August 1, 2007
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- Reducing hazards and enhancing safety and health for employees working on the Harmon Shop Replacement Phase III Project in Westchester County, N.Y., are the goals of a new safety and health partnership among the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the project's general contractor, Harmon Yard JV, contractors, trade unions and the state of New York.
The project involves the construction of two large new repair shops for Metro-North Railroad locomotives and coaches, a new locomotive wash facility, 15 new tracks, and upgrades and expansion of two substations. At its peak, it is expected to employ 25 subcontractors with 200 employees.
"This project is a major one with a significant commitment to safety and health," said Patricia K. Clark, OSHA's regional administrator in New York. "All contractors will be required to meet and maintain stringent safety and health guidelines just to work on this project. Safety and health will be the priority for every project participant every day."
Under the partnership, each subcontractor will be required to have a site-specific safety and health program administered by a qualified person, perform task-specific hazard analyses, provide all new hires with safety and health instructions, conduct ongoing training to address new tasks or processes, and instruct employees as to how safety and health requirements apply to each week's work tasks. Weekly inspections and safety and health audits will be conducted and corrections of hazardous conditions will be documented.
"Desired results should include fewer injuries, increased productivity, and contractors carrying successful safety and health practices from this project to future jobs," said Diana Cortez, OSHA's area director in Tarrytown.
Clark and Cortez signed the partnership agreement for OSHA. Rich Cavalaro, president, Slattery Skanska Inc., and Rich Lombardi, vice president, Ecco III Enterprises Inc., signed for Harmon Yard JV. The other signatories were James Rush, project manager, the New York State Department of Labor's on-site consultation program; Edward Doyle, president, Building and Construction Trades Council of Westchester and Putnam Counties; and Ross Pepe, president, Construction Industry Council of Westchester and Hudson Valleys Inc.
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 1.2 million employees and more than 33,000 employers across the United States have participated with OSHA in 455 strategic partnerships since the program began in 1998.
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 www.osha.gov.
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