Region 2 News Release
Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2001
Contact: Bill Wright
Phone: (202) 693-1999
SAFETY PARTNERSHIP LAUNCHED FOR N.Y. HIGHWAY CONSTRUCTION
NEW YORK -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration entered into a partnership today with a New York contracting firm and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine to ensure the safety and health of workers during a highway construction project near Yonkers, N.Y.
The project involves the reconstruction of the Interstate 287/87 Interchange of the New York Thruway. In addition to reconfiguring Interchange 8, three new lanes will be built as well as reconstructing the Tappan Zee Bridge Toll Plaza. The project is scheduled to be completed during 2003 and will employ, at its peak, approximately 200 employees.
Joining OSHA in the partnership is Yonkers Contracting Company, Inc., and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine of New York University. The agreement's objective is to reduce employee exposure to airborne concentrations of silica, and to develop a partnership between the government and the contractor that will encourage construction contractors in the Westchester County, NY area to improve their safety and health performance. Mount Sinai School of Medicine will provide technical assistance in the development of the silica control and surveillance program.
"This partnership will help safeguard New York's construction workers by establishing a comprehensive safety plan for the site, focusing on protecting workers from silica exposure," said Patricia K. Clark, OSHA's regional administrator in New York. "It also demonstrates OSHA's commitment and desire to work cooperatively with employers who are making every effort to reduce injuries at their work sites."
Under terms of the partnership, contractors must meet stringent safety guidelines that include:
- adhering to a site-specific written safety and health program which will include a silica control and surveillance program;
- appointing an on-site safety representative who will conduct daily self-inspections;
- providing training for employees on hazards specific to their jobs.
In return for meeting these criteria, OSHA will:
- not target the job site for a planned or programmed inspection once a verification inspection has been completed;
- conduct unplanned site inspections only in response to reports of imminent danger, fatality or catastrophic accident, or a signed employee complaint; and
- respond to all other complaints, except in cases of serious injuries, by telephone and fax.
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This news release text is on the Internet World Wide Web at http://www.osha.gov. Information on this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 693-1999.