|OSHA Enters Construction Partnership
OSHA has entered into a pilot partnership with the Iron Workers International Union and NEA, the Association of Union Constructors, to enhance OSHA compliance officer training for the steel erection standard that took effect in January.
The partnership uses Iron Workers facilities, where compliance officers get hands-on training to better understand how the standard applies to real workplace conditions. Thirty OSHA compliance officers attended the first training session this spring at the Iron Workers training facility in Springfield, NJ. The OSHA Directorate of Construction, OSHA Training Institute, Iron Workers, NEA, and Associated Builders and Contractors provided instruction. The agreement calls for additional training sessions around the country.
OSHA and RIMS Form Alliance
OSHA and the Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS) are working together through a new alliance to encourage safe and healthful workplaces. The cooperative venture includes exchanging technical information and best practices, promoting OSHA outreach services, and developing a tool to demonstrate the cost benefits and business value of safety and health.
As part of the alliance, OSHA will help with workshops at RIMS annual and regional conferences. Local and state RIMS chapters will work with OSHA compliance assistance specialists and consultation project staff on a variety of projects. The alliance will last 1 year but may be renewed automatically.
"We know that safety and health add value, and RIMS is going to help us continue to make the business case for safety and health," says OSHA Administrator John L. Henshaw. "We want to drive injuries and illnesses down, and this alliance advances our cooperation with RIMS and will advance the promotion of safety and health."
Agency Partners with Aurora Casino
OSHA's North Aurora, IL, Area Office has entered into a 6-month strategic partnership with Hollywood Casino-Aurora Dockside Gaming Facility to develop a contractor/ government partnership. The partnership encourages Aurora Casino construction contractors to improve their safety and health performance, eliminate serious accidents, and recognize contractors with exemplary safety and health programs.
The partnership is already having positive results. John Newquist, coordinator for the partnership, says the parties addressed compliance questions before an OSHA site visit, resulting in "great fall protection for these construction employees." In addition, he says, "OSHA was able to document how contractors were able to provide protection for difficult compliance issues." Area Director Charlie Shields says, "This is an example of what to expect of project-based partnerships in the future. This partnership shows that a contractor can do a big project productively and safely."
OSHA and AMEC Focus on High-Rises
OSHA's Calumet City, IL, Area Office recently entered into a comprehensive strategic partnership with AMEC Construction Management, Inc., to reduce the injury and illness rates for construction in high-rise buildings. AMEC is a multinational corporation headquartered in the United Kingdom that has more than $500 million in construction high-rise contracts in the Chicago Loop.
The partnership's goal is to reduce injury and illness rates to at least 30 percent below the national average for construction. All contractors working on an AMEC site will participate in the partnership.
The partnership is an extension of the Calumet City Area Office's local emphasis program focused on highrise projects. "Partnerships such as this demonstrate the strong commitment to safety that has been made on these major construction projects in Chicago," says Gary Anderson, OSHA's Calumet City Area Director. "OSHA and AMEC have the same goal-protection of the construction worker on these high-rise projects-and we will work together to see that this happens."
New Agreement Targets Shipbuilders
OSHA, the Bath Iron Works (BIW), and local unions have joined in a cooperative effort to identify, address, and eliminate injuries and illnesses at the shipbuilder's Maine facilities. Under the new agreement, BIW voluntarily agrees to fully implement effective, comprehensive safety and health programs at all its worksites. The company also will study the injuries and illnesses experienced by its workforce and continue to gather, analyze, and provide to OSHA relevant injury, illness, and accident data.
OSHA will meet quarterly with BIW and its unions to assist in safety training, provide technical advice, and receive updates about how safety and health programs are being implemented.
The agreement follows OSHA's recent comprehensive inspection of BIW's manufacturing and warehouse facilities in Brunswick, ME. That inspection identified a variety of safety hazards involving cranes, forklifts, electrical equipment, machine guarding, equipment maintenance, and fall protection. OSHA issued one repeat and 34 serious citations with $114,000 in proposed penalties.
"This agreement highlights the value of business, workers, and government combining their respective skills for the common purpose of securing a safer, more healthful work environment at one of Maine's largest private employers," says John L. Henshaw, OSHA Administrator . "Working together, voluntarily, cooperatively, and continuously, they can make this goal a reality."
New Partnership Covers Grain Elevators
Increased protection for workers at small grain-handling facilities in Illinois with 10 or fewer employees is one of the major benefits expected from a new agreement between OSHA and the Grain and Feed Association of Illinois (GFAI). The partnership will expand outreach efforts to increase knowledge among grain-handling facility operators of safety controls for hazards associated with the industry. In addition, because it includes facilities with 10 or fewer employees, the agreement promises increased protection to workers in small facilities.
OSHA Chicago Regional Administrator Michael G. Connors says that by working together through the partnership, OSHA and GFAI "will go beyond what either party can do alone."
OSHA and EPA Join Forces
OSHA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently agreed to work together to pursue their goals of recognizing and rewarding environmental and safety and health leadership. The agencies signed a memorandum of agreement recognizing their shared vision of building partnerships with industry and public entities to encourage top performance in these areas through OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs and EPA's National Environmental Performance Track program.
OSHA and EPA agreed to coordinate their efforts to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their programs that encourage industry to go beyond minimal compliance with standards. The agencies pledged to work together to recruit facilities into both programs and recognize facilities that participate in both programs. They also agreed to communicate regularly to share program policies, procedures, and lessons learned.
CCHEST Signs Training Agreement
OSHA and the Council on Certification of Health, Environmental and Safety Technologists (CCHEST) have signed a voluntary agreement to acknowledge the Safety Trained Supervisor in Construction (STSConstruction) certification issued by CCHEST.
"This agreement enables OSHA to recognize a certification that verifies the safety and health knowledge of individual supervisors on construction sites," says OSHA Administrator John L. Henshaw. "We are delighted to encourage the promotion of safety and health at construction worksites through such programs as this certification program of CCHEST."
The certification provides an independent assessment of safety and health knowledge covered by the STS-Construction certification process. Intended for first-line supervisors, the program ascertains safety education, training, and construction experience. It includes a written examination to verify that those construction supervisors who meet the stringent criteria for certification also possess knowledge and experience that contribute to achieving safe worksites.