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December 11, 2017

Cianbro receives coveted safety recognition from OSHA

The U.S. Department of Labor named Cianbro one of just 57 companies across the country to be recognized under OSHA's Star Mobile Workforce Voluntary Protection Program for its commitment to workplace safety.

The Pittsfield company, which is Maine's largest construction company, is only of only eight heavy construction companies recognized by OSHA and the only Star Mobile Workforce firm recognized in OSHA's Region 1, which covers all of New England except Vermont.

VPP is the federal government's premier vehicle for recognizing companies that have developed exemplary safety and health programs.

The application process includes audits by OSHA inspectors, who visited Cianbro's corporate headquarters in December 2016 to ensure that the company's programs and policies effectively protect all team members. Later in the process, OSHA's inspection team visited two of Cianbro's job sites — the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge Replacement Project between Kittery and Portsmouth, N.H., and the Covestro Sprinkler Project in Sheffield, Mass. The purpose of the visits was to determine if and how the company's programs and policies are being implemented.

Once it completed the required steps, OSHA produced an evaluation report, which went to the Region 1 office for initial approval and then onward to Washington, D.C., for approval at the federal level.

The OSHA recognition was presented during a ceremony on Friday at Cianbro's new workforce development facility in Pittsfield. As a VPP firm, every Cianbro job site within Region 1 is considered to be a VPP site.

"Entire industries benefit as VPP sites evolve into models of excellence and influence practices industry-wide," OSHA states on its website.

Vigue: Cianbro committed to safety

In receiving the recognition on behalf of the company, Cianbro Chairman and CEO Pete Vigue recalled testifying before Congress in the 1980s and 1990s to ensure that construction workers tie off in elevated work situations in order to prevent injury and death from falls.

"Three times, I went to Congress and testified before the Labor Committee," said Vigue. "And the only people who were standing by my side to get the law changed to make it mandatory that people be tied off was OSHA. Three times, we were ridiculed by members of Congress, communicating to us that as an open-shop contractor, we were unskilled, and we should be able to protect ourselves in elevated positions without being tied off. Then, in 1997, tying off became law. And so, when these OSHA people speak, and this organization stands tall to do what is right on behalf of the people who work in our industry, it's important. And I want to applaud them. And I challenge them with continuing in this effort, making us better, making us healthier, and we'll be standing by their side on a go-forward basis, you can be assured of that."

Tim Irving, OSHA's Region 1 assistant regional administrator for cooperative state programs, affirmed Cianbro's leadership and its commitment to safety and wellness at Friday's ceremony.

"I know that Cianbro has been doing this for years and years," he said. "And I know that your subcontractors, your vendors, your suppliers, have benefited from your commitment to safety and health. What you have been doing does matter and it is affecting other organizations. So, feel good, and know that you are affecting other workplaces, not only in the State of Maine, but in the country."

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