A Safer Journey by Partnership: How AGC of Missouri and OSHA’s St. Louis Area Office are Transforming Our Jobsites

Todd Cook
April 11, 2024|


The AGC of Missouri and St. Louis Area Office OSHA Partnership is the first and oldest OSHA Partnership in the country. The Partnership currently consists of 18 contractors – including specialty and general contractors – who collectively perform approximately 10 million hours of work in the St. Louis area.  Contractors currently accepted and participating in the partnership are:

  • ACME Constructors
  • Brinkmann Constructors
  • BSI Constructors
  • D&L Painting and Drywall LLC
  • Guarantee Electrical Company
  • Russell
  • Interface Construction
  • Kozeny Wagner Construction
  • Keeley Construction
  • McCarthy
  • McGrath & Associates
  • Paric Corporation
  • M. Wilson
  • Tarlton Corporation
  • TJ Wies Contracting
  • Vee-Jay Cement
  • Waterhout Construction
  • Western Construction Group

Jobsite safety is always a priority, but not always a practiced reality.  Most projects have incidents, near misses and a nagging sense that things could be better. We all know about OSHA, but the image of a punitive, finger-pointing agency looms large for some. A handful of AGC of Missouri member contractors took a leap of faith in 2003 and joined the OSHA Strategic Partnership Program with the St. Louis Area Office.

From “Sherriff” to Partner: The immediate shift was in mindset. OSHA representatives weren’t seen as enforcers, but as collaborators. They offered expertise, conducted on-site consultations and helped us identify and address potential hazards before they materialized. This proactive approach empowered us to create a culture of safety, not just compliance.  OSHA still has a duty and obligation to conduct inspections on partnership contractors for serious injuries, fatalities and complaints. Documented self-inspections amongst partnership contractors over the past two years total more than 80,000, and hazards identified and corrected total more than 36,000.

Knowledge is Power: Training became a cornerstone. Through partnership-facilitated workshops, quarterly meetings and training sessions, partnership employees gained invaluable knowledge about specific safety protocols, hazard identification and incident reporting. This empowered the workforce to not only protect themselves but also actively participate in improving safety processes and setting positive examples for their sister and brothers in all trades. Training completed and documented over the past two years has increased exponentially, up 2,000 percent from just a few years ago.

Collaboration Breeds Innovation: The partnership fostered a collaborative spirit within our construction community.  Employees felt more comfortable raising safety concerns, knowing they would be heard and addressed. This led to new ideas, innovative solutions and a collective ownership of safety practices.  Partnership participants have developed awesome networks of like-minded professionals and built friendships that will last a lifetime.

Tangible Results: The impact of this partnership is multifaceted. We have seen a 40 percent reduction in injury cases involving restricted work duty and more than a 25 percent improvement in injuries involving lost time from work. This significant reduction in injuries and illnesses lead to decreased worker’s compensation costs and improved productivity. Employee morale has soared, fostered by a safer work environment and increased sense of empowerment. Additionally, safer and healthier workplaces improve public image, attracting top talent and showcasing our commitment to a safe workplace.

Beyond Regulations: The partnership offers more than just compliance with regulations. It instills a safety-first culture that permeates every aspect of operations. We are not only meeting OSHA standards but exceeding them, setting our own benchmark for excellence. Creating a construction culture of lessons learned, cooperation and innovation makes the St. Louis Area one of the safest and healthiest places to build.

A Journey, Not a Destination: Our OSHA partnership isn’t a quick fix, but an ongoing journey. We continue to collaborate, learn and grow together. Every challenge is an opportunity, and every success a shared achievement. If you’re interested in learning more about this exclusive partnership, please contact Brandon Anderson, Banderson@agcmo.org or Todd Cook, Todd.Cook@geco.com.

Todd Cook is vice president of risk & safety at Guarantee Electrical Company and serves as chair of the Associated General Contractors of Missouri & St. Louis OSHA Partnership Committee.  

Brandon Anderson is vice president of safety at AGCMO and serves as the organization’s liaison for the St. Louis OSHA Partnership Committee.


About the Author: Todd Cook

Todd Cook

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