BSI Constructors, Inc. has been rectified for an additional 3 years in the highly selective and prestigious STAR Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) Mobile Workforce Program from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). BSI is the first general contractor in Missouri and of OSHA's Region VII, which includes Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska to earn this honor; in addition to being one out of only 1,800 workplaces nationwide. This designation recognizes excellence in risk management on all BSI project sites and mitigates the need for repetitive OSHA safety inspections on those sites.
In September 2008, Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health at the U.S. Department of Labor officially notified BSI of its acceptance in to the VPP. The VPP Mobile Workforce Demonstration for Construction was established six years ago to help OSHA focus more of its manpower on problem sites. It allows contractors who demonstrate exemplary risk management programs to commit to rigorous self policing of safety on their job sites. The heightened commitment to safety helps avoid injuries on the job while reducing the cost of insurance for construction buyers.
“OSHA started recognizing businesses with outstanding safety and health programs through the VPP. Designated workplaces are exempt from regular program inspections, which allows OSHA to focus on sites with the highest rates of injury,” says Charles Adkins, regional administrator for OSHA Region 7. “BSI’s commendable safety and health program is so diverse that it is applicable and effective at a multitude of worksites and conditions. The firm’s on-the-job injuries are exceptionally lower than comparable companies in the industry – a testament to their diligence in ensuring safe and healthy work environment.”
“We’ve always placed a high value on safety at BSI. But to achieve the high standards necessary for VPP status, we really had to push ourselves to rethink every aspect of our safety program,” says Paul Shaughnessy, president of BSI Constructors. “I have no question that we are a better, safer company for having done so. Our commitment to this program is really a commitment to the health and welfare of our people. It is also a key element in our ability to provide cost effective construction for our clients.”
The VPP advances effective worksite safety and health by linking OSHA officials with management and labor to establish cooperative relationships. It creates a “win-win” situation where employers benefit from lower insurance costs, higher productivity and greater employee morale, while employees gain safer work sites and confidence in their employers.
“One of the great benefits of our partnership with OSHA through VPP is that it has encouraged BSI to be even more proactive about safety,” said Bruce Calvert, safety director at BSI. “The application process gave us the opportunity to thoroughly explore all safety protocols and make improvements. Today, we are proud to say we have a safety program that can serve as a model of excellence for our peers in the entire industry.”