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Region 1 News Release: 05-673-BOS/BOS 2005-088
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074

OSHA, Central Maine Healthcare, State of Maine, Join to Protect Healthcare Workers

AUGUSTA, Maine -- Promoting safe and healthy working conditions for employees in Maine's healthcare industries is the goal of a new alliance signed today by the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Central Maine Healthcare (CMH) and the state of Maine's Safety Works! consultation program.

"Workers in healthcare industries face a variety of work-related health and safety hazards," said Anthony Lemire, OSHA's acting area director for Maine. "This alliance seeks to equip workers and their employers with the knowledge and ability to identify and address work-related hazards before they cause serious injury or illness."

Under the alliance, OSHA, CMH and Safety Works! will develop and deliver training and education programs to CMH members on health and safety hazards found in healthcare. In addition to OSHA's 10 and 30-hour general industry courses, training will address reducing and preventing workers' exposure to ergonomic, needlestick and bloodborne pathogen hazards.

The alliance will also promote and encourage the worksite participation of CMH members or workplaces in OSHA's cooperative programs such as the Voluntary Protection Programs, safety consultation and the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP).

Signing the alliance were Lemire; Peter Chalke, president/CEO, Central Maine Healthcare; and Adrie