A new alliance between the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. was recently established to protect the safety and health of workers in the scrap recycling industry, as well as promote understanding of worker rights and employer responsibilities under the OSH Act.

The alliance will focus on workplace hazards associated with powered industrial trucks and other machinery, chemical exposures, hazardous energy sources, and the handling and storage of materials.

“These hazards can result in serious injuries and death for workers in the scrap recycling industry,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “We are pleased to partner with ISRI in developing effective tools to control or eliminate safety and health hazards in this industry.”

During this two-year alliance, OSHA and ISRI will collaborate in creating and revising informational and training resources, encouraging the use of safety and health management systems and other safety performance programs, and promoting OSHA’s compliance assistance resources.

“ISRI’s alliance with OSHA underscores the recycling industry’s commitment to worker safety,” said Doug Kramer, chair of ISRI. “Now with the support of OSHA behind us, ISRI will be able to provide even greater resources for our members to ensure their workers return home to their families every night.”

ISRI is a trade association representing more than 1,600 member companies that include manufacturers, processors, brokers and industrial consumers of scrap commodities such as paper, rubber, plastics, glass and ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Members range from small businesses to multi-national corporations.

Through its Alliance Program, OSHA works with unions, consulates, trade and professional organizations, faith- and community-based organizations, businesses 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. Alliance Program participants do not receive exemptions from OSHA inspections or any other enforcement benefits.

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 www.osha.gov.