U.S. Labor Dept. Partners with Different Government Entities to Aid Maine’s Telecommunications Workers

March 15, 2005

Maine’s telecommunications workers will reportedly have added protection against workplace hazards as the result of a new alliance signed by the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and state employer, labor and government entities.

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 with labor organizations, employers and trade associations.

In addition to OSHA, partners participating in the alliance include the Federal Highway Administration, the Maine Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Standards’ 21(d) Consultation Project, the Maine Department of Transportation, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 2327 and Verizon New England Inc.

“Telecommunications workers’ duties expose them to hazards involved with work in or at the edge of roadways, at significant heights and with energized cables,” said Anthony Lemire, OSHA’s acting area director for Maine. “This alliance is a mutual effort by business, labor and government to effectively address and prevent the most common hazards faced by these workers, including being struck by moving traffic, falls or electrocution.”

Alliance participants will develop and deliver to Verizon employees and others training and education programs on roadway work zone and telecommunication safety and health issues. Members will also develop information on recognizing and preventing these hazards and communicate the information to members, industry employees and the public. Participants will also share information on best practices and effective approaches and will work together to forge innovative solutions.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has created more than 230 alliances with organizations committed to fostering safety and health in the workplace.

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