Partnership Between Turner Construction and OSHA at Sloan Kettering Memorial Site Improves Contractor Work Practices

Success Impact:

OSHA, Turner Construction, the Building Trades Employers' Association, and the Building and Construction Trades Council are partnering at the Sloan Kettering Memorial worksite in Manhattan, New York, to promote a worksite with an enhanced emphasis on safety and health. In addition to reducing injury and illness rates, the Partnership is changing the safety culture at the jobsite for project subcontractors.

Contractor Safety and Health

A key component of the Partnership is a "gap analysis" comparing contractor safety and health management systems with the project requirements. Turner Construction provides assistance to contractors to bring the contractor's programs up to Partnership requirements. The Partnership onsite safety manager reviews each contractor program to ensure that all required elements are included, and that the program is specific enough so proper safety and health procedures are followed on the jobsite.

The Partnership also emphasizes Turner Construction's existing policy to incorporate specific safety and health performance requirements into their contracts, and only hire contractors with an experience modification rating of one or less. Prior to the bidding process, the company conducts pre-bid meetings to discuss safety and health performance expectations. Once contractors are chosen, Turner conducts a pre-construction meeting to integrate contractor programs with their safety and health management systems. During the project, monthly meetings are also held to discuss program status and participant performance. Weekly safety and health audits are conducted to assess program performance, and Turner also provides safety and health training resources for all project participants as needed.

Partnership Results:

As a result of this Partnership, more than 25 contractors implemented or improved safety and health management systems. Additionally, in 2004, the following results were seen:

300 + Employees trained
1200 + Training hours provided to employees
40 + Supervisors/managers trained
400 + Training hours provided to supervisors/managers

Michael Handler, Turner Construction Company's New York Safety Director notes that there are pre-planning meetings for every new activity. These meetings help in determining what hazards exist and the best forms of abatement. Mr. Handler believes that the company has succeeded in doing more than just monitoring their subcontractors; they are taking a proactive approach by sharing the safety and health expertise of their company and OSHA. The Partnership program has helped the company take their existing safety and health initiatives to the next level, and ensures that employees are aware of the importance of safety procedures.

One dramatic incident indicates that the Partnership is succeeding in changing subcontractors' safety and health practices. One of the subcontractors at the site fell from the seventh floor after a spray on fireproofing gun malfunctioned, but was not injured since he had tied off according to the project's requirements. This subcontractor later noted that in previous jobs he has not tied off, believing he was not at risk, and only tied off on this job because of the Turner and the Partnership requirements.

In July 2005, OSHA conducted an onsite inspection of the project, and as a result the project is being recommended as a VPP STAR site.

Partnership Objectives:

The Partnership was formed to eliminate hazards and improve worker safety for Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Lab Construction Project, located at 423 East 68th Street in New York. The project, to be completed in December 2005, includes a 23-story and a 10-story building, with excavations to 75 feet. Partnership signatories include Turner Construction Company, OSHA's Manhattan Area Office, the Construction Trades Council, and project contractors from the New York area. Goals for the project include a reduction in safety, health, and environmental incidents, 100% compliance with required incident prevention activities, zero fatalities, and zero exposure to fall hazards. The Partnership also seeks a DART rate 25% below the SIC code for the project and enhancement of the participating contractors' existing safety and health programs, and encourages a sustainable working relationship between all parties involved.

  • Origin: Region 2, Manhattan Area Office
  • Partners: OSHA Region 2, the OSHA Manhattan Area Office, Turner Construction, the Building Trades Employers' Association, and the Building and Construction Trades Council
  • Partnership Signed: February 6, 2003
  • Industry (NAICS Code): Construction (NAICS Code 23332, SIC Code 154)
  • Workers: Approximately 600
  • Employers: Approximately 50
  • Source (Date): Michael Handler, Safety Director, Turner Construction (March 2005)