New Trinational Occupational Safety and Health Web Site Launched

The Trinational Occupational Safety and Health Working Group under the North American Agreement on Labour Cooperation (NAALC) has launched a Web site to promote and improve safety in the workplace.

The Web site (www.naalcosh.org) provides valuable information links to promote public involvement and education, and encourages the exchange of best practices on programs, projects and activities focusing on occupational safety and health issues in Canada, the United States and Mexico.

"I believe that this Web site will serve as an excellent source of information about the working group as well as the various important occupational safety and health activities of the three governments," said Canadian Minister Claudette Bradshaw. "Collaborative projects such as this one encourage the ongoing exchange of information and the sharing of good practices that promote improved working conditions and living standards."

The Trinational Working Group was established under the NAALC, a landmark international labor agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico signed at the same time as the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1993. The NAALC seeks to protect the rights and improve working conditions and living standards for workers in all three countries.

The working group focuses on four key occupational safety and health issues including the proper labeling and handling of hazardous substances; training and technical assistance for workers, employers and inspectors; safety and health management systems for the workplace; and voluntary protection programs.

In addition to the launch of the Web site, employer and worker representatives have been selected to advise the working group on issues raised under the Trinational Working Group and participate in its activities as appropriate.

"The Web site will be a useful information source about the working group and the occupational safety and health activities of the three governments," said John Henshaw, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health and U.S. chairman for the working group. "The new Web site and selection of representatives for occupational safety and health are key milestones for the Trinational Working Group. The labor and management members will offer important expertise and advice for the working group."

The other chairpersons of the Trinational Working Group are Gerry Blanchard, special advisor to the assistant deputy minister for Labour, Canada, and Manuel Rodriguez-Arriaga, the director general for workplace safety and health in Mexico.

The Trinational Working Group is holding its fourth meeting in Toronto, Ontario on April 26 and 27 in conjunction with the Industrial Accident Prevention Association's Annual Health & Safety Conference and Trade Show.

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