Region 2 News Release: NY 188
September 11, 2000
Contact: Chester J. Fultz
For Release: Immediately
OSHA TO SIGN PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT WITH NEW YORK STATE, BUILDING TRADE UNIONS, AND URS CORP. COVERING CONSTRUCTION WORK AT WESTCHESTER COUNTY COURTHOUSE
Joint labor/management effort to reduce employee injuries at this
construction project key element of this partnership agreement
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration will sign a partnership agreement at 2:00 p.m.on Tuesday, September 12, at the Westchester County Courthouse in White Plains, New York, with the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York; the URS Corporation New York City; the Building and Construction Trades Council of Westchester and Putnam Counties, AFL-CIO; and the New York State Department of Labor, Division of Safety and Health, On-Site Consultation Service. The agreement recognizes those contractors who are committed to having exemplary safety and health programs, including site-specific safety and health training for their employees.
"One of OSHA's goals, as outlined in the agency's strategic plan, is to reduce serious injuries by 15% in the construction industry", Patricia K. Clark, regional OSHA administrator said. "This partnership, which is unique because it includes not only private sector employers, but also two New York State government agencies and the local building trade unions, is a demonstration of OSHA's commitment to work cooperatively with employers and employee groups who are proactively making an attempt to reduce injuries at their work sites."
Each participating contractor at the courthouse construction site will be required to meet stringent safety guidelines, including:
- appointing an on-site safety representative
- submitting a comprehensive safety and health plan to URS for approval prior to commencing work on the site.
- conducting daily self inspections and maintaining records of those inspections.
OSHA provides incentives to the contractors who enter into this partnership including:
- not targeting the job site for a planned or "programmed" inspection within the next 12 months once a verification inspection has been completed.
- conducting an unplanned inspection at the site only in response to reports of imminent danger, fatality, or catastrophic accident, and a signed complaint.
- responding to all complaints by contacting the employer by telephone and faxing a letter to the employer outlining the complaint.
The Westchester County Courthouse Phase II/III Project in White Plains includes the construction of a 255,000 sq. ft. three-story courthouse annex, and the rehabilitation of the existing 285,000 sq. ft. twenty-story courthouse tower. The owner is the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York; the primary tenant is the County of Westchester; the project construction manager is the URS Corporation. It is anticipated that, at its peak, 10 prime contractors will employ more than 200 tradespeople on this project.
The partnership agreement will be signed with OSHA's Tarrytown area office, located at 660 White Plains Road, 4th Floor, Tarrytown, N. Y. Telephone: (914) 524-7510.