The innovative technique of “cocooning” – wrapping all four sides of a building’s top floors in protective netting – is providing added safety for workers erecting One World Trade Center.

Cocooning for poured-in-place concrete buildings is one of the Prevention Through Design practices cited recently by OSHA Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor Jordan Barab as evidence that PtD is becoming more popular.

“Prevention Through Design was a novel idea a few years ago,” Barab said, in a recent speech to the Building Trades and Employers’ Association (BTEA) of New York. “Now this concept of designing structures with built-in protections for workers is finding wider acceptance in the industry.” Barab predicted that PtD controls would become the norm for new and renovated buildings.

“The industry is also working on other passive safety devices to help engineer-out hazards, instead of placing the burden of safety and health on the workers.”

OSHA Assistant Secretary of Labor Dr. David Michaels toured the Ground Zero construction site in September, as part of the "Rebuilding Through Unity" campaign.

According to Barab, the campaign “is dedicated to zero injuries and fatalities in this most visible and symbolically vital project –– a positive example of cooperative safety efforts by employers and unions.”