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Maryland Alliance Committed to Work Site Safety

Recognizing the value of working together to promote a safe and healthful work environment in the residential construction industry, the Maryland-National Capital Building Industry Association on March 10 joined with several national and volume builders in the Greater Washington region to form the Maryland Home Builders Safety Alliance and establish a partnership with the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation and Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH).

As part of the effort, the builders and MOSH will be collaborating on at least four hours of formal training for various trade industries, including masonry, framing, siding and roofing. The training will focus on falling, electric shock, “struck by” and “caught in” hazards. The initiative will include an outreach effort to non-English speaking members of the workforce.

In addition, the alliance will create and disseminate informational safety materials for English and non-English speaking workers on hazards associated with siding installation.

“We believe this cooperative approach is the best way to begin to reduce the risks workers face every day they build our homes,” said Larry Freiert, director of safety and risk management for Winchester Homes. “This alliance will ensure that workers who are exposed to the greatest risk of injury will have access to training and educational materials. Alliance members will share best practices and work with MOSH to ensure that safety is a top priority in the minds, and the practices, of our employees."

A general contractor, Winchester took the initiative to form the alliance last November, convinced that a cooperative approach was needed to address the repetitive safety and health problems of construction subcontractors.

“Maintaining a safe workplace is a primary responsibility of our members, and we believe that they should be able to look to their association for information they can use to reduce worker injuries, illnesses and fatalities,” said Kristy Mitchell Sullivan, president of the Maryland National Capital BIA. “We also believe that an open dialogue between builders and the regulatory community will result in further progress on this crucial issue.”

The building firms that created the alliance are: Avalon Bay Communities, Beazer Homes Corporation, Centex Homes, Clark Realty Builders, K. Hovnanian Homes/Maryland and Delaware Regions, KB Home Mid-Atlantic and Winchester Homes.

Founders of the alliance are hoping to eventually expand participation to 16 organizations.

For more information on health and safety issues and resources available from NAHB, e-mail Rob Matuga, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8507.

Protect Your Workers and Your Profits

The “Jobsite Safety Video,” available through BuilderBooks.com, provides an overview of the key safety issues residential builders and workers need to focus on to reduce accidents and injuries. Based on the “NAHB-OSHA Jobsite Safety Handbook,” this DVD is intended to be used as part of an essential residential construction safety-training program and includes two 20-minute videos.

To view or purchase this DVD online, click here, or call 800-223-2665.

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