In July 2010, Ryan Companies US, Inc., the Building and Construction Trades of South Central Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Occupational Safety and Health Consultation Program, and the OSHA Madison Area Office formed the Hilldale OSHA Strategic Partnership (OSP). The main purpose of the OSP is to provide a safe and healthy work environment during the construction of the 19 million dollar new unique Target Store (T-2765). The building is a two-story structure with the majority of the first floor consisting of an open parking structure. A small portion of the first floor is an entry way/lobby area with access to the sales floor and the second floor is the elevated sales floor. A total of 15 employers participate in the OSP which covers 170 workers. The construction project is expected to be completed in early spring 2011.
OSP's Collaborative Efforts Result in Increased Worker Involvement and Safety and Health Awareness on Worksite
According to national data, the construction industry experiences 20 percent of all fatalities but employs only 6 percent of the workforce. In Wisconsin, the total lost workday injury and illness construction incident rate per 100 employees is 3.9 compared to the national average of 2.5. The top four hazards associated with the fatalities occurring in the construction industry are identified as falls, struck-by equipment or machinery, electrocution, and caught-in-between equipment.
The key goals of the OSP are to reduce workers' serious injuries and illnesses and fatalities; increase the number of safety and health programs implemented among subcontractors; increase the number of best practices implemented among subcontractors; and increase the number of workers, employers and supervisors who have completed relevant safety training.
OSP participants are already making progress toward achieving these key goals. Six months after the OSP was signed, Mr. John Gaddini, the Corporate Safety Coordinator of Ryan Companies US, Inc. wrote to the other key partner signatories. He thanked them for their collaborative efforts to utilize principles and practices of the OSP which had minimized and eliminated workers' exposure to falls, electrical, struck-by and crushed-by, and other health hazards associated with similar construction projects. Mr. Gaddini stated that the OSP had helped to increase the involvement of small contractors (who do not typically have a designated full-time safety person) in developing and implementing their own written safety and health programs and forming best practices. He gave a specific example of a caulking subcontractor who would not have received the same caliber of safety and health mentoring without the OSP. Since forming the OSP, this subcontractor has implemented numerous safety and health programs focused on subjects such as Hazcom, Job Hazard Analysis (JHA), safety inspection protocol, fall protection, enforcement, and lockout/tagout guidelines. Mr. Gaddini stated that the knowledge that this subcontractor gained from the OSP will now carry over to all future projects which will continue ensuring safety and health in the construction industry.
"The partnership with OSHA, the Building and Construction Trades of South Central Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Occupational Safety and Health Consultation Program has educated, provided guidance, and was an important part of our safety culture in promoting safety on all levels of companies involved in it."John Gaddini, Corporate Safety Coordinator Ryan Companies US, Inc.
By utilizing the stakeholders' skills, knowledge, and resources, success toward reducing exposure to hazards and the incidence of serious injuries and fatalities at the Target-Hilldale construction project will continue to be achieved. Other benefits of the OSP have been increased communication and mutual respect between the stakeholders. The OSP's first annual evaluation will show quantitative and qualitative results and other accomplishments achieved during the first year of the project.
The common objective of the OSP is to provide a safe and healthful work environment for workers involved in the construction industry and to help prevent serious accidents and fatalities within the industry through increased training, implementation of best work practices, mentoring of subcontractors, enhanced safety and health programs, and compliance with applicable OSHA standards and regulations. This initiative represents a voluntary agreement and affords an OSP alternative to the traditional OSHA enforcement procedures.
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