OSHA, ConnOSHA Forge Alliances with Electrical, HVAC Groups

In separate agreements this week, OSHA and the Connecticut Department of Labor's Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ConnOSHA) struck up alliances aimed at providing electrical contractors and future contractors with training and information to reduce workplace hazards. Specifically, OSHA and ConnOSHA signed partnerships with the Rocky Hill, Conn.-based Independent Electrical Contractors of New England Inc. (IECNE) and the Connecticut Office of Apprenticeship and Training (CTOAT).

"Electrical contractors work in a variety of settings, often in construction, and can be exposed to diverse hazards," said C. William Freeman III, OSHA's area director in Hartford, Conn., of the partnership with IECNE. "This alliance will equip contractors in Connecticut and other New England states with practical knowledge that will help them anticipate, identify, and eliminate work-related hazards before they cause injury and illness."

Under the alliance, OSHA, ConnOSHA, and IECNE will work jointly to develop training and education programs for IECNE members regarding electrical safe work practices, scaffolding, trenching, fall protection, caught in/between hazards, and struck-by hazards. This relationship will include delivery of "train-the-trainer" courses and development of workplace safety and health curricula on electrical safe work practices. These will allow IECNE members who complete the "train-the-trainer" course to then provide training to contractors in Connecticut and other parts of New England.

The alliance partners also will share best practices and effective approaches to safety and health, speak and exhibit at each other's local meetings, and encourage IECNE regional council members to build relationships with OSHA's area and regional offices to address safety and health issues.

OSHA said the goal of the CTOAT alliance is to equip students in the state's plumbing, electrical, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning apprenticeship programs with training and information to reduce workplace hazards. Both alliances were announced Thursday.

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