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STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP
BETWEEN
THE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY
AND
HEALTH ADMINISTRATION DENVER
AND
ENGLEWOOD AREA OFFICES
AND
THE ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF AMERICA
COLORADO BUILDING CHAPTER

  1. CHASE Partnership Background, Objectives and Identification of Partners

    On March 12, 1998 and renewed on January 9, 2001 the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America and the Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) signed a partnership charter that mutually recognized the importance of providing a safe and healthful work environment in the construction industry. This partnership was called the "Construction Health and Safety Excellence (CHASE) program. In 2003 the Colorado Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) Denver and Englewood Area Offices {here after referred to as Colorado OSHA} and the AGC of Colorado Building Chapter {here after referred to as AGC} mutually recognized the importance of providing a safe and healthful working environment for Colorado's construction workforce. The AGC and OSHA started the process of developing and personalizing the national partnership program that met the needs of our area in addition to formalizing a long-standing relationship between our two organizations. To advance both parties' mutual goal, it was agreed that the need to develop a good working relationship creating an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect for the roles of AGC and OSHA in the construction safety process was necessary.

    The common objective and goal of this agreement is to provide a safe and healthful workplace for all employees engaged in construction activities and to help prevent serious injuries and illnesses within the industry through increased training and implementation & monitoring of enhanced safety & health training programs. This initiative represents a voluntary agreement and affords a partnership for voluntary compliance alternatives to the traditional OSHA enforcement activities. AGC and OSHA believe that maintaining a focus on safety ~ saves lives, time and dollars. The outcome of this focus can result in a reduction of employee injuries, illnesses, deaths, equipment damage, worker's compensation and insurance cost, down times and monetary penalties. The focus on safety & health issues is an objective that OSHA, AGC and its members have in common.

    To advance our mutual goal, OSHA and AGC strongly agree on the need to develop a working relationship that creates trust and respect for the respective roles of each organization in the construction process. This is why the CHASE Partnership Program was created. Through the implementation of this partnership program, all parties are expecting a decrease in injuries, illnesses and fatalities in the construction industry throughout the state of Colorado.

    On March 24, 2004, the AGC and OSHA signed the original document and renewed it on March 14, 2007. This is the programs second renewal which was signed by all on July 27, 2010.

  2. CHASE Partnership
    1. Program Expectations

      This agreement is between the AGC and OSHA Englewood and Denver Area Offices, hereafter referred to as Colorado OSHA. This agreement covers construction activity in the State of Colorado. The parties mutually agree to the following:

      1. Implementation of this program is expected to result in fewer serious injuries, illnesses, and fatalities for participating contractors and improvement of existing safety and health programs.
      2. This agreement provides for benefits to construction contractors that voluntarily participate in the CHASE program and demonstrate implementation of effective safety and health programs..
      3. This partnership does not preclude employees or employers from exercising any rights provided under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, nor does it abrogate any responsibility to comply with the rules and regulations adopted pursuant to the Act.
      4. This program will improve the ability of AGC and Colorado OSHA through the collection of reliable data to identify conditions that create a high risk of injury and illness and implement interventions that can reduce the rate of such risks. These rates will be internally comparable from year to year and thus provide a valuable perspective on the effectiveness of the AGC CHASE program.
    2. Specific Goals of CHASE.
      1. To achieve and sustain TCIR and DART rates on an annual basis that are either a downward trending or better than average rates compared to the most recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics injury and illness data. This will be achieved with an emphasis on reducing injuries and fatalities resulting from those hazards that are the four leading causes of death on construction sites (falls, struck-by, caught in/between and electrocutions).
      2. To increase the number of general and specialty contractors who implement effective safety and health programs and provide effective safety and health training for management, supervisors and employees.
      3. To recognize those contractors with exemplary safety and health programs and effective site-specific safety and health plans.
      4. To work for enhanced communications between field craft labor both union and non-union, and field/corporate management through joint safety committee participation, presentations and mutual safety auditing.
      5. To grow participation in the AGC and OSHA CHASE partnership. With respect to seeking and processing only quality, qualified participants; efforts will be made to double the number of partners over the term of this agreement.
    3. Program Implementation

      The AGC Chapter Steering Committee or the Chapter's Safety Director will inform members who have successfully completed the application process and are thus eligible for participation in the partnership. The AGC Chapter will then follow the procedures developed in this partnership to inform the Colorado OSHA Area Director's of the qualified contractors.

