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Region 1 News Release: 04-2575-BOS/BOS 2005-003
Thursday, January 6, 2005
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074

OSHA, Maine Health Care Association and State of Maine Join
to Better Protect Health Care Workers

AUGUSTA, Maine -- Safeguarding the health and safety of workers in Maine's health care industry is the goal of an alliance signed today by the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Maine Health Care Association (MHCA) and the safety consultation service of the Maine Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Standards (SafetyWorks!).

OSHA health and safety alliances are part of U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao's ongoing efforts to improve the health and safety of workers through cooperative partnerships.

"Health care industry workers are exposed to potential bloodborne pathogens and ergonomic hazards in the course of their duties," said Anthony J. Lemire, OSHA's acting area director for Maine. "This alliance seeks to provide MHCA members and workplaces with effective information that will help workers recognize and prevent exposure to such hazards."

Under the alliance, the three organizations will pool their expertise to develop and deliver for MHCA members training and education programs on safety and health hazards found in the health care industry. The partners will also communicate such information to employers, employees and the health care industry through a variety of methods and venues. The alliance participants plan to share health care industry best practices and promote and encourage MHCA members' or workplaces