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For More Information Contact the Public Information Office:
    Richard Vespucci
    Kathryn Forsyth, Director

For Release: Novmber 17, 2005

DOE Joins National Effort to Promote Occupational Health and Safety in Schools

New Jersey has joined a national effort to promote occupational health and safety for students by joining forces with federal and state occupational safety and health and labor officials, along with representatives of higher education.  They have formed an alliance to ensure that students and school staff can teach and learn in a safe environment in school and in work sites that provide learning experiences for students through local partnership between schools and businesses.

“Students and their teachers and school staff should be able to go to school each day, confident that they are in a safe and secure environment,” said Acting Commissioner of Education Lucille E. Davy.  “Just as we are working hard to make our schools safe against terrorism and violent attack, we must also make them places where safe procedures and well thought-out classroom arrangements keep the possibility of accidents and tragedy to an absolute minimum.

“By joining this alliance with labor officials and higher education, we are assuring that we have at our disposal the newest information about the most effective practices in school safety,” Acting Commissioner Davy said.

The alliance will provide schools with information, guidance, and access to training resources that will help them protect the safety and health of students and youth workers, as well as the safety and health of teachers and school staff.  Training will cover hazards found in many  occupations for which high school students are trained.  Topics will include:  electrical safety, machine guarding, hazard communication and workplace violence, with a special focus on the retail, service, and health care industries that employ many students and youth workers.

Training will include information about occupations, equipment and materials that are either restricted or prohibited to students and youth workers.
The program will be administered by the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey’s School of Public Health and the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute through the ongoing Safe Schools Program contract with the Department of Education.  Other alliance members are the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the United States Department of Labor, and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.