Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) and the Pennsylvania OSHA Consultation Program Assists Construction Employer at Multiple Jobsites
Building Systems, Inc. (BSI) is a general contractor in Erie, Pennsylvania. After speaking with an OSHA consultant on one of its jobsites, BSI discovered that Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) and the Pennsylvania OSHA Consultation Program could assist the company in assessing its compliance with the revised OSHA Respirable Crystalline Silica standard. BSI decided to request a Consultation visit and has had voluntary visits at numerous construction jobsites since 2017.
BSI continues to work with Pennsylvania Consultation to complete these no-cost occupational safety and health evaluations at its commercial building construction projects. In addition, BSI had a Consultation visit at its company headquarters’ fabrication/welding and cabinetry/casework shop areas.
Gordon McMichael, BSI's Safety Director stated, "IUP has affected our 'Working Safely Never Ends' safety culture immensely. They helped us achieve 'Zero Lost Time Accidents' at our first Consultation visit site. Team BSI and our subcontractors have all bought into the voluntary visit concept. This helps make our jobsites safer since teammates have a better understanding of how to identify hazards and mention them sooner so they can 'Make It Be Safe'. This helps BSI finish our projects on schedule, maximizing our efficiencies with less downtime. But the most important bottom line for us is that our teammates go home safely every day.”
In August of 2022, IUP/Pennsylvania Consultation received approval to participate in OSHA’s National Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) Construction Pilot Program. Under this pilot program, construction companies that meet certain requirements can be recognized under SHARP for implementing effective safety and health programs at construction projects. BSI plans to apply for this program for one of its upcoming projects.
SHARP acknowledges small and medium-sized businesses that have used OSHA On-Site Consultation Services and operate exemplary workplace safety and health programs. Small businesses that achieve SHARP status receive a deferral from OSHA or State Plan programmed inspections for the period that the SHARP designation is valid. Acceptance of a worksite into SHARP is an achievement that identifies the employer as a model for occupational safety and health among its business peers.
The OSHA On-Site Consultation Program offers no-cost and confidential occupational safety and health services to small and medium-sized businesses in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and several U.S. territories, with priority given to high hazard worksites. Consultants from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards and how to fix them, provide advice for compliance with OSHA standards, train and educate workers, and assist in establishing and improving safety and health programs. On-Site Consultation services are separate from OSHA enforcement efforts. To locate the OSHA On-Site Consultation program nearest you, call 800-321-OSHA (6742) or visit https://www.osha.gov/consultation.