OSHA and the American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI) have established an alliance to promote safe and healthful working conditions in the textile industry. Through the pact, which will remain in effect for one year with annual automatic renewals, ATMI members will be provided with information and guidance to help them protect employees' health and safety, particularly in reducing and preventing exposure to cotton dust, noise and the hazards of unintended release of mechanical, electrical or other energy.

"This alliance," said John Henshaw, OSHA chief, "helps demonstrate that safety and health add value to the workplace and to the individual worker, and it is an important feature in our commitment to cooperative efforts with other groups and organizations to improve workplace safety."

OSHA and ATMI will jointly develop and disseminate information through print and electronic means, particularly on their respective Web sites. Each party will also promote and encourage the participation of ATMI members in OSHA's cooperative programs, such as compliance assistance, the Voluntary Protection Program, Consultation, SHARP and mentoring among ATMI members.

OSHA and ATMI will also recognize that ATMI's Quest for the Best Program companies have been identified by ATMI as having an outstanding safety and health program; will encourage Quest members to act as industry liaisons and resources for OSHA's cooperative programs and Compliance Assistance Specialists; will act as mentors to ATMI members; and will share information with other ATMI members on best practices of the Quest members.

A joint team of representatives from ATMI and OSHA will meet regularly to develop an action plan, identify goals and objectives, and track and share information on activities and results of the alliance.