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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release July 2, 1999

July 2, 1999


SUBJECT: Federal Worker 2000 Presidential Initiative

Each year, Federal employees suffer over 160,000 injuries or illnesses in the course of their employment. The Federal Government's bill for medical treatment and wage loss compensation costs exceeds $1.9 billion each year. Even more disturbing is the pain and suffering of employees and their families that is caused by these injuries and illnesses and the fact that many of such injuries and illnesses are preventable.

The Federal workforce is a valuable asset to our healthy economy. We need to do more to protect our dedicated public servants from preventable injuries and illnesses. From this point forward, I want to make the safety and health of every Federal worker a central value in each operation performed in Federal workplaces. I ask all Federal agencies to help make Federal Government workplaces safe and productive. Furthermore, we need to ensure that, when injuries do occur, Federal employees are given the best possible care and are returned to work as quickly as possible.

To this end I direct the Secretary of Labor to lead an initiative focusing on the Federal workplace. This initiative will have a duration of 5 years, and will establish 3 measurable goals:

I also direct the Secretary to report to me each year on the progress made to reduce work-related injuries and illnesses, to provide timely services, and to reduce the number of days injured workers are away from their jobs.

I am convinced that this new focus on safety and health in the Federal Government will result in fewer injured workers, significant cost reductions, and an enhanced ability to serve the American public.


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