    4. Eligibility Requirements for the Multi-Step Program: RED, WHITE AND BLUE
      1. The CHASE Program will be implemented in three levels: RED, WHITE and BLUE.
      2. Applications may be submitted at any time. Eligibility status must be renewed on an annual basis. New and renewal applicants will:
        1. Complete the two-part CHASE application form.
          1. The first part of the form will request data from the summary of the contractor's previous year OSHA 300 log or its equivalent. The second part of the form will be a self-audit evaluation checklist (see Appendix A provided by the AGC), which will require applicants to answer a series of questions related to their safety program.
          2. The AGC Safety Steering Committee or the Chapter's Safety Director will administer the self-audit evaluation of the CHASE Program. Either will approve or reject the CHASE application. The Colorado OSHA Area Offices will serve in an advisory capacity to the Chapter Safety and Health Committee or the Chapter's Safety Director.
          3. The CHASE Program has three award levels. Entry into the RED, WHITE and BLUE Levels are based on answering "yes" to all of the questions on the self-audit evaluation administered by AGC Safety Steering Committee. In order to determine the contractor's level of eligibility, the contractor must provide the AGC with evidence of conformance with each requirement for each level.
          4. The AGC Safety Steering Committee or Chapter's Safety Director will inform the Chapter members who have successfully completed the application process and are eligible to participate in the partnership program.
          5. The top level, BLUE, will be open to those companies whose achievements in the area of worksite safety are outstanding. Acceptance into the BLUE level will require additional validation of the member's safety and health program efficacy through a comprehensive onsite qualifying inspection. The AGC Chapter's Safety Director will conduct the qualifying inspection on at least one active job site to be determined solely at the discretion of the AGC Chapter's Safety Director.
          6. Contractors who are accepted into the CHASE Partnership Program receive benefits from OSHA, as listed in Section 7 of this document. The AGC Safety Steering Committee will give final approval as soon as possible and in no case shall exceed 90 days following the application submission.
        2. Those contractors that do not pass the annual re-qualifying evaluation for their present level will be moved to the next lower level with an opportunity for re-evaluation and reinstatement to their previous level.
      3. RED: Applicants seeking RED status must meet the following requirements:
        1. Develop and implement a written safety and health program that addresses those hazards that are the four leading causes of death on construction sites (falls, struck-by, caught in/between and electrocutions);
        2. Conduct weekly employee safety meetings;
        3. Conduct and document monthly self-audits;
        4. 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, safety training classes, job hazard analysis, accident investigations, hazard recognition activities and Safety Committee activities.
        5. Entry into the RED level is based on answering "yes" to all of the questions on the self-audit evaluation administered by AGC.
        6. Applicant achieving RED status agrees to serve as a mentor for contractors on its projects.
        7. Commit to helping grow the CHASE Partnership.
      4. WHITE: Applicants seeking WHITE status must meet the following requirements:
        1. All of the requirements as outlined in the RED level;
        2. Implement a comprehensive written safety and health program based on the most current revision of ANSI A10.38 Guidelines or OSHA's 1989 Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines. Ensure that written, site-specific, safety and health plans are used by all contractors on their project;
        3. Assign at least one trained employee with responsibility for employee safety to administer the participant's safety and health program and to conduct documented safety and health inspections of ongoing work; training equivalent to the AGC Safety Management Course or equivalent will be deemed satisfactory. Training equivalency to be determined by the AGC Safety Steering Committee;
        4. Conduct an orientation of all new employees in the safety and health program of the company, and show evidence of effective employee training for avoidance of hazards specific to the contractor's work site(s);
        5. Entry into the WHITE Level is based on answering "yes" to all of the questions on the self-audit evaluation administered by AGC Safety Steering Committee.
        6. Develop and maintain a Substance Abuse Program;
        7. Provide all field construction supervisory personnel with training equivalent to the AGC Supervisor Safety Competency Training Course or the OSHA Construction 10-Hour course;
        8. Maintain a total case injury/illness incidence rate that is trending downward or less than the most current Bureau of Labor Statistics national rate for the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) for the employer industry.
        9. Applicant achieving WHITE status agrees to serve as a mentor for contractors on its projects and CHASE Partners who have yet to attain the same level of recognition within the partnership.
        10. Commit to helping grow the CHASE Partnership.
      5. BLUE: Applicants seeking BLUE Status must meet the following requirements:
        1. All of the requirements as outlined in the WHITE levels;
        2. Applicant achieving BLUE status agrees to serve as a mentor for contractors on its projects and CHASE Partners who have yet to attain the same level of recognition within the partnership. BLUE participant general contractors will agree to require its subcontractors to follow the BLUE Status general contractor's safety and health program unless the subcontractor's program is substantially equivalent to the applicable portion(s) of the BLUE Status general contractor's program.
        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 satisfactory. Training equivalency to be determined by the AGC Safety Steering Committee.
        4. Train all field construction supervisory personnel in the OSHA 30 Hour Construction Outreach Course, or its equivalent as determined by the AGC Safety Steering Committee, additional training shall be provided for competent persons in such areas as Scaffolding, Excavation, Fall Protection, Occupational Health in Construction, etc. The type and scope of work the applicant routinely conducts will predicate this additional training.
        5. Implement a six-foot Fall Protection Policy and encourage/emphasize a six-foot fall protection policy for all their subcontractors. Trade-specific fall protection requirements as dictated and enforceable by OSHA shall not be subject to differing or conflicting requirements as a result of entering into this agreement.
        6. Maintain a total case injury/illness incidence rate (TCIR) that is less than the most current Bureau of Labor Statistics national rate for the NAICS for the employer industry.
        7. Receive a qualifying inspection of at least one representative project site by the AGC Chapter's Safety Director or Steering Committee designee. Applicant will submit a list of sites that are between 30% and 70% complete. At least three sites are preferred. The selected site(s) will be chosen at the discretion of AGC. The inspection will be performed within thirty calendar days after formal notification to AGC of available site(s). The list of jobs will also be forwarded to OSHA for their inspection selection.
        8. If applicant is signatory to a union, invite their signatory Union to participate in both the AGC and Colorado OSHA CHASE qualifying inspections.
        9. Have no willful or repeat serious violations in the last three years; and
        10. Have no fatalities or catastrophes within the last three years that resulted in serious or willful citations related to the incident.
        11. Provide safety training for field staff in Spanish, when applicable.
        12. Commit to helping grow the CHASE Partnership.
    5. Program Confidentiality

