|OSHA, Union, Contractors Form Alliance to Reduce Worker Exposure
to Electrical Hazards
ATLANTA -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupation Safety
and Health Administration (OSHA) announced an alliance with
labor unions and employers in the Southeast to save lives,
avoid injuries and teach young workers how to work safely
with electricity. This alliance is a voluntary, cooperative
effort to promote a national dialogue on workplace safety
and health through communication, training and education.
OSHA Health and Safety partnerships are part of Secretary
Elaine L. Chao's ongoing efforts to improve the health and
safety of workers through cooperative partnerships of labor
unions and employers.
The new alliance was formalized in a signing ceremony in
College Park, Ga. Alliance members include OSHA's Atlanta
regional office, the fifth and tenth districts of the International
Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), the Southeastern
Line Constructors Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors
Association (NECA), and the Southeastern Line Constructors
Apprenticeship and Training Council (SELCAT).
"This alliance is an example of Secretary of Labor Elaine
L. Chao's commitment to foster compliance assistance for workers
and employers to improve health and safety for workers,"
said Cindy Coe Laseter, OSHA's regional administrator in Atlanta.
"It demonstrates that this segment of the Southeast's
electrical industry recognizes the need for us to all work
together to address serious safety concerns."
From Oct. 1, 1999 to Sept. 30, 2002, OSHA investigated 137
fatal accidents in Georgia, Alabama, Florida and Mississippi
that resulted from contact with live electrical sources. Of
these accidents, 65 involved contact with energized power
transmission lines and associated equipment.
Eliminating the major contributing factors involved in these
fatalities is one goal of the alliance. In each of these four
states, experienced and apprentice electrical workers will
attend training sessions to improve their ability to recognize
and maintain a safe working distance from power sources; use
proper grounding techniques, and wear proper protective equipment.
Coe Laseter signed the alliance for OSHA. Other signatories
include C. Stephen Gaines, Jr., chapter manager, Southeastern
Line Constructors Chapter, NECA; Melvin W. Horton, vice-president,
Fifth District, IBEW; Robert P. Klein, vice-president, Tenth
District, IBEW; and Virgil W. Melton, training director, SELCAT.
The signing ceremony was held on Friday, Sept. 26, at the
SELCAT facility, 3580 Flat Shoals Rd., College Park, Ga.