Thurs., Dec. 13, 2007
Contact: John M. Chavez
ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands -- Eliminating hazards and achieving a high level of workplace safety for the approximately 200 employees working on the Frenchman's Cove construction project on St. Thomas are the goals of a newly signed partnership among the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Vivot Construction Corp. (VCC) and the University of the Virgin Islands Community Engagement and Lifelong Learning consultation program (UVICELL), "Safety in Paradise."
"This partnership is a cooperative effort to identify and eliminate hazardous conditions, reduce employee injuries, and implement and maintain comprehensive safety and health programs," said OSHA Regional Administrator Patricia K. Clark. "The goal is nothing less than ensuring that all employees end each workday healthy and whole."
The partnership will include job safety analyses encompassing a pre-construction review of work, materials, chemicals and equipment to determine and develop controls for potential hazards; routine self-inspections and hazard abatement; employee training; monthly safety audits; and designation of a safety officer to conduct inspections and take corrective action where needed. VCC is the general contractor for the project to construct eight time-share buildings.
"This partnership is a prime example of an employer taking responsibility for safety and health in a positive and proactive manner," said OSHA Area Director José A. Carpena, who noted that OSHA cited VCC for hazards at this project in 2006. "Since then, the company not only has corrected the hazards, it has committed itself to effective, ongoing safety and health programs that exceed OSHA requirements. We hope that other employers do the same."
The partnership was signed Dec. 12 in St. Thomas by OSHA's Clark and Carpena; UVICELL Director Ilene Garner; VCC President Jean-Patrick Vivot; Project Manager Philip R. Langley; Superintendent Fitzgerald Pacquette; and Safety Officer Victor Garcia Esquilin. For information about OSHA partnerships in the U.S. Virgin Islands, contact Madelline Medina (telephone 787-277-1560 or toll-free 888-457-6410).
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 21,000 employers across the U.S. have participated with OSHA in 484 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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