Calling it "a template for future collaborations," OSHA Administrator Charles N. Jeffress said that OSHA area offices and ABC local chapters will be the key players in creating local partnerships that implement the provisions of today's first-of-its-kind agreement.
Under terms of the partnership, ABC will create a "platinum" level safety designation for select members. Platinum will be the highest in a four-step ABC program designed to recognize its safest contractors. In order to reach platinum status, contractors must meet stringent safety guidelines that include:
- an occupational injury and illness rate of less than 8.0 (industry average is 8.8);
- 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;
- effective supervisor training modeled on OSHA's 10-hour construction safety course;
- designated safety personnel who receive training equivalent to OSHA's 30-hour construction safety training course; and,
- a track record that includes no willful or repeat serious violations in the last three years, and no fatalities or catastrophic accidents in the last three years that resulted in serious citations.
In return for meeting these criteria, OSHA, after a verification inspection, will:
- not target the site for a planned - or "programmed" - inspection within the next 12 months;
- conduct an unplanned inspection only in response to reports of imminent danger, a fatality or catastrophic accident, and a signed complaint;
- handle all other complaints, except in cases of serious injuries, by telephone and fax; 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.
ABC, which represents nearly 22,000 members nationwide, estimates that nearly 240 members could meet the criteria for the program.