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OSHA News Release – Region 5
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 5 News Release 04-68-CHI
Date: February 25, 2004
Contact: Juan Solano
Phone: (312) 353-6976
CHICAGO -- Enhancing safety and health at Wisconsin construction sites is the goal of a new partnership agreement signed today between the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Wisconsin.
The Construction Health and Safety Excellence (CHASE) - Wisconsin partnership has four major goals: 1) A three percent per year reduction in the number of injuries, illness and fatalities among participating AGC contractors; 2) An increased in the number of contractors who implement effective safety and health programs; 3) Recognition of contractors with exemplary safety and health programs; and 3) More open communication between OSHA and AGC of Wisconsin.
A special emphasis will be placed on reducing the four leading causes of fatal accidents at construction sites, which are falls, workers struck by objects, workers caught in or between objects, and electrocution.
"This partnership formalizes a long-standing cooperative relationship, focuses our efforts to make construction sites safer and demonstrates our commitment to work together to improve safety and health," said Michael G. Connors, OSHA regional administrator in Chicago.
Wisconsin AGC contractors who wish to participate in the program must establish effective safety and health programs based on management leadership, employee involvement, hazard analysis and prevention and compliance with applicable OSHA standards. Eligibility requirements include weekly job site self-audits, site-specific safety orientations for workers, proper training for supervisors and safety representatives and weekly employee safety meetings.
There are three levels of participation in the CHASE-Wisconsin program. Each level - Red, White and Blue - is based on an applicant's level of safety and health commitment. Companies reach the highest Blue level by demonstrating outstanding safety and health accomplishments.
OSHA incentives to encourage continuous safety and health improvement by participants include not issuing citations for non-serious violations that are corrected during an inspection; granting the maximum good faith penalty reductions where violations are cited; and exempting employers from programmed OSHA inspections. Participants in the program will not be exempt from OSHA inspections prompted by formal complaints, imminent danger, deaths or catastrophic accidents.
Work-related fatalities declined 6.6 percent in 2002, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. OSHA is dedicated to assuring worker safety and health. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace and life. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7773 or TTY (202) 693-7755.
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