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AAOHN, OSHA form alliance
As part of a growing trend of increased partnering by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Atlanta-based American Association of Occupational Health Nurses Inc. (AAOHN) and OSHA signed an alliance at the 2003 American Occupational Health Conference in Atlanta.
The goals of the new alliance will be to promote healthy and safe workplaces, with a focus on emergency management, musculoskeletal disorders, and workplace violence. AAOHN officials noted this alliance will be unique from other recently announce alliances, in that those alliances primarily focus on ergonomics.
"We started our focus on ergonomics, but decided to broaden the alliance to encompass the other two areas because both are such priorities for employers right now, and because occupational health nurses have so much to offer employers in these areas," said Deborah V. DiBenedetto, MBA, RN, COHN-S/CM, ABDA, outgoing AAOHN president.
"This alliance provides a unique opportunity to work with occupational safety and health professionals working on the front lines to address workplace violence, ergonomics, and other safety and health issues," added OSHA administrator John Henshaw. "By working together with AAOHN, we can achieve a greater impact in improving workplace safety and health and reducing injuries, illnesses, and fatalities."
Specific goals of the alliance include:
"What will be especially unique about this alliance is the fact that we will be offering assistance to small businesses through participation in Chambers of Commerce, Rotary Clubs, and so forth," DiBenedetto tells Occupational Health Management. "We will provide them with information on managing health and safety, on OSHA resources, and letting them tell us about the resources they need." This strategy will be especially helpful for those businesses that do not have an on-site occ-med professional, she notes.