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MREA establishes ground-breaking alliance with OSHA

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MREA President Henry Dykema and OSHA Area Director Art Hazen signing the Alliance agreement documents
MREA President Henry Dykema (left) and OSHA Area Director Art Hazen (right) signing the Alliance agreement documents

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has two programs that proactively engage contractors working in industries across the country. One is the Cooperative Partnership program, and the other is the Alliance program. The Montana Renewable Energy Association (MREA) was the first renewable energy group in the country to join OSHA’s partnership program. We worked together with OSHA to identify hazards specific to the renewable energy industry, discuss what trainings would be useful to the industry, and how industry members could provide input to OSHA. In return, OSHA worked to share informational resources with the industry, including training and education opportunities.

MREA has now transitioned to become an Alliance Partner with OSHA. MREA continues to be the only renewable energy organization in the country proactively working with OSHA as an alliance partner, and we are proud to continue this collaborative relationship. Per the Alliance Agreement, this alliance will “provide MREA members and others with information, guidance, and access to training resources that will help them protect the health and safety of workers.”

This Alliance is an important indicator for the success and legitimacy of the renewable energy industry in Montana. One of MREA’s strategic directions is to foster workplace safety, installation best practices, high professional standards, and workforce development among Montana’s renewable energy installers. This alliance with OSHA demonstrates our commitment and will help us achieve that goal.

MREA is thrilled and proud of this unique and ground-breaking partnership with OSHA. The organization plans on having the Alliance be a regular topic of discussion by MREA’s Safety and Training Committee, which will be used to gather input from installers, discuss important issues, and, as needed, bring those issues to OSHA to be discussed.