The construction of the Weston 4 Power Plant is a major project involving extremely dangerous work. In an effort to reduce injuries and hazards, key representatives from the Wisconsin Public Service Corporation, the State of Wisconsin's Department of Commerce, and OSHA's Region V Appleton Area Office signed an OSHA Strategic Partnership (OSP) agreement on November 2, 2005. Other representatives from local trades, unions, contractors, and other stakeholders also signed the agreement, signifying their commitment to worker safety in the construction of the new Weston 4 Power Plant. This Partnership covers the retrofit construction project of the 500-megawatt Weston 4 plant and the project is expected to be operational in 2008.
Injury and Illness Rates Decline
In 2006, employees worked a total of 1,718,711 hours at the site with zero fatalities. The 2006 Total Case Incident Rate (TCIR) was 2.9 – 69% below the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) national average rate of 9.3. The 2006 Days Away, Restricted, Time Away (DART) rate for the site was 1.3 – 75% below the BLS national average rate of 5.0. The below chart presents the TCIR and DART rates over course of the Partnership compared to the BLS national average for the most recent year.
|Year 1: 2004||2.7||0||0||71,490|
|Year 2: 2005||5.0||2.2||0||714,148|
|Year 3: 2006||2.9||1.3||0||1,718,711|
|3-Year Rate (Avg.)||3.5||1.16||0||2,504,349|
|BLS Industry National Average for Most Recent Year||6.3||3.4||--||--|
The company that had the highest number of injuries developed an action plan to address the issue. This plan was shared with the owner/general, construction managers, State of Wisconsin Consultation Service, and OSHA and revised based on their input. Once implemented, the plan had an immediate impact on reducing injuries.
Safety and Health Culture Enhanced
As stated in the Partnership agreement, increased training was one of the key goals set forth to reduce injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. During the first year of the Partnership, each of the 1,334 employees received at least one hour of site-specific training and over 115 employees received the OSHA 10-hour training course. Additional safety and health training topics included: blood borne pathogens, confined space, fall protection, job hazard analyses, and lock-out tag-out. In all, over 4,400 hours of training were conducted in just the first year of the Partnership.
As a result of this Partnership, all 24 partner/contractor employers made improvements to their safety and health management systems (SHMS). At the beginning of the Partnership, one of the construction partners did not have a SHMS implemented at all, but in order to remedy the situation, the partner adopted the Weston 4 SHMS until the State Consultation Service and Washington Group International could help them develop their own. Many of the non-contractor partner employers have also made significant improvements to their own SHMS over the course of the Partnership.
Many labor organizations and business representatives have been actively involved in this Partnership from its inception. The relationship between OSHA, employers, and labor unions has played a prominent role in the success of the Partnership. During the past year, seven new partners have joined the Partnership.
The Partnership had several key objectives including to increase the number of safety and health trainings offered to reduce injuries, illnesses, and fatalities; to maintain injury and illness rates at least 50 percent below the national average for the construction industry; and to implement a SHMS the first year of the agreement for all contractors working at the site.
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