- AGREEMENT PARTNERS
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- Arkansas Chapter of Associated General Contractors of America, Inc.
The hazards associated with the construction industry are well documented. Construction activities involving general construction and multiple employers have added complexities. The partners' goals are to reduce and/or eliminate these hazards. In this regard, the partners recognize the importance and value of exerting leadership by bringing their respective skills to bear in a cooperative, focused, voluntary effort to ensure a safe and healthful environment for all personnel involved.
To facilitate OSHA's goal of reducing occupational-related fatalities and serious injuries in the construction industry, as outlined in the Agency's strategic plan, OSHA and AGC have agreed to the joint implementation of this partnership.
The goals of this partnership are to develop contractor/government relationships that will encourage AGC's participating membership to improve their safety and health performance; to minimize and//or eliminate the four major hazards (falls, electrical, caught in/between and struck-by hazards), which account for the majority of fatalities and injuries in this industry; to prevent serious accidents during this project through implementation of Safety and Health Management Systems (SHMS) and increased employee training; to include safety training in an employee's primary language for those employees working in hazardous situations such as the four major hazards.
- Attain a total case incident rate (TCIR) and days away restricted, transfer case incident rate (DART) below the 2007 National BLS average for the NAICS construction code.
- Develop a system to track and address incidences related to falls, electrical, caught-in/between and struck by hazards
- Total employers and employees hours.
- Total case injury and illness rates.
- AGC will utilize 2007 year to date data as initial baseline for statistical purposes.
- Improve SHMS for its membership
- Develop criteria for a model contractors SHMS
- Provide safety and health training and educational materials to all on-site contractors.
- Number of employees trained
- Number of training sessions
- Total training hours
- Number of subs (per project) that implemented or improved their SHMS.
- PARTNER ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Provide technical assistance, including interpretations of OSHA standards, both on and off site, as resources allow, in reviewing participating contractors site-specific safety and health management system.
- Help identify, through the review of OSHA 300 data and/or site accident reports, the primary causal factors in injuries and illnesses, in particular the four major hazards and provide technical assistance as required to assist in the hazard correction.
- Provide access to training, as resources allow, including available OSHA training institute courses and information on other available sources for training.
- Provide or participate in training sessions and meetings, as resources allow.
- outreach information and assistance during initial implementation, as resources allow.
- Take steps to ensure OSHA staff who conducts inspections of partnership sites is familiar with the terms and scope of this partnership.
- Promote the partnership and recognize successful completion of milestones and accomplishments.
- Provide OSHA with opportunities to announce and publicize agency information related to construction safety and health.
- Prepare a quarterly safety report that will include information as outlined in the partnership goals, strategies, and measures. Results will be forwarded to OSHA on a quarterly basis.
- Ensure that its membership is staffed with safety and health representatives that will also be the primary partnership contacts. These individuals shall ensure AGC membership work sites are following the requirements of the partnership agreement.
- Ensure project-specific safety and health orientation training is given to new hires and subcontractors have oriented their employees to their work practices.
- Provide appropriate training to all supervisors to ensure proper implementation of the project's safety and health management system.
- Document evaluations and provide to OSHA upon request.
- Provide leadership, guidance and positive example to subcontractors, and associates.
- Encourage employee involvement in the day to day implementation of work site safety and health programs through the project safety and health committee.
Participating Contractors Will:
- Conduct periodic workplace inspections/audits for the purpose of identifying and correcting safety and health hazards. Fall, electrical, struck by and caught in between hazards will be documented and corrected.
- Inspections/audits will be conducted as frequently as deemed necessary by the company, but in no case less than once each month.
- Maintain records of recordable injuries and illnesses as required by OSHA. This is an additional requirement placed on partners with less than 10 employees. These partners are not normally required to keep OSHA records.
- Conduct and document safety and health training by, or under the direction of, a competent or qualified person. Training will integrate safety and health requirements with upcoming tasks. This shall be accomplished through "toolbox" meetings and "job safety hazard analysis" (JSHA).
- Periodically assess the results of training conducted to ensure effectiveness through audits.
- Where workers do not speak English, provide training in the language understood by the worker.
- OSHA Non-Enforcement Benefits
- Outreach, technical assistance, and training (when resources are available.
- Onsite and offsite activities such as review of the SHMS and assistance to develop or improve the system, and guidance in conducting audits and evaluations.
- Seminars, workshops, and other speaking events provided to the partnership sites.
- Informational material such as safety and health brochures, pamphlets and electronic tools.
- OSHA will formally recognize partnership sites for its partnering contributions including but not limited to certificates and press releases, OSHA web-site and Limited Access Page, worksite banners, letters, and plaques.
