The safer the workplace, the healthier the worker, the more productive the workforce: It's a crucial correlation long understood by the Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA). And helping union members and their employers make those vital connections was the vision behind the founding of the New England Laborers' Health and Safety Fund (NELHSF).
Created in 1994 through a unique agreement between the Laborers and the Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, NELHSF today is a prime catalyst in the planning, development and enactment of safety and health programs that profoundly affect the quality of union members' lives throughout New England.
As a joint labor-management trust, chartered under Taft-Hartley and administered by a ten-member board, NELHSF draws on the combined expertise of its union and contractor participants to provide timely assistance to Laborers and their employers in a number of critical areas. At its core, NELHSF:
- Identifies, studies and collects information about the health and safety risks to which laborers and their families are exposed;
- Coordinates site-specific plans that effectively eliminate workplace hazards and minimize work-related injuries and illnesses;
- Develops union member and contractor training courses that better equip both labor and management to contend with rapidly changing workplace concerns;
- Fosters community-wide awareness of health and safety issues through an array of educational and informational materials and programs;
- Improves the delivery of health and safety services to laborers and their families throughout New England.
The work of NELHSF touches every aspect of union life - both on and off the job. And through the breadth and strength of its programs, NELHSF is helping not only to safeguard the lives of Laborers throughout the region, but to improve business conditions for signatory contractors as well. Ultimately, the connected programs of NELHSF increases everyone's productivity - and enhances the competitiveness of union members and employers alike.