Covidien Building Five Project Promotes Safety and Health for Workers in the Construction Industry


As part of its continuing focus to provide a safe and healthy work environment for employees working on their jobsites, Erland Construction, Inc. and OSHA's Braintree Area Office signed an OSHA Strategic Partnership (OSP) in April 2010 for the Covidien Building Five project on West Street in Mansfield, MA. The OSP's purpose was to advance both organizations' mutual goal of promoting a safe and healthful work environment in the construction industry in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

For the Covidien West Street, Building Five project, Erland performed a total interior demolition and fit-up of the existing space converting it to new medical device research labs and support space. Work included new mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems; new windows; and all new architectural finishes. The $15.5 million project was completed in January of 2011.

Success Impact:

The primary goals of the OSP were to maintain injury and illness rates that were below the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) national average for the construction industry without any fatalities; increase safety and health training; and to implement innovative strategies to eliminate serious accidents. The 2011 annual evaluation revealed that the OSP had resulted in more than 560 hours of training to 1,361 employees via 92 different training sessions conducted by Erland and OSHA.

Over the course of the OSP, Erland performed 94 self-inspections - four by the firm's Safety Committee, 54 by the firm's Safety Officer, and 36 via weekly checklist inspections by the field superintendent. In addition, Erland presented tool box talks to the subcontractor foremen and required that those lessons be relayed to individual work crews who then reported back to Erland's superintendent. Thus, Erland was able to confirm that all project team members, not just the foremen, were receiving weekly safety reminders. These tool box talks were provided in both English and Spanish.

With nearly 100,000 man hours credited to this project, the OSP has achieved a Total Case Incident Rate (TCIR) of 3.00, which is approximately 32 percent below the national average for Non-Residential Building Construction. The OSP has also achieved a Total Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred (DART) rate of 1.5, which is significantly lower than the national average for Non-Residential Building Construction of 2.2.

Year Hours Worked Total Cases TCIR # of DART Cases DART Rate
2010 96,000 2 3.0 1 1.5
BLS National Average (2008)     4.4   2.2
% Difference Below BLS     32% Below   32% Below
Benefits of the OSP:

As a direct result of the OSP between OSHA and Erland, this project was able to broaden the beneficiaries of its Safety Program to include second tier subcontractors, thereby increasing safety and health awareness on this project and future projects. In addition, Erland Superintendent, Mark Robinson, received a commendation from the Mansfield Fire Department for his efforts in going above and beyond to ensure life safety within the construction zone and maintaining superior communication with the local fire officials.

In a letter to Erland's President, Steve McDonald, Lieutenant Donald Tebeau of the Mansfield Fire Department writes,

"Mark has made it a point to make sure that the Fire Department is always informed of the latest developments. Mark has always made time to show myself and other members of the Fire Department the construction features, fire protection systems, and layout of the building he has been working on."

Partnership Objectives:

The key objectives of the OSP were to encourage involvement of the general contractor and subcontractors to improve safety and health performance; implement innovative strategies to eliminate serious accidents; identify opportunities for enhancing safety and health practices related to the operation and maintenance of material handling equipment on the project; and reduce workforce fatalities, serious injuries, and illnesses by providing a safe work environment.

  • Origin: Braintree Area Office, Brenda Gordon
  • Partner: Erland Construction, Inc.
  • Partnership Signed: April 1, 2010
  • Industry (NAICS Code): Construction (2362)
  • Workers: 1,361
  • Employers: 1
  • Source (Date): Thomas N. Blesso, Vice President, Erland Construction, Inc./May 2011