GAE Provide Key Funding in PIA/OSHA Alliance on Ergonomic Solutions
Friday, September 27, 2002
ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA (September, 2002) – To develop printing industry-wide voluntary guidelines to reduce injuries, the Graphic Arts Employers (GAE) has committed $20,000 in resources to begin the project. GAE, a committee of the Printing Industries of America, Inc. (PIA) that serves unionized printers, strongly supports protecting workers and reducing injuries. PIA and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) entered into an agreement to establish a collaborative relationship to foster safer and more healthful workplaces in June 2002. Ben Cooper, Executive Vice President for Public Affairs said, "The printing industry is considered one of the safest manufacturing industries in the country and that is the result of our industry constantly striving to eradicate all workplace injuries. We appreciate the efforts of Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao and Assistant Secretary of OSHA John Henshaw to work with our industry to make it safer for the one million-plus workers employed by graphic communications companies." Secretary Chao has developed an innovative approach to injury reduction that encourages industry alliances and voluntary guidelines to improve worker safety in the area of ergonomics. "The Secretary’s approach is much more likely to reduce injuries than the rescinded standard (March 2001) because it permits industries like ours to focus on the most hazardous job tasks and dedicate resources to solving those problems first. The GAE Committee is proud to be providing key start up money for the development of ergonomics solutions and training tools to reduce injuries and cut workers’ compensation costs in printing plants," said Duane Byers, Chairman of the GAE Committee and Human Relations Manager of Banta Publications Group in Long Prairie, MN. The Alliance agreement will stress outreach and communications with the industry, promote a national dialogue on workplace safety and health, and improve training and education on ergonomics issues.