Trenton, NJ (April 17, 2009)
- The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the New Jersey Schools Development Authority (SDA) and the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOLWD) have renewed their alliance to promote workplace safety and health at New Jersey school construction sites. The renewal was signed at a ceremony today at SDA headquarters.
"Nothing is more important than the safety of workers at our job sites across New Jersey. This alliance not only promotes safety but will help develop programs that will be beneficial across the construction industry. I am pleased to see this important collaboration with OSHA continue," said Kris Kolluri, CEO of the SDA.
New Jersey Labor Commissioner David J. Socolow stated, "Workers on these important projects deserve our full commitment to workplace safety and health. Today, we are joining together to maintain that commitment, working with federal OSHA and the School Development Authority to promote workplace safety on school construction sites across New Jersey. Through training and the efforts of our On-site Safety Consultation Service we will work cooperatively to see that workers on these important construction jobs can perform their jobs safely and effectively."
Robert Kulick, OSHA’s regional administrator in New York, said, "Renewing this alliance highlights the value of maintaining collaborative relationships to foster safer and more healthful workplaces, especially for New Jersey’s schools and facilities."
OSHA Health and Safety alliances are part of the agency's ongoing efforts to improve the health and safety of workers through cooperative partnerships with trade associations, labor organizations and employers.
The alliance will provide SDA members and others with information, guidance and access to training resources that will help them protect employees' health and safety, particularly in reducing and preventing exposure to school construction industry hazards. Major goals of the alliance include developing training and education programs regarding construction industry hazards; delivering construction-related safety and health courses; and raising awareness of and demonstrating commitment to workplace safety and health.
OSHA area offices throughout New Jersey are participating in the alliance, which originally began in February 2005.
For 2009, the SDA is projecting the completion of 18 schools across New Jersey. This total includes 13 schools in SDA Districts, three schools in Regular Operating Districts (RODs) and two demonstration projects.
Overall, New Jersey's school construction program has completed 592 projects in SDA Districts since inception. These completed projects include 46 new schools; 41 extensive additions, renovations and/or rehabilitations; three demonstration projects and nearly 400 other projects.
OSHA has improved workplace safety and health over the past 38 years. This success is reflected in the latest data available (2007) showing the lowest national injury and illness incidence rate that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has ever recorded.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthy workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health.
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