OSHA and construction coalition form alliance

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced a new alliance on Tuesday that could improve the health and safety of roadway construction workers.

OSHA allied with the Roadway Work Zone and Health Coalition to help develop better hazard awareness training and other educational programs aimed at training workers. Through the alliance, OSHA also plans to reach out to non-English speaking construction workers about safe practices, and will share research findings with other organizations.

Members of the Roadway Work Zone Safety and Health Coalition include the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, the Laborers’ International Union of North America, the National Asphalt Pavement Association, the International Union of Operating Engineers and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

“This Alliance bolsters our efforts to protect the health and safety of workers in roadway work zones,” OSHA Administrator John Henshaw said. “Together, we create the synergy to focus more effectively on work zone safety and health issues on a national level and develop innovative solutions for reducing injuries and fatalities.”

According to Peter Wilson, 2003 NAPA Chairman, the safety of the construction work force is the alliance’s most important goal.

“Our efforts should be focused on value-added results – value added in terms of safe, health, productive employees and, ultimately, value added in terms of the viability and vitality of our ongoing businesses,” Wilson said.

Other issues that coalition members hope to discuss in the future include the use of new technology, the increase of a Spanish-speaking work force and the fast-changing work environment.