Thurs., Jan. 8, 2009
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
NEW YORK -- A new site safety partnership among government, employers, labor and the building trades is designed to minimize hazardous conditions and enhance safety and health for 40 contractors and more than 350 employees working on the Shangri-La New York project in midtown Manhattan. The project involves the abatement and demolition of a 10-story YMCA building at E. 53rd Street and Lexington Avenue, and the subsequent new construction of a 67-story, 709-foot hotel and condominium complex.
Participating in the partnership are the Manhattan Area Office of the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the New York State Department of Labor Division of Safety and Health's Onsite Consultation Project (NYS Consultation), the Building and Construction Trades Council (BCTC), the Building Trades Employers Association (BTEA), project developer Hines Development/Shangri-La New York (HD), project owner Park Avenue Hotel Acquisition LLC and project construction manager, Turner Construction Co. (TCCo).
"This is a comprehensive, proactive and cooperative effort to ensure that this significant project is constructed in the safest manner possible," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's New York regional administrator. "Our common goal is to implement and ensure a continuous and effective safety and health management system that will eliminate injuries and illnesses and their associated human and financial costs."
The partnership will include project-specific safety and health plans and task-specific hazard analysis for each contractor; qualified onsite safety and health representatives; a minimum of OSHA 10-hour training for all foremen; site specific safety and health orientation for all employees; ongoing training for employees in languages they understand; weekly toolbox instructions to link appropriate safety and health requirements with that week's work; strategies to eliminate serious accidents; and documentation of injuries, illnesses, ¿near miss' incidents and hazardous conditions.
"Successful safety and health management will pay dividends in fewer injuries and illnesses, reduced costs and enhanced working conditions," said Richard Mendelson, OSHA's Manhattan area director.
The partnership was signed by OSHA's Kulick and Mendelson; NYS Consultation Program Manager James Rush; BTEA Chairman and CEO Lou Coletti; BCTC Chairman and CEO Edward J. Malloy; HD Senior Construction Manager Tim Flynn; Park Avenue Hotel Acquisition Vice President Ross Fleming; and for TCCo: Executive Vice-President Pat DiFilippo; Senior Vice-President/Operations Manager Tom Stachowiak and Business Unit Safety Director Jeff Hutchens.
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 nearly 28,000 employers across the United States have participated with OSHA in more than 580 strategic partnerships since the program began in 1998.
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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