This past winter, Pepper Indiana partnered with the Indiana Department of Labor to sign an Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Association partnership for the Community Hospital East Campus Redevelopment.
The project is a four-year master plan consolidating the existing hospital campus from 727,000 square feet to a more efficient 537,000 square feet. Construction of a new 155-bed tower and emergency department follows make-ready departmental and utility relocations totaling 86,000 square feet along with demolition of 462,000 square feet between two buildings.
Pepper decided to form the safety partnership at Community Hospital East because its size and several year duration provide the opportunity to touch and impact many lives. As construction manager for the project, Pepper saw this as a way to expand our role as a mentor in educating and influencing many contractors and tradespeople in our industry.
What is an IOSHA partnership?
Simply put, an IOSHA partnership is a signed agreement focusing on workplace safety between the Indiana Department of Labor and Pepper Construction. It puts a focus on strategic workplace safety while embracing collaboration among employers, workers, labor representatives and government.
The partnership agreement focuses on leading metrics which proactively identify and ensure potential workplace safety and health hazards are corrected before a worker injury or illness occurs. Pepper has always made sure workplace safety is a top priority, and this partnership demonstrates our commitment to finding new and innovative approaches to safety.
What is our goal?
The overarching goal of the safety partnership is the prevention of Significant Injuries and Fatalities (SIFs) on the project. We believe that any potential SIF exposures are identifiable, manageable and measurable.
Our goal is to combine the IOSHA partnership with our project Life Saving Commitments initiative to improve communications, processes, training and the execution of work. A by-product of this will be the elimination of severe potential incidents through partnering with the project contractors and tradespeople.
How can we measure the partnership?
The Indiana Department of Labor and Pepper Construction agree that the overall goal of the partnership will be best served by focusing on the leading metrics. Traditional lagging indicators or trailing metrics alone are insufficient measures for development, implementation and management of the project’s safety program. The Total Recordable Case (TRC) and Days Away, Restricted and Transferred (DART) rates limit looking at only negative outcomes in the past that cannot be changed, rather than looking at indicators in the present that can be used as predictors of future performance.
At Pepper we believe that tracking, analyzing, and acting upon these leading indicators will result in superior safety performance. Each leading indicator is a best practice associated with safety excellence. Results for these metrics will be distributed in the monthly comprehensive occupational safety progress report.
Who benefits from the IOSHA partnership? How?
That's easy – everyone. The partnership directly benefits everyone involved with the construction project – including the hospital, its employees and patients, the Department of Labor, the construction workers and the people living in the surrounding neighborhood. The partnership puts in place regulations and guidelines that will keep the construction site, hospital and the surrounding areas safe.
What lies ahead?
Through the partnership, a Safety Discovery Team has been assembled with tradesperson representatives from each contractor. The Safety Discovery Team meets monthly with the project management team and a Department of Labor representative from INSAFE. It reviews the monthly summary report and project metrics. They also have put in place a tradesperson recognition program that the group uses to promote personal ownership of safety on the project site.
We will be sharing updates on how things are progressing and the impact the partnership is having on the project – stay tuned!