Miami-Dade Transit's AirportLink Metrorail Extension Only Third in Florida to Receive OSHA's VPP Star Status

On Friday, May 25, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) representatives recognized the contractor Odebrecht- OHL, JV and award them the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) “Star Status” in a ceremony at the new Miami International Airport Metrorail station, being constructed as part of Miami-Dade Transit’s AirportLink Metrorail Extension project.

Construction of the AirportLink nears its end at 97 percent complete. Service to the public is expected to commence late summer of 2012. During this construction, a safety program has been maintained instilling a zero accident culture which ensures that every employee goes home in the same manner they came to work. VPP Star Status is the highest recognitions given by OSHA for projects that have achieved exemplary occupational safety and health management systems, maintaining injury and illness rates below the industrial average. Once formalized, the AirportLink project will be one of only three projects in the state of Florida to achieve this status.

The ceremony will honor all construction workers who have worked on this project and whose efforts have garnered a total 983 working days and worked over 2 million man-hours without a Lost-Time Accident. The construction of the AirportLink includes a 12 percent participation from local Disadvantaged Business Enterprises in Miami-Dade County, and employs approximately 600 employees on-site. Aside from boost in local jobs, the AirportLink offers considerable benefits to our community such as improvement to local roads and transfer stations and a faster and easier connection to Miami International Airport.

Odebrecht-OHL has also mentored numerous local contractors who are Disadvantaged Business Enterprises and/or Community Small Business Enterprises participating in the construction of the AirportLink Project by offering safety training courses on a monthly basis. These sessions have helped all workers on the project meet the OSHA 10-hour training, another safety goal, which gives them the knowledge to recognize and prevent hazards. In addition, all supervisory personnel have obtained the OSHA 30-hour training. Countless Activity Hazard Analysis and Job Hazard Analysis have been performed to ensure that all activities are conducted in the safest manner possible.

The AirportLink project is a 2.4-mile elevated Metrorail extension from the existing Earlington Heights Metrorail Station to the MIC next to Miami International Airport. This vital project will provide a reliable Metrorail connection to the airport for the millions of residents, visitors and employees who travel to and from MIA every year. The project also will provide a boost to the local economy by creating jobs, facilitating work-related travel and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.