OSHA, Maine Health Care Assoc. and State of Maine Join to Better Protect Health Care Workers

January 18, 2005

Safeguarding the health and safety of workers in Maine’s health care industry is the goal of an alliance signed recently by the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Maine Health Care Association (MHCA) and the safety consultation service of the Maine Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Standards (SafetyWorks!).

OSHA health and safety alliances are part of U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao’s ongoing efforts to improve the health and safety of workers through cooperative partnerships.

“Health care industry workers are exposed to potential bloodborne pathogens and ergonomic hazards in the course of their duties,” said Anthony Lemire, OSHA’s acting area director for Maine. “This alliance seeks to provide MHCA members and workplaces with effective information that will help workers recognize and prevent exposure to such hazards.”

Under the alliance, the three organizations will pool their expertise to develop and deliver for MHCA members training and education programs on safety and health hazards found in the health care industry. The partners will also communicate such information to employers, employees and the health care industry through a variety of methods and venues. The alliance participants plan to share health care industry best practices and promote and encourage MHCA members’ or workplaces’ participation in OSHA’s cooperative programs.

Signing the alliance were Lemire, OSHA acting area director, Maine; Richard Erb, president/CEO, Maine Health Care Association; and David Wacker, director, Workplace Safety & Health Division, Maine Department of Labor.

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