US Department of Labor, stakeholders sign partnership to protect workers from construction hazards at La Crosse Mayo expansion project
MADISON, WI – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Wisconsin On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program, Knutson Construction and area labor unions are partnering to protect worker safety and health during construction of the Mayo Clinic Health Systems’ Bed Tower project in La Crosse.
The partnership seeks to prevent workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities, control or eliminate serious workplace hazards and establish a foundation on which an effective safety and health program exists during construction of the 287,000 square-foot addition to the existing Center for Advanced Medicine and Surgery Building at 850 West Ave. South. Partners will also focus on educating employees and employers about workers’ rights and employers’ responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
“This partnership will help to implement collaboration with employers and employees to address hazards and protect everyone working at the site,” said OSHA Area Director Chad Greenwood in Madison, Wisconsin. “Workplace safety demands prior planning, the right equipment and workers who are fully trained on hazards and safety precautions with diligent adherence to site-specific safety training.”
Knuston Construction will implement a strategic safety and health management system patterned after OSHA’s Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs in Construction, including having all contractors on-site perform daily walk-arounds. Before any task begins, workers must receive a site-specific construction safety orientation in a language they can understand and be issued personal protective equipment. Additionally, subcontractors must submit their company’s safety and health plans or adopt Knuston’s program while working on the project. Safety training will focus on trenching and excavation hazards, falls and safe ladder use.
Construction started on the new 70-bed tower in April 2022, and the overall project schedule has a 28-month duration.