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FLORIDA STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT
BETWEEN
OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
FT. LAUDERDALE, TAMPA AND JACKSONVILLE
AREA OFFICES
AND
ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF AMERICA
SOUTH FLORIDA CHAPTER

  1. PURPOSE AND SCOPE

    The Florida Strategic Partnership (herein referred to as the partnership) agreement expands the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) reach into the construction arena, by enabling OSHA and the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) to mutually recognize the importance of providing a safe and healthful work environment in the construction industry. On March 12, 1998, the National AGC Office and OSHA National Office entered into a partnership agreement to advance their mutual goals. They strongly agreed on the need to develop a working relationship that would create mutual trust and respect for the respective roles of each organization in the construction safety process.

    On January 9, 2001, the AGC South Florida Chapter along with the Fort Lauderdale Area OSHA Office entered into the Construction Health and Safety Excellence (CHASE) Partnership Agreement. This Partnership was so successful that there was a desire to expand the Partnership to other parts of Florida. An addendum was signed on April 6, 2005 including the Tampa Area OSHA Office into the original Partnership Agreement. This expansion also resulted in a Partnership Agreement with the Jacksonville Area OSHA Office, signed on July 6, 2005, which is known as CHASE II. The AGC/OSHA partnership agreement was revised from the earlier Partnership Agreement between the AGC South Florida Chapter and the OSHA Fort Lauderdale Area Office because a new OSHA directive, CSP 03-02-002, dated February 10, 2005, established new requirements for partnerships. The original Partnership Agreement expired on September 18, 2005. The scope of this new Partnership is limited to the geographical areas of Florida, which is covered by the OSHA Area Offices in Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa and Jacksonville, Florida (herein referred to as OSHA). This Partnership establishes a multi-step program to provide guidance for contractors to provide and develop excellent safety and health management systems for their employees.

  2. IDENTIFICATION OF PARTNERS

    This partnership is between the AGC South Florida Chapter and OSHA. Member contractors and associate specialty contractors wishing to participate will sign as signatory partners. Owners, Labor and other organizations are encouraged to endorse and participate as signatory partners in this Strategic Partnership Agreement.

  3. GOALS, STRATEGIES AND MEASURES

    GOAL - A:

    To reduce by 3% annually the number of lost workdays, restricted workdays and transfers due to injuries and illnesses affecting participant employers, with an emphasis on reducing injuries resulting from those hazards which include the four leading causes of death on construction sites; falls, struck-by, caught in/between and electrocutions.

    STRATEGY - A:

    This goal will be effectively measured by reviewing the OSHA 300 data of the partnership participants, calculating the employers TCIR and DART Rates and comparing this data with the baseline rates for the agreement.

    MEASURES - A:

    The success of this goal will be measured by the number of companies participating in the partnership, which reduce their TCIR and DART rates below the baseline for the partnership. DART rate of all the participant employers in the partnership. The DART rate will also be identified for the three different levels of participation (RED, WHITE and BLUE).

    GOAL - B:

    To increase the number of contractors and specialty contractors who implement effective safety and health management systems and provide effective safety and health training for management, supervisors and employees.

    STRATEGY - B:

    Methods to evaluate the partner's performance in this area will include the implementation of comprehensive safety and health management systems, employers that establish effective safety and health training programs, as well as those that obtain OSHA 10 hour/ OSHA 30 hour training.

    MEASURES - B:

    The success of this goal will be measured by the number of participants that develop and implement effective safety and health management systems as a result of participating in the partnership compared to the baseline for the agreement.

    GOAL - C:

    To recognize those contractors with exemplary safety and health management systems and effective site-specific safety and health plans.

    STRATEGY - C:

    Training sessions, education courses and other events will be developed and targeted to recognize those employers that have demonstrated a commitment to workplace safety and health.

    MEASURES - C:

    This goal will be effectively measured by tracking and monitoring the employer's that demonstrated a commitment to workplace safety and health.

