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May 11, 2010
Contact: Jason Surbey
Phone: 202-693-4668

US Department of Labor's OSHA seeks
to partner with local building inspectors
Effort meant to lower construction fatalities

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is launching a pilot program seeking to partner with building inspectors in 11 American cities to reduce injuries and fatalities at construction sites.

Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis has sent letters to the mayors of the selected cities,* proposing that OSHA work with and train local building inspectors on hazards associated with the four leading causes of death at construction sites. Under this program, building inspectors would notify OSHA when they observe, during the course of their work, unsafe work conditions. OSHA, in turn, would send a federal agency compliance officer to that workplace for a safety inspection.

In construction, the four leading causes of death are falls, electrocution, being crushed or caught between objects, or being struck by moving machinery or objects.

In her letters, Secretary Solis wrote, "I believe workplace enforcement is not only our responsibility but our moral obligation. We need your help to send our inspectors where they can make the biggest difference."

"This initiative allows us to expand our eyes and ears," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for OSHA. "Although we are adding 110 new inspectors this year, OSHA simply cannot inspect every construction site in the country."

OSHA seeks to partner with building inspectors in the following cities:

Austin, Texas
Boise, Idaho
Cincinnati, Ohio
Concord, N.H.
Greenwood Village, Colo.
Madison, Miss.
Atlanta Metropolitan area