In July 2008, Lathrop/Turner Company and OSHA's Toledo Area Office in Region V formed an OSHA Strategic Partnership (OSP) designed to promote safety and health during the construction of the $105 million, 8,000-seat Lucas County multi-purpose arena. The arena will host hockey, arena football, basketball tournaments, and various concerts and other entertainment events in Toledo, Ohio. The project is expected to be completed in the summer of 2009.
By developing and implementing an effective safety and health management system (SHMS), the OSP is focusing on identifying and abating key construction industry hazards to prevent fatalities, injuries, and illnesses during the project. Key elements of the OSP's SHMS are to conduct safety and health training and provide mentoring to all participants.
When the OSP was formed, Toledo Area Office Director, Jule Hovi, stated, "Working together to share best practices and develop and implement safety and health training to contractors and construction employees will be the principal focus of this partnership. If we can provide these employers and their employees with the knowledge and ability to anticipate, identify and eliminate work-related hazards, we will get that much closer to eliminating job-related injuries."
OSP Promotes Safety and Health in the Industry Through Training
On November 14, 2008, the OSP hosted a free, voluntary, one-day joint construction training session in northwest Ohio. The training consisted of classroom and field training on topics such as OSHA's newly proposed construction crane standard and proper rigging principles. One of the key elements of the OSP's SHMS is to promote safety and health in the construction industry by offering various trainings throughout the year. Previously, the OSP also conducted fall protection training which provided information on available fall protection devices.
The classroom training was conducted by Jeff Ferchen, the Northwest Regional Sales Manager of the Crosby Group, Inc. who presented proper rigging principles, appropriate hardware, slings, load calculations, and equipment inspections. The field training was conducted by Henry Gurtzweiler of Henry Gurtzweiler, Inc. who provided the class access to the equipment yard and various steel erection equipment. The Toledo Area Office's Compliance Assistance Specialist (CAS) and the Region V construction specialist also attended the training and were available to answer questions and provide information on safety and health hazards. Approximately 45 people attended the training.
Lathrop/Turner Company is also responsible for designing and incorporating fall protection into the roofing industry by making personal fall arrest systems easily accessible to maintenance personnel. This initiative developed the standard that numerous tie-off anchorage points are on a roof while work is being completed which has helped to reduce injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.
Feedback – Training Attendee Testimonials
In an open forum following the training, participants provided very positive feedback about the training. Examples of some of the attendees' testimonials included the following:
The Toledo Area Office immediately began putting the rigging training to practice. Staff looked out of the window and identified potential hazards related to installation of a multi-story sign on the corner of a downtown Toledo bank building.
The key objectives of the OSP are to reduce employee exposure to key industry hazards (falls, electrocutions; struck by; caught-in; caught-between; trenching and excavation and exposure to silica); reduce illnesses and injuries; and increase and/or improve the number of effective safety and health management systems (SHMS) implemented.
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