Lesia Shannon Kudelka
Communications Director and Ombudsman
Counsel to Office of Communications
BE&K/Turner Joint Venture, Design-Builder for Boeing Charleston Expansion (787 Assembly), Enters First-Ever Partnership Agreement with S.C. OSHA
North Charleston, SC — On Friday, April 16, the South Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Administration (S.C. OSHA) signed a partnership agreement with the BE&K/Turner Joint Venture — design-build contractor at the Boeing 787 assembly and delivery site in North Charleston — to assist BE&K/Turner with creating and maintaining a safe and healthy environment for their workers. Friday marks the first time S.C. OSHA has signed this type of agreement with a private company.
The noontime special event held at the construction site was attended by the more than 300 construction workers currently on site, together with Boeing and BE&K/Turner executives, the project management team, key subcontractor executives, state officials and other special guests.
Following the signing ceremony, the crowd enjoyed a buffet lunch complete with a raffle and giveaways.
"Today's celebration acknowledged two milestones,” noted BE&K/Turner's Mike Pace, project director.
"The first is the commencement of the OSHA-BE&K/Turner partnership. The second is reaching 225,000 man-hours without a lost time or recordable incident — a significant accomplishment, especially on a construction project of this magnitude.”
According to the S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (LLR), this first-of-its-kind agreement between S.C. OSHA and BE&K/Turner signifies a unique working partnership between government and industry whereby resources of both the state OSHA program and private industry are used to identify and eliminate hazardous conditions at major construction sites. "Our goal is to have no fatalities and no injuries to workers during this project,” said S.C. OSHA Administrator Dottie Ison. "We want to help provide a highly trained workforce that will continue to work safely on future South Carolina jobs.”
As part of the agreement, S.C. OSHA will review safety and health programs, conduct comprehensive on-site inspections, provide training, and help contractors eliminate any hazards at the worksites. The construction contractors on the site will agree to take steps such as the implementation of strong safety and health programs and providing training opportunities for all employees and subcontractors.
BE&K/Turner's Jim McIntyre, environmental-health-safety-security manager, elaborated on the significance of the OSHA partnership and the team's commitment to creating a safe working environment. "Our partnership with S.C. OSHA allows the BE&K/Turner team to reinforce and emphasize our commitment to the safety and health of the workforce within the South Carolina construction industry — and will directly benefit the thousands of workers who will eventually take part in this work. It will guarantee quarterly visits from OSHA, quick regulatory interpretations as may be needed, as well as provide ample training opportunities for every employee on site. Clearly the state has set the selection criteria extremely high for these partnerships and we are proud to have the Boeing Charleston Expansion-Site Development project selected as the first.”
Boeing broke ground on this high-profile project in November 2009. For the past several months, BE&K/Turner's focus has been on sitework — including clearing 150 acres of trees, which were recycled for lumber and wood chips — as well as underground utilities, structural foundation and steel erection. The BE&K/Turner/BRPH design-build team is headquartered in Greenville, SC. The core field project management team has been stationed at the Charleston site full time since February 2010.
Information provided by Joan Krause, BE&K/Turner Joint Venture
Photo provided by BE&K/Turner Joint Venture