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MOSH to open Hagerstown office

May 01, 1997

By JULIE E. GREENE

Staff Writer

The Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Program plans to open an office in Hagerstown, possibly at the city-owned Elizabeth Hager Center, officials said Thursday.

MOSH has closed its College Park, Md., office, which served Western Maryland, and will open a new office in Hagerstown to serve Washington, Frederick, Allegany, Garrett and Carroll counties, said Dale Valentine, MOSH's regional supervisor.

The community-based office is expected to be more accessible to both employers and employees, Valentine said.

The office enforces occupational safety and health regulations to prevent work-related injuries and illnesses, inspects workplaces and investigates violations.

An office in the basement of the Elizabeth Hager Center on Public Square could be ready by October, said City Engineer Bruce Johnston.

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A lease agreement must be approved by the state's Board of Public Works, Johnston said.

Once the office opens, it probably will have eight inspectors, Valentine said. For more than a year, five inspectors have been working in a temporary office at the local Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation on Public Square, he said.

The proposed lease for about 2,000 square feet would be for five years with an option for another five years, Johnston said. Rent during the first five years would be about $20,000 a year, while rent during the second five years would be about $22,000 a year.

The city would pay for renovations to the basement space, which would cost about $130,000, Johnston said. City Council members already have approved a $7,765 design contract with Lakin-Moats Architects contingent upon approval by the Board of Public Works.

The city also would provide four free parking spaces in the parking deck for MOSH employees.

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