Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
Memorial Coliseum expansion features construction safety partnership
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 26, 2006) - Expansion of Memorial Coliseum at the University of Kentucky is taking place under a construction safety partnership involving the general contractor, Messer Construction Co., its numerous subcontractors and the Kentucky Office of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH).
The Construction Partnership Program is a voluntary arrangement in which safety and health experts from the OSH Division of Education and Training make quarterly, consultative visits to the building site to provide extensive safety and health surveys.
Education and training on Kentucky OSH standards are provided when applicable. As a result of OSH’s continuous engagement with training, education and safety process implementation, random compliance inspections are unnecessary as long as requirements are met.
"The construction industry has historically been a ‘high hazard’ industry," said Steve Morrison, executive director of Kentucky OSH. "Improving construction safety is a priority for Governor Ernie Fletcher, Kentucky OSH and the Kentucky Department of Labor."
Fifteen work-related fatalities have been reported to Kentucky OSH so far this year. Nine were in construction - seven in commercial and two in residential construction.
Messer Construction and Kentucky OSH signed the voluntary agreement in January. The agency provided consultative visits in March and June.
Visits begin with an on-site conference of employees and subcontractors, followed by a walk-through inspection to identify hazards. Findings are discussed in a closing conference, followed within days by a detailed presentation of any hazards. In addition, abatement dates are set for deficiencies that have not already been corrected. The last step is a detailed written report for the company.
"Messer is committed to driving safety to a new level in our industry. We hope our partnership with Kentucky OSH will serve as a model for our peers," said Alison Muth, Messer’s safety, health and environmental vice president. "Safety goals can be accomplished if we work as a team. Our goal is for the workers on this site to see the value of safety processes and take that value to their next project."
Messer Construction, founded in 1932, is a regional general contractor and construction manager providing leadership for complex building projects in Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and Indiana. In 2005, the company put in place nearly $500 million in commercial construction at more than 125 project sites.
The $25 million Memorial Coliseum expansion is occurring in two phases - the first involving installation of utilities and an addition for men’s and women’s basketball practice facilities, the second involving renovation of athletic offices and locker rooms.
Kentucky OSH and the Kentucky Department of Labor are agencies of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet.