Tues., Oct. 30, 2007
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Partnership wants ¿nothing left to chance' for employee safety and health
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A newly-signed site safety partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will put into place safeguards designed to protect the 200-plus employees who will be constructing the new U.S. courthouse in downtown Buffalo. Participating in the partnership are Mascaro Construction Co. LP, the project's general contractor; the Buffalo Building and Construction Trades Council; the AFL-CIO; the New York Department of Labor's safety consultation program (NYDOL); and the project's 20 contractors and subcontractors.
"This partnership will ensure that safety is the priority during the construction of the courthouse," said Patricia K. Clark, OSHA's regional administrator in New York. "All signatories will aggressively approach safety and health, going beyond mere compliance with OSHA standards to actively seek out, identify and correct potential hazards before they harm employees. We want nothing left to chance."
Requirements of the partnership include 30 hours of safety training for all supervisory personnel and 10 hours of training for non-supervisory personnel; weekly safety and health inspections to identify and correct hazards and institute corrective measures to prevent their reoccurrence; monthly safety audits; and weekly foreman and craft safety meetings to discuss any unresolved safety and health issues and to focus on future work activities. A gap analysis will be conducted of each subcontractor's safety and health program to identify and address any differences between subcontractor programs and the project's safety requirements.
"This partnership is an exceptional opportunity for employees, management, labor and government to work in unison so that all of the project's employees end each workday healthy and whole," said Arthur Dube, OSHA's area director in Buffalo. "We want zero fatalities, zero fall exposures, 100 percent compliance with required incident prevention activities and illness, and injury rates well below the industry average."
The partnership was signed Oct. 26 at the Niagara Center in Buffalo. Signatories were OSHA's Clark and Dube; Mascaro President John J. Mascaro Jr. and Corporate Counsel and Risk Manager Paul Naim; Trades Council President Paul Brown; and NYDOL Supervising Safety and Health Inspector Greg Conrad.
More than 1.2 million employees and more than 21,000 employers across the U.S. have participated with OSHA in 484 Strategic Partnerships since the program began in 1998. For information about OSHA partnerships in western New York, contact Gordon DeLeys at 716-551-3053, ext. 244.
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.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. DOL is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.