OSHA Kicks Off Partnership at Soldier Field Renovation

The safety and health of construction workers at the Soldier Field Renovation Project received a boost Friday (June 28) thanks to a partnership agreement between contractors, various agencies in Illinois and the U.S. Department of Labor.

"This partnership is a major step forward to ensure the protection of the many workers who will be involved in this important project for Chicago," said John Henshaw, administrator for the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). "We're looking forward to a close working relationship with the partners who have placed worker safety and health as a top priority."

The Soldier Field Renovation Partnership formalizes a commitment to safety and health among contractors, subcontractors, workers and governmental agencies. Joining with OSHA in the year-long partnership are Turner/Barton Malow/Kenny Joint Venture (project general contractors), Zurich Services Corp.; Chicago and Cook County Building and Construction Trades Council; Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs; On-Site Safety and Health Consultation, Chicago; Northeast Illinois District Council of Carpenters; and Aon.

The partnership agreement outlines a cooperative effort to ensure a safe work environment and sets an injury and illness rate goal of 2.9 or less 30 percent below the average in the construction industry. New safety and health initiatives already have begun, including a new site-specific training program for workers and establishment of safety teams that include representatives from labor, management, OSHA and the state of Illinois.

The partnership will implement a comprehensive safety audit program to ensure that workers are not exposed to serious hazards associated with falls, electric shock, trenches, excavations, scaffolding, cranes, and moving equipment or materials. The orientation program familiarizes workers with potential hazards and personal protective equipment requirements.

Michael G. Connors, OSHA regional administrator in Chicago praised the partnership for its commitment to worker safety and health. "The goal of this partnership is to prevent construction fatalities and serious injuries. That challenge demands a cooperative, highly coordinated effort. This partnership provides the framework for that effort."

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