East Coast AGC Chapter, OSHA Enter CHASE Partnership

Tue April 12, 2005 - Southeast Edition

The Florida East Coast Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America (FEC AGC) recently signed an agreement to partner with OSHA Fort Lauderdale and Tampa area offices, specifically entitled the CHASE (Construction Health and Safety Excellence) Partnership. 

The agreement was signed by Luis Santiago, OSHA area director; Les Grove, OSHA Tampa area director; Gary Hennings, past president of the AGC; Michelle R. Anaya, FEC AGC, executive director; and Frank Knapfel, safety director. 

The signing took place at The Weitz Company, as it was the first AGC member to sign on as a participant. 

This CHASE Partnership/status is a direct result of the 1998 Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) partnership charter and the January 2001 national AGC OSHA partnering agreement. The partnership was implemented to advance the AGC’s mutual goal nationwide  to recognize the importance of providing a safe and healthful work environment in the construction industry and serve as a template for AGC chapters and OSHA area offices nationwide. 

Both organizations strongly agreed on the need to develop a working relationship that creates mutual trust and respect for the respective roles of each organization in the construction safety process.

The specific goals of CHASE are as follows:

• To reduce by 5 percent annually the number of injuries, illnesses and fatalities affecting participating employers, with an emphasis on reducing injuries and fatalities resulting from those hazards that are the four leading causes of death on construction sites (falls, struck-by, caught in/between and electrocutions).

• To increase the number of general and specialty contractors who implement effective safety and health programs and provide effective safety and health training for management, supervisors and employees.

• To recognize those contractors with exemplary safety and health program and effective site-specific safety and health plans and provide incentives to them.

• To enable the OSHA office to leverage the agency’s resources. Because the program is designed to reduce job related deaths, injuries and illnesses without the need for OSHA to devote significant resources, they will be able to reach a greater number of employers/employees and accomplish greater worker protection.

Santiago, Anaya, Knapfel as well as all others in attendance at the signing, including Florida East Coast Chapter officers of the board:  Craig Elmore, Hardrives (FEC AGC president); Gary Hennings, The Weitz Company (FEC AGC past president); Andrea Serraes, Serraes Construction (FEC AGC SVP); Don Sharkey, Current Connections (FEC AGC treasurer); as well as Bruce Hammond, Weitz’s Regional safety manager; and Vergie Bain, of OSHA, all agreed the partnership is a win/win partnership for all  involved and are very pleased to add CHASE status as a benefit of membership to participating members.

This agreement will provide for incentives to FEC AGC member contractors who voluntarily participate in the CHASE program and demonstrate implementation of effective safety and health programs.

Incentives are based on implementation and three levels: red, white and blue. 

Participating members may display CHASE status alongside the AGC emblem on their job-site signs as well.

As a result of this partnership and FEC AGC’s commitment to safety, a  Safety Committee will be formed and will meet monthly.  Interested parties wanting to serve on this Committee should call Anaya or Knapfel.

For more information, call 561/833-3609.