OSHA unveils new workplace initiatives at Latino summit

Several initiatives to improve workplace safety were announced this week during OSHA's National Action Summit for Latino Worker Health and Safety, which took place Wednesday and Thursday in Houston.

The summit aimed to develop a means to better reduce injuries, illnesses and deaths on the job, particularly among Latinos, who are killed on the job at higher rates than other workers.

OSHA administrator David Michaels kicked off the event by announcing it would be the first of several similar local conferences. One such meeting currently is being planned in Nebraska to focus on the needs of Latino and immigrant workers in the meatpacking industry, he said.

In her keynote address Wednesday, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis laid out several new initiatives designed to increase worker involvement in safety and assist business owners. The initiatives include:

  • Effective April 28, compliance officers must check to ensure training provided to workers is done so in a format employees can understand.
  • Mayors of 10 cities will be asked to have city building inspectors work jointly with OSHA when they observe unsafe work conditions.
  • Expansion of the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program.
  • A construction industry pilot program.

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