savings in potential OSHA penalties
savings in potential OSHA site planning penalties
savings in potential OSHA training penalties
savings in potential OSHA site audit penalties

A note from BEAR Construction Company

This was a very unique project for BEAR Construction and for the construction industry in general. Safety as a concept sounds great, but MMA on this job put together a report for us that actually quantified in real dollars what savings we’ve achieved through our safety program – $2M in potential penalties avoided through safety audits and almost $1M in other site fines.

Scott Kurinsky, Executive Vice President | BEAR Construction

BEAR Construction MRMH Award Story

BEAR Construction was selected as the general contractor to renovate a historic Chicago landmark building, the Old Post Office. The worksite contained just about every safety challenge imaginable, so a robust plan was needed to minimize risk, as well as identify exposures and potential OSHA penalties.

BEAR Construction is a Chicagoland leader in general contracting and construction management. In the fall of 2016, they became the general contractor for Chicago’s Old Post Office, a historical landmark in the city that spans over Congress Parkway. It had been vacant since the completion of the new post office across the street. In 2016, after the sale to 601 W, a redevelopment plan was quickly implemented.
BEAR Construction knew that safety would be a major challenge for this project, as the building had numerous code deficiencies and was in a state of disrepair. Before work began, BEAR worked with their team at Marsh McLennan Agency (MMA) to help formalize a plan to ensure safety during all phases of the project and schedule safety advocates to continuously monitor the worksite, which included 45 subcontractors and dozens of projects.

BEAR Construction worked with MMA’s safety team to conduct site audits, OSHA trainings, and implement aggressive risk management strategies.
In partnership with MMA’s safety team, BEAR has achieved outstanding safety results for this project to date, including: site planning plans, which prevented a potential $161,100 in OSHA penalties, training that avoids potential penalties of $990,000, and site audits preventing potential OSHA penalties for more than $2M.

Key steps taken

Site Planning

Before any contractor could begin work, they were required to develop a site-specific safety plan and submit it to BEAR Construction for review. This helped BEAR ensure that the safety measures being proposed were adequate for the work being performed.


All BEAR employees and contractors working on-site were required to go through an orientation before starting. This orientation covered details of the site, safety information, and emergency procedures.

Site Audits

MMA’s safety team conducted an audit 2-3 times per week with BEAR Construction personnel. For the first year, this totaled 92 audits. Within these audits, 503 at-risk safety observations were identified, representing potential OSHA penalties of more than $2 million, that were able to be corrected before an issue arose. BEAR’s General Superintendent & Site Safety Manager also walked the site multiple times daily to observe the work environment and make sure contractors were performing their work safely.

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