On-the-Job Deaths in Baton Rouge Spark ASSE/OSHA Alliance

With the goal of working together to provide expertise in developing information on prevention and recognition of workplace hazards and ways of communicating this information to employers and employees, the American Society of Safety Engineers' Greater Baton Rouge Chapter and OSHA's Baton Rouge Area Office recently formed a formal alliance.

The alliance came about following a number of on-the-job deaths the OSHA Baton Rouge Area office investigated within the past three years involving specific hazards. As such, the new alliance will target these hazards, which include falls, combustible dusts, trenching/excavation, 'struck-by' object hazards associated with local petrochemical and construction industries, and more. The alliance aims to provide OSH&E professionals access to additional training resources as they work to enhance employees' safety and health. These training and education goals include working together to develop training and education programs for general and construction industries regarding the specific hazards and communicating that information to employers and employees in those industries.

To raise awareness of workplace safety and health issues, another goal of the alliance, is to convene or participate in forums, round table discussions or stakeholder meetings on personal protective equipment, fall hazards, trenching/excavation, struck-by hazards, forklifts as well as community outreach to help build innovative solutions in the workplace or to provide input on safety and health issues. In the future, these events will be held locally at either OSHA's office in Baton Rouge or an ASSE chapter officer's place of business and will be posted on the ASSE Baton Rouge Web site (http://gbr.asse.org).

"Although we have long had a great working relationship with our local OSHA office, we felt that the alliance formally acknowledges our common goals and will allow us to pool our resources together to accomplish these goals--all aimed at enhancing workplace safety for all," said ASSE Greater Baton Rouge Chapter President Lance Roux, CSP. "We are excited about this milestone in our chapter's history and look forward to working closely with our local OSHA office during the year ahead."

The two-year alliance agreement will be led by a team of representative from each organization who will meet three times per year to track and share information on activities and status of goals. The ASSE Greater Baton Rouge chapter's 250 members are safety leaders in local industry, small business, and public sectors. The chapter provides professional development to members, safety education to the public, and safety recommendations to legislative bodies.

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