OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Region 1 BOS 2002-200
Oct. 7, 2002
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
Safety and Health at Ocean State Construction Sites
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Enhancing safety and health at Ocean State construction sites is the object of a unique partnership agreement among the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Rhode Island Chapter of the Associated General Contractors, Inc. and the Rhode Island Building Trades Council.
The first agreement of its type in New England, the Rhode Island Construction Health and Safety Excellence (CHASE) strategic partnership is an extended, voluntary, cooperative relationship among OSHA, employers, employees and employee representatives to encourage, assist and recognize contractors' efforts to eliminate serious hazards and achieve high levels of safety and health protection at construction sites throughout Rhode Island.
CHASE has three major goals: an annual three percent reduction in the number of injuries, illness and fatalities among participating AGC contractors; an increased number of contractors with effective safety and health programs; and recognition for contractors who pursue safety excellence by establishing, utilizing and improving upon an effective safety and health program.
Rhode Island AGC contractors who wish to participate in CHASE must establish and maintain effective safety and health programs that feature management leadership and employee involvement, hazard analysis, hazard prevention and compliance with applicable OSHA standards. They must then meet rigorous criteria to be eligible to participate.
There are three levels of participation, based on a successful applicant's level of safety and health commitment. Each level brings with it incentives from OSHA to encourage continuous safety and health improvement by participants. Incentives can include OSHA's not issuing citations for non-serious violations that are corrected during an inspection; providing the maximum good faith penalty reductions where violations are cited; special recognition from OSHA and the AGC; and exemptions from programmed OSHA inspections.
"This partnership in no way reduces existing protections for construction workers," said Kipp Hartmann, OSHA's Rhode Island Area Director, who noted that participants will not be exempt from OSHA inspections prompted by formal complaints, imminent danger situations, deaths or catastrophic accidents. "It provides incentives for contractors to achieve and sustain a high level of occupational safety and health. This will allow OSHA to shift its focus to those contractors and workplaces where safety and health are not given the same high priority."
Signatories are OSHA's Hartmann; Eric Anderson, President of AGC's Rhode Island Chapter; and Ronald M. Coia, President of the Rhode Island Building Trades Council.
The information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (617) 565-2072. TDD (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) Message Referral Phone: 800-347-8029.
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