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Region 3 News Release:    07-27-PHI (OSHA 07-007)
Jan. 18, 2007
Contact: Leni Uddyback-Fortson
Phone: (215) 861-5102

U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA Launches Statewide Alliance with University of Pittsburgh to Protect Rural Responders

PITTSBURGH -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), has joined forces with the University of Pittsburgh Center for Public Health Preparedness (UPCPHP) and the Center for Public Health Practice (CPHP) to promote workplace safety and health for rural responders, particularly in preventing exposure to pandemic influenza hazards.

OSHA, UPCPHP and CPHP officially began their partnership at a signing ceremony today at which Marie Cassady, OSHA's acting regional administrator in Philadelphia, represented the agency.

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 employees through cooperative partnerships with trade associations, labor organizations, employers and government agencies.

UPCPHP, which is located in the CPHP, trains public health professionals to respond to bioterrorism, infectious disease outbreaks and other public health threats and emergencies. A major goal of the alliance with OSHA is to address occupational hazards specific to rural emergency responders and to communicate that information to employers and employees.

"Rural emergency responders