- OSHA will recognize and highlight the achievements of partnership sites with exemplary or novel approaches to construction safety and health.
- OSHA Enforcement Benefits
- Where appropriate, OSHA will maximize the resolution of complaints received against partnership sites through the use of phone and fax as outlined in OSHA CPL 02-00-115, Complaint Policies and Procedures.
- Citation Issuance
- For hazards not deemed serious, a citation will not be issued if the hazard is abated during the inspection.
- In the event that a citation with a penalty is sued to a participant in this partnership, the Area Director has the authority to negotiate the amount of penalty reduction as part of the informal conference settlement agreement
- When calculating the initial penalty reduction, OSHA may provide an additional 10% reduct- ion for good faith beyond the reduction provided in the Field Inspection Reference Manual (FIRM) where the employer, in implementing the OSHA strategic partnership, has taken specific significant steps beyond those provided in the FIRM to implement the Act and achieve a high level of employee protection. This additional reduction will not apply to high gravity serious, willful, failure to abate or repeat citations. In cases where a partner's total penalty reduction is 100% percent or more, the minimum penalty provisions of the FIRM will apply (see CSP 03-02-002, OSHA strategic partnership program for Worker Safety and Health at XIV.B.1).
- PARTNERSHIP VERIFICATION
- OSHA will conduct annual, on-site enforcement verification visits at each participating partnership site to assess the site's progress towards the goals of the partnership agreement.
- The verification will be tailored to address the resources of the participating OSHA Area Office as well as the activities at the participating site.
- In addition to the verification of the progress made towards goals, the visit will also verify whether the site is operating an effective SHMS management system adequately protects its employees. The OSHA worksite observations should be sufficient to confirm the partner's worksite is operating a safety and health management system that adequately ensures the protection of employees.
- Participants agree in advance, prior to the onsite verification, that they will correct any serious hazards identified during the visit. If the site management refuses to correct such serious hazards, OSHA will make a referral for an enforcement inspection
- Initial verification visits should be conducted as soon as possible after a participating site has entered into the partnership agreement.
- PARTNERSHIP ADMINISTRATION
- AGC and OSHA will jointly manage the partnership by by determining partnership procedures in addition to tracking, analyzing, and sharing information on partnership activities and results. OSHA and AGC will evaluate the effectiveness of the partnership agreement on an annual basis and will meet quarterly to discuss agenda items such as:
- Sharing information on current violations and statistics applicable to contractors, or similar industry groups.
- Clarifying the meaning and application of OSHA standards and policy through relevant interpretations and compliance directives on standards, proposed standards, and violations.
- Identifying AGC work sites' for their safety and health excellence.
- Evaluating data and partnership intact.
- This OSHA and AGC group operates consistent with the OSHA instruction, directive number: CSP 03-02-002, OSHA strategic partnership program for worker safety and health.
Through AGC members and an OSHA representative, a group will be formed to leverage resources and facilitate the direction and management of the partnership. This group will perform a variety of activities to facilitate the success of the partnership, to include achievement of the goals, strategies, and measures listen in section III.
- ANNUAL PARTNERSHIP EVALUATION
OSHA will prepare an evaluation of the partnership annually. The evaluation will review the success of the partnership, lessons learned, and changes that will be made to meet the goals of the partnership. The annual performance evaluation report format from Appendix C of the OSHA strategic partnership program (PSPR) directive CSP 03-02-002 shall be used. Performance measures listed in section IV of this partnership agreement will be collected and analyzed to determine the partnership's progress toward meeting its goals. The annual evaluation will be completed using information submitted relating to self inspections, OSHA 300 A data and training records. AGC will collect data from the partners, aggregate the data and send it to OSHA by the 20th of the month for data collected in the prior month. OSHA will prepare the annual evaluation within 60 days of the annual anniversary date of the partnership.
- EMPLOYER/EMPLOYEE RIGHTS
This partnership does not preclude employee and/or employers from exercising any rights provided under the OSH Act, nor does it abrogates any responsibility to comply with rules and regulations adopted pursuant to the Act.
This partnership agreement fully endorses and recognizes the value of employee's participation. The opportunity for employees to exercise their rights, which are guaranteed under the OSH Act, will not be infringed upon by this partnership agreement.
- PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT TERMS
Modifications and amendments of the partnership agreement can be proposed by any signatory and they shall be implemented only upon consensus between AGC and OSHA. The partnership agreement can be renewed at the end of the three-year term. The partnership agreement is non-transferable to non-AGC controlled entities.
