U.S. Department of Labor and Stakeholders Sign a Partnership Agreement to Train and Protect Workers on Obama Presidential Center from Construction Hazards

U.S. Department of Labor and Stakeholders Sign a Partnership Agreement to Train and Protect Workers on Obama Presidential Center from Construction Hazards

The U.S. DOL’s OSHA, Illinois On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program, Lakeside Alliance and key participants have signed a strategic partnership to prevent serious hazards and enhance workplace safety and health practices for workers constructing the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park in Chicago. The Lakeside Alliance is a joint venture between Powers & Sons Construction Co., UJAMAA Construction Inc., Brown & Momen Inc., Safeway Construction Co. and Turner Construction Co.

“Construction safety requires planning ahead to work safely, using the right equipment and training employees about hazards and safety precautions,” said OSHA’s Chicago South Area Director James Martineck in Tinley Park, Illinois. “OSHA’s partnership aims to protect the thousands of workers bringing the Obama Presidential Center to reality. Compliance and cooperation efforts by all parties on this project will maintain a safe and healthy work environment.”

Lakeside Alliance will implement a strategic safety and health system patterned after OSHA’s “Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs in Construction.” The partnership calls for all contractors on-site to perform daily audits and for all employees to receive a site-specific construction safety orientation covering jobsite safety and health issues and work procedures. Additionally, bilingual safety and health instructors will provide training to all workers in their language.

“The Lakeside Alliance will work with program partners to develop an extraordinary team culture creating a comprehensive safety and health management system that demonstrates a high standard of care for each other. This inclusive approach identifies and mitigates risks, engages those closest to the risk, provides training to increase capabilities, and integrates a risk analysis observation process with feedback to coach, support and recognize safe practices,” added Michael Blackburn, Lakeside Alliance’s safety representative.

The partnership will address common construction hazards, such as excavation, trenching and falls, the development of effective safety and health management systems and a focus on educating employees and employers about workers’ rights and employers’ responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

The OSHA Strategic Partnership Program provides opportunities for the agency to collaborate with employers, workers, professional or trade associations, labor organizations and other stakeholders. Strategic Partnerships are unique agreements designed to encourage, assist and recognize partner efforts to eliminate serious hazards and enhance workplace safety and health practices and focus on improving safety and health in major corporations, government agencies, at large construction projects and private sector industries.

About the Author

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

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