Partnership #505 - Renewal Agreement - March 31, 2010

ABC logo  OSHA logo

OSHA Strategic Partnership Agreement
Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc
Keystone Chapter
and the
U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Harrisburg Area Office


    The partners to the Agreement are:

    • The Keystone Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (ABC). Keystone Chapter ABC is comprised of the following counties: Adams, Berks, a portion of Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Perry, Lancaster, Lebanon, a portion of Schuylkill, and York.
    • The Harrisburg Area Office will be the lead office coordinating this Partnership with support from the Allentown, Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre Area Offices of the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The Allentown Area Office has jurisdiction over the following counties: Bucks, Lehigh, Montgomery and Northampton. The Harrisburg Area Office has jurisdiction over the following counties: Adams, Berks, Centre, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Mifflin, Perry and York. The Philadelphia Area Office has jurisdiction over the following counties: Chester, Delaware, Philadelphia. The Wilkes-Barre Area Office has jurisdiction over the following counties: Bradford, Carbon, Clinton, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Columbia, Lycoming, Monroe, Montour, Northumberland, Pike, Potter, Schuylkill, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Wayne and Wyoming.

    ABC and OSHA mutually recognize the importance of providing a safe and healthful work environment for those employees working in Pennsylvania. To advance our mutual goal, we strongly agree on the need to develop partnerships that foster mutual trust and respect for the respective roles of each organization in the construction safety process. We recognize and embrace the responsibilities inherent in those roles. We are committed to work as partners to achieve construction workplace safety and health through shared strategies and objectives.

    This agreement provides incentives to contractors that voluntarily participate in the ABC Safety Training and Evaluation Process (STEP) program and demonstrate implementation of effective safety and health programs. The STEP program, implemented annually by the ABC, is an objective tool that contractor members use to evaluate and strengthen their safety programs, policies and procedures. ABC recognizes participants based on their development and enactment of safety programs, policies and procedures. The five recognition levels are Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond. See Appendix A for a detailed description of the STEP program. See Appendix B for a sample STEP application. Go on to ABC's website, for the most recent version of the STEP application.

    Implementation of this agreement is expected to result in an improved awareness of safety concerns, and decreased injuries, illnesses and fatalities for participant contractors with a resultant decrease in worker compensation costs as well as other direct or indirect costs.


    ABC and OSHA will work in partnership to accomplish the following goals:

    • Promote and foster the dialogue about enhancing organization safety performance through implementation of health and safety management systems. Demonstrate improvement in closing the gap between self reported STEP scores of those Partnership Members that have been selected for annual non-enforcement verifications and the audited STEP scores of those Partnership Members selected for annual non-enforcement verifications.

      Strategy - Annually conduct 4 OSHA/ABC Partnership sponsored seminars to educate and train Partners on what a management system is, the potential value and benefits of a management system, and strategies for implementation. Include a STEP audit as part of each non-enforcement verification audit conducted as part of this agreement. See Section VI.

      Measure - Improvement in agreement between self-reported STEP scores and audited STEP scores. This will be accomplished by comparing self reported STEP scores with STEP scores developed by the audit team.

    • Demonstrate continuous improvement of the aggregate Partnership Members' TCIR( Total Case Incident Rate) and DART (Days Away Restricted or Transfer Rate). Partnership Member rates will be compared to national average rates and local ABC average rates.

      Strategy - Attend and participate in ABC events where injury reduction strategies are discussed, best practices are shared, and specific questions and issues can be addressed.

      Measure - Various TCIR and DART rate comparisons.

    • Increase the number of ABC Keystone members who participate in STEP.

      Strategy - Demonstrate the value of STEP by showing better safety performance among STEP participants. Offer safety seminars and other safety activities that are of high quality and value to participants.

      Measure - Increase in annual STEP applications.

    • Increase the number of ABC Keystone members who participate in STEP.

      Strategy - Demonstrate the value of STEP by showing better safety performance among STEP participants. Offer safety seminars and other safety activities that are of high quality and value to participants.

      Measure - Increase in annual STEP applications.

    *Receiving an on-site non-enforcement verification inspection will substitute for 1 of the 3 required Partnership Seminars.


    ABC and OSHA agree to work in partnership to improve safety and health performance at participating companies.

    ABC agrees to:

    Distribute the STEP application, information regarding this partnership, and a written opportunity to participate in this partnership.

    Inform OSHA of those companies participating in the partnership, along with their level of recognition (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum or Diamond). Partnership Members will be required to complete an Appendix B, "Safety Training & Evaluation Process, Submittal Sheet", Appendix C, "Agreement of Participation" and submit them through the ABC to the Harrisburg Area OSHA office to participate in the Partnership.

    Provide OSHA with the worksite locations for Partnership Members to facilitate the onsite non-enforcement verification(s). Share baseline and ongoing injury and illness measurement data with OSHA.

    Meet with OSHA quarterly to discuss mutual partnership commitments, mentoring, issues and implementation and best practices in construction safety.

    Share and post best practices in construction safety on ABC web sites, especially as they relate to correcting the four focused construction hazards and improving STEP award levels. Develop a process to exclude any Partnership Member that has been cited by OSHA within the past three (3) years for violations classified as "willful", "high gravity serious" or "repeat".

