OSHA, Crow/Northern Cheyenne Indian Health Service Form Alliance to Reduce Employee Injuries

August 19, 2005

The U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Crow/Northern Cheyenne Indian Health Service (IHS) Hospital in Crow Agency, Montana have formed a partnership to reduce blood borne pathogen-related employee injuries.

OSHA safety and health partnerships are part of Labor Secretary Elaine Chao’s ongoing efforts to improve the health and safety of workers through cooperative initiatives with companies and trade associations.

“This partnership formalizes our cooperative relationship,” said David DiTommaso, OSHA area office director in Billings. “It stands as a statement of our commitment to work together to make a positive impact on the hospital’s accident and injury rates, improve safety and health programs, and hopefully reduce employee injuries.”

The goal of the Crow/Northern Cheyenne IHS Partnership is to reduce the number of OSHA recordable needle stick injuries and blood borne related incidents by 10 percent for each year of the two-year agreement. The IHS Hospital will implement a number of measures including forming a partnership steering committee comprised of management, employees and the hospital safety manager to oversee the partnership’s progress.

The OSHA Billings area office will provide assistance to the hospital including training in the recognition of blood borne pathogens rules, regulations and safe work practices; training in the recognition and avoidance of safety and health hazards specific to the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act; and abatement assistance for unique blood borne hazards.

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