OSHA announced it has extended the presidential Safety, Health and Return to Employment (SHARE) initiative and presented achievement awards Thursday, Feb. 15, to five federal agencies that obtained exemplary results during the initiative's first three years.

At a ceremony in the Labor Department's Frances Perkins Building, the Department of the Navy and the Social Security Administration were recognized for best overall performance in accomplishing all four SHARE goals. The Labor Department was recognized for achieving the highest timely filing rate of injury and illness notices, and Department of Defense agencies achieved the most notable reduction in the rate of lost production days among civilian employees due to injuries and illnesses. The Treasury Department was recognized for the greatest reduction in injury and illness case rates.

"Fewer federal employees were injured, became ill, or died on the job over the past three years as a result of the SHARE initiative and a greater awareness of workplace safety and health," said Assistant OSHA director Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. "We look to build on these tremendous results, which benefit not only federal employees and their agencies, but all American taxpayers."

"Extending SHARE gives us a chance to broaden our break-through improvements by building on the momentum of the first three years of the initiative," said Shelby Hallmark, director of the Employment Standards Administration's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs. "We can make major reductions in injuries, illnesses and days lost from work and everyone wins when we do."

President Bush established the three-year SHARE initiative on Jan. 9, 2004, and directed all executive branch agencies to participate in this government-wide effort to improve safety and health in federal workplaces. With the extension, the initiative will run through fiscal year 2009.