Region 1 News Release: 08-427-BOS/BOS 2008-100
Mon., April 7, 2008
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
U.S. Labor Department's OSHA, Petra Construction Corp. and CONN-OSHA join to enhance safety on major Guilford, Conn., residential construction project
Partnership is investment in safety excellence for area's small contractor
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. A two-year project to build a 12,000-square-foot residential home in Guilford, Conn., will be a laboratory for safety excellence thanks to a public/private partnership among the project's general contractor, and federal and state workplace safety agencies.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has joined with Petra Construction Corp. of North Haven, Conn., and the Connecticut Labor Department's Division of Occupational Safety and Health (CONN-OSHA) to ensure and enhance safeguards for the 30 subcontractors and their employees constructing the 2.5-story wood-frame residence.
"This partnership takes an aggressive and proactive stance toward safety and health, seeking to reduce injury and illness levels and their associated human, financial and business costs," said Marthe Kent, OSHA's regional administrator for New England. "Training, self-inspections, analysis of potential hazards and their prompt correction will be standard operating procedure."
Under the partnership, Petra Construction will develop and implement a comprehensive safety and health program that equals or exceeds OSHA guidelines. It will include OSHA's 10-hour construction safety course for supervisors and employees to recognize and correct construction-related work hazards. The course also will train supervisors and employees to conduct regular, documented in-house safety inspections; weekly safety training sessions; and the collection and analysis of injury and illness data.
"Many of the contractors working on this project are smaller employers that may lack sufficient resources to conduct their own safety and health training," said Robert Kowalski, OSHA's area director in Bridgeport. "The partnership will equip them and their employees with knowledge and training they can carry to future jobs."
The partnership was signed in North Haven. Signing were Al J. Morrissey, OSHA's assistant regional administrator for New England and Kowalski; Guido L. Petra, president, and Walter B. Tucker Jr., director of safety, Petra Construction; and Richard Palo, director, CONN-OSHA On-Site Consultation Program.
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. More than 1.4 million employees and more than 26,000 employers across the United States have participated with OSHA in 532 strategic partnerships since the program began in 1998. For more information about safety partnerships in New Haven, Middlesex and Fairfield counties, contact OSHA's Bridgeport Area Office (telephone: 203-579-5581).
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote 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 www.osha.gov.
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