Alliance -- An OSHA Cooperative Program<<Back to Concluded Regional Alliances - Region V


  1. Alliance Background

    Date Signed

    December 11, 2007


    Alliance Overview

    OSHA and the Central Ohio Homebuilders Safety Alliance formed an Alliance to provide homebuilders and others within the residential construction and homebuilding industry information, guidance, and access to training resources in both English and Spanish that will help control hazards related to falls, struck-by injuries, crushing injuries, electrical and other hazards in the workplace.

    Implementation Team Members

    Howard Eberts (Compliance Assistance Specialist)-OSHA
    Steve Anderson - JS Rails & Safety
    Bill Roberts - MI Homes
    Marc Moldovan - Beazer Homes
    Pete Taylor - Bob Webb Homes
    Dale Pockett - Romanelli and Hughes
    Ron Bauchmoyer - Rockford Homes
    Todd Winters - Westport Homes
    Keith Pecinovsky - Homewood Corp.
    Jon Kletrovtz - Dominion Homes

  2. Implementation Team Meetings

    Alliance meetings were normally held the third Tuesday of each other month at various locations as different companies agreed to host meetings each month. At each meeting members' input and safety and health suggestions were discussed.

    December 11, 2007: Alliance Meeting
    January 15, 2008: Alliance Meeting - Training by CAS on Residential Safety & Fatalities
    February 19, 2008: Alliance Meeting
    March 18, 2008: Alliance Meeting - CAS trained on CD materials
    April 15, 2008: Alliance Meeting - Training by CAS on OSHA's VPP program
    May 19, 2008: Training for Subcontractors by CAS & SS Burns
    July 15, 2008: Alliance Meeting
    July 31, 2008: Filming at MI Homes sites for a safety video (see below)
    September 16, 2008: Alliance Meeting
    November 18, 2008: Alliance Meeting
    December 17, 2008: Alliance Meeting

  3. Activities and Products

    Evaluation Period

    This report covers December 11, 2007 to December 11, 2008.

    Alliance Activity
     
    • Training and Education

      The two main goals set at the initial Alliance meeting were:
       
      1. Produce a policy statement and letter to send to subcontractors highlighting rule for 100 percent fall protection on all worksites. This letter was completed on February 19, 2008 with fall protection procedures in both English and Spanish.
      2. Produce a letter and training package in English and Spanish for subcontractors addressing fall protection and other safety issues in residential construction. This training package / CD and letter were completed on April 15, 2008.

        These goals were both met.

        Also, the Compliance Assistance Specialist and two other Safety Specialists presented training at a number of regular meetings, as well as for a group of subcontractors on May 19, 2008.
    • Outreach and Communication

      OSHA has promoted this Alliance on its website, and the various homebuilders, as well as Steve Anderson, have shared information on the Alliance in various national meetings.
       
    • Promoting the National Dialogue on Safety and Health

      OSHA has promoted this Alliance on its website, and the various homebuilders, as well as Steve Anderson, have shared information on the Alliance in various national meetings.
    Alliance Products
     
    • Training and Education

      As stated above the two main products were:
      1. A policy statement and letter to send to subcontractors highlighting rule for 100 percent fall protection on all worksites. (This letter was completed on February 19, 2008 with fall protection procedures in both English and Spanish.)
      2. A letter and training package in English and Spanish for subcontractors addressing fall protection and other safety issues in residential construction. (This training package / CD and letter were completed on April 15, 2008.)
      Also, the State of Ohio, Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) is working with OSHA through another Alliance (Temporary Worker Alliance) to create some training DVDs, including one on residential construction. On July 31, 2008, a BWC film crew went to some MI Homes residential sites and filmed the use of fall protection. In one instance, a roofer fell and was saved by his fall protection.
       
    • Outreach and Communication

      OSHA's website helped promote the Alliance as well as word of mouth from the builders involved.
       
    • Promoting the National Dialogue on Safety and Health

      Same as above
  4. Results

    The OSHA Columbus Area Office and the homebuilders who have participated in this Alliance have continued to increase knowledge in the areas of residential construction activities and especially in regards to the challenge of getting subcontractors, especially framers and roofers, to consistently provide fall protection for their workers. By sharing this information with their subcontractors, both English and Hispanic, this has helped increase the safety awareness on Central Ohio homebuilding sites.

    The biggest issue this Alliance has faced is the hard economic times which have severely reduced the residential activity in central Ohio, and has hit the homebuilders very hard. Many jobs have been lost, and several companies who started in this Alliance are no longer in business in central Ohio. (Beazer, Homewood, Maronda and Westport Homes are no longer part of this Alliance.)

