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Region 1 News Release: 10-1208-BOS/BOS 2010-370
Thurs., Sept. 2, 2010
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Email: fitzgerald.edmund@dol.gov
Phone: 617-565-2074

US Labor Department's OSHA forms safety and health partnership with Suffolk
Construction and RI Building and Construction Trades Council
Goal is to enhance safety and health during URI College of Pharmacy construction project

KINGSTON, R.I. - The Providence Area Office of the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration today signed a site safety and health partnership with Suffolk Construction Co. Inc. and the Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council to enhance worker safety and health during the construction of the University of Rhode Island's College of Pharmacy in Kingston.

"This partnership reflects our mutual recognition of the importance of worker safety and health and our cooperative goal to reduce construction safety and health hazards during this project and beyond," said Patrick Griffin, OSHA's Rhode Island area director. "It will take an aggressive and positive approach, placing workplace safety and health in the forefront on a daily basis."

Under the partnership, Suffolk and its subcontractors will develop and implement written safety and health programs, provide OSHA's construction safety courses to supervisors and workers, implement an ongoing site safety audit program, address health-related issues if they arise during construction, provide hearing conservation training to workers, implement an effective environmental monitoring program to control airborne hazards and facilitate ongoing training on the safe operation of materials handling equipment.

Subcontractors also will provide weekly task-specific instructions to their employees, conduct weekly safety and health inspections of their work areas, and conduct job hazard analyses for high hazard tasks. OSHA will review the project's safety and health plan, conduct onsite verification inspections, provide feedback as needed, assist in ensuring the availability and delivery of training, clarify OSHA standards and periodically attend site safety and health meetings.

"This partnership is an investment in safety and health for the future," said Marthe Kent, OSHA's New England regional administrator. "Contractors will be able to take the information gained and lessons learned on this project to other jobsites. I commend Suffolk Construction, the building and construction trades, and the subcontractors for their commitment to this partnership."

OSHA's Strategic Partnership Program helps encourage, assist and recognize the efforts of partners to eliminate serious workplace hazards and achieve a high level of worker safety and health. Most strategic partnerships seek to have a broad impact by building cooperative relationships with groups of employers and workers. These partnerships are voluntary relationships among OSHA, employers, worker representatives and others, including trade unions, trade and professional associations, universities and other government agencies.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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