Region 2 News Release
Friday, Dec. 14, 2001
Contact: Stuart Roy
Phone: (202) 693-4676
OSHA ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP FOR
CONSTRUCTION PROJECT IN U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
NEW YORK -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) entered into a partnership yesterday with an engineering and construction firm, an integrated oil refinery, and a local union of the United Steel Workers of America to ensure safety and health of workers during a major construction project in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Delayed Coker Plant Project in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, includes the construction of a petroleum coke storage facility and a dock, as well as modifications to existing process units necessary to accommodate the operation of the coker at the Hovensa LLC refinery. The project is scheduled to be completed by September 2002 and will employ, at its peak, approximately 2,000 employees.
Joining OSHA in the partnership is Bechtel International, Inc., Hovensa LLC refinery, and the United Steel Workers of America -- Local 8526. The objective of the agreement is to reduce the rate for injuries and illnesses by 20 percent and prevent serious accidents during the construction of the coker plant by focusing on eliminating hazards associated with falls, electrical, struck by, and caught by/in-between dangers.
"The partnership formed today is an example of public and private cooperation that protects America's workers," said Patricia K. Clark, OSHA's regional administrator in New York. "This partnership demonstrates OSHA's commitment to work cooperatively with employers and employee representatives who make every effort to eliminate hazards and reduce injuries at their work sites."
Under terms of the partnership, contractors must meet stringent safety guidelines that include:
- maintaining a site-specific written safety and health program that ensures employee involvement;
- appointing an on-site safety representative;
- enforcing the use of 100 per cent conventional fall protection systems where employees work in excess of six feet above a lower level, including steel erection; and,
- 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
- handle all other complaints, except in cases of serious injuries, by telephone and fax.
# # #
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.