    GOAL - D:

    This agreement should enable the OSHA to leverage their agency resources. Because the program is designed to reduce job related deaths, injuries and illnesses without the need for OSHA to devote significant resources, they will be able to reach a greater number of employers/employees and accomplish greater worker protection

    STRATEGY - D:

    OSHA will evaluate the number of inspections and types of violations issued to partnership members. The number of worksites audited by the AGC South Florida Chapter and the number of serious hazards identified and corrected during the audits will also be monitored by the AGC South Florida Chapter.

    MEASURES - D:

    This goal will be effectively measured by monitoring the number of participants that experience OSHA enforcement inspections, which result in citations with penalties.

  4. MANAGEMENT AND OPERATION

    Once the Partnership is signed by the AGC South Florida Chapter and OSHA, the South Florida AGC Safety Committee will establish a Strategic Partnership Committee (SPC). The SPC will consist of representatives from the current employers participating in the Partnership. The SPC is responsible for informing contractors, who have successfully completed the application process, that they are eligible for participation in the Partnership. The AGC South Florida Chapter will ensure that OSHA is aware of these qualified contractors and updated on the progress of the Partnership by coordinating with each of the Area Offices. This coordination should be conducted on at least a monthly basis by face-to-face meetings or telephonic contact.

    BLUE Level participants with multiple worksites in Florida will provide the SPC with a complete listing of the participant's active work sites. The SPC will review this information and forward it to OSHA (meaning all three Area Offices). OSHA will use the worksite listings to establish inspection tracking procedures.

    Inspection tracking procedures developed by OSHA will ensure that the appropriate number of verification enforcement inspections are conducted, based on the guidelines established in the Partnership. Once Blue Level partnership participants have received their verification inspection, they will receive an exemption from the University of Tennessee programmed inspection list, in accordance with this Partnership.

    The AGC South Florida Chapter will be responsible for:

    1. Maintaining a list of the qualified participants and the level that they have achieved. This information will be provided to OSHA upon request and at least annually for all Partnership participants.
    2. Collecting from participants the data listed under the heading "Performance Measures" in this agreement, and providing the information to OSHA by February 1st each year.
    3. Administering the application process for contractors that wish to participate.
    4. Auditing participant worksites to ensure compliance with OSHA regulations and this Partnership Agreement.

    OSHA, to the extent its resource permit, will be responsible for:

    1. Providing an OSHA representative to serve as a resource to the South Florida AGC Chapter.
    2. Providing technical assistance and conducting verification inspections;
    3. Assisting in the data review and developing the annual partnership evaluation report.

    This Partnership requires information to be collected and analyzed. The system used to complete this effort meets the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) requirements for activity, intermediate, and outcome measures.

  5. PARTNERSHIP TIERS: RED, WHITE AND BLUE
    1. The Partnership will be implemented in three levels: RED, WHITE and BLUE.
    2. Applications may be submitted at anytime throughout the year. Eligibility status must be renewed on an annual basis. New and renewal applicants will:

