Oregon OSHA - 350 Winter Street
NE Room 430 - Salem, Oregon 97301-3882
|For Immediate Release:
September 7, 2007
|Contact for more Information:
Kevin Weeks, Public Information Officer, 503-947-7428
Portland's Big Pipe recognized for workplace safety excellence
Expanding Portland's wastewater capacity - safely
A very large Portland construction project is the latest worksite to join
the Oregon Voluntary Protection Program (VPP).
The Department of Consumer and Business Services, Occupational Safety and
Health Division (Oregon OSHA) today presented "VPP Merit Award"
status to Kiewit Bilfinger-Berger, the joint venture contractor directing
the construction of Portland's East Side Combined Sewer Overflow project,
commonly known as the "Big Pipe."
Kiewit Bilfinger-Berger (KBB) employs more than 140 people on the East Side
Big Pipe project. The project includes construction of six miles of 25-foot
diameter tunnels to connect sewer outflows into the City's West Side network
of tunnels, which was completed in 2006. The project has experienced one serious
injury to a KBB employee where time was lost from work during 140,000 production
hours, and the project maintains a rate for all worksite injuries that is
77 percent below the national industry average for tunnel construction. Construction
on the East Side Big Pipe project is anticipated to continue through 2011.
VPP is a workplace safety and health management program that encourages employers
to meet rigorous workplace safety standards to protect workers and reduce
injuries. To achieve VPP status, a worksite must have an average injury and
illness rate at or below the rates of other employers in the same industry.
The worksite undergoes an extensive Oregon OSHA review of workplace conditions,
safety records, employee safety and health programs, and regulatory compliance.
The review includes Oregon OSHA interviews with employees. Currently, 17 Oregon
worksites participate in VPP.
Evaluators review 19 program elements during the VPP approval process, including
management commitment to safety and health, employee participation in safety,
workplace self-inspection, providing safety and health training, emergency
programs and drills, and preventive maintenance. VPP participants are removed
from Oregon OSHA's routine scheduled inspection list for the duration of their
participation. Employees do not lose any rights under the program. Oregon
OSHA still investigates accidents, formal complaints, and chemical spills.
Fifteen worksites are members of Oregon OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program.
Additional Oregon OSHA VPP sites are AmeriTies West LLC in The Dalles, BOC
Edwards Medford Electronic Materials in White City, GE Security in Tualatin,
Georgia-Pacific Toledo pulp and paper mill, Georgia-Pacific Coos Bay mill,
Georgia-Pacific Philomath mill, iLevel by Weyerhaeuser Beaverton Service Center,
Marvin Wood Products in Baker City, Masterbrand Cabinets in Hillsboro, PW
Eagle in Eugene, Stanley Hydraulic Tools in Milwaukie, Timber Products Spectrum
Division in White City, Utility Vault in Wilsonville, and Weyerhaeuser TOPS
Operations in Springfield.
Two federal facilities in Oregon, the United States Postal Service Evergreen
DCU in Hillsboro and Washington Group International in Umatilla, participate
in the national Voluntary Protection Program coordinated by the U.S. Occupational
Safety and Health Administration.
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Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer & Business Services,
enforces the states workplace safety and health rules and works to improve
workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. For more information, go
The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregons largest business
regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov.