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NNJNECA and IBEW Construction Industry Safety Partnership Meets Key Goals


Background:

In July 2003, the Northern New Jersey National Electrical Contractors Association (NNJNECA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) formed an OSHA Strategic Partnership (OSP) with OSHA's Region II Parsippany Area Office. The purpose of the OSP is to promote safety and health in the electrical construction industry throughout Northern New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. The OSP focuses on decreasing injury and illness rates and workers' compensation costs, standardizing safe industry practices, and enhancing and/or implementing effective safety and health management systems (SHMS). To continue building on its previous, the OSP was renewed in June 2006.

Success Impact:

OSP Steadily Decreases Injury and Illness Rates - Days Away, Restricted and Transfer (DART) and Total Case Incident Rate (TCIR)

Through hard work and dedication, the OSP achieved its key goal of reducing injuries and illnesses in the industry. Since the OSP was renewed two years ago, the average TCIR and DART rates have been significantly less than the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) national average for this respective industry. Besides preventing workers from being injured, the OSP's reduced injury and illness rates have also increased direct savings for each participant by lowering workers' compensation costs. The below table presents the steady progress that the OSP has made towards reducing injuries and illnesses and compares it with the BLS national average

  TCIR DART
OSP (2006) 4.05 2.46
OSP (2007) 3.18 1.63
Percentage Change -21% -34%
BLS National Average (2006) 6.3 3.2
Percentage Difference between OSP 2007 Rates and BLS Rates -50% -49%

The OSP uses a multi-platform color level process to recognize participants' progress and achievements. For example, as participants make enhancements to their SHMS (evidenced by reduced injury and illness rates and improved scores on their self-evaluations), they advance from the beginner "RED" level to the "WHITE" level, and finally the "BLUE" level (which represents the highest level of achievement). Over the past two years, RED level participants have decreased their aggregated baseline TCIR by 35 percent and their DART rate by 36 percent; WHITE level participants have decreased their TCIR by 1 percent and their DART rate by 62 percent; and BLUE level participants' have decreased their TCIR by 29 percent and their DART rate by 30 percent.

OSP Meets Key Goal of Increasing Training, Outreach, and Participation

In addition, the OSP has achieved another key goal by increasing training and outreach. The OSP has made substantial efforts to provide many different training courses on topics such as safe work practices and identification, correction, and prevention of industry key hazards. Training to increase safety and health awareness and outreach has also been a key focus of the OSP this year.

The OSP has also met its key goal of increasing participation. When the OSP first formed in 2003, there were only seven participants – a year later, the number of participants doubled. The below table presents the progress made, by total participants and color level, towards increasing participating since the OSP was originally signed back in 2003.

Year # RED Participants # WHITE Participants # BLUE Participants TOTAL
2003-2004 1 3 3 7
2004-2005 5 5 4 14
2005-2006 6 5 4 17
2006-2007 5 6 4 16
2007-2008 12 6 5 23

Over the past year, seven new participants have joined the OSP. Currently, 23 companies covering close to 2,000 workers have applied and been accepted into

Partnership Objectives:

The OSP's key objectives are to decrease participants' injury and illness rates; increase safety training, education, and outreach; and promote and encourage increased participation in the Partnership.

  • Origin: OSHA's Region II, Parsippany Area Office
  • Partners: Northern New Jersey National Electrical Contractors Association (NNJNECA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)
  • Partnership Signed: July 2003, renewed July 2006
  • Industry: Construction (NAICS Code 238210, SIC Code 1731)
  • Employees: 1,940
  • Employers: 23
  • Source and Date: Submitted by Robert Garvey, Region II, Parsippany Area Office / August 2008
2006 OSP Resigning (Signatories from left to right): Philip M. Peist, Area Director of OSHA's Parsippany Area Office; Gary W. Roskoski, Area Director of OSHA's Marlton Area Office; Joseph V. Egan, Business Manager of IBEW Local 456; Leonard Katz, Assistant Commissioner of Labor Standards and Safety Enforcement, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development; and Harry Sassaman, President of Northern NJ Chapter, NECA.

2006 OSP Resigning (Signatories from left to right): Philip M. Peist, Area Director of OSHA's Parsippany Area Office; Gary W. Roskoski, Area Director of OSHA's Marlton Area Office; Joseph V. Egan, Business Manager of IBEW Local 456; Leonard Katz, Assistant Commissioner of Labor Standards and Safety Enforcement, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development; and Harry Sassaman, President of Northern NJ Chapter, NECA.

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