA area office director in Bismarck. "The alliance will help assure, as far as possible, that we can meet our triple bottom line goal of reducing workplace fatalities, injuries