On August 21, 2012, Berea College and Messer Construction Co. entered into a partnership agreement with the Kentucky Labor Cabinet and the Construction Partnership Program of Kentucky to enhance the safety and health of workers during the construction Berea College’s “Deep Green Residence Hall” project.
“We can have these cooperative relationships rather than the confrontational relationships that we’ve had in the past with a lot of companies across this state where we come on site and cite them for violations,” said Mark Brown, Kentucky Labor Cabinet secretary. “When we go into it where everybody’s positive; we’ve got the university involved, we’ve got the contractor involved, we’ve got the workers involved and we’re involved, it’s very positive.”
A safe and healthy jobsite is a non-negotiable commitment for the residence hall construction manager, Messer Construction Co. Contractors can have varying levels of safety training based on access to resources. Therefore, it’s vital that everyone be educated and trained on workplace safety best practices. This voluntary partnership is designed to promote and continuously improve safety programs and encourage open and continuous communication amongst all parties involved.
“The voluntary partnership provides everyone at the job site an opportunity to build a relationship with OSHA, open communications and access their expertise,” says Chris Cordrey, safety, health and environment director with Messer Construction Co.
“The partnership helps elevate awareness and reaffirm all parties’ commitment to safety. We want our contractors and workers to apply the best practices they learn on this site to the next,” added Mark Hill, operations vice president with Messer Construction Co.
Additionally, this initiative is consistent with the Kentucky Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Program’s long-range efforts to develop a business/labor/government partnership approach on safety management, and allows for better use of KY-OSH resources and participation in safety processes.
“This partnership with Messer and the Kentucky Labor Cabinet is an important step in assuring that we’ve got best practices not only in sustainability but also in our construction and safety that result in a project that really exhibits our values,” says Steve Karcher, Berea College’s vice president for operations and sustainability.
The three-story, 42,000-square-foot building is anticipated to be the most energy-efficient residence hall in the commonwealth of Kentucky and will be located adjacent to the Boone Tavern Hotel & Restaurant. Construction began in April 2012 and is expected to be completed by August 2013.