Strategic Partnership Agreement between U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Norfolk Area Office (OSHA) and the Virginia Ship Repair Association, Inc. (VSRA)
To facilitate OSHA's goal of reducing occupationally related fatalities by 3% each year, and reducing the total Rate of Days Away from Work by 4% each year, the Norfolk Area Office in Region III of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Virginia Ship Repair Association, Inc. (VSRA) have agreed to joint implementation of the Shipyard Safety Training Partnership.
This agreement is consistent with OSHA's long range efforts to develop a business / labor / government partnership approach to safety and health management, allows for better use of OSHA resources, and encourages more participation in the safety process by VSRA members. Representatives of the shipyard activities most directly involved or affected by this partnership have been consulted and encouraged to provide continuous improvements and enhancements to this partnership agreement.
Expected outcomes of the program include developing and implementing model shipyard occupational safety and health and training programs for all participants.
The Virginia Ship Repair Association (VSRA) has over 170 member companies that work in or support the ship repair industry in Virginia and along the Mid-Atlantic coast of the United States. The association works closely with a variety of government agencies, federal and state, as well as other maritime organizations, to create a high standard of excellence in and for the ship repair industry. In this regard, VSRA has a long-standing commitment to promote safety and health awareness to its members, which includes a strong training commitment to educational courses and seminars.
Joint efforts by OSHA and VSRA, through this partnership agreement, will leverage each others' resources to target larger populations in the ship repair industry for safety and health focus and will promote a voluntary, cooperative effort between OSHA and the VSRA membership to reduce occupational accidents and save lives.
Identification of Partners and the Geographical Boundaries of the Partnership Agreement
U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Norfolk Area Office (OSHA)
Virginia Ship Repair Association, Inc. (VSRA) 150 Boush Street, Suite 802 Norfolk, Virginia 23510
Geographical Boundary of the Partnership Agreement:
Available to VSRA participants in the State of Virginia
OSHA Primary Contact
Leo Edwards, Area Director, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Norfolk Area Office
- Increase the number of ship repair employers who develop, implement, and maintain comprehensive safety and health programs in accordance with OSHA's 1989 Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines or the equivalent.
Achieve participant recordable illness and injury rates below the national average for the SIC 3731/SIC 3732 (NAICS 336611/NAICS 336612). A partnership goal is to keep the DART rate (cases with days away from work, job-transfer, or restriction) below the most recently published national average for the industry which was 5.2 for the year 2008. The partnership goal is to further reduce this level of injuries by at least 4% annually for the life of the agreement, and to facilitate OSHA's goal of reducing fatalities by 3% annually.
(Strategy) - Participants' safety and health programs will be evaluated using Appendix A, the VSRA Safety & Health Self Assessment Checklists.
(Strategy) - Develop and maintain systems for the early identification and correction of the hazards which have resulted in serious injuries in the ship repair industry. The primary causes of injuries and illnesses among participants will be determined by all parties (VSRA, OSHA, VSRA participants) through quarterly review of self-assessments, injury and illness records, any other relevant accident reports, and a general review of current enforcement trends for the industry that could lead to serious injury for their workers. If necessary during the partnership, the focused hazards will be adjusted based on experience.
(Strategy) - Develop and provide safety and health training, technical assistance, operating procedures, and abatement methods that accurately target and reduce potential causes of injury and illness in the shipbuilding and ship repair industry as identified by the partners.
(Strategy) - Create and share best practices in occupational safety and health for the ship repair industry. As necessary, modify the VSRA Safety & Health Self-Assessment Checklist to include important safety and health items not previously covered but found in current injury and illness records and/or enforcement trends.
(Measure) - Injury and illness rates will be evaluated annually by review of OSHA 300 logs and any other relevant accident reports.
- OSHA Agrees To:
- Assist VSRA in the development of criteria to be used for safety and health training.
- Provide technical information and assistance to VSRA regarding the grant process in order to apply for funding for Safety and Health Training Programs.
- Participate in VSRA annual training seminars.
- Provide an OSHA representative to meet with VSRA members on a quarterly basis to review partnership issues, examine the injury and illness experience of participants, suggest corrective measures to eliminate hazards and share best practices.
- Share information on current violations and statistics, including relevant interpretations, proposed standards and similar information, which may be of interest to VSRA members.
- Assist participating members who have established and implemented a comprehensive safety and health program (such as referenced in Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines, FRN 54:3904-3916, January 26, 1989 and/or American National Standards Institute ("ANSI") A 10.38, "Basic Elements of an Employer Program to Provide a Safe and Healthful Work Environment").
- VSRA Agrees To:
Administer the partnership agreement, as outlined below, and serve as the principal safety and health resource in support of VSRA members. Additionally, VSRA will:
- Assist participating members in developing, implementing and maintaining comprehensive safety and health programs through the administration of VSRA's self- assessment program.
- Maintain participant signatory letters and certifications, Appendix B, and verify certifications with OSHA upon request.
- Review with OSHA and VSRA participants, on a quarterly basis, the primary causes of injuries and illnesses among the participants, suggest corrective measures to eliminate hazards and share best practices.
- Act as liaison for VSRA members with OSHA. Members will be able to contact VSRA or OSHA with questions.