      Complete the two-part Partnership application

      1. The first part of the application will request data from the summary of the contractor's OSHA 300 log. The second part of the application will be a self-audit evaluation checklist (see Appendix A), which will require applicants to answer a series of questions related to their safety program.
      2. The SPC will administer the self-audit evaluation for the Partnership. The SPC will either approve or reject partnership applications. OSHA will serve in an advisory capacity to the South Florida AGC Chapter Safety Committee.
      3. The partnership has three award levels. Entry into the RED, WHITE or BLUE Levels are based on answering "yes" to all of the questions on the self-audit evaluation administered by SPC. In order to determine the contractor's level of eligibility, the contractor must provide the SPC with evidence of conformance with each requirement for each level.
      4. The SPC will inform the South Florida AGC contractors who have successfully completed the application process and are eligible to participate in the partnership program.
      5. The Blue Level status will be open to those companies whose achievements in the area of worksite health and safety are outstanding. Acceptance into the BLUE Level will require additional validation of safety and health program effectiveness through an onsite qualifying verification inspection. The SPC will conduct the qualifying inspection on at least one active job site.
      6. Contractors who are accepted into the Partnership will receive benefits from OSHA as outlined in this agreement.
    3. RED: Applicants seeking RED status must meet the following requirements:
      1. Conduct weekly employee safety meetings.
      2. Develop and implement a written safety and health program and training program, which address at a minimum the four leading causes of death on construction sites: Falls, struck-by, caught-in/between and electrocution. Where necessary, the safety and health management system needs to address procedures for working around machinery and vehicles, lead, silica, noise exposure, hazard communication and respiratory protection. Training shall be presented in a manner such as, but not limited to, traditional classroom training, tool box talks, written tests, observations, or through discussions in which non-English speaking employees will understand the system's content.
      3. Conduct and document self-audits.
      4. Fall Protection: 100% fall protection will be required for all employees working six feet or greater above the next lower level. This includes scaffolding, masonry and steel erection work.
      5. Promote and nurture employee involvement in day-to-day implementation of their safety and health program. Examples of such activities would be to have employees participate in conducting weekly safety meetings, accident investigations, hazard recognition activities and safety and health committee activities.
      6. On unionized work sites, all effected unions must be involved with the program. Participating contractors along with the South Florida AGC Chapter will solicit union organizations for signatory participation or written endorsement of the Partnership.
    4. WHITE: Applicants seeking WHITE status must meet the requirements of RED status in addition to the following:
      1. Implement a comprehensive written safety and health program based on the ANSI A10.38-1991 Guidelines or OSHA's 1989 Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines.
      2. Assign at least one experienced employee with responsibility for employee safety to administer the participant's safety and health management system, and to conduct and document safety and health inspections of ongoing work.
      3. Conduct safety orientations for all new employees in the safety and health management system of the company, and show evidence of effective employee training for avoidance of hazards specific to the contractor's worksite(s).
      4. Provide evidence of employee involvement in the safety and health management systems; for example, participation in self-audits, site inspections, job hazard analyses, safety and health management system reviews, safety training, and mishap investigations.
      5. Develop and maintain a Substance Abuse Program.
      6. Provide all field construction supervisory personnel with training equivalent to the OSHA 10-Hour Construction Outreach Course.
      7. Maintain a total case injury/illness incidence rate that is 10% less than the most current Bureau of Labor Statistics National Rate for the specific NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) assigned to a the contractor.
    5. BLUE: Applicants seeking Blue Level status must also meet the requirements of the Red Level and White Level in addition to the following requirements:
      1. Applicants achieving Blue Level status agree to serve as mentors for contractors on projects who have yet to attain the same level of recognition within the Partnership. Blue Level participant companies will agree to maintain a copy of the specialty contractors' safety and health plans, hazard communication plans, and fall protection plans, or the Blue Level participants may require all specialty contractors to follow their programs.
      2. Assign a minimum of one employee who will administer the firm's safety and health management system. This person must have experience in one of the following: five (5) years experience in the field of construction safety and health; current OSHA OTI (OSHA Training Institute) 500 Certification; BS or BA Degree in the field of safety and health from an accredited university or college; hold a professional designation such as CHST (Construction Health and Safety Technologist), CSP (Certified Safety Professional) or CIH (Certified Industrial Hygienist).
      3. Ensure designated safety personnel conduct documented safety and health inspections of all work on their project(s). Personnel, through training and experience, must be able to recognize hazards and will have the authority to take prompt corrective action. Training curriculum equivalent to the OSHA 30-Hour Construction Outreach Course will be deemed to be satisfactory.
      4. Train all field construction supervisory personnel. In addition to the OSHA 30-Hour Construction Outreach Course, additional training shall be provided for competent persons in such areas as scaffolding, excavation, fall protection, etc. (This additional training will be predicated by the type and scope of work the applicant routinely conducts).
      5. Provide evidence of employee involvement in all levels of the safety and health management system, such as self-audits, site inspections, job hazard analyses, safety and health program reviews, safety training and mishap investigations.
      6. Receive a qualifying inspection of at least one representative worksite by the SPC or the South Florida AGC Chapter's designated representatives.
      7. Have no willful violations in the last three years.
      8. Have no repeated serious violations in the last three years; and have no fatalities or catastrophes within the last three years that resulted in serious or willful citations related to the incident.
  6. EMPLOYEE AND EMPLOYER RIGHTS

    This Partnership does not preclude employees and/or employers from exercising any rights provided under the OSH Act, nor does it abrogate any responsibility to comply with rules and regulations adopted pursuant to the Act.

