OSHA has entered into a safe workplace partnership with key contractors, labor associations and others involved in the huge expansion planned for McCormick Place over the next three years, OSHA announced Tuesday.

OSHA's area office in Calumet City signed an agreement with McCormick West Constructors, LLC, the project's general contractor, Chicago and Cook County Building and Construction Trades Councils, the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters, and Aon Insurance to form a safety and health partnership for the duration of the project, expected to run through 2008.

The McCormick Place West Expansion project will add approximately 500,000 square feet of exhibit space and 200,000 square feet of meeting space in addition to other modifications to the huge McCormick Place Complex, which is currently the nation's largest convention center.

Under the terms of the partnership, contractors must meet stringent safety guidelines that include:

  • Maintaining a site-specific safety and health program that ensures employee involvement;
  • Providing all new employees a comprehensive safety orientation;
  • Providing training for employees on hazards and regulations applicable to their work, prior to commencing work; and
  • Giving weekly "tool box talks."

The agreement, which also requires special emphasis on crane safety, will be evaluated periodically to determine if modifications are needed and to monitor the status of on-site safety programs.