CHICAGO – Major construction projects require continued coordination between the general contractor, subcontractors, tradesmen and others working on-site to complete the build on time and on budget. Getting the work done while protecting the safety and health of those on the job takes similar coordination, and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration stands ready to assist.

OSHA signed a strategic 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 seeks to prevent worker injuries and exposure to hazards during construction 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.”

As the project’s general contractor, Austin Power Partners Construction will:

Implement a safety and health program, patterned after OSHA’s Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs in Construction that includes hazard analysis, hazard control and worker education and training.
Require a job site orientation for all employees, and hold weekly foremen meetings.
Require that all who enter the worksite use appropriate personal protective equipment.
Implement a 6-foot fall protection requirement, as mandated by OSHA standards.
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 near miss, unsafe conditions or incidents.

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

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

OSHA’s Strategic Partnership Program brings industry stakeholders, such as employers, employees, professional and trade associations and labor organizations together and equips them with tools to create and implement safety plans for major projects. The partnership also raises awareness of workers’ rights and employers’ responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

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