All the parties involved in the Lambeau Field expansion made a commitment Monday to keep the project as safe as possible.
A total of 46 organizations, employers and trade associations signed a partnership agreement spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Miron Construction Co. and the Green Bay Packers that will focus on reducing workers' exposure to hazards and serious injuries during the two years of construction work.
"This will truly be a collaboration of all these groups," Miron CEO David Voss said at the signing ceremony at Lambeau Field on Monday. "The individual contributions of each group will ensure a safe, efficient and successful completion to this project.
"Let's make safety the No. 1 priority. Let's not just talk the talk, let's walk the walk when it comes to safety."
Frank Winingham, OSHA's area director in Appleton, Wis., said construction projects, and workers' falls in particular, continue to be the leading cause of fatalities in the industry. With a project this large – at least 1,200 tradespersons are expected to work on the Lambeau expansion – Winingham said a partnership is crucial because one or two safety inspectors can't ensure comprehensive monitoring.
The voluntary partnership agreement focuses on identifying and controlling safety hazards and improving safety and health programs. Increased training will be conducted when necessary to help implement best practices and comply with OSHA standards and regulations.
"Everyone has to have a set of eyes toward safety on a job like this," Winingham said. "We'd much rather come out and be involved in a partnership than come out to inspect an accident or fatality."
Construction on the project began before the 2011 season ended and has continued through the, so far, mild Wisconsin winter. Miron Construction Co., based in Neenah, Wis., is the lead contractor.
By the start of the 2012 season, two new high-definition video boards will be in place as well as a new entrance tower and viewing platform in the north end zone.
The expansion of the south end zone, including the addition of 6,700 seats, will be completed for the 2013 season.
Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy said the project is designed to enhance the Lambeau Field stadium experience, which has been rated No. 1 in the league by ESPN The Magazine. Entering into a safety partnership like this simply "made sense for everyone involved."
"To have a local firm doing the work is tremendous, and we're very impressed with the premium Miron places on safety," Murphy said. "Everything about this partnership is consistent with that."