Construction workers' safety and health in southwestern Ohio will be enhanced by a landmark partnership established by Allied Construction Industries, a trade association in Cincinnati, and OSHA.
The three-year agreement provides incentives for participating construction contractors to voluntarily improve their safety and health performance under strict guidelines set by the partnership.
Employers who participate are not exempt from compliance with OSHA regulations and standards, but OSHA plans to recognize contractors who have created exemplary safety programs.
OSHA anticipates that the partnership will reduce the need for inspections of participating contractors.
"This is the first comprehensive partnership program recognized by OSHA in the Midwest, and is among the first comprehensive construction partnership entered into by OSHA in the nation," said Michael G. Connors, OSHA regional administrator. "The partnership helps create incentives to improve safety in an industry that traditionally had a high number of injuries and illnesses."
While participation in the partnership is voluntary, OSHA anticipates contractors will want to get involved because of the decrease in workplace accidents and workers' compensation costs a program like this yields.
"This partnership will help OSHA achieve its strategic goal to reduce injuries and illnesses in the construction industry," said Cincinnati OSHA Area Director William M. Murphy. "The partnership significantly enhances worker safety by increasing employee training and involvement. It also will allow OSHA to pinpoint problem worksites for regular inspection."