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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.

Success Impact:

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.

TCIR DART Fatalities Hours Worked
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.

Partnership Objectives:

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.

Origin: Region V, Appleton Area Office

Partners: Washington Group International, Wisconsin Public Service, Miron Construction Company, The Boldt Company, Howard Immel Inc., James Peterson & Sons, Inc., Commonwealth Dynamics Inc., Cherne Contracting Corporation, Babcock & Wilcox Construction Co., Inc., AZCO Integrated Construction, Riverview Construction, Shurtleff & Andrews Corporation, Sachs/Van Ert Electric Company, Inc., Wackenhut Corporation, WiSCon, OSHA Health Consultation Program, AIG, AON, GEA Power Cooling Inc., Black & Veatch, B&B Electric, M.J. Electric, Shambaugh & Son, LP, API Construction Company, Coatco Enterprises Inc.

Union Partners: Dairyland Power, STS Consultants, Laborers Local 268, International Association of Heat & Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers - Local 127, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers & Helpers - Local 107,International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craft Workers, Operating Engineers Local 139, Sheet Metal Workers - Local 18, United Association of Union of Plumbers, Pipefitters, Sprinklerfitters & Service Techs Local 434, Iron Workers Local 383, Northern Wisconsin of Regional Council of Carpenters, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers AFL CIO - Local 388.

Partnership Signed: November 2005

Industry: Construction (NAICS Code 237130, SIC Code 1629)

Employees: 1,334

Employers: 38

Source and Date: Mark Chasso, Region 5 / February 2007

Weston 4 Partnership site
Weston 4 Partnership site

Four key representatives sign the OSHA Partnership Agreement on November 2, 2005
Four key representatives sign the OSHA Partnership Agreement on November 2, 2005. From left to right seated are: Charlie Schrock of Wisconsin Public Service Corporation, Greg Jones and Barry Glashagel from the State of Wisconsins Department of Commerce, and Howard Eberts from OSHA. Representatives from local trades, unions, contractors and other stakeholders also signed onto the agreement that signifies the commitment to worker safety in the building of the new Weston 4 Power Plant.

Representatives from the construction trade who are building Weston 4 lined up to sign off on the official OSHA Partnership Agreement
Representatives from the construction trade who are building Weston 4 lined up to sign off on the official OSHA Partnership Agreement. The agreement signifies the strong concern for worker safety and emphasizes the collaborative effort at resolving any safety issues that may arise. The agreement was signed on November 2, 2005.