Alliances Play Important Role in Workplace Safety and Health

By Mary Katherine Revels, Public Information Officer, North Carolina Department of Labor
Republished from the January/February 2019 Labor Ledger Newsletter

Carolinas AGC recently renewed its long-standing alliance with the NCDOL Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Division.

The alliance, which was first signed, March 22, 2010, aims to reduce accidents and fatalities in the construction industry through increased education, training and outreach. Carolinas AGC is a construction trade association made up of contractors and construction-related firms that perform work in both North and South Carolina. The two entities furthered their alliance by signing a renewal alliance agreement Oct. 30, 2018.

The alliance also promotes safe and healthful working conditions by:

  • Providing Carolinas AGC employees/members with information and guidance that will help them protect employees’ health and safety, particularly in reducing and preventing exposure to recognized occupational hazards.
  • Providing OSH employees with information and training on the industry’s best practices.
  • Increasing access to safety and health information and training resources.

NCDOL and NCALGESO representatives formalize the partnership by signing a two-year alliance agreement. (L-R): Angie Whitley, NCALGESO president; Susan Tolbert, NCALGESO president-elect; Michelle Harris, NCALGESO past-president; Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry; Kevin Beauregard, OSH deputy commissioner; Wanda Lagoe, ETTA bureau chief.

“Our alliance with Carolinas AGC is extremely important to the construction industry in North Carolina,” Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry said. “As one of the smallest state agencies, we need to work together with construction trade organizations such as Carolinas AGC to best reach those workers on the front lines doing some of the state’s most hazardous work. We believe these types of relationships have helped drive down the state injury and illness rate for private industry to a historic low.”

A new relationship formed Jan. 8, 2019, when NCDOL’s OSH Division and the North Carolina Association of Local Governmental Employee Safety Officials (NCALGESO) signed a two-year alliance agreement. The signing ceremony was held in Commissioner Berry’s conference room in the Labor Building.

“We are very excited about the new alliance with NCALGESO,” Marcy Collyer, training supervisor with the Education, Training and Technical Assistance (ETTA) Bureau said. “Collaboration with NCALGESO will help increase awareness about safety and health issues that affect public sector employees. Our ultimate goal is to ensure everyone goes home safely and this new alliance will help the OSH Division and the N.C. Department of Labor achieve that goal.”

The NCALGESO was founded in 1975 and is committed to:

  • The development of closer relationships and more effective cooperation among local governmental employee safety officials.
  • Providing opportunities to freely discuss and exchange information, ideas, and experiences to keep members informed of current progress in the field of occupational safety and health.
  • Fostering a spirit of cooperation with the N.C. Department of Labor and the N.C. Industrial Commission.
  • The promotion, interest and welfare of North Carolina local governments.

“NCALGESO is very honored to be chosen for NCDOL’s alliance agreement,” Angie Whitley, NCALGESO president said. “Our organization looks forward to becoming advocates with NCDOL in providing outreach training, focusing on employee safety and health issues with broader communications and partnership opportunities throughout the state. Thank you to Commissioner Berry and her staff for entrusting NCALGESO with this collaboration.”
Under the alliance, the OSH Division and NCALGESO will work together to achieve certain training and educational goals, outreach and communication goals, and to promote a statewide dialogue on workplace safety and health.
In an effort to support the National Safety Stand-Down to prevent falls, May 6-10, both Carolinas AGC and NCALGESO will be assisting with NCDOL construction forums. The forums will be day long events with a focus on the Big Four hazards in construction: falls, electrical, struck-by and caught-in.

Dave Simpson, President & CEO of Carolinas AGC, said “The alliance Carolinas AGC has with the NC Department of Labor and Commissioner Cherie Berry is one of the most important alliances we have. Nothing is more important than safety in the construction industry and the team effort we have here is a win-win for everybody.”