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Strategic Partnership between JEA, the University of South Florida Consultation Program and OSHA

1) PURPOSE AND SCOPE

This partnership expands the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) reach into the construction industry, by enabling OSHA, the University of South Florida (USF) and the JEA (formerly doing business as the Jacksonville Electric Authority) to increase employee safety and health training. The primary goal of this agreement is the effective reduction of serious injuries and fatalities in the construction industry.

The number of fatalities in Florida investigated by OSHA, has increased significantly (increasing 16% since 2000). Fatality investigations involving construction increased 12%. In 2002 the State of Florida experienced 134 fatalities, 67 (50%) of which were in construction; and data from OSHA’s computer system indicates that in FY 98, 65% of the 133 fatalities in Florida were in construction. During fiscal years 2001-2002, as the total numbers of fatalities continued to increase, the percentage of fatalities related to construction also increased, from 47% to 50%. Enforcement data from the accident investigation summary for the construction industry indicates that in Florida, the four leading causes of death were fall, struck-by, caught-in, and electrical hazards. In 1998 in Florida, 83% of the construction fatalities were related to these four hazards.

The JEA operates an electric system and water and sewer system in the Jacksonville Area. Currently JEA serves more than 360,000 electric customers in Jacksonville and parts of three adjacent counties. JEA's water system serves more than 240,000 water customers and 186,000 sewer customers or more than 80 percent of all water and sewer utility customers in our service area. JEA also owns and operates three generating plants and all transmission and distribution facilities. A fourth power plant, the St. Johns River Power Park (SJRPP), is owned jointly by JEA and the Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) and operated by JEA. JEA and FPL are also joint owners of Unit 4 at Georgia Power Company's coal-fired Robert W. Scherer Plant (Plant Scherer), which is located in Macon, Georgia. JEA owns a 200 net megawatt share of Unit 4. JEA’s newest generating facility is located in West Jacksonville, home to a 170 megawatt simple cycle combustion turbine as well as a “two in one” Combined Cycle unit. These units are capable of operating on natural gas or diesel fuel. Units 1 and 2 went into commercial operation in simple cycle mode in May 2001, followed by Unit 3 in October 2001. Units 2 and 3 were converted to combined cycle mode with the addition of two Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HRSG) and a 160 megawatt (mw) steam turbine in the fall of 2004. The combined output of the site was increased to 680 mw with the conversion.

Capacity expansion and renovation projects demonstrate JEA's commitment to environmental leadership, fuel diversification and rate stability. JEA's newest generating facility is Brandy Branch, located in west Jacksonville, home to three 170 megawatt combustion turbine units. These units are capable of operating on both natural gas and diesel fuel. Units 1 and 2 went into commercial operation May 31, 2001, followed by Unit 3 on October 12, 2001.

JEA's Water System consists of 150 artesian wells tapping the Floridian Aquifer, which is one of the world's most productive aquifers. Water is distributed through 44 water treatment plants and 3,480 miles of water lines. More than 2,500 miles of collection lines and six regional sewer treatment plants comprise the JEA sewer system.

JEA is committed to improving water quality of the St. Johns River. One outstanding example of how we're working to meet our goal to reduce nitrogen release into the river is through the use of reclaimed water for irrigation.

2) IDENTIFICATION OF PARTNERS

The partners in this partnership include; JEA; the University of South Florida (USF) Consultation Program; and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

3) GOALS/STRATEGIES

The primary and secondary goals of this agreement include the following:

  1. Reduce the number of serious injuries and fatalities in the construction industry
  2. Increase the number of employers with effective safety and health management systems
  3. Increase the number of workers, supervisors and foremen who are provided 10-hour training.
  4. Recognize those contractors with effective safety and health programs, employee participation and site-specific safety and health plans that assure compliance with OSHA regulations.

This Agreement promotes contractor partnerships with OSHA, JEA and the University of South Florida Consultation Division Program. Following guidelines under the 21 (d) grant, the USF Consultation Division Program will verify that the Agreement requirements are being met and Agreement goals are being attained by reviewing evidence of regular and effective internal safety audits, accident investigations and injury/illness data.

