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Sept. 21, 2012

Newly revised construction safety and health partnership signed with Minnesota ABC

The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) has signed a newly revised construction safety and health partnership with the Minnesota Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors (MN ABC).

The partnership program was originally agreed upon by DLI's Minnesota OSHA (MNOSHA) and MN ABC in March 2006.

"This revised partnership is designed to have an even greater impact on improving employee safety and health within the Minnesota construction industry," said Cindy Valentine, Minnesota OSHA workplace safety manager. "In the past, we have seen far too many fatalities in this industry and needed to identify what more could be done."

The partnership, managed by MN ABC, has three levels. Level 1 requires the employer maintain the minimum requirements of a safety and health program. Level 2 requires a more comprehensive safety and health program. Level 3 is MNOSHA's Cooperative Compliance Partnership (CCP) program where MNOSHA Compliance will provide compliance assistance for a specific project. To qualify, contractors must be at Level 2 for a minimum of one year and can then apply for participation in the CCP program for construction projects projected to last at least six months, but fewer than 18 months.

To begin this process, DLI representatives met with 14 construction industry stakeholders nearly a year ago. The group included representatives from Minnesota OSHA, large and small construction contractors from throughout the state, and loss-control insurers.

"ABC has long-believed safety is at the core of our mission," said Robert Heise, MN ABC president. "If we want to be a world-class trade association, we need the partners and the tools to help us promote safety in the construction industry and on the jobsite. The partnership between MN ABC and Minnesota OSHA provides us an opportunity to strategically approach safety practices for our members. These best practices set benchmarks and goals to work toward. The timing of this partnership is important because construction users are requiring a high level of safety credentials to perform work. MNOSHA and DLI have taken an extra step to solidify a working partnership in the construction industry."

Associated Builders and Contractors is the largest open shop construction trade association in the United States.

View the newly revised partnership online at www.dli.mn.gov/OSHA/Partnerships.asp.

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News media contact:
James Honerman
(651) 284-5313

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