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First self-perform heavy civil contractor in New York region to receive OSHA VPP Status
Skanska USA Civil announced that it has been awarded “VPP” status, safety recognition by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP), for its work on the Croton Water Treatment Plant project in the Bronx, N.Y.
The project, which Skanska is performing for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYC DEP), is also the first New York City agency project to receive VPP recognition.
“Safety is and has always been our utmost priority at Skanska, and is the reason why we invest so much time, money and resources into safety planning and prevention on every jobsite we operate throughout the world,” said Michael Viggiano, executive vice president for Skanska USA Civil. “We’re honored to achieve OSHA VPP Merit status, which marks the Croton project as one of the safest in the U.S. Everyone working on this project should feel a great sense of accomplishment, and I thank everyone at Skanska who makes safety a priority each day.”
VPP recognizes employers and employees who demonstrate exemplary achievement in the prevention and control of occupational safety and health hazards while developing, implementing and continuously improving safety and health management systems. Honored companies also maintain injury and illness rates well below the national Bureau of Labor Statistics’ averages.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national average for lost time accidents in the heavy civil industry since 2008 is 2.2, whereas Skanska’s lost time accident rate on the Croton Water Filtration Plant project is 0.35—six times below that average.
Skanska applied for the award because of its successful safety procedures illustrated through the company’s work at the plant. OSHA granted Skanska VPP status with Merit recognition for implementing numerous innovative and effective safety measures on the Croton project such as extensive procedures for identifying on-site and environmental hazards, and the creation of a number of programs designed specifically for employees to encourage workplace safety.
One example, “Safety Super League,” is a jobsite contest that recognizes the construction crew’s safety accomplishments. In addition, Skanska sets rigid criteria for subcontractors to meet before being considered to work with Skanska on the project. As is true of all Skanska’s jobsites, workers always have to complete mandatory safety orientation and task specific training before work begins on a site.