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OSHA joins forces with employers to reduce workplace illness

Pennsylvania residents who work in industries that have high incident rates of workplace illness may be interested in a new partnership formed between employers in four other states and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. The partnership, which involves employers in the poultry industry, is a groundbreaking approach to preventing on-the-job injuries and illnesses associated with employment. If the partnership is a success, it may become a standard. If successful, this collaboration has the potential to one day help Pennsylvania workers more thoroughly avoid workplace illness.

The partnership has two main goals: to reduce the number of on-the-job incidents and to ensure all incidents that do occur are reported correctly. The first step in achieving the first goal includes education and proactive measures. The second step includes increased inspections and more intensive health and safety programs.

In order to achieve the partnership's second goal, OSHA will be inspecting its partners' records, ensuring accuracy and timeliness. In addition, the administration will offer assistance to its partners should they have questions concerning compliance, reporting or other related matters, such as the handling of dangerous chemicals.

OSHA's primary goal in Pennsylvania and throughout the country is to reduce workplace illness and injury. Hopefully, the partnership will lead to better communication between the administration and employers, making such a partnership more common throughout the nation and making on-the-job injuries rare. Until that time, workers who sustain injuries or illnesses because of unsafe conditions in the workplace have the right to pursue workers' compensation benefits. There is no reason for a person to suffer due to negligence on the part of his or her employer.

Source: al.com, "OSHA debuts program to cut illness, injury at Alabama poultry processing facilities," Lucy Berry, Oct. 28, 2015

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