  7. BENEFITS

    Implementation of this Partnership Agreement is expected to result in decreased serious injuries, illnesses, and fatalities for participating contractors, and improvement of existing safety and health programs. This agreement provides for benefits to construction contractors that voluntarily participate in the partnership program and implement effective safety and health management systems (SHMS). This agreement will not in any way affect employees' ability to exercise rights under the OSH Act and OSHA regulations, including walk-around rights. Additionally, upon acceptance as a partnership participant, OSHA will provide certain benefits to participants.

    1. RED PARTICIPANTS:
      1. OSHA will not issue citations for other-than-serious violations, provided that the hazards are abated at the time of the inspection.
    2. WHITE PARTICIPANTS:
      1. OSHA will not issue citations for other-than-serious violations, provided that the hazards are abated at the time of the inspection.
      2. Will be given special recognition from OSHA and AGC South Florida Chapter designating the contractor as a participant in the Partnership.
      3. An additional 10% reduction for good faith beyond the reductions provided in the FIRM (Field Inspection Reference Manual) can be given. This additional reduction will not apply to high gravity serious, willful, failure to abate or repeat citations. In cases where the employer's total penalty reduction is 100 percent or more, the minimum penalty provisions of the FIRM will apply.
    3. BLUE PARTICIPANTS: Upon the completion of a successful OSHA onsite verification inspection, OSHA will provide the following benefits:
      1. OSHA will not issue citations for other-than-serious violations provided violations are abated at the time of the inspection.
      2. Will be given special recognition from OSHA and South Florida AGC Chapter designating the contractor as a participant in the Partnership.
      3. An additional 10% reduction for good faith beyond the reductions provided in the FIRM (Field Inspection Reference Manual) can be given. This additional reduction will not apply to high gravity serious, willful, failure to abate or repeat citations. In cases where the employer's total penalty reduction is 100 percent or more, the minimum penalty provisions of the FIRM will apply.
      4. During an OSHA onsite enforcement inspection, conducted in the geographical boundaries under the jurisdiction of OSHA's Area Offices in Florida, Blue Level participants whose program has previously been verified by OSHA will not be included in the inspection. However, if a serious or imminent danger condition is observed by enforcement personnel, the partner may be inspected and could be cited (per OSHA Agency policy).
      5. OSHA Offices will maximize the use of the phone & fax as a means of investigating complaints in lieu of onsite inspections. When an inspection of a complaint is deemed necessary, a copy of the complaint will be provided to the participant's Safety Director or other designated company representative at the time of inspection.
      6. Blue Level participants with multiple job sites throughout Florida will provide the SPC with a complete listing of the participant's active work sites. The SPC will review this information and forward it to OSHA (meaning all three Area Offices). The OSHA will use the listing to establish inspection tracking procedures.
  8. VERIFICATION AND OSHA INSPECTIONS
    1. Complaint/Referral Inspections
      1. This Partnership provides for the immediate response to each allegation of a safety or health hazard brought to its attention by any person. Upon a finding that an allegation is valid, the employer shall promptly abate the hazard.
      2. OSHA agrees that a copy of each complaint/referral related to a work site covered by this agreement will be forwarded by fax, to the South Florida AGC Chapter if an on-site inspection is not to be done. In accordance with applicable law, the name of a complainant requesting confidentiality will not be revealed.
    2. Accident Inspections
      1. Employers engaged in this Partnership recognize that OSHA fully investigates accidents involving a death or the hospitalization of three or more employees. If during the course of the inspection, OSHA determines that the incident resulted from the violation of OSHA standards, the employer will not be afforded partnership benefits.
    3. Verification - Onsite Enforcement Inspections
      1. Once the SPC has reviewed an accepted a participant's Blue Level application into the partnership and annually thereafter, the SPC will advise OSHA (meaning all three Area Offices) of the number and locations of all active Blue Level participant worksites, within their jurisdiction. OSHA will then have 90 days to complete their onsite verification inspections.
      2. OSHA will conduct one onsite enforcement verification inspection per BLUE Level participant. Once OSHA selects a jobsite for their onsite enforcement verification inspection and has made entry onto the site, the South Florida AGC Safety Committee Chairperson or designee will be notified by the inspected partner(s) and may elect to participate during the onsite enforcement verification inspection. While every effort will be made to correct deficiencies immediately, recognizing that some deficiencies may take longer to abate or mitigate, the South Florida AGC Safety Committee Chairperson or designee will return after 10 days to verify deficiencies have been corrected. The purpose of the verification inspection is to ensure the required safety and health management systems are in place, as follows:

