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OSHA, NSC sign alliance to advance safety and health

September 12, 2003
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OSHA is fully focused on reaching its "triple bottom line" of reducing injuries, illnesses and deaths on the job, agency administrator John Henshaw told an audience at the National Safety Council's 91st Congress and Exposition this week in Chicago. He then proceeded to sign an Alliance with the NSC for the advancement of workplace safety and health.

Henshaw stressed to Congress attendees that the nation's return on its investment in job safety and health must be a continual reduction in workplace fatalities and injuries. The ultimate goal, he said: "zero injuries, illnesses and deaths in America's workplaces."

The pursuit of that goal is the foundation of OSHA's five-year Strategic Management Plan, said Henshaw. He said OSHA will focus on performance measures, outcomes and leading and trailing measures to determine its impact, allowing the agency to continue to target high hazard workplaces, focus on hard-to-reach workers such as immigrants and contract workers who frequently change jobs, and place additional efforts on issues facing teenaged workers.

He added that OSHA must also address "nontraditional areas" such as homeland security and workplace emergencies, motor vehicle accidents and workplace violence, using a variety of outreach and cooperative programs.

Goals for the future include a dramatic increase in the Voluntary Protection Program, with three new VPP pilot programs: VPP Challenge, VPP Corporate and VPP Construction. This initiative may add up to 2,000 additional VPP sites.

OSHA and NSC will work together to provide the nation's employers and workers with information, guidance and access to training resources, including first-aid training focused on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automatic external defibrillators (AED).

The Alliance also calls for cross-training of OSHA personnel and industry safety and health practitioners in best practices or effective approaches as jointly defined by OSHA and NSC. Both organizations will participate in forums, roundtable discussions or stakeholder meetings related to vehicle safety and first-aid training. Finally, both organizations will work with OSHA's regional and area offices to facilitate joint outreach activities with NSC chapters.

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