OSHA Strategic Partnership Program<< Back to Success Stories


Background:

The Central Ohio Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local Unions 683 and 1105 formed their second OSHA Strategic Partnership (OSP) to promote a safe and healthful work environment for all electrical construction and maintenance industry workers. The OSP improved participants safety and health management systems (SHMS) by utilizing the industrys latest technology, innovations, and best practices available. It also focused on the development and delivery of safety and health training within the industry. There were 11 employers who participated in the OSP covering close to 2,900 employees. The OSP was successfully concluded in September 2008. A new NECA-IBEW OSP was signed in October 2008.

Success Impact:

OSP Meets Key Goal to Increase Safety Training

During the last year of the OSP, over 425 non-management employees and 25 supervisors/managers received over 5,300 hours of safety training. These sessions were conducted by OSHA and non-OSHA staffs and included:

  • OSHA 10- and 30-hour courses;
  • Tool and shop box talks;
  • Speeches given by various participants safety directors on best industry practices;
  • Safe Work Practices, NFPA 70E requirements (incorporated into the Local Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee Program at the Electrical Trades Center);
  • OSP outreach and promotion;
  • Two-hour jobsite specific orientation; and
  • Electrical Safety Training presented at Ohio State Universitys Safety Day.

OSHA representatives spoke daily on construction safety and assisted Electrical Trades Center trainers with training OSP participants on Electrical Safe Work Practices, NFPA 70E. In addition, the Electrical Trades Center invited OSHA to use their facility where OSHA staff provided information to OSP participants on VPP in Construction.

Due to the success of the OSP, there has been a steady growth of qualified contractors showing interest in the OSP. Safety directors have commented that there has been an increase in safety questions that are coming from the field, and that customers of partnering contractors have a much greater general awareness of NFPA 70 E and Electrical Safety.

Another successful benefit resulting from the OSP has been the continued training and outreach directed toward secondary school students enrolled in an accredited electrical trades program (youth workers). The Electrical Trades Center hosted a week-long training session for students and continues to conduct training sessions in electrical safe work practices and NFPA 70E for instructors and their students at five career-technical high schools.

Injury and Illness Rates Decline - Total Case Incident Rate (TCIR) and the Days Away, Restricted and Transferred (DART) Rate
Over the past three years of the OSP, both the TCIR and DART rate decreased steadily, attaining their key OSP goal of decreasing injury and illness rates. The OSPs average TCIR between 2006 and 2008 was 32 percent below the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) national average for construction, and its DART rate 54 percent below BLS. The below table presents the OSPs injury and illness rates between 2006 and 2008:

  TCIR DART Rate
2006 4.4 1.6
2007 4.0 1.3
2008 3.4 1.0
OSPs 3-Year Average 4.0 1.3
BLS Industry National Average (2007) 5.9 2.8
Percentage Below BLS National Average -32% -54%

Other Benefits Resulting from the OSP

As a result of the OSP, three participants decided to apply for OSHAs Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP). Also through this OSP, contracting members said that they have found the value of conducting self-inspections which are conducted by employers and employees. The OSP participants commented that these self-inspections have helped raise the safety awareness level on the jobsites and keep safety and health on everyones mind. Participants also commented that as a result of participating in the OSP, they now have an increased opportunity to bid work attributed to the required NFPA 70E training.

Partnership Objectives:

The key objectives of the OSP are to: implement safety and health management systems (SHMS); reduce worksite injuries and illnesses by addressing key industry hazards (falls, electrocution, caught-between, struck-by, and energy part exposure); and offer and conduct safety training for employers and employees to help them properly identify and abate hazards.

Origin: Region V, Columbus Area Office

Partners: Central Ohio Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local Unions 683 and 1105, Atlas Industrial Electric, Charles Brown Electric, Dynalectric Company of Ohio, Holland Electric, Knight Electric Co., Mid-City Electric, Roberts Electrical Construction Company, Royal Electric Construction Corp.

Partnership Signed: June 9, 2006

Industry (NAICS Code): Construction (238210)
Employees: 2,894

Employers: 11

Source/Date: Howard Eberts, Compliance Assistance Specialist, Columbus Area Office; Deborah Zubaty, Assistant Director, Columbus Area Office; James C. Dillard, Chicago Regional Office / July 2009