OSHA Credits Contractor, Ga. Tech on Aquarium Safety

March 8, 2006

Construction of the $200 million Georgia Aquarium, which required several hundred workers and more than two million work hours, was completed with no fatal accidents and relatively few injuries for a major project, the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced. The agency credited the achievement to a partnership formed to provide workers safety and health training.

In May 2004, Brasfield & Gorrie, the Georgia Aquarium’s general contractor, Georgia Tech Consultative Services and OSHA formed a partnership for safety. Its goal was to prevent fatalities and provide effective safety and health training for workers at the construction site, according to Andre Richards, area director for OSHA’s Atlanta-West office.

“This strategic partnership was a huge success,” said Richards. “A zero fatality rate and a low accident rate prove that major construction projects can be completed safely.” Richards noted that all employers working on the project also provided safety and health training for non-English speaking employees. Hispanic workers comprised 65 percent of the project’s workforce.

When the partnership was formed, there were 7.5 recordable injuries per 100 employees at the construction site. During the 17 months of the partnership, employers and employees working together steadily reduced the recordable injuries to 2 per 100 employees, achieving another goal – reducing worker injuries and illnesses.

The total case incident rate, a standard formula used by employers to compare their injury-illness rates with other employers in the same industry, was used to calculate the numbers of recordable injuries.

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