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STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT BETWEEN
OSHA, IBEW, ELECTRICAL TRANSMISSION & DISTRIBUTION
CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTORS, AND TRADE ASSOCIATIONS
Identification of the Partners: The partners to this agreement include:
Commitment: OSHA, the Electrical Construction Contractors, the IBEW and the Trade Associations, through a common vision, are committed to providing contractor employees in the electrical transmission and distribution industry (the “Industry”) a safe and healthful work place and to demonstrating leadership, responsibility and accountability in furthering worker health and safety.
Goals: The universal goal of the Partnership is to reduce the number of fatalities, injuries, and illnesses in the Industry. The proposed goals, strategies, and metrics for obtaining this universal goal are set forth in Appendix A. The Partnership encourages other non-partnership members in the industry to reduce and eliminate serious injuries and fatalities.
Cooperation: The specific impetus behind this Partnership is to provide a safer and more healthful work environment for union and non-union contractor workers in the Industry.
To that end, the Industry Partners undertake this Partnership pursuant to a non-competition, non-admission and non-aggression agreement by which all Industry Partners agree to mutual cooperation and to put aside differences in whatever form they may take (union vs. management; company vs. company; non-union vs. union), in order to focus on the reduction of injuries and fatalities in the Industry as a whole.
This Partnership is consistent with OSHA’s efforts to develop employer /labor/government strategic partnership approaches to further occupational safety and health. It allows for effective use of OSHA resources, innovation in safety management, and encourages participation in the safety process by industry members, employees, and other interested parties. OSHA will provide resources appropriate to assist the Industry Partners in achieving the goal of reducing the number of fatalities, injuries, and illnesses in the Industry. In executing this agreement, OSHA does not forfeit any of its responsibilities or obligations to administer and enforce the OSH (Occupational Safety and Health) Act.
The Partnership will review and potentially integrate concepts developed by existing efforts such as:
The Executive Team will be comprised of the Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) or designated top official of each Industry Partner. The Executive Team will meet at least bi-annually to consider findings and recommendations and to adopt consensus solutions which then may be implemented by the relevant Industry Partners. The Executive Team will be comprised of a maximum of one (1) person per Industry Partner. The Executive Team will have authority to resolve any issues that arise at the Steering Team or Task Team levels. Actions on behalf of the Partnership will not be undertaken absent consensus resolution of the Executive Team. An OSHA representative will act as a non-voting partner to the Executive Team. The OSHA representative’s role will be to offer consultation and advice to the Executive Team, as appropriate.
The Steering Team will be comprised of one member from each of the Partners, who is the person principally responsible for employee safety and health for that Industry Partner. The OSHA representatives will act as a non-voting partner to the Steering Team. The OSHA representative’s role will be to offer consultation and advice to the Steering Team, as appropriate.
The purpose of the Steering Team is to perform activities to manage the Partnership including but not limited to: develop an implementation plan, conduct incident trend analysis, collect and review data and reports, develop and track training initiatives, clarify compliance strategies, approve goals and timetables, evaluate the Partnership and establish and coordinate the activities of the Task Teams. The Steering Team will meet at least quarterly, and more frequently as appropriate, to resolve issues that arise with respect to the Partnership. In addition, the Steering Team members designated by the Industry Partners will review and revise findings and recommendations received from Task Teams, and when appropriate, will forward findings and recommendations to the Executive Team for consideration as Partnership consensus solutions.
Task Teams will be given assignments by the Steering Team to focus on one or more discrete topics. The Task Teams will be given a set of goals and a timetable for reporting back to the Steering Team its findings and recommendations. These working groups shall be relatively small and efficient in reviewing all available private and public sector data. These working groups are open to members of the Trade Associations (for example, NECA or EEI member companies) and other outside resources identified by the task team to assist it in its efforts. The OSHA representatives will act as non-voting liaisons to the Task Teams. The OSHA representatives' role will be to offer consultation and advice to the Task Teams, as appropriate. To the extent that resources are available and consistent with statutory obligations and limitations, OSHA also will provide appropriate resources to support Task Team efforts.
Objective: The Partners agree to construct a Partnership based on mutual respect and trust that leverages the resources of the Partners through the systematic anticipation, identification, evaluation, and control of health and safety hazards during electrical construction transmission and distribution work, thereby continuously reducing worker fatalities, injuries, and illnesses in the Industry.
Partnership Assessment and Measurement System: The goals, strategies, and metrics to assess and measure the progress of this Partnership are identified in Appendix A. The goals, strategies, and metrics may be subject to review and modification by the Executive Team, with OSHA input, as appropriate. The Partners will be responsible for the Partnership’s Annual Evaluation Report pursuant to established evaluation format set forth in Appendix C of the OSHA Strategic Partnership Directive, and will include recommendations for improvement for the following year. The evaluation is due every year on or about the anniversary of the Partnership signing date.
OSHA will conduct annual offsite evaluations of the Partnership concurrently with the Executive Team’s annual Partnership evaluation. To perform its annual evaluation, OSHA will review data gathered and reports generated by the Partnership as the Partnership works to achieve the goals specified in Appendix A.