The objective of the parties is to reduce injuries/illnesses and fatalities by leveraging voluntary compliance. By the actions, JEA and the University of South Florida Consultation Division Program, working with qualified local contractors and labor organizations, will allow OSHA to focus its compliance resources on work sites which are more likely to have serious hazards.

4) PERFORMANCE MEASURES

All contractors working on this project will be required to develop and implement a comprehensive written safety and health program. The results will be measured by reductions in the employer’s Total Case Incident Rate (TCIR) and Days Away, Restricted-work Total (Days Away Restricted Time - DART). TCIR data is tracked within JEA by Recordable Incident Rate data. Baseline data collection will include the number of contractors that did not have an effective comprehensive written safety and health program implemented prior to their involvement with this partnership. Safety assessment data will be reviewed to ensure hazards are abated on a day-to-day basis. This process will serve to eliminate or abate hazards found during the project on a day-to-day basis and ensure that all incidents are reported, investigated, and that written corrective action plans developed. Additional data collected during the review will include the number of hazards corrected, the number of nonconformance(s), as well as the number of incidents reported.

  1. Experience Modification Rate (EMR) of 1.0 or less.
  2. Days Away Restricted Transferred Rate (DART) of 5.0.
  3. Days Away From Work Injury and Illness rate DAFWII of 1.0 or less, or a provisionary status of understanding that the contractors using guidelines/outlines will achieve the requirements noted in B.1 through B.3 in one year.
  4. All contractors on a JEA site must have developed and implemented a written safety and health program, which includes responsibility and accountability of all line supervisors for safety and employee participation.

5) PROGRAM EVALUATION

This partnership will include an annual evaluation to determine whether modifications are needed and a review of its status. The evaluation will be accomplished by OSHA based on data provided by the JEA and the University of South Florida. The evaluation will follow OSHA Directive Number CSP 03-02-002, Strategic Partnerships for Worker Safety and Health and effectively evaluate the contractor’s success toward achievement of the established goals.

In addition JEA will submit the following data:

  1. Number of contractors in this partnership.
  2. Number of employees protected by this partnership.
  3. Number of employees trained under this partnership.
    1. Employees
    2. Supervisors
  4. Number of evaluation audits by JEA
  5. Changes in the Experience Modification Rate (EMR). Such changes may take three years to accurately reflect this measurement.

6) BENEFITS

The following are benefits for approved contractors and their subcontractors who work on JEA projects:

  1. Programmed inspections by OSHA of contractors/subcontractors will be conducted as Focused Inspections, rather then Comprehensive Inspections. It should be understood, if serious hazards are found, inspection may be expanded to Comprehensive level.
  2. No penalties for non-serious violations except for record keeping violations and reporting fatalities.
  3. A Quick-Fix penalty reduction of 15% will be applied to an individual violation’s base penalty after the base penalty has been calculated if the violation is corrected on the spot.
  4. Maximum penalty reduction for good faith, except for willful, repeat, and failure-to-abate violations and fatality investigations.
  5. Reductions on uncontested serious violations of up to 25% during informal settlement conferences.
  6. Technical assistance and training by OSHA and the University of South Florida Consultation Program.
  7. OSHA will inform complainants of the JEA Partnership with OSHA and explain the option of handling complaints by phone and fax.
  8. If a focused inspection has been conducted and no violations are found, a programmed inspection will not be conducted for 12 months or until a new phase of the project is started (whichever occurs first).
  9. Assistance and guidance from OSHA for the citations issued to contractors and subcontractors on JEA worksites during the length of this agreement.
  10. OSHA will provide JEA with copies of all citations issued to contractors and subcontractors on JEA worksites during the length of this agreement.

7) OSHA VERIFICATION

  1. Offsite Verification: An OSHA representative knowledgeable with the partnership agreement will perform an offsite verification of JEA’s data, and reports annually. At a minimum the verification will include:
    1. Review of Contractor OSHA 300 data
    2. Review of Contractor Experience Modification data
    3. Review of Contractor assessment data
  2. Onsite Non-enforcement Verification: Non-enforcement interactions will be conducted by the USF Consultation Program.
    1. The scope of the non-enforcement verification will be comprehensive for the site selected.
    2. The USF Consultation Program will conduct a minimum of 25 non-enforcement verification visits annually.
  3. JEA is a municipal utility and is not subject to OSHA inspections. However, OSHA will conduct verification inspections of contractors/subcontractors working at JEA sites in accordance with established policies and procedures. Programmed inspections of subcontractors will be conducted as focused inspections, rather then comprehensive inspections. If serious hazards are found, OSHA may expand the inspection to comprehensive. However, if a focused inspection has been conducted and no violations are found a programmed inspection will not be conducted for 12 months or until a new phase of the project is started (whichever occurs first).

