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Maryland to consider safety prequalifications for contractors

Annapolis, MD – Maryland’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation has been tasked with creating a workgroup to study potential occupational safety and health prequalification requirements for the state’s public works contractors.

Under a bill signed into law May 15 by Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), the workgroup must include representatives from a variety of stakeholder groups, including the American Society of Safety Engineers, watchdog group Public Citizen and Maryland Associated General Contractors.

The workgroup will develop a questionnaire and rating system to prequalify prospective bidders – including subcontractors – based on their safety performance. Currently, Maryland does not consider a company’s safety record before awarding contracts.

From 2008 to 2010, 55 construction workers in the state died on the job and 11,000 construction workers suffered injuries requiring days away from work, according to delegate Brian McHale (D), who introduced the bill in the state’s House of Delegates.

The workgroup’s findings must be reported by the end of the year.