Reducing the number of Hispanic employees killed and injured in construction and general industry is the goal of a new alliance formed by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and El Refugio, a Newton, N.J.-based non-profit outreach center for Hispanic families.

Under the alliance, OSHA will work with El Refugio to develop workplace safety and health training programs to educate the organization's clients about fall, amputation, electrical, "struck-by"/"crushed-in" hazards and emergency response issues. OSHA also will deliver its 10-hour construction and general industry courses to Hispanic employers and employees in both English and Spanish. The agreement will remain in effect for two years.

"This alliance will expand our ability to protect employees who are often at risk because of a language barrier," says Phil Peist, director of OSHA's area office in Parsippany, N.J. "OSHA looks forward to working with El Refugio and the state of New Jersey to accomplish this critical goal."

Safety and health alliances are part of U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao's ongoing efforts to improve the health and safety of employees through cooperative partnerships with trade associations, labor organizations, employers and government agencies. OSHA currently has more than 450 alliances throughout the nation with organizations committed to fostering safety and health in the workplace.