New Partnership Benefits RescueWorkers

Nov. 26, 2001
OSHA, contractors, and other interest parties are partnering to protect the safety and health of thousands of workers at the World Trade Center disaster site.

What is one of the most unsafe workplaces in America today? The site of the World Trade Center disaster.

That fact has not gone unnoticed by the federal government. Recently, Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao announced a new partnership with the City of New York, contractors and other organizations to protect the safety and health of thousands of workers at the World Trade Center disaster site.

"Those who work at Ground Zero are selflessly exposing themselves to serious hazards every day," Chao said. "This is a remarkable partnership to ensure the safety of these heroes as much as possible, because we can't let the terrorists claim another American life."

The WTC Emergency Project Partnership Agreement formalizes a commitment to safety and health among contractors, employees, employee representatives, and government agencies participating in the emergency response efforts in lower Manhattan. Chao and others signed the agreement in a ceremony during the Construction Industry Partnership's Safety Conference at the Sheraton Manhattan Hotel.

In addition to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), participants in the partnership include the New York City Department of Design and Construction and the Fire Department of New York (co-incident commanders); Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York; Building Trades Employers' Association; Contractors Association of Greater New York; General Contractors Association; and the four prime contractors at the WTC site: AMEC Construction Management Inc.; Bovis Lend Lease LMB Inc.; Tully Construction Co. Inc.; and Turner/Plaza Construction Joint Venture.

The partnership agreement outlines a cooperative effort to ensure a safe work environment. New safety and health initiatives have already begun, including a new site orientation training program and establishment of a safety committee that includes representatives from labor and management organizations as well as OSHA and other participating agencies. The orientation program familiarizes workers with potential hazards and personal protective equipment requirements.

"The World Trade Center site is potentially the most dangerous workplace in the United States," said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. "Our challenge is to ensure the Sept. 11 tragedy claims no more victims in terms of fatalities or serious injuries or illnesses. That challenge demands a cooperative, highly coordinated effort. This partnership provides the framework for that effort."

edited by Sandy Smith ([email protected])

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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