Partnership agreement will be reviewed in the event of a fatality, catastrophic event, or poor performance identified in an OSHA evaluation. The review will determine whether the agreement will continue.
OSHA will terminate the participant's agreement for any sustained willful violation or any sustained failure to abate situation.
OSHA will terminate the participant's agreement for any major identified program discrepancy that is not improved within a reasonable and agreed upon time frame.
OSHA will terminate the participant's agreement in the event of proven and unresolved discrimination against employees who exercise their protected safety and health rights under the OSH Act.
This partnership agreement will terminate three years from the date signed. If any signatory of this agreement wishes to terminate their participation prior to the established termination date, written notice of the intent to withdraw must be provided to all other signatories.
If OSHA chooses to withdraw its participation in the partnership, the entire agreement is terminated. Any signatory may also propose modification or amendment of the agreement.
For non-signatory participants of the strategic partnership, OSHA may terminate he participant's involvement at any time with written notice. Additionally, the participant may withdraw their participation form the strategic partnership at any time with a written notice of the intent to withdraw to OSHA.
ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF ARKANSAS COMMITMENT
As an expression of its commitment to this SHARP partnership agreement, AGC agrees to accomplish the following endeavors:
- Act as liaison between its members and OSHA.
- Offer on going, quality training of topics of importance to members; specifically the focused areas such as fall protection, scaffolding, excavations, etc.
- Provide tool box talks to members to assist with training efforts.
- Provide up to date informational materials and brochures to AGC members, securing those materials from pertinent sources such as OSHA, other AGC members, etc.
- Organize and provide OSHA's interpretations of major standards as will as local inspection perspectives. Providing this information to members will help them understand and properly interpret standards.
- Provide FATAL FACTS to members from OSHA inspection/investigations as available.
- Develop safety training criteria for all levels of construction employees. This will help to define and better clarify what OSHA accepts and adequate training for superintendents, super visors, foremen, and every level of construction worker.
- Assist members in developing written safety and health policies and procedures including emphasis on company/employee responsibilities.
- Administer the overall partnership program, including but not limited to the initial conduct and evaluation of the partnership applications to determine whether the contractor meets the criteria specified within this partnership initiate. Information to e considered by AGC will include pertinent company information, i.e., demonstrated safety and health program, training commitments, OSHA citation history, fatalities, injury/illness experience, and similar factors.
- AGC will notify OSHA on a regular and recurring basis with the name(s) of contractors which have met the partnership criteria, including notifying OSHA whether the contractor qualified as a "Level 1" of "Level 2" partner.
- AGC will conduct a periodic evaluation to determine the impact and effectiveness of this partnership with OSHA.
OSHA-LITTLE ROCK AREA OFFICE'S COMMITMENT
As an expression of its commitments to this SHARP partnership agreement initiative, OSHA-Little Rock Area Office agrees to accomplish the following endeavors:
Contractors, Level 1 and Level 2 participating in this SHARP Partnership initiative will be subject to OSHA inspections as follows:
Level 1 and Level 2
- Reported imminent danger situations.
- Formal complaints filed by a current employee or employee representative.
- A fatality/catastrophe as defined in OSHA instruction CPL 2.103 (Field Inspection Reference Manual)
- Monitoring inspections to ensure participant is complying with requirements of partnership. This will be "FOCUS" inspection only, unless conditions noted warrant an expansion of the inspection.
- Non-Participants- When conducting inspections of contractor/employer not participating in the SHARP agreement, OSHA will NOT include Level 1 or Level 2 participants within the scope of site inspections, other than as referenced above. This includes construction managers, general contractors, or subcontractors working on jobsites or projects controlled by a contractor that is not a partnering member.
As an expression of its commitments to this SHARP partnership agreement initiative, OSHA-Little Rock Area Office agrees to accomplish the following endeavors for Level 1 participants:
- Assist AGC in the development of safety training criteria.
- Assist AGC in the presentation of training to members, primarily through the use of OSHA's Compliance Assistance Specialist.
- Provide an OSHA representative to meet with AGC membership on a regular basis (e.g., monthly) to discuss current jobsite findings, as appropriate, current violation trends, and possible options/corrective measures to eliminate hazards.
- Share information on current violations and statistics, including relevant interoperations, proposed standards, and similar information which may be of interest to AGC membership (for possible publication in AGC mailings to members.)
- Recognize and consider AGC safety and health training programs when inspecting.
