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Flavia Colgan

Flavia Colgan

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The Cost of Construction

Posted: 04/15/11 02:49 PM ET

I have come on as a producer of a project I feel very strongly about and I know this community will as well. It is about worker safety and the unnecessary deaths that occur every day across America and what we can do to change it. I have teamed up with Cavelight Films to finish Cost of Construction. The film uncovers the national scandal surrounding a series of controversial deaths that happened on the most expensive commercial construction project in United States history -- all happening on the Las Vegas Strip, called CityCenter.

The film investigates a pattern of hazardous deregulations, overturned violations, and dangerous negligence at the highest corporate and governmental levels exposing a national safety system in crisis. This story is untold and effects many Americans. We have been working on the documentary for three years and it is almost done. We are just looking for some finishing funds to update, get the interviews folks were to scared to give a few years back, and make sure it can look as great and be as powerful as the story deserves. We already have interest in terms of distribution and placement so the film will be seen. Please check out our kick-starter page.

An average of 16 workers continue to die each day in America. In the wake of the BP oil rig explosion and the high profile 2008 crane accidents in New York City, this production comes at a critical time.

Currently in production, the film features Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Alexandra Berzon, Congressman and former Chair of the House Committee on Education and Labor George Miller, various national and local officials, union leaders as well as families of deceased construction workers.

The Story

On June 26, 2006, cameras roll as the MGM Mirage Corporation demolished one of the oldest hotels on the Las Vegas Strip to make way for the largest and most innovative project ever attempted called CityCenter. Six skyscrapers designed by world-renowned architects comprised of cutting-edge hotels, casinos, restaurants, spas and luxury condos, CityCenter is redefining the Las Vegas Strip:

9.2 Billion dollars spent. 6,000 rooms created. 65 acres of land developed.

But being the biggest comes at a price: 6 construction workers dead. 1000 injured. 1 national safety system in crisis.

Why Now: Have we learned our lesson?

Cost of Construction's in-depth look at the issues surrounding the CityCenter project has implications that reach beyond the construction industry. At its core, this is a story about the complexity of corporate and personal responsibility during an era of massive government deregulation. The construction fatalities at CityCenter were not isolated events. From the recent wave of deadly crane accidents in New York City to the devastating oil spill in the Gulf, it is clear that our national safety system is in crisis.

Cost of Construction will lead us to present day and examine what President Obama's administration is doing to ensure worker safety. Are President Obama's new Labor Department and OSHA appointees a step in the right direction? What new laws and regulations are being enacted? Are the current state and federal regulators equipped to manage the next CityCenter-sized project? Or are we in for another heartbreaking lesson in the true Cost of Construction?

It is important for all OHS professionals to watch OHS regulation and programs that operate and develop in the United States for the spread of US culture is, in many countries, introducing a perspective on the law that increasingly is out of sync with the laws and values in one's local country. It could be argued that Lord Young's recent review of OHS and the "compensation culture" in the UK is an example of the US cultural spread.

Please help us bring this story to the nation and be a voice for those who should have been heard for years. These deaths do not need to happen and those responsible should be called to task. Our laws must change to save lives and do what is right! Thank you in advance for anything you can do.