      Information submitted by contractors as part of the initial application, renewal process, as well as information obtained by virtue of the contractor's application or participation in the program will be held in strict confidence within the confines of the partnership program. Information that will be subject to dissemination and use by Colorado OSHA will be unidentifiable to any specific company with all employee and employer identifiers removed. AGC and Colorado OSHA will have the authority to release outside the confines of the partnership only this non-company specific aggregated data for purposes of measuring partnership effectiveness and publishing documents for promotional purposes by AGC and/or Colorado OSHA. However, in the event of an OSHA inspection, such information that is relevant to any element of the investigation and normally is available in accordance with current OSHA disclosure provisions will be provided to Colorado OSHA upon request.

    6. Program Oversight
      1. The AGC Chapter's Director for Safety and Health is responsible for the following program monitoring activities:
        1. Periodic reviews of the AGC CHASE partnering activities to ensure compliance with the partnership requirements, including random onsite visits of participant contractor work sites;
        2. Recommendations to the AGC Safety Steering Committee for program improvements.
      2. Colorado OSHA will conduct an enforcement verification inspection within 30 days of receiving application from AGC of one worksite before conferring benefits listed in section 7.C.2-6 to the BLUE Participant. Verification inspections will be conducted per current OSHA policy for focused inspections in construction if the participant qualifies.
      3. AGC Chapter's Safety Director, Safety Steering Committee or their designee will oversee auditing of OSHA Recordkeeping information for accuracy during the application or re-application process annually.
    7. Benefits

      Upon acceptance as a partnership participant, Colorado OSHA will provide certain benefits to participants.

      1. RED Participants:
        1. Will not receive a citation for other-than-serious violations, provided that the hazards are abated at the time of the inspection.
      2. WHITE Participants:
        1. Will be given special recognition from OSHA and AGC designating the contractor as a participant in the CHASE Program;
        2. Will not receive citations for other-than-serious violations, provided that the hazards are abated at the time of inspection;
        3. Will be given the maximum good faith penalty reductions currently available in current OSHA policy.
      3. BLUE Participants: After successful conclusion of an OSHA enforcement verification inspection, OSHA will provide the following in benefits:
        1. Will be given special recognition from OSHA and AGC designating the contractor as a participant in the CHASE Program;
        2. General contractor participant job sites within Colorado will not receive a programmed inspection, after the initial verification inspection, within the next twelve months, which extends to the project site and its subcontractors. This inspection exemption applies to all job sites where the general contractor is a BLUE participant. Any subcontractor, regardless of participation in this agreement, scheduled for an inspection who is engaged in activity on a BLUE participant general contractor site will be exempt from inspection;
        3. BLUE participants will receive un-programmed inspections only in response to inspections which may be conducted as the result of a fatality, catastrophe, serious injury, formal complaint, or either the referral of, or the visual observance of, a high-gravity serious hazard on-site. Colorado OSHA will use telephone or fax to handle all other complaints except those cases involving serious injuries. When an inspection of a non-formal complaint is deemed necessary, a copy of the complaint will be provided to the participant's Safety Director or other designated representative at the time of inspection;
        4. OSHA will not issue citations for other-than-serious violations provided the violations are abated at the time of the inspection;
        5. If cited by OSHA, BLUE participants will receive the maximum good faith and history penalty reductions currently available under existing OSHA policy;
        6. During an OSHA programmed inspection of a site controlled by a non-participating general contractor, BLUE subcontractor participants whose program has previously been verified by an OSHA inspection will not be included in the inspection unless the Compliance Officer documents that the participant is responsible for any employee exposures to serious hazards such as falls, struck by, caught in/between or electrocution hazards.
    8. Partnership Evaluation
      1. It is the responsibility of the AGC Safety Steering Committee or the Chapter's Safety Director to gather the required participant data to evaluate the overall success of the program. This data will include, at a minimum, the information needed to complete OSHA's Annual Partnership Evaluation Report as required per OSHA Directive CSP 03-02-002, Appendix C. Aggregated data from the BLUE participating contractors will be reported to AGC and the Colorado OSHA Area Directors. The data gathered will be specific to those injuries, illness, catastrophes and fatalities as identified in Section 2(A) of this agreement. Supporting documentation will be reported annually by the BLUE participant to the AGC Chapter's Safety Director.
      2. Recordkeeping forms will be provided to all BLUE participants for reporting of non-company specific information relative to lost workday incidence and supporting anecdotal notation of near misses. This information will be provided for purposes of demonstrating successful implementation of safety and health principles as a result of their involvement in this agreement.