- Offer quality training on topics of importance to participants and VSRA membership, especially the focused hazards determined by the partners.
- Through the Safety Committee provide safety and health meetings with members to assist with their training efforts. Members can use this information for site-specific and topical training. To further assist members, the Safety Committee and VSRA will undertake the development of a safety and health awareness program that includes lectures as well as a specific safety slogan that members may utilize.
- Obtain and provide to members, upon request, current informational materials, brochures, and publications from available resources.
- Organize and provide OSHA standards interpretations as well as local inspection perspectives to assist members in understanding and properly applying standards to their work sites.
- VSRA Participants Agree To:
- Sign a letter of agreement, Appendix B, with VSRA indicating their intent to participate in this partnership.
- Certify that their company has not been cited by the Norfolk Area Office within the past three (3) years for alleged violations classified as "repeated" and/or "willful."
- Ensure employee training in the program, including supervisory personnel, utilizing VSRA supported safety and health training programs or equivalent training.
- Provide written affirmation using Appendix B that a comprehensive written safety and health program is in place, which is at least equivalent to the criteria referenced in Section VI, Paragraph A.6 as the minimum established criteria for participation, including implementation of policies and procedures to ensure that safety rules and procedures are enforced at their work sites.
- Complete Safety & Health Self Assessment Checklists, Appendix A, upon entry into partnership with review and certification by President/CEO that deficiencies have been corrected.
- Provide written affirmation using Appendix B that their policy and procedures hold line supervisor and employee accountable for following established safety and health rules and OSHA regulations.
- Provide the level of training required by OSHA regulations to their employees either through VSRA, their own training personnel or other consultant/trainers.
- Provide annual safety related data or statistics to the VSRA office concerning man- hours worked, lost day work injuries, and accident records. This data will be used to determine primary causes of injury and illness among participants in order to develop training, sound operating procedures, and abatement methods. VSRA shall maintain this information's confidentiality as to company and shall release only compiled "group wide" data that does not reveal the statistics for any individual participating members.
- OSHA Agrees To:
Give priority service to VSRA participating members requiring OSHA technical assistance.
OSHA will not issue penalties for other-than-serious violations, provided that the abatement of violations is observed.
OSHA will recognize and consider VSRA safety and health training programs when inspecting work sites of partnering members (participating in this partnership with required safety and health program fully implemented), consider the extent of employee training and instruction and the VSRA member's safety and health program. If cited by OSHA, participating contractors may be eligible for the maximum penalty reduction for good faith, currently outlined within OSHA Instruction CPL 2.103 (Field Inspection Reference Manual).
In order to assist in measuring the success of this partnership, the Norfolk Area Office will verify that all current participants have completed their self-assessments, Appendix A, and have corrected deficiencies where appropriate.
A joint evaluation of the partnership will be prepared annually by the Norfolk Area Office and VSRA using Appendix C. The evaluation will review the success of the partnership, lessons learned, and changes that will be made to meet the goals of the partnership.
Employee/Employer Rights and OSHA Investigations
Employee rights which are guaranteed under the OSH Act shall not be infringed upon as a result of this partnership. This partnership does not preclude employees and/or employers from exercising any right provided under the OSH Act, nor does it abrogate any responsibility to comply with rules and regulations adopted pursuant to the Act.
OSHA personnel will continue to investigate under local and national emphasis programs, workplace complaints, referrals, fatalities, catastrophes, other accidents or significant events, and contractors whose employees are exposed to or are creating plain view hazards at partnering worksites. These investigations will be conducted outside of this partnership agreement in accordance with established OSHA enforcement policy. Violations documented during such investigations may result in the issuance of citations and penalties.
Indemnification and Hold Harmless
OSHA, VSRA, and all Participating VSRA Members hereby agree that their sole remedy for any alleged defaults under this Agreement or under the Program set forth therein shall be the Termination of the Agreement as set forth above. Each party hereto and each Participating VSRA Member expressly agrees to hold the other parties harmless and to indemnify them for any claim brought by themselves or any employees, agents, or invitees of such entity as a result of any alleged violation of this Agreement; provided, however, that nothing in this release language shall in any way limit any Participating Member's liability for violation of any Federal or State safety laws or regulations.
This agreement will terminate on December 19, 2012 which is 3 years from the date of the signing. If any signatory of this agreement wishes to terminate its participation prior to the established termination date, written notice of the intent to withdraw must be provided to all other signatories.
If OSHA chooses to withdraw its participation in the partnership, the entire agreement is terminated. Any signatory may also propose modification or amendment of the agreement.
For non-signatory participants of the strategic partnership, OSHA may terminate the participant's involvement at any time with written notice. Additionally, the participant may withdraw its participation from the strategic partnership at any time with a written notice of the intent to withdraw to OSHA.
Paperwork Reduction Act
Paperwork Reduction Act Notice Form Approved MB# 1218-0244, Expires June 30, 2012. Public reporting burden for the time needed to develop the Partnership requirements, craft agreement language, and conduct an internal review process is estimated to be an average of 11 burden hours per respondent.
- Leo Edwards
- Area Director
- Norfolk Area Office
- Malcolm P. Branch
- Virginia Ship Repair Association, Inc.