Farmington, CT – A sterling safety record has given KBE Building Corporation the opportunity to enter into two new strategic partnerships with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hartford Area Office.
“Clearly, we are honored to have been chosen by OSHA for these partnerships,” says KBE CEO and principal owner, Mike Kolakowski.
The two new projects that these industry leaders will be working on together are the 211,000sf STEM Residence Hall for the University of Connecticut in Storrs and the new 183,000sf Litchfield County Judicial District Courthouse in Torrington.
KBE and OSHA will combine forces to set a standard that will inspire construction companies around the country to voluntarily take steps to improve their own safety practices instead of waiting for the government to get involved when a situation becomes too dangerous.
For the Litchfield and UConn projects, KBE and OSHA will aim to decrease the total case incident rate (TCIR); and days away, restricted, and transferred (DART) rate to 20% below the current national average.
To achieve these goals, KBE’s safety manager on-site for each project will conduct regular meetings with subcontractor foremen to analyze any outstanding safety issues.
The company will also develop a comprehensive safety strategy that OSHA will review and make recommendations on.
KBE employees will be encouraged to participate in this process by identifying hazardous situations and submitting suggestions for safety improvements.
Once a month, OSHA representatives will be on each site to conduct and monitor safety training.
The current collaborations mark the second and third ongoing partnerships between OSHA and KBE, the first being the Jewish Senior Services building at the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Campus now under construction in Bridgeport.
All three partnerships are part of OSHA’s nationwide Strategic Partnership Program (SPP), which develops contractor/government partnerships that will encourage involvement of the general and sub-contractors in the improvement of safety and health performance.
“These strategic partnerships are very important to instilling a culture of safety among construction firms and subcontracting firms in what is one of the world’s more dangerous professions,” explains Warren G. Simpson, Area Director of OSHA’s Hartford Area office. “KBE’s participation helps expand OSHA’s reach into the workplace and helps us connect directly with the workers on the front line. Our hope is that these workers will take the safety practices they learn on KBE’s sites to other job sites and help other workers.”
“OSHA does not partner with just any construction company,” explains Paul Mangiafico, Compliance Assistance Specialist. “A company has to demonstrate a strong commitment to safety and health before OSHA would consider a partnership. OSHA recognized that KBE’s leadership had established a culture of identifying and eliminating hazards and their willingness to improve safety and health practices in the workplace.”