In Appreciation: Associated General Contractors (AGC) Houston Chapter Partnership Demonstrates Many Intangible Benefits
The Associate Contractor Member of the Houston Chapter, Associated General Contractors (AGC) and OSHA's Region VI, Houston North and South Area Offices mutually recognized the importance of providing a safe and healthy work environment for the Houston Area construction workforce. To meet their goal of promoting safety and health, in October 2003 they developed an OSHA Strategic Partnership (OSP) that fostered mutual trust and respect for each organization's respective role in the construction safety and health process.
Testimonial: Increases Business Opportunities and Promotes Communication
"I consider my interaction with OSHA to be one of the most valuable safety activities in which I participate."
Homer Peterson, owner of Peterson Beckner Construction
Peterson Beckner Construction, a specialty contractor working as a partner in the OSHA-Houston AGC Partnership, recognized the importance of the intangible benefits that result out of such agreements. Peterson acknowledged the achievement of prestige through partnering with OSHA and being "recognized as one of the ‘best of the best.’" Paterson expressed that as a result of the Partnership, their safety and health management system had been given a new level of credibility, which in turn, helped to promote work to current and prospective customers.
Partnerships also foster open lines of communication. Partners realized that working with OSHA provided an outlet for problem solving because the Partnership led to an open exchange of information sharing. For example, area fatality summaries were shared with AGC and OSHA compliance officers at AGC seminars to familiarize them with contractor issues. This exchange helped the two sides better understand each other's points of view regarding safety and health issues and how to implement effective safety and health management systems (SHMS).
The Partnership had many objectives including:
- To implement open communications between the Houston Chapter AGC membership and the OSHA Houston North and South Area Offices in a manner that encourages respect and understanding.
- To share knowledge of the best industry technology, innovations, and work practices that improves jobsite safety and health performance.
- To cooperate in the development and improvement of safety training programs for the construction industry.
- To ensure that enforcement policies and practices are effective, consistent, and fair.
- To promote principles of good faith and fair dealings as the foundation of the Partnership.