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PIA and OSHA, First Alliance to Tackle Ergonomic Solutions

Press release from the issuing company

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA (June 18, 2002) – Today, the Printing Industries of America (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. This historic agreement is the first alliance OSHA has entered into with an industry to target ergonomic safety training and awareness. The agreement also includes the Screenprinting and Graphic Imaging Association International [and the Envelope Manufacturers Association]. 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. Cooper stated, "The Secretary’s approach is much more likely to reduce injuries than the rescinded standard (March 2001) because it permits industries like ours to focus on the most hazardous job tasks and dedicate resources to solving those problems first. We look forward to developing ergonomics solutions and training tools to reduce injuries and cut workers’ compensation costs in printing plants." PIA has a long history of successfully working with regulators to improve operations. Most notable is PIA’s work with the Environmental Protection Administration on the small business compliance assistance programs and the Great Printers Project. These and other EPA programs have resulted in better environmental practices and awareness in the industry and a good relationship with regulators. "We are looking forward to developing an excellent working relationship with OSHA for the future. PIA is already working with OSHA on an e-training project, a possible grant, and other voluntary industry guidelines. We believe that these initiatives will help graphic communications companies continue to reduce injuries, lower costs, and increase awareness about the importance of good safety programs." 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.