Region 4 News Release: 06-356-ATL (42)
Date: Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Contact: Andre Richards Jo Anne Burgoyne
Phone: (770) 984-8700 (404) 562-2076
OSHA Credits Partnership with General Contractor and Georgia Tech for Boosting Worker Safety on Georgia Aquarium Project
ATLANTA -- Construction of the $200 million Georgia Aquarium, which required several hundred workers and over two million work hours, was completed with no fatal accidents and relatively few injuries for a major project, the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced today. The agency credited the achievement to a partnership formed to provide workers safety and health training.
In May 2004, Brasfield & Gorrie, the Georgia Aquarium's general contractor, Georgia Tech Consultative Services and OSHA formed a partnership for safety. Its goal was to prevent fatalities and provide effective safety and health training for workers at the construction site, according to Andre Richards, area director for OSHA's Atlanta-West office.
"This strategic partnership was a huge success," said Richards. "A zero fatality rate and a low accident rate prove that major construction projects can be completed safely." Richards noted that all employers working on the project also provided safety and health training for non-English speaking employees. Hispanic workers comprised 65 percent of the project's workforce.
When the partnership was formed, there were 7.5 recordable injuries per 100 employees at the construction site. During the 17 months of the partnership, employers and employees working together steadily reduced the recordable injuries to 2 per 100 employees, achieving another goal - reducing worker injuries and illnesses.
The total case incident rate, a standard formula used by employers to compare their injury-illness rates with other employers in the same industry, was used to calculate the numbers of recordable injuries.
OSHA safety and health partnerships are part of U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao's ongoing efforts to improve the health and safety of workers through cooperative partnerships with trade associations, labor organizations and employers.
Since the inception of OSHA's Strategic Partnership Program in 1998, more than 300 partnerships have been formed, involving over 13,000 employers and 573,000 employees across the United States.
OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers 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 www.osha.gov.
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