OSHA recognizes workers' safety efforts at Olmsted Locks and Dam

Published July 15, 2008

The Olmsted Lock and Dam construction site has been approved for membership in the prestigious “Star” Voluntary Protection Program of the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for more than 1 million hours without a lost-time accident.

Edwin G. Goulke, Jr., assistant secretary of labor for OSHA, approved certification of the contractor, WGA, a joint venture of Washington Group International and Alberici Constructors. OSHA had announced in March the agency would recommend certification of WGA under the volunteer protection program after conducting an inspection of tehir safety operations.

This is recognition of the establishment and implementation of a comprehensive, successful safety and health management system and the achievement of injury and illness rates below the industry national average.

“That makes this site the only stand alone construction site in the state of Illinois with such recognition,” said U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Resident Engineer Richard Schipp.

“This is a remarkable achievement for a contractor with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to achieve this status,” said James Marshall from the Corps’ safety and occupational health office. “The Corps of Engineers appreciates the commitment and emphasis the contractor has toward safety and health for their employees.”

The joint venture contractor has been working since 2004 to build the new dam near Olmsted, Illinois.

Workers at the site have clocked more than one million man hours worked without a lost-time accident since work on the 2,370-foot dam began in May 2004. This monumental achievement was celebrated at a luncheon held at Olmsted on March 13 where Schipp reminded workers, “We cannot let our guard down and become complacent.”