The Occupational and Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced that The Weitz Co. of Des Moines, Iowa, a member of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is the first contractor in the nation to successfully complete the OSHA Challenge Pilot Program.
"We are continually trying to improve the safety of our construction worksites on a daily basis," said AGC CEO Stephen E. Sandherr. "Through programs such as the OSHA Challenge Pilot Program, companies like Weitz are guarding the safety of their employees and raising the bar for the whole industry."
The OSHA Challenge Pilot Program is a three-stage process for contractors to use as a roadmap towards improving their safety and health program to a level eligible for the OSHA Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), OSHA’s highest recognition of safety and health excellence. VPP recognizes the efforts of employers and employees who have implemented a comprehensive safety and health management system and achieved exemplary occupational safety and health performance.
The Weitz Company and AGC were recently recognized during the OSHA challenge administrators meeting in Washington, D.C., for their outstanding work in the area of occupational safety. AGC has continued to lead the construction industry in this area by acting as challenge administrator for ten AGC chapters that serve as challenge coordinators assisting contractors accepted into the program.
The Weitz Company has worked with the Master Builders of Iowa (MBI), one of AGC’s challenge coordinators, to complete the OSHA Challenge Pilot Program. With the completion of all three stages, Weitz will have the necessary procedures in place to apply for VPP status, which would allow them to be taken off OSHA’s list for regular programmed inspections. They also will receive good-faith considerations for reduction of penalties and citations, while working cooperatively to comply with OSHA standards and regulations.
"It is exciting to see AGC and OSHA working collaboratively at a national level to address construction safety which ultimately improves the lives of our employees and the industry," said Glenn De Stigter, Weitz Chairman, President and CEO.