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Haskell Improves Safety Performance at Construction Projects Through OSHA's Cooperative Programs and On-site Consultation Program

Company: The Haskell Company

Location: Nationwide and international, with offices in Jacksonville, Florida; Dallas, Texas; and Mexico City, Mexico.

Industry: Construction

Employees: More than 600

Success Brief: A design-build construction firm improved its safety performance through participation in OSHA's cooperative programs and On-site Consultation Program.

The Challenge:

The Haskell Company (Haskell), founded in 1965, is a design-build construction firm specializing in industrial, commercial, institutional, and public and civil infrastructure projects. During the 1990s, Haskell's workplace safety and health performance was not up to the company's standards. The company received a number of OSHA citations and had a relatively high injury and illness rate.

The Solution:

In 2002, Haskell adopted a more proactive and cooperative approach to working with OSHA. Haskell began by contacting the OSHA On-site Consultation services and OSHA Area Offices in the states where the company worked. The OSHA On-site Consultation Program is a free and confidential service that small and medium-sized businesses may use to improve their safety and health performance. The program is largely funded by OSHA and delivered by state agencies.

Haskell invited the On-site Consultation services to visit its construction projects and review them for compliance with safety standards. As a result of these visits, Haskell was able to enhance its workplace safety and health performance at these projects.

One of the specific benefits of Haskell's participation in OSHA's On-site Consultation Program was that the company developed better procedures for managing the safety and health performance of its subcontractors. Examples of these improved procedures include:

  • Instead of just reviewing a subcontractor's injury and illness statistics, Haskell reviews their subcontractor's overall safety and health program.
  • Haskell reviews the qualifications of the subcontractors' site competent persons and the training they received.
  • Haskell enhanced its Code of Safe Practices to include requirements for the minimum qualifications of competent persons.
  • Haskell tracks and records subcontractor injury and illness statistic and uses these statistics, along with its safety database, to evaluate the subcontractors for future work with the company.

Also as a result of its positive experience with the On-site Consultation Program, Haskell began to pursue more formal relationships with federal OSHA and state OSHA agencies. This effort was driven by an increase in the company's work in California. Through its interaction with California's On-site Consultation Program, Haskell learned about the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health's (Cal/OSHA) recognition programs. In 2003, Haskell was recognized under the Cal/OSHA Golden Gate Program. That site-specific program is implemented by the California On-site Consultation Program and recognizes employers that, as a result of an On-site Consultation evaluation, were found to have an effective Injury and Illness Prevention Program.

When its work increased in California, Haskell decided to pursue recognition under Cal/OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) for Construction (formerly known as the Golden State Program). This program is designed specifically for employers with non-fixed worksites. Companies who meet program requirements receive statewide recognition and inspection exemption by Cal/OSHA for all their California worksites in which they have overall worker safety and health responsibility. All California worksites under the control of a Cal/OSHA VPP Construction employer are recognized as worksites expected to have a significantly lower risk for serious accidents than other employer's worksites in the industry. Cal/OSHA VPP Construction applicants must be able to demonstrate active management commitment to and worker involvement in their safety and health management system. The employer must also demonstrate that they are maintaining their safety and health management systems at all worksites in California and that their systems are effective in reducing accidents at the sites.

After undergoing several comprehensive audits, Haskell achieved recognition under the Cal/OSHA VPP for Construction program in 2006. Haskell was the first non-California based firm to achieve the recognition under Cal/OSHA's VPP for Construction program. Haskell was reapproved for participation in this program in 2010.

Haskell has experienced many benefits from its participation in this program, including:

  • Enhancement of its overall safety program through implementation of recommended improvements
  • Reduction in injuries and compliance citations corporate-wide
  • Increased cooperation with Cal/OSHA
  • Better participation and support from contract partners
  • Enhanced marketing to clients in California

Building on its success in California, Haskell went on to work cooperatively with other states and federal OSHA and received recognition for its safety and health performance. For example:

  • The Oklahoma Labor Commissioner gave Haskell the 2007 Safety Award of Excellence.
  • The Nevada Division of Industrial Relations Safety Consultation and Training Section (SCATS) named Haskell the Nevada Safe Partner of the Quarter in August 2007. This award was created to increase employer and employee knowledge of the value of safety and health in the workplace and to reward companies that exemplify safety on the job.
  • Haskell's Pembroke Pines, Florida location was awarded participation in the OSHA On-Site Consultation Program's Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) by the Florida On-site Consultation Program in July 2007.
  • Haskell participated in an OSHA Strategic Partnership (OSP) with OSHA Region IV and the Florida On-site Consultation Program for construction of a University of North Florida student housing project form 2008 to 2009. The project involved construction of four residential towers for 1,000 students. The average daily employment at the site was 500 workers with as many as 30 contractors on the site each day. When the OSP concluded in June 2009, it reported reductions in the employers' total case injury rate (TCIR) of more than 36%. Additionally, 120 safety and health training courses covering a wide range of construction safety and health issues were conducted. More than 80 workers took the OSHA Outreach Training Program's 10-hour construction class.
  • In 2010, Haskell's Spirit AeroSystems project in Kinston, North Carolina received the North Carolina Building Star recognition from the North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The Building Star program recognizes construction worksites that have exemplary safety and health programs.
The Impact:

The value for Haskell of working cooperatively with OSHA at the state and federal level is illustrated in the following chart:

OSHA Inspection and Citations: 1990 through 2011
(as of March 31, 2011)
Year# of Inspections*# of Citations
1990 - 20015836
2002 - 2005**2515
2006 - 2011251

*This includes federal and state inspections.
**Proactive OSHA approach adopted in 2002.

Since Haskell began its intense focus on workplace safety, the company's safety record improved drastically. From 1990 to 2010, the number of Lost Time Incidents dropped by 86%, Recordable Incidents dropped by 83%, the Lost Work Case Rate (LWCR) dropped by 83%, and the Recordable Incident Rate (RIR) dropped by 78%. The LWCR dropped from 2.68 in 1990 to 0.45 in 2010, while the RIR dropped from 5.37 in 1990 to 1.05 in 2010. These figures show the success of Haskell's safety and health programs and the value of the company's involvement with OSHA's cooperative programs and On-site Consultation Program.

Source: Robert Hunt, A/E Project Principal, Haskell Company; Lance Simons, Director-Corporate Safety, Haskell Company; Brian Roundtree, Regional Safety Supervisor, Haskell Company (July 2011).

Developed through OSHA's Alliance with the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA).

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