      3. The partnership will be evaluated annually to determine whether the goals in Section 2 of this agreement have been met. AGC is responsible for collating baseline and annual performance data upon which the partnership will be measured. This aggregated data will be reported to Colorado OSHA.
      4. AGC Partnership participant's aggregate total injury/illness incidence total case rates (TCIR) and fatality rates will be compared with BLS published data to determine whether the goals have been met.
      5. Participant incidence of injuries from the hazards that are the four leading causes of death on construction sites (falls, struck-by, caught in/between, and electrocutions) will be measured and compared against a baseline established in the first year of the partnership.
      6. If all signatory partners agree, partnership criteria may be revised annually based on recommendations for continuous improvement. These criteria may include company/site specific addenda to this agreement based on an individual contractor's requirement or an AGC/C or Colorado OSHA request.
    9. Contractor Termination
      1. A contractor's participation will be terminated by the AGC and the Colorado OSHA Area Offices will be informed if one or more of the following occurs:
        1. An inspection by the AGC or Colorado OSHA reveals a significant deviation from program criteria;
        2. The contractor has falsified information on the application or supporting records. This includes the associated recordkeeping documents.
        3. The contractor's total case injury/illness incidence rate, (TCIR) rises above criteria set in paragraph 4.D.8 for White level participants or paragraph 4.E.8 for BLUE level participants; or
        4. The contractor takes other such actions that may be determined to be grounds for termination by the AGC Safety Steering Committee.
      2. Prior to final termination of a contractor's status, the following will occur:
        1. The contractor will be notified by the AGC Director of Safety, Health and Environmental Programs in writing of the intent to terminate;
        2. The notice will include an explanation of the reasons for termination;
        3. The contractor will have an opportunity to reply to the written notice within a period of thirty (30) days; and
        4. The contractor will have the right to appear before the full AGC Safety Steering Committee.
      3. The full AGC Safety Steering Committee will have the authority to reinstate the contractor if it determines that the contractor's experience was unusual and not necessarily inconsistent with a sound safety and health program. In this event, Colorado OSHA may conduct another verification inspection.
      4. Any contractor member may terminate their participation in the program at any time with written notification to the AGC Director of Safety, Health and Environmental Programs.
    10. Partnership Term and Location

      This agreement will terminate five years from the date of the signing. 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 signatories.

      If Colorado OSHA chooses to withdraw its participation in the partnership, the entire agreement is terminated. Any signatory may also propose modification or amendment to the agreement.

    11. Signatures

      The following are signatories to this partnership agreement from the AGC Chapter leadership and the Colorado OSHA Area officials that were present and signed this agreement on July 27, 2010:

       


      Randy DeMario, President,
      AGC Board of Directors,
      AGC of Colorado Building Chapter

       


      Michael Gifford, Executive Director,
      AGC of Colorado Building Chapter

       


      John Healy, Area Director,
      Englewood Area Office, Colorado
      OSHA U.S. Department of Labor

       


      Herb Gibson, Area Director,
      Denver Area Office, Colorado
      OSHA U.S. Department of Labor

       


      Jerry Salgado, Chairman
      Safety & Health Committee
      AGC of Colorado Building Chapter

       


      Tom Alvarez, Vice Chairman
      Safety and Health Committee
      AGC of Colorado Building Chapter

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