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OSHA News Release
Region 3

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Region 3 News Release: 08-1337-PHI (osha 08-177)
October 1, 2008
Contact: Leni Fortson
Phone: 215-861-5102

U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA partnership formed to protect employees constructing the new Walter Reed National Medical Center

BETHESDA, Md. -- Employees involved in the construction of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center project will be safer due to a partnership formed between the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Clark/Balfour Beatty Joint Venture. OSHA and Clark/Balfour Beatty formalized the partnership during a ceremony held recently at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda.

"The purpose of this medical center is to care for and improve the health of America's injured soldiers," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Edwin G. Foulke Jr. "The goal of this partnership is to assure that every employee working to construct this new facility is protected from potential injuries while on the job. We look forward to working with Clark/Balfour Beatty to encourage and incorporate safe and healthful work practices into this project."

The project involves the renovation of existing facilities, as well as the construction of a new medical center with a full range of intensive and complex specialty and subspecialty medical services. The Walter Reed Army Medical Center will be integrated into the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, establishing the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The project will cost more than $640 million and will take approximately 40 months to complete.

Major goals of this partnership are to reduce the level of recordable injuries annually by at least four percent for the duration of the agreement, and to keep the DART (cases with days away from work, job transfer or restriction) rate below the most current rate published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for non-residential construction, which was 2.7 for the year 2006.

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 workers through cooperative relationships with groups including trade associations, labor organizations and employers. More than 1.4 million employees and 26,000 employers across the United States have participated with OSHA in more than 530 strategic partnerships since the program began in 1998.

For general information about OSHA partnerships, contact OSHA's Baltimore/Washington, D.C., Area Office at 410-865-2055.

OSHA has improved workplace safety and health during the past 37 years. This success is reflected in the latest data (2006) showing the lowest national injury and illness incidence rate that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has ever recorded. OSHA will continue to work diligently to focus its resources where they will have the most impact in assuring that every working man and woman returns home safely every day.

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 improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit


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