In a joint effort to reduce job-related injuries, illnesses and fatalities, OSHA, through a comprehensive partnership program with the Associated General Contractors (AGC), recognized W.S. Bellows Construction Corp., Houston, Texas for its safety excellence.
W.S. Bellows, a member contractor of AGC, was granted admittance into a program designed to reduce injuries and illnesses by identifying on the job hazards and ensuring rapid abatement of those hazards, with its exemplary safety records.
John B. Miles Jr., OSHA regional administrator from Dallas, commended W.S. Bellows for becoming the first general construction contractor to join in partnership with OSHA Region VI.
Miles presented a banner to the company to be displayed on its job sites.
During the presentation, Miles said that, "the continued commitment of major construction companies to the safety and health of all employees working at their jobsites is instrumental in the reduction in fatalities and job-related injuries in the Houston area."
In order to participate in the OSHA/AGC program, contractors must meet stringent safety guidelines that include:
- an occupational injury and illness rate which is 15 percent below the most current published Bureau of Labor Statistics rates for the industry, and an Experience Modification Rate of .65 or below;
- a site-specific written safety and health program, based upon either ANSI or OSHA guidelines that includes employee involvement;
- training for employees on hazards specific to their jobs; and
- designated safety personnel who have at least one year of experience in managing an effective construction safety and health program, and appropriate training in identifying construction hazards.
In return, OSHA will:
- conduct a thorough evaluation of the employer's safety and health programs for each contractor and respond to reports of imminent danger, a fatality, or catastrophic accident, and a signed complaint;
- not issue penalties for non-serious violations that are promptly abated; and
- reduce any citation by the maximum amounts for good faith, size and history.
OSHA hopes that participation in the program by qualified companies will allow it to spend more time at sites that do not have an effective safety and health program, training or appropriate audit procedures for recognition of hazards.