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Pennsylvania Governor Rendell Says Businesses Saved $300 Million With Workplace Safety Program
Date:9/11/2008

MEADVILLE, Pa., Sept. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell today announced that Pennsylvania businesses have saved more than $300 million thanks to a program that allows workplaces to save five percent annually on workers' compensation insurance premiums.

Businesses qualify for the savings if they have a state-certified safety committee in operation. More than 7,800 workplaces have those panels in place, covering more than one million employees.

"Our workers are the most valuable asset in any workplace," Governor Rendell said. "Ensuring the safety of workers, so they can return home to their loved ones at the end of the day, is the greatest responsibility of every employer."

"Since 1994, state-certified workplace safety committees have protected more than one million hard-working Pennsylvanians and the bottom line of more than 7,800 businesses, but we need to do more," said Labor & Industry Deputy Secretary Liz Crum, who made the announcement at today's event. "I join Governor Rendell in encouraging employers to start a state-certified workplace safety committee, not only for the economic incentive, but also for the well-being of your workers."

The Rendell administration celebrated reaching the milestone today at Channellock Tools in Meadville. The state received Channellock's application for a state-certified workplace safety committee in 1994, making it the longest-running certified safety committee in Pennsylvania. Channellock's committee covers 440 employees and, to date, has saved nearly $280,000 in workers' compensation premiums.

Since Governor Rendell took office, employer participation in the state-certified workplace safety committee program has increased by 45 percent--from 5,369 in 2003 to 7,812 so far this year. During the same time, the number of employees covered by safety committees increased from 747,417 to 1,068,540.

Another effort to improve the health and safety of Pennsylvania's workers, citizens and visitors begins today, as the Clean Indoor Air Act takes effect.

"Banning smoking in most public facilities is just another step in our comprehensive effort to make our workplaces, and other public venues as safe as possible," Crum said. "Second-hand smoke is a major factor in many health problems and rising health care costs, and by eliminating its devastating effects, we protect the health and safety of millions of Pennsylvanians."

Businesses interested in protecting workers and saving money can get additional information on workplace safety committees at: http://www.dli.state.pa.us. For more information on Pennsylvania's Clean Indoor Air Act, visit http://www.health.state.pa.us.

The Rendell administration is committed to creating a first-rate public education system, protecting our most vulnerable citizens and continuing economic investment to support our communities and businesses. To find out more about Governor Rendell's initiatives and to sign up for his weekly newsletter, visit: http://www.governor.state.pa.us.

CONTACT:

Justin Fleming (L&I)

(717) 787-7530

Barry Ciccocioppo

(717) 783-1116


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SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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