OSHA announces safety strategy for courthouse

Partnership addresses construction hazards

The U.S. Department of Labor announced a “strategic partnership” on the Will County Courthouse construction project with the general contractor.

The agreement is aimed at promoting worker safety and health during the construction of the 10-story courthouse in downtown Joliet, according to a news release from the labor department’s Occupation Safety and Health Administration.

Gilbane Building Company is the general contractor on the construction project, which started in December.

Other partners in the project include the Three Rivers Construction Alliance, Will and Grundy Counties Building Trades Council and Illinois On-Site Consultation, according to the release.

Neither OSHA nor Gilbane could be reached for comment Monday.

Tom White, executive director of the Joliet-based Three Rivers Construction Alliance, said the partnership is an arrangement Gilbane has used on other projects and wanted for the courthouse construction.

“This was proactive,” White said.

He said the agreement provides for monthly walk-throughs of the construction site and other safety measures.

According to the news release, OSHA uses the Strategic Partnership Program to work with employers, workers, labor organizations and other stakeholders “to establish goals, strategies, and performance measures to improve worker safety and health.”

The program includes education for employers and employees on best practices and encourages worker participation in safety and health programs.