- Where participating members have established and implemented a comprehensive safety and health program (such as referenced in Federal Register
- Number 54:3904-3916, "Safety and Health Program Management guidelines", January 26, 1989, and/or American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A10.38, "Basic Elements of an Employer Program to Provide a Safe and Healthful Work Environment"), including the appropriate monitoring/presence of a competent person(s) as defined within 29 CFR 1926.32(f), ensuring program enforcement, employees involvement and effectively trained their employees and supervisors (e.g., utilizing AGC's safety training program or equivalent training), OSHA will focus and limit the scope of its investigation to the four primary groups of hazards with account or most fatalities and injuries in the construction industry: falls, electrical hazards, caught-in, and struck-by hazards.
- Evaluate the employer's compliance with the terms and principles contained in the partnership agreement.
- Following an OSHA verification inspection, remove Level 1 participants from the initial OSHA targeted inspection schedule on which they may appear, placing them on a secondary list, and other inspection would normally only be scheduled in association with investigations of formal complaints and fatalities/catastrophes.
- Consider Level 1 participants eligible for the maximum size, good faith, and history for penalty reductions currently outlined within OSHA instruction CPL 2.103 (Field Inspection Reference Manual)
- Normally not issue citations for "other than serious" violations which are abated immediately or in the presence of the Compliance safety and Health Officer (CSHO).
In addition, OSHA-Little Rock Area Office agrees to accomplish the following endeavors for Level 2 Participants:
- Normal limit its site inspection/investigations as it relates to Level 2 participants to those hazards listed as part of a "FOCUS" inspection; i.e., falls, electrical hazards, caught-in, and struck-by hazards.
- Evaluate the employer's compliance with the terms principles contained in the partnership agreement.
- Normally not issue citations for "other than serious" violations which are abated immediately or in the presence of the CSHO.
COMMITMENT OF AGC PARTNERSHIP MEMBERS
As stated previous in this SHARP partnership agreement, the levels of commitment for participating employers, and the primary levels of commitment for each level are as follows:
Level 1 is the highest level of participants in the SHARP partnership program. It will include primarily General Contractors and Subcontractors who meet all requirements for that level. Level 1 participants must meet the following requirements:
- Have an LWDII for the referenced year that is at or below the national rate for similar companies (based on their SIC/NACIS code) listed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, for the most recent BLS data.
- Have no fatalities or catastrophes within the past 3 (three) years that resulted in, as a final order, serious or willful citations related to the incident.
Level 2 is the minimum level of participation in the SHARP program. It will include primarily subcontractors and smaller general contractors, who cannot, at the time of entering the agreement, meet the requirements of Level 1 participants. While Level 2 participants will not be required to meet the Level 1 participants, must show continual improvement each year in working toward that goal.
In addition to the above specific requirements, all AGC members who wish to participate in the SHARP partnership initiative at Level 1 or Level 2 must agree to the following commitments and the following requirements:
- Sign a letter of agreement with AGC indicating their intent to participate in this partnership initiative, and request recognition by AGC as a Level 1 or Level 2 partner.
- Certify that their company has not received, as a final order, willful violation in the last three years.
- Verify that a comprehensive written safety and health program is in place which is at least equivalent to the criteria referenced in the section III, as the minimum established criteria for participation, including the AGC member's implementation of policies and procedures to ensure that safety rules and procedures are enforced at their jobsites.
- Certify that their policy and procedures hold supervisor(s) and employee(s) accountable for following established safety rules and OSHA regulations.
- Provide the level of training required by OSHA regulations to their employees either through AGC, their own training personnel, or other consultants/trainers.
- Ensure that within one year after obtaining AGC's acceptance into this partnership program at least one person responsible for administrating the company's safety and health program will have completed the OSHA 30 hour course for the construction industry (or its equivalent). Records of training certification will be provided to AGC and made available for review.
- Ensure that within one year after obtaining AGC's acceptance into this partnership program, all field construction supervisory personnel who have been employed at least sis months, will have completed the OSHA 10 hour course for the construction industry (or its equivalent) predicated the type and scope of work for contractor routinely conducts. Records of training certification will be provided to AGC and made available for review.
- Provide quarterly safety related data or statistics to AGC concerning such issues as hours worked lost workday injuries, accident records, and OSHA inspection results. AGC will provide a summary of and analysis of pertinent safety related information for review by OSHA. The purpose of such summary information will assist in preparing an annual report necessary for the evaluation, the merit of the program and making recommendations for continuous improvement.
- Conduct weekly employee safety meetings.
- Conduct and document self-inspection audits.
- Implement and maintain a substance abuse program
- Implement a 6-foot Fall Protection Policy.
Based on a mutual interest to protect construction workers in the State of Arkansas, the parties below agree to the above terms of an AGC/OSHA Partnership Agreement