OSHA Enters Partnership To Improve Safety Record at FederalWorksites

OSHA, Oregon's Lakeview District Bureau of Land Management and the Fremont National Forest have come together to improve worker health and safety at federal worksites.

OSHA, the Lakeview District Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Fremont National Forest (FNF) jointly announced a partnership to implement new approaches to long term safety and health improvements for workers at the federal worksites.

According to Carl Halgren, OSHA''s area director in Oregon, the goal of the agreement is to provide a safer and healthier work environment for employees and reduce associated workers'' compensation costs at the facilities.

This agreement was made jointly with BLM and FNF as both agencies are collocated and share many resources, said Halgren.

Strategic Partnership Agreements are part of the Federal Workers 2000 initiative to reduce the lost time case rate by 10 percent per year, to reduce the lost production days rate by 2 percent per year and limit increases in annual workers'' compensation charge-back billings to no more than the annual rate of inflation.

OSHA said it will work with BLM/FNF management staff to identify the primary cause of employee accidents and illnesses to develop measures to correct hazards; provide assistance and training to facility safety and health professionals; and conduct an annual on-site assessment to review progress and compare results with baseline year data while BLM/FNF will implement a comprehensive safety and health program; provide necessary resources such as staffing and equipment; ensure employee participation in the facility programs; and provide data and information on results to OSHA.

Halgren said, union leadership and their representatives will participate fully in all phases of the agreement.

The strategic partnership agreement is the first in place in Oregon.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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