        OSHA will conduct a minimum of one onsite enforcement verification each year to offer the BLUE Level partners a programmed inspection exemption for all partner worksites located within Florida. This exemption will be valid for one year from the date of the last enforcement verification inspection closing conference. However, OSHA has the discretion to increase the number of onsite enforcement verification inspections performed in any given year. If such as decision is made, OSHA will consider the following factors:

        • the number of inspections needed to cover all the types of work performed by the employer,
        • the quality of the safety and health management system evidenced during the initial verification,
        • the number and nature of citations and penalties issued to the employer in the three years prior to the partnership application
        • the phases of construction and the nature of the hazards associated with such work
        • the geographic scope of the partnership
        • other factors which OSHA determines may affect its ability to fully and accurately assess the effectiveness of the participant's safety and health management system.
      3. However, the number of onsite enforcement verification inspections should not be more than the number of University of Tennessee programmed inspections, including programmed focused inspections OSHA would otherwise expect Blue Level participants to receive within the geographic scope of the partnership in a given year.
      4. In determining the specific site to conduct enforcement verification inspections, Florida OSHA Area Directors will consider such factors as whether the initial inspection covered the types of work performed, the quality of the Safety and Health Management System evidenced during the initial verification, the number and nature of citations and penalties issued in the years prior to the partnership application, the stages of construction and hazards likely to be present at particular stages of construction; and other factors which Florida OSHA Area Directors determine may affect OSHA's ability to fully and accurately access the effectiveness of the participant's safety program.
      5. During onsite enforcement verification inspections, OSHA may issue citations and penalties. Onsite enforcement verification inspections are performed in accordance with the applicable sections of the FIRM and other enforcement guidance documents. In addition to assessing compliance with OSHA standards, the inspector should assess the participant's progress in meeting the requirements of the OSP agreement and implementing an effective safety and health management system. An effective safety and health management system will satisfy the requirements of 29 CFR 1926.20 and 29 CFR 1926.21. Participants may refer to the 1989 OSHA Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines; Issuance of Voluntary Guidelines, Federal Register Notice 54:3904-3916 for guidance.
      6. OSHA will recognize that conflicts can arise when specialty contractors successfully advance to the BLUE Level of the Partnership and their work is being conducted on a contractor's worksite that is currently a member of this Partnership. For this reason, OSHA will conduct their onsite verification inspection of the specialty contactor to coincide with the onsite verification inspection of the General Contractor when both contractors are working on the same worksite. When these conditions doesn't exist, onsite verification inspections of a specialty contractor's worksite will only concentrate on the specialty contractor's direct work area after first meeting with the general contractor of that worksite.
      7. Following the completion of the onsite enforcement verification inspection required under this section, all of the Blue Level participants' worksites within the geographical boundaries of Florida will be exempt from University of Tennessee programmed inspections for a period of one year.
    4. Verification - Offsite
      1. Representatives from OSHA will review Partnership data, at least annually; records, and information provided by all Strategic Partnership participants to the South Florida Chapter of the AGC in accordance with paragraph five of this agreement. Documentation is reviewed to determine whether partners are implementing the provisions of the partnership agreement. The documents selected for review should relate to the goals, objectives and stated measures of this Partnership Agreement.
      2. The AGC South Florida Chapter will conduct worksite assessments of BLUE Level participants to assure that the site has adequately assessed and/or controlled/prevented employee exposure to hazards.
  9. PROGRAM EVALUATION

