At the St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council and at other UBC Councils across the U.S. and Canada, safety is the number one priority for our members on the job site. Our members and signatory contractors regularly conduct and attend safety training. Unfortunately, sometimes safety violations still occur despite our best efforts to prevent them.When an OSHA violation occurs, Safety Director Barry Stelzer, receives a copy of the “Notification of Penalty,” which details the citations. Contractors who wish to contest a citation typically turn to an attorney for help. All of our contractors can employ the services of Stelzer to help guide them through efforts they can make to reduce their citations. This includes helping them create or update a company safety plan, a review of safe work practices, advice on appropriate safety equipment to purchase, and more.
Because of Stelzer’s strong working relationship with many OSHA representatives throughout our Council’s three states and his work to help contractors advance safety measures, many fines are reduced and/or violations are reclassified to less serious violations. This occurs during an informal conference after a contractor has made good-faith efforts to address violations. Money saved on fines can be utilized for safety training that promotes safe work practices and/or safety equipment upgrades that can reduce our members’ exposure to hazards. Ultimately, these efforts reduce the possibility of painful and costly injuries.
The following table illustrates the effect of our Council’s emphasis on safety training and how it’s leading to lower citations and fines for our contractors.
|Year||Original Fines||Negotiated Fines||Contractor Savings||Percent Reduction|
From 2015 to present, original fine amounts have been steadily decreasing. Additionally, the near 50 percent average reduction in negotiated fines has resulted in considerable savings for our signatory contractors. These savings can then be applied to investments in safety training and equipment to further improve the safety and health conditions on a job site. We expect these trends to continue.
We’ll continue to promote safety training through our newly adopted safety training requirement that went into effect on May 1, 2017. Please remember to check how current your Safety Training is on your carpdc.org account.
If, by May 1, 2020, you have not taken any safety or technical training since May 1, 2017, you will fail to meet your training requirements in our collective bargaining agreement. You can find upcoming courses on carpdc.org and in our weekly e-newsletter.
Our safety training requirement ensures our members continue to be the most productive, highest quality and safest workers in the construction industry. Thank you for your dedication to fulfilling this requirement.