    OSHA agrees to:

    Work cooperatively with ABC to provide safety and health information, technical assistance, and training to Partnership Members in order to facilitate improvements in safety and health management systems.

    Work with ABC to recommend program improvements to individual Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum STEP Applicants.

    Ensure that the affected OSHA staff, including the Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs), are familiar with the requirements and objectives of this partnership.

    Maintain and disseminate to OSHA field staff up-to-date information about participants and their STEP award levels.

    Participate in conferences, committee meetings and/or other professional functions.

    Recognize partnering companies on OSHA's public web site.

    Post best practices in construction safety on OSHA's public web site, especially as they relate to correcting the four focused construction hazards and improving STEP award levels.

    OSHA reserves the right to exclude or withdraw recognition to any Partnership Member which does not show good faith or follow the terms of the agreement.


    OSHA will offer the following benefits to ABC Partnership Members:

    • Annually award a certificate of participation to each Partnership Member.
    • Award a certificate to Partnership Member who successfully complete an onsite, non-enforcement OSHA verification
    • OSHA will provide additional penalty reductions for good faith, beyond those allowed by the Field Operations Manual (FOM), if the Partnership Member incorporates into its written program language which helps the employer identify and implement permanent solutions for the root cause of cited hazards. Calculation for the additional penalty reduction will be based upon the final proposed adjusted penalty. This additional reduction will not apply to high gravity serious, willful, failure to abate or repeat citations. The percentage of this additional reduction is based upon the Partnership Member's level of participation in the STEP program. They are:

      Bronze   3 % reduction

      Silver   6 % reduction

      Gold   9 % reduction

      Platinum/Diamond   10% reduction

      In order to qualify for this additional penalty reduction, the Partnership Member must have received an initial 25% credit for good faith allowed by the FOM. For companies with greater than 25 employees, this requires a written safety and health program that provides for appropriate management commitment, employee involvement, worksite analysis for hazard identification, hazard prevention, control measures, and safety and health training.

      To qualify for this penalty reduction, each ABC Partnership Member must declare their membership in this partnership at the time of the inspection and produce a current copy of their partnership certificate.


    Annually, an audit team will conduct onsite non-enforcement verification(s) of 10% of the Partnership Members. The team will consist of the OSHA Compliance Assistance Specialist (CAS), an ABC Representative, and 1 Partnership Member from a member organization other than those being audited. They will evaluate the company's implementation of its safety and health management system using ABC's STEP criteria and observe the site to see if the Partnership Member is controlling hazards on the job-site. Sites will be selected by the OSHA Compliance Assistance Specialist. The Partnership Member shall make every effort to immediately correct identified hazards prior to the OSHA CAS exiting the site. If OSHA personnel identify serious hazards that site management refuses to correct, OSHA will make a referral for an enforcement inspection.


    A Partnership Steering Committee comprised of representatives from the ABC Keystone Safety Committee and OSHA's Harrisburg Area Office will meet quarterly and oversee the activities of this partnership:

    • ABC will forward the names of those companies who have elected to participate in this partnership, along with their STEP award level, Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) and North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) to OSHA's Harrisburg Area Office. The Harrisburg Area Office will forward Partnership Member names to the Regional Office to coordinate recognition of Partnership Member on OSHA's public web site.
    • ABC will also forward to OSHA from each Partnership Member an Agreement of Participation (Appendix C).
    • ABC will share with OSHA the data required to calculate the TCIR and DART rate for the baseline years and each subsequent year for the annual evaluation of this partnership.
    • The Partnership Steering Committee will meet quarterly to review partnership issues, mentoring activities, and to examine updated TCIR and DART rates and the injury and illness experience of ABC Partnership Member to make corrections and adjustments, as needed, in order to facilitate excellence in the participants' occupational safety and health programs.

    This partnership does not preclude employees and/or employers from exercising any right provided under the OSH Act (or, for federal employees, 29 CFR 1960), nor does it abrogate any responsibility to comply with rules and regulations adopted pursuant to the Act.


    This agreement will terminate three years from the date the partnership is signed. If either OSHA or ABC wishes to withdraw their participation prior to the established termination date, the agreement will terminate upon receiving a written notice of the intent to withdraw from either signatory.


    This partnership will be evaluated annually using Appendix D for achievement towards the goal of reducing the TCIR and DART rates. ABC is responsible for gathering data upon which the partnership will be measured.

    Participant aggregate TCIR and DART rate will be compared with BLS published data and against the previous year's data.

    The Partnership Steering Committee comprised of representatives from the ABC Keystone Chapter and OSHA's Harrisburg Area Office will prepare an annual evaluation of the partnership using Appendix D. The evaluation will review the implementation of the agreement and will include a discussion of how the goals were met and any changes that need to be made to achieve its stated goals and objectives.



John Zimmer
President & CEO
Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc
Keystone Chapter




Albert D'Imperio Area Director
Philadelphia Area Office




Jean Kulp
Area Director
Allentown Area Office




Mark Stelmack
Area Director
Wilkes-Barre Area Office




Acting Area Director
Harrisburg Area Office (Lead Office)



Back to Top