    1. This Partnership Agreement will be evaluated annually to determine whether the annual goal of a 3% reduction in the number of injuries, illnesses and fatalities has been met. The South Florida AGC Chapter will be responsible for collecting baseline and annual performance data upon which the partnership will be measured and will include;
      1. Total Man-hours
      2. Total Incidents
      3. Total Day Away Cases
      4. Self Inspections Performed
      5. Hazards Identified
      6. Training Sessions Conducted by OSHA Staff
      7. Training Sessions Conducted by Non-OSHA Staff
      8. Employees Trained
      9. Training Hours Provided to Employees Including Orientations
      10. Management Trained
      11. Training Hours Provided to Managers

      This aggregated data will be reported to OSHA no later than February 1st of each year. This evaluation will follow OSHA Directive Number CSP 03-02-002, Strategic Partnerships for Worker Safety and Health and effectively evaluate the partnerships success toward achievement of the established goals.

    2. Participating partners aggregate injury/illness incidence rates (total case rates) and fatality rates will be compared with most current Bureau of Labor Statistics National Rate for the specific NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) assigned to a the contractor.
    3. The partnership criteria may be revised annually based on recommendations for continuous improvement.
  10. PARTNERSHIP TERMS
    1. This Partnership will have an initial term of three years and may be renewed if all signatory parties concur.
    2. Any signatory party to the Partnership may withdraw from the agreement at any time after submitting written notification of intent to the other partner.
    3. If OSHA chooses to withdraw its participation in the partnership, the entire agreement is terminated. Any party may also propose modification or amendment to the agreement. Any modifications to the agreement must receive the concurrence of both parties to the agreement.
    4. A contractor's participation will be terminated by the South Florida AGC Chapter, and OSHA will be informed if the circumstances described paragraphs a. and/or b. below occurs. The notification will be in writing to the contractor, and the contractor will have 30 days to appeal the decision before the SPC:
      1. An inspection by the South Florida AGC Chapter or OSHA reveals a significant deviation from program criteria established in the self audit evaluation form.
      2. The contractor has falsified information on the application or supporting records.
    5. A contractor's participation will be terminated by OSHA if the employer has been identified by the OSHA Regional Administrator as a company that will need to be inspected in accordance with OSHA's Interim Enhanced Enforcement Program (EEP). OSHA will notify the contractor and the AGC South Florida Chapter in writing of this determination.
    6. In the event that a participating contractor in the Florida Strategic Partnership receives a citation(s) as the result of a fatality or a serious accident involving the hospitalization of three or more of their employees, the OSHA Area Director will notify the South Florida AGC Safety Committee Chairperson in writing when citation(s) have been issued to a Strategic Partner. The South Florida AGC Safety Committee Chairperson will then notify the participating Strategic Partner in writing that the contractor will be suspended from their current level of participation to one level below. Red Level participants will be removed from the Florida Strategic Partnership. If the citation(s) are reclassified by a Florida Area OSHA Office to other than serious, or the citation(s) are dismissed, the contractor will be reinstated to their previous level of participation.
  11. SIGNATURES

    Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA):

     


    Darlene Fossum Date
    Area Director - Ft. Lauderdale
    Occupational Safety and Health Administration

     

    Date

     


    Leslie L. Grove III Date
    Area Director - Tampa
    Occupational Safety and Health Administration

     

    Date

     


    James D. Borders Date
    Area Director - Jacksonville
    Occupational Safety and Health Administration

     

    Date

    South Florida Associated General Contractors of America (SFAGC):

     


    William F. Southern, President Date
    South Florida AGC Chapter
    The Associated General Contractors of America

     

    Date

     


    Leonard D. Mills, Executive Vice President Date
    South Florida AGC Chapter
    The Associated General Contractors of America

     

    Date

     


    David S. Wessin, Chairman Date
    South Florida AGC Chapter Safety Committee
    The Associated General Contractors of America

     

    Date

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