OSHA and the El Paso Association of Contractors Have Renewed Their Alliance
On March 16, OSHA and the El Paso Association of Contractors announced they had renewed their alliance for three years. As part of the US Department of Labor, OSHA is responsible for enforcing health and safety standards, while providing training and assistance on the topic. However, they only have 10 regional offices and around 1,850 inspectors to look after a workforce of 130 million.
The OSHA Alliance Program was created to collaborate with other organizations that promote health and safety at work, which include construction associations. By collaborating with other organizations, OSHA can reach its target audiences more effectively, creating greater awareness about health and safety in the workplace. The El Paso Association of Contractors will be collaborating with the OSHA El Paso Area Office, which also has ongoing alliances with:
- Consulate of Mexico in El Paso, Texas
- Damage Prevention Council of Texas
- David L. Carrasco Job Corps Center
- El Paso Community College – Risk Management Institute
- Permian Basin Service, Transmission, Exploration and Production Safety (PB STEPS) Network
- T&T Staff Management, LP
The OSHA Region 6 office is responsible for Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. The main office is located in Dallas, with area offices in Austin, Baton Rouge, Corpus Christi, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston (two offices), Little Rock, Lubbock, Oklahoma City and San Antonio.
Benefits of the OSHA Alliance with the El Paso Association of Contractors
Collaboration between OSHA and the El Paso Association of Contractors is beneficial for residential, commercial and industrial workplaces. The alliance improves access to information for both contractors and their workers, covering key areas of occupational safety, such as:
- Fall prevention from elevated surfaces
- Electrocution prevention
- Heat illness prevention
- Preventing “struck by”, “caught in” and “caught between” accidents.
The three-year alliance with the El Paso Association of Contractors will also provide outreach and training. This includes sharing information about OSHA initiatives and regulation updates. Information will be available in both English and Spanish, considering that 83% of the population is Hispanic in El Paso, and 70% has Spanish as their first language. The El Paso Association of Contractors offers free safety training and apprenticeship training, while providing a space for networking and joint ventures.
Alliances can help OSHA reduce workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities. Workplace accident rates in the US have been steadily decreasing since the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1970, but workplace fatalities increased from 5,250 to 5,333 between 2018 and 2019, the last two years reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. This has been the highest number of annual fatalities since 2007, and workers over age 55 account for 2,005 of the 5,333 fatalities reported in 2019, which is more than 37% of the total.