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Labor and Economic Opportunity

MIOSHA and Six Green Industry Organizations in Michigan Form Alliance to Protect Green Industry Workers

Contact: LARA Communications 517-373-9280
Agency: Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

February 26, 2008 - The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) and six "Green Industry" organizations in Michigan signed a formal alliance on Feb. 22nd to protect the safety and health of Michigan's green industry workers. The MIOSHA program is part of the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth (DLEG).

"We are proud to sign this alliance, which makes worker safety a top priority for the green industry in Michigan," said MIOSHA Director Doug Kalinowski. "This proactive partnership between industry and government can save lives by ensuring that worker safety and health plays an integral role in member workplaces."

The six organizations signing the alliance are: Arboriculture Society of Michigan (ASM), Michigan Green Industry Association (MGIA), Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association (MNLA), Michigan Turfgrass Foundation (MTF), Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) and Utility Line Clearance Coalition (ULCC).

Alliances enable organizations committed to workplace safety and health to collaborate with MIOSHA to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses. Alliances are open to all groups, including: trade or professional associations, businesses, labor organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies.

MIOSHA launched a "Tree Trimming Industry" initiative in October 2006, due to a series of fatalities involving tree trimmers in Michigan. MIOSHA sent letters and a fact sheet to 1,000 employers in the tree trimming and removal industry to raise awareness of the industry hazards and to offer training materials. MIOSHA also increased compliance efforts in the industry to encourage employers to protect their workers.

This ground-breaking alliance, involving six partnering organizations, is an outgrowth of that initiative. By forming this collaborative relationship, all partners are pledging to work together to foster the highest standards, good work ethics and safe work practices for all professional sectors of the green industry.

The goals of this alliance include, but are not limited to: 

  • Reducing injuries and illnesses among Michigan green industry workers; 
  • Providing training and education activities specific to the green industry and encouraging member participation; 
  • Developing fact sheets, PowerPoint presentations, "Best Practices" case studies, and a website resource list, to help employers and employees increase their knowledge of safety and health issues and to forge innovative solutions; and 
  • Coordinating participation in forums, round table discussions, conferences, and reciprocal website links, to assist employers with compliance and the development of safety and health systems.

Green industry employers and employees in Michigan include, but are not limited to, any business engaged in providing: turfgrass maintenance; tree trimming, including around overhead utility lines; landscape care and maintenance services and/or installing trees, shrubs, plants, lawns or gardens; design of landscape plans and/or the construction (i.e. installation) of walkways, retaining walls, decks, fences, ponds, irrigation; and similar activities.

There are many benefits to participating in an alliance with MIOSHA. Through this program, organizations will: 

  • Build trusting, cooperative relationships. 
  • Network with others committed to workplace safety and health. 
  • Exchange information about best practices. 
  • Leverage resources to maximize worker safety and health protection.

For more information about forming an alliance or partnership with MIOSHA, please check our website at www.michigan.gov/miosha or contact the Consultation Education and Training (CET) Division at 517-322-1809.