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Region 5 News Release: 11-1203-CHI
Jan. 4, 2012
Contact: Scott Allen      Rhonda Burke
Phone: 312-353-6976      312-353-4807
Email: allen.scott@dol.gov      burke.rhonda@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA establishes alliance
to protect Ohio engineers and heavy equipment operators

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has entered into an alliance with the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 18 and the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 18 Apprenticeship and Training Program. The alliance aims to provide engineering workers with information, guidance and access to training resources to protect their safety and health, particularly in reducing and preventing safety hazards related to cranes and heavy equipment. The OSHA On-site Consultation Program, funded by federal OSHA but operated by the state of Ohio, also will participate.

"This alliance reflects a recognition of the importance of the safety and health of engineers and heavy equipment operators," said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA's area director in Columbus. "We want to ensure that all workers understand the hazards involved in operating heavy equipment and how best to protect themselves. Alliances such as this one help develop effective safety and health programs, while also opening the lines of communication among OSHA, employers and workers."

As part of the agreement, OSHA representatives will speak and present exhibits at Local 18 apprenticeship training sessions. Additionally, all parties will share information regarding best practices for on-site crane and heavy equipment management; case studies on job site accidents and near-misses involving cranes and heavy equipment; and best practices for reducing employee exposure to noise, heat stress and health hazards associated with operating heavy equipment.

The voluntary alliance is focused on identifying and controlling safety hazards, improving safety and health programs, promoting a cooperative relationship