    However, the remaining companies still would like to continue. The following comments were from some of the homebuilders in response to a number of questions from the CAS.

    1. Do you feel that your company's safety and health program improved by your participation in this Alliance with OSHA?

    2. - Yes, only to a slight agree, sorry to say.

      - Yes, I feel our program has improved. We sent out the letter earlier in the year and collected additional safety programs from the vendors. We already had started an audit program that was discussed earlier this year that continues to expand and we learn how to manage and track the information. Other builders seem to have expressed an interest in how Dominion manages our safety program and we demonstrated how important that it is. Overall, I feel we had a safe year at Dominion with lower on site citations for our vendors. We continue to strive for better participation, and do our best to communicate safety each week to the superintendents.

      - Yes, it would have to because any additional time talking about safety and health in general always adds awareness and allows us to pass along the information to our teams in the field.

      - Yes, I have been able use our alliance as a motivation to our sub-contractors to improve their awareness for job safety. My job supers are supportive in our involvement and are striving to improve job safety.

      - Very much so
      .

    3. What were the best benefits of this Alliance?

    4. - Understanding that all of the builders face some of the same safety issues. I was pleased to learn more about OSHA and share safety information with my service technicians and supervisors. I think the Alliance is a good thing and should continue with the meetings.

      - Being able to meet with other companies and openly discuss safety issues and situations that occur in the field. You find there is more in common that you might think. We all seem to use the same vendors and have the same concerns for their safety. We all struggle with enforcement and positive recognition for good practices.

      - I would think one of the best benefits of the Alliance would be that eventually the trades will be aware that all of the Central Ohio Builders will be enforcing the same items and making it less likely for the trades to change behaviors from job to job.

      - I enjoy the camaraderie and new relationship between our participating builders and OSHA. I believe our alliance humanizes the builder/OSHA perspective. I also felt our meetings help OSHA gain a better insight of the builder's side of job safety and issues builders encounter as we manage our jobsites

      - To learn where the biggest risks are
      .

    5. What do you feel could have been improved?

    6. - I can't think of anything at the moment. Howard, you do a great job presenting and sharing useful information. Keep up the good work.

      - Overall, I wish we had more companies attending the meetings to add input to the discussions. Not sure how to improve upon attendance. I was not copied on a whole lot of emails, so was not sure how many other companies were indeed contacted or reminded of the meetings.

      - Would like to have seen a sample certificate for positive recognition from the Alliance to a vendor. We discussed, but there was no follow through from any of us.

      - Additionally, each meeting seemed to have a loose agenda. Not much direction beforehand to allow the builder to come prepared to discuss a particular topic. This puts quite a bit of work on OSHA Rep/ or Steve Anderson to come up with discussion points, but more planning up front could lead to a better prepared meeting and ultimately lead to bringing more participation. We are all busy building homes, but no one wants to come to a meeting that they are not sure what's going to be discussed and how long it will last. Need to keep them to 1 hour or state beforehand that it will run long so we can plan the rest of our mornings.

      - I will say that the Voluntary Protection Program is very detailed and more in depth than what one would expect for a homebuilder. It definitely seemed like it was developed with a manufacturer in mind, yet it still had many parts that related to our business.

      - I wish we had more participation. There is strength in numbers and our sub-contractors would improve their standards if we all spoke from a unified front.

      - Not sure. Your presentations have always been thorough and packed with info
      .

    7. Do you feel this Alliance adds value and should be continued?

    8. - Yes

      - Yes. I know I personally am learning a little more and am working with our management to be more active and productive with the construction team. Knowledge is power and with power comes great responsibility. I feel the Alliance gives me the ability to enforce the ideas of safety a little better. Yes, I would like to see it continue.

      - Yes, it definitely adds value and should continue. If you compared the amount of internal audits that take place in most businesses to make sure that procedures are followed to keep track of end result (money) due to the Enron scandal. Versus a person's health and or worse case life; it's pretty simple to see that a safety program is a necessity.

      - I feel we should absolutely continue and collectively try to get more builders into our alliance.

      - Absolutely
      .
  5. Upcoming Milestones

    The Alliance officially ends on December 11, 2009.
    Report Prepared by: Howard Eberts, Compliance Assistance Specialist
    For additional information, contact the Office of Outreach Services and Alliances at 202-693-2340 or go to the OSHA website.