Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Friday, October 22, 2010

University launches new construction-safety recognition program

In a continuing effort to promote safe construction sites, the university has launched a recognition program for contractor safety for capital improvement projects on the Ann Arbor campus.

The new program, Safety First, is designed to formally recognize safe work practices by rewarding those contractor and subcontractor employees, indentified by contractors, who exhibit safe work practices while on the U-M campus.

It is being launched by Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) and Occupational Safety and Environmental Health (OSEH).

U-M general contractors and construction managers will be invited to participate in the Safety First construction contractor recognition program each quarter by submitting names of their employees and employees of their subcontractors who have demonstrated exemplary safe work practices as defined by the general contractor’s or construction manager’s own corporate safety program, as well as industry standards.

In addition to recognizing contractors with proactive safety-recognition programs, the university hopes the program will help encourage contractors that currently do not have a corporate program to recognize individual worker safe practices.

“The university places the highest priority on worker safety, and is committed to recognizing contractor programs that formally acknowledge the actions of their workers that contribute to a safe work culture on U-M construction sites,” says Marina Roelofs, AEC executive director.

All contractor employees who are submitted will be formally recognized. From that group, names will be randomly selected for special recognition. The actual number of workers selected each quarter will be determined by the number of submissions received. The selected contractor employees will receive a $130 voucher redeemable for Red Wing safety shoes, a Safety First T-shirt and a Safety First safety vest.

“This program is a tangible commitment by U-M to recognize our contractors who place the same high priority on worker safety as the institution does,” says Stephen Benedict, OSEH director.

The contractor-recognition program follows the additional safety requirements the university implemented in January to help ensure consistent construction site safety practices on university projects.