Companies Sign Labor Union to Promote Construction Safety

Companies Sign Labor Union to Promote Construction Safety

OSHA Act is put in place on O’Hare Airport Terminal 5 Project

Large construction projects require partnerships and coordination with a contractor, subcontractor, tradesman and others working on-site to complete building on time and budgeting. Protecting the health and safety of workers and employees goes hand in hand; this is where OSHA comes in to play.

OSHA signed a partnership with the Austin Power Partners Construction, Illinois On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program, Local 73 Sheet Metal Workers, District Council 14 Painters, Chicago Council of Carpenters and IBEW Local 134 Electricians Unions. The partnership was created in order to prevent injuries to workers and hazard exposure of a $550 million expansion project.

“Strategic partnerships are a collaborative effort focused on preventing workplace hazards and fatalities and developing effective safety and health programs,” said OSHA's Chicago North Area Director Angeline Loftus. “Hazard prevention and control is a continual process requiring employers and workers to monitor and identify job site hazards and take corrective actions to maintain a safe and healthful job site.

According to a press release, the project's general contractor, Austin Power Partners will:

- implement a safety and health program, patterned after OSHA's Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs in Construction

- Require a job site orientation for all employees and hold weekly meetings

- Require that all who enter the worksite use PPE

- Implement a 6-foot fall protection requirement 

- Participate in the following regularly scheduled events: National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction, Trench Safety Stand Down Week, Ladder Safety Month, Safe + Sound Week, National Safety Council National Safety Month and Associated General Contractors Stand for Safety

- Ensure workers participate in weekly safety toolbox talk meetings

- Encourage subcontractors to participate in job site safety meetings and toolbox talks on a weekly basis

- Ensure worker participation in daily huddle meetings to discuss project hazards

- Require reporting of any unsafe conditions or incidents

Austin Power Partners will also be in charge of the partnership safety committee that reviews contractor compliance, analyzes job site audits, initiates improvements and evaluates the success of the partnership.

O’Hare Terminal 5 project will expand and renovate the terminal which includes: nine new gates, expanded security areas, reorganized U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a new baggage handling system, additional space for concessions, airline clubs and hold rooms.

OSHA’s strategic partnership program brings these companies together and keeps them well equipped with the correct tools to create and implement safety plans. The partnership also raises awareness of workers’ rights and responsibilities under the OSHA Act.

About the Author

Shereen Hashem is the Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety magazine.

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