8) OSP MANAGEMENT AND OPERATIONS

JEA will perform periodic comprehensive safety and health assessments of each worksite. Assessments will involve the employee safety representative, if present, and general employees. Safety and health assessments will address at a minimum the following areas: fall hazards, caught in/between hazards, electrical hazards, and trenching and excavation hazards. JEA will include other areas of high hazards when appropriate. Defects identified during the assessments will be corrected. JEA will insure the contractor documents and investigates all incidents.

JEA will obtain the following data to establish a baseline to calculate future results of this partnership agreement

  1. The Workers’ Compensation data and current Experience Modification Rate (EMR).
  2. The Days Away Restricted Transfer Rate (DART)
  3. The Total Recordable Case Rate (TRC) (JEA RIR) for the year.
  4. Number of job sites, number of contractors and subcontractors and employees covered throughout the year by this partnership agreement.
  5. All incident analysis and near misses during the previous year, involving contractors and subcontractors.

Nothing in the Agreement will exempt the general contractors in meeting their obligation to control the site and to promptly remove employees at the site from safety and health hazards. The general contractor may be subject to citation in accordance with OSHA’s multi-employer citation policy outlined in OSHA’s compliance directive CPL 02-00-124 (CPL 2-0.124).
OSHA will code inspections of partnership employers as JEAPART in block 25C of the OSHA 1 of any inspections of JEA jobsites.

JEA will require that all contractors meet the requirements of this partnership.

Each contractor will be required to designate a responsible safety representative for each JEA site. The employee will have the authority, responsibility and training to immediately correct any safety deficiencies.

All employees on JEA work site shall have received the OSHA 10-hour Construction Course or equivalent training (National Center For Construction, Education and Research). Employees will be trained in hazard recognition, OSHA standards, company safety policies and their rights under the OSH Act of 1970.

On all JEA job sites, supervisors and foremen shall have received the OSHA 10-hour Construction Course or equivalent training, CPR/First Aid training, and the JEA Safety Leadership Development Class. Contractors on a JEA site will establish and enforce a fall protection program for falls from elevation in excess of six feet to meet OSHA regulations and those established by the JEA Contractor Safety Requirements.

9) EMPLOYEE AND EMPLOYER RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

This partnership does not preclude employees and/or employers from exercising any right provided under the OSH Act, nor does it abrogate any responsibility to comply with rules and regulations adopted pursuant to the Act.

Each employee is responsible for learning and abiding by the rules and regulations that are applicable to their work and for reporting observed, or anticipated hazards to their immediate supervisor. If the hazard is not corrected, the affected employee will refuse to perform this work and will report the conditions to the Contractors Designated Safety Representative.

10) TERM OF OSP

OSHA and JEA will reassess this Partnership if a contractor:

  1. Receives willful or failure-to-abate violations.
  2. Receives numerous violations.
  3. Receives high gravity, serious violations.
  4. Fails to follow OSHA reporting requirements such as reporting an accident or a catastrophe within eight hours.
  5. Has an employee representative who requests a reassessment.

Failure to follow these requirements may result in termination of the Partnership.

This Partnership will last for three years from the date of signing.

If OSHA, JEA or USF wishes to withdraw their participation prior to the established expiration date, the Partnership will be considered null and void upon receipt of a written notice of the intent to withdraw.

If OSHA chooses to withdraw its participation in the partnership, the entire agreement is terminated. A signatory may also propose modification or amendment of the agreement.

EA Partnership Signature Page



James A. Dickenson
CEO and Managing Director of JEA



James D. Borders
Area Director
OSHA Jacksonville, FL



Charlene Vespi
Program Manager of Occupational Safety and Health for the Department of Labor Division of Safety