The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Montana Department of Labor and Industry today signed an alliance with the Montana Grain Elevators Association. The alliance, signed during the Montana Agricultural Business Association and MGEA joint annual convention in Great Falls, will focus on identifying, reducing and preventing workers' exposure to hazards in the grain handling industries throughout Montana.
"This alliance clearly shows the commitment to address cooperatively the unique safety and health hazards associated with grain handling operations," said Jeff Funke, director of OSHA's Billings Area Office. "By working together, we will continue to improve the safety and health of Montana's workers."
Suffocation and falls have been identified as the two leading causes of fatalities at grain handling facilities, along with fires, explosions from combustible dust, electrocutions and injuries from improperly guarded machinery.
Under the alliance, OSHA's Billings Area Office, MDLI and MGEA will provide information and guidance and will develop training programs to prevent injuries and improve overall safety and health. The partners will convene and participate in forums, discussions and meetings to forge innovative solutions in the workplace and provide input on safety and health issues.
"The Montana Grain Elevator Association and its members are committed to the safety of our employees and have worked diligently to provide safe work environments," said MGEA president Tim Mattick. "We look forward to working with OSHA to provide a means of communication on opportunities to improve safety at our facilities."
Through its Alliance Program, OSHA works with businesses, trade associations, unions, consulates, professional organizations, faith- and community-based organizations, and educational institutions to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses. The purpose of each alliance is to develop compliance assistance tools and resources and to educate workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov/dcsp/alliances/index.html.
Montana employers and employees with questions about this or other OSHA alliances and partnerships can call the Billings office at 406-247-7494.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.