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ALLIANCE REPORT
Central Ohio Homebuilders Safety Alliance
Columbus Area OSHA Office
February 18, 2010


  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 (CAS) - OSHA
    Steve Anderson
    JS Rails & Safety
    Bill Roberts
    MI 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 every other month at various locations as different companies agreed to host meetings each time. At each meeting members' input and safety and health suggestions were discussed.

    January 20, 2009     Alliance Meeting - Training by CAS on Residential Safety & Fatalities

    March 17, 2009     Alliance Meeting - CAS trained on Fatalities and residential construction enforcement inspections

    May 12, 2009     Alliance Meeting

    July 21, 2009     Alliance Meeting

    September 15, 2009     Alliance Meeting & Training Session for Subcontractors

    December 8, 2008     Alliance Meeting

    December 17, 2008     Alliance Meeting

  3. Activities and Products

    Evaluation Period

    This report covers December 31, 2008 to December 31, 2009.

    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.

      In 2009 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 September 15, 2009.

    • 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. This video was completed in 2009 and distributed and posted on the BWC webpage.

    • 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.

    As in 2008, the biggest issue this Alliance continues to face 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. - Absolutely, just the current info on where most serious injuries are occurring is very informative and powerful. Not to mention all of the other information provided by OSHA and the experiences of all of the members.

      - I do believe programs did improve by involvement in Alliance.

      - Yes, without a doubt. The ladder and scaffold training was very good for the subcontractors.

    3. What were the best benefits of this Alliance?
    4. - There were a lot, but for me, the most powerful were the current real problems brought to our attention.

      - The best benefits were efforts toward unity by builders on safety issues and discussions on ways to improve. Also, the Alliance was a vehicle or resource to get info to the builders and subs on requirements in a unified manner.

      - Best benefit was getting OSHA's direct involvement. Learning of their current emphasis and/or trends. It was also very beneficial to hear of what other builders were encountering and their approaches.

    5. What do you feel could have been improved?
    6. - Can't think of anything except maybe always being allowed to invite subcontractors who are relevant to the topic of discussion.

      - Getting more builders involved in process.

      - I would suggest more specific incidents with photographs.

    7. Do you feel this Alliance adds value and should be continued?
    8. - Very much so. It seems like the best way to get the industry together to share solutions, as well as promote good relations between the contractors and OSHA. My most significant change in thought is that OSHA, in the end, by looking out for workers, is also looking out for employers. It was a very cooperative-rather than adversarial feeling-lots of goodwill.

      - I would strongly recommend that this Alliance be continued. I am not sure how to place value on the Alliance, if the information provided can avoid just one injury, then it has been invaluable.

      - I do believe it adds value - Get ideas from each other on best ways to enforce and comply. Discussions of injuries and fatality info as a group to focus on certain critical safety areas. Subs can't use the excuse that they will work for a builder who does not force compliance issues - all on same page. One reason I wanted the Alliance was to show a unified safety stand with sub-contractors - in other words they had no choice but to comply. It is for these reasons I would like alliance to continue and offer invite to join to new builders in area (Ryan Homes, Fischer Homes) and re-invite Rockford and other established area builders. Develop ways to get more involvement from builders.

  5. Upcoming Milestones

    The Alliance officially ended on December 11, 2009. The Alliance will not be renewed.

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 OSHA's website.

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