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OSHA News Release
Region 1

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Region 1 News Release: 08-27-BOS/BOS 2008-007
Wed., Jan. 9, 2008
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2074

U.S. Labor Department's OSHA forges safety and health partnership to protect employees during Williams College construction project

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Barr & Barr Builders Inc. of Framingham, Mass., a general contractor, have formed a new partnership to protect employees. The goals of the partnership are to enhance safety and health and reduce injuries for employees working on the construction of the North and South Academic Buildings at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass.

"This partnership emphasizes employee training and an ongoing commitment to identifying and eliminating hazards before they harm workers," said Mary Hoye, OSHA's area director in Springfield. "Taking an aggressive stance should reduce injuries and illnesses and their associated costs, increase productivity and, most important, help ensure that every employee on this project finishes each workday healthy and whole."

Under the partnership, Barr & Barr will develop and implement a comprehensive safety and health program that adheres to or exceeds OSHA guidelines. The program will emphasize employee involvement and include mandatory training for all supervisors and employees; weekly worksite safety training; documented safety inspections and the collection of injury and illness data to track trends and identify hazards.

"We are delighted to enter into this partnership agreement with OSHA for the Williams College North and South Academic Buildings Project," said Donald Barr, president of Barr & Barr Builders Inc. "We believe this aggressive approach to managing safety and health programs at this site will reinforce the establishment of safety as a core value of this company and be a major benefit to the men and women building the project."

The partnership was signed at Williams College by Hoye, Barr and the following Barr & Barr officials: Vice President John Benzinger, Project Managers Jason Miner and Jim LaCasse, Superintendents Rick Luttazi and Ryan Housman, and Safety Director James V. Manoli.

OSHA's Strategic Partnership Program is part of U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao's ongoing efforts to improve the health and safety of employees through cooperative relationships with trade associations, labor organizations, employers and employees. Since the program began in 1998, nearly 1.3 million employees and more than 22,000 employers across the U.S. have participated with OSHA in 512 Strategic Partnerships. For information about OSHA partnerships in central and western Massachusetts, contact Walter Cienaski (telephone 413-785-0123).

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit


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