OSHA Launches Second Partnership to Protect WTC Cleanup Workers

OSHA launches a second partnership initiative to help protect the safety and health of workers involved in the World Trade Center (WTC) Staten Island recovery operation.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched a second partnership initiative to help protect the safety and health of workers involved in the World Trade Center (WTC) Staten Island recovery operation.

The WTC Project Staten Island Recovery Operation Partnership formalizes a commitment to safety and health among federal, state, and city agency representatives, contractors, employees employee representatives participating in the effort.

The agreement calls on the partners to exercise leadership in preventing occupational fatalities and serious injuries and illnesses for all workers involved in the WTC Staten Island Landfill Recovery Operation. Partners agree to work cooperatively with all organizations assisting in the operation to:

  • Ensure implementation of and compliance with the WTC Staten Island Recovery Operation Emergency Project Environmental, Safety and Health Plan;
  • Abate all serious hazards immediately; and
  • Share safety hazard and exposure monitoring data.

"It is paramount that the men and women performing this essential and significant work do so in an environment that is as safe and healthy as we can make it," said Patricia K. Clark, OSHA Regional administrator in New York. "With this agreement we are confident that the work will proceed in that manner."

The partnership is similar to another pact OSHA recently initiated with contractors, employees, employee representatives, and federal, state and city agency representatives involved in the emergency response effort at the World Trade Center site. The Staten Island Recovery Operation Partnership calls on partners to work together in their respective roles to create the highest level of worker safety health in extremely difficult work environments.

The partnership agreement outlines a cooperative effort to ensure a safe work environment. Safety and health initiatives have already begun, including safety meetings, joint safety monitoring tours, respirator fit testing, air sampling and employee training.

Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health John L. Henshaw praised the Staten Island Recovery Operation partnership for its commitment to worker safety and health. "This partnership demonstrates an extraordinary level of leadership in protecting workers who are conducting an extremely important job in an extremely difficult work environment," Henshaw said. "Our challenge is to ensure that the September 11 tragedy claims no more victims in terms of fatalities or serious injuries or illnesses. It's a challenge that demands a cooperative, coordinated effort on the part of all the organizations involved-and this partnership provides the framework for that effort."

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Environmental Protection Agency, New York Police Department, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, New York City Department of Health, New York City Department of Sanitation; Hugo Neu Schnitzer East, Phillips and Jordan, Evans Environmental & Geosciences, Yanuzzi & Sons Inc., Mazzochi Wrecking; Taylor Recycling Facility L.L.C., International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 14-14B and Local 15, and Garner Environmental Services Inc. join OSHA in the partnership.

edited by Sandy Smith ([email protected])

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