Safety and Health Management System: Each of the Electrical Construction Contractors represent that they have a written and implemented formal safety and health management system employing health and safety professionals at the operations and corporate levels. The Electrical Construction Contractors further represent that these safety and health management systems include all the elements described in “OSHA’s Safety and Health Management Guidelines” dated January 26, 1989. With respect to unionized Electrical Construction Contractors, each represent that they have formal commitment statements from management and the IBEW leadership and/or affected IBEW local unions in every collective bargaining agreement (CBA) by and between the various Electrical Construction Contractors and unions. The leadership of the Electrical Construction Contractors, whether union or non-union, and the IBEW recognize the need to continuously improve in health and safety efforts. These efforts are supported by the Trade Associations through their safety and health programs and alliances.
Knowledge and Technology Transfer: OSHA, the Electrical Construction Contractors, the IBEW and the Trade Associations have conducted health and safety research regarding the causes of accidents and fatalities in the Industry. This effort is undertaken on a non-judgmental basis and all information shall be submitted without company identifiers. OSHA pledges to use its available databases to develop data on accidents involving death or serious injuries over the last five years for the purpose of analyzing potential causes of serious incidents and fatalities. The Electrical Construction Contractors and the IBEW will make available information on their accidents. The Trade Associations will make available accident information voluntarily supplied by their members. Accident information will be provided in a manner that can be used effectively to identify the cause(s) of the accident and to prevent future accidents, but shall not include company or other individual identifiers. Nothing in the agreement will require Partners to disclose information related to open investigations, open cases (i.e. those not subject to a Final Order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission or the relevant court of competent jurisdiction), or information subject to privilege.
OSHA Inspections: The Industry Partners recognize that this Partnership does not preclude OSHA inspections to investigate compliance with the OSH Act in accordance with OSHA enforcement procedures. This Partnership does not affect the manner in which OSHA will respond to complaints regarding workplace safety and health hazards; OSHA’s inspection and investigation practices are detailed in the effective OSHA instruction concerning complaint policies and procedures. The agency's general policies provide for good-faith penalty reductions for effective safety and health management systems. Penalties generally will not be assessed against Industry Partners for non-serious violations, provided that they are abated the same day as the inspection. Inspections of limited scope may be conducted with respect to the industry in accordance with OSHA policy and shall reflect all significant hazards in the industry as identified by OSHA with input from the other partners.
Initiation and Termination of Agreement/Continued Participation: The Partnership agreement is effective on the date of signing and will remain in effect until midnight two years from the date of signing. After year two of this Partnership, the Partners will have an option to extend this Partnership. Without regard to the two year term, thirty days or more after providing all partners with notice, any Partner can terminate its involvement in the Partnership and its obligations pursuant to the Partnership and to the other Partners. Continued participation in the Partnership is contingent on a Partner’s continued ability and willingness to act in a manner designed to achieve the Goals established in the Agreement and to comply with the terms of the Agreement. Such determinations shall be made by consensus of the Executive Team.
Modifications and Changes To Agreement: Any modifications or changes to the Partnership Agreement shall be subject to the consensus approval of the Executive Team. To the extent that additional organizations desire to join the Partnership, they must submit a Letter of Intent to Participate (Appendix B) and their approval and the extent of their participation (i.e. membership on the Executive Team) shall be subject to objective criteria established by the Executive Team, including: the employment or representation of workers in the Industry; the willingness to develop and implement a written safety and health management system, as detailed in this agreement; and the ability and willingness to further the goals established in this agreement. Such determinations shall be made by consensus of the Executive Team.
State Plans: The Electrical Construction Contractors and OSHA recognize that certain worksites of the Electrical Construction Contractors are and will be located in states which have assumed authority for the enforcement of OSHA standards pursuant to Section 18 of the OSH Act. State agencies that enforce OSHA standards in states with approved OSHA plans will be encouraged to participate in the Partnership in a manner that will further the goals established in this Agreement.
Rights and Obligations of the Partners and Employees: The provisions of this agreement shall not modify any legal or contractual rights, obligations, or remedies. This Partnership does not preclude employees from exercising any right provided under the OSH Act, nor does it abrogate any responsibility to comply with rules and regulations adopted pursuant to the Act. All OSHA undertakings under this agreement are subject to the availability of appropriated funds.
Effect on Pending Litigation: Neither the fact of this agreement, nor the adoption of any consensus solutions pursuant to this agreement, may be used by any Partner (or entity related to a Partner) to advance its interests in any litigation (criminal or civil) that is pending on the date that the Partnership is executed.
Based upon a mutual interest to reduce fatalities, injuries and illnesses, the Partners below, on behalf of their respective organizations, agree to the above terms of an OSHA Partnering Agreement.
Signed this 16th day of September 2008.
Appendix A – Proposed Goals, Strategies and Metrics
LETTER OF INTENT TO PARTICIPATE
ELECTRICAL TRANSMISSION & DISTRIBUTION ELECTRICAL CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTORS
Name of Organization:________________________________________________________
We have read the terms of the Transmission & Distribution Electrical Construction Contractors Safety Partnership and agree with all aspects of the program, including the submission of the required information. Specifically, we recognize the need to meet the following requirements:
Signed this ___ day of ________________, 200__.