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Category Winners: Safety Excellence

Construction Manager Under 100000 hours

Safety is a daily concern at Aecon a member of AGCs Safety Team. George Kramer President challenges Aecon teams to set the bar high. Weekly safety meetings are held for each project with mandatory attendance by Aecon employees and any subcontractors that do not hold their own weekly meetings. Aecon superintendents are all either OSHA 10 or OSHA 30 trained and are required to have forklift training and first aid certifications. Aecon supervisors are also AED trained with a defibrillator on all construction sites. Aecons entire company including staff and field are required annually to attend Red Book (Aecons Health and Safety Binder) training to review the company-accepted prevention program. At Aecon the first act after being hired is safety orientation starting with the four Rs; the right to know the right to participate the right to refuse unsafe work and the right to work in a safe environment.

Subcontractor Under 150000 hours

When the Washington State construction crane rule was adopted in 2012 Sicklesteel Cranes saw dramatic change to its industry. This AGC Safety Team member company modified many of its existing programs such as working near power lines and created new ones including a demanding qualification process for the Assembly/Disassembly (A/D) Director as required by OSHA. Under OSHA the A/D Director is required to be competent and qualified. However in the marketplace there were no means or methods available to qualify such individuals. Sicklesteel developed written exams for each of its crane models that require an A/D director and identified individuals who had met the competent requirement on the equipment. Sicklesteel provided training on the A/D regulations and company process and created a checklist that is required at the beginning of the A/D process as well as a post assembly inspection form. Sicklesteel made these forms available to other AGC members and presented this information at multiple meetings.

Subcontractor 150000 – 300000 hours

The first paragraph in the Andgar Mission Statement includes a pledge by management to instill a deeper commitment to safety through personal awareness and set the standard for safety in the industry. Andgar’s employee-driven safety committee is very proactive tackling issues and spotting trends. The safety committee consists of 60% hourly employees and 40% management and support employees. This membership balance ensures that all issues including near-misses are brought up and dissected which enables the company to act on problems before an accident occurs. The Andgar safety committee also develops new tactics for improving safety such as a new method to monitor tools and equipment. AGC Safety Team member Andgars commitment to be a leader in safety allows the general contractors it works for to know that Andgar employees on the job site are doing the right things in safety.

Subcontractor 300000 – 500000 hours

Cobras comprehensive safety efforts include a Buddy Program through which a new hire is assigned a mentor who coaches the new employee and on safe work practices and Cobras safety culture. At the end of the mentorship process the employee is evaluated to determine if he or she could work independently or requires further coaching. Also this year Cobra made two innovative changes to its safety program. This AGC Safety Team member initiated a program to encourage employees to report near-misses. Cobra immediately sends this information to management and site supervisors on projects spread throughout the Northwest. This information allows site supervisors to evaluate whether a similar risk exists on their projects. Near miss reports are also tracked electronically and Cobra conducts a trend analysis to spot patterns in need of corrective action. A second change was to tie Cobras safety performance to the companys year-end bonuses. Everyone benefits financially when safety is a priority.

Subcontractor Over 500000 hours

VECAs safety program was developed through the vision and leadership of company owner Tom Fairbanks and the senior management team. Although initiated by upper management VECAs safety program is run by its employees. With its new employee orientation program tailgate training and site safety committees all working together VECA field crew takes ownership and communicates with each other and with other crafts to address issues before they become serious enough to create an injury. VECA employees recognize the hazards inherent in working in the electrical industry and approach each job with a full understanding that a lapse in concentration or attention could result in a fatality rather than an injury. One way that VECA measures the effectiveness of its safety program is through the number and quality of near miss incident reports. AGC Safety Team member VECA is very aggressive in learning as an organization to reduce and or eliminate hazards.

General Contractor Under 150000 hours

To achieve its enviable safety record AGC Safety Team member Sealaska developed safe construction practices for every key job component. However the ultimate source of its safety achievements is its company culture. At Sealaska its people are like family and its a company-wide belief that safety begins with a solid commitment at the highest level and requires consistent follow through. Every manager project manager superintendent and craftsperson knows that they are responsible for being aware and empowered to correct any unsafe situation. Sealaskas Safety Committee assists in the detection and elimination of unsafe conditions environments and work procedures. The Committee establishes procedures for review of all safety and health inspection reports and evaluates all accident and illness prevention programs. The Committee coordinates employer/employee communications and improves the company’s safety and health workplace practices.

General Contractor 150000-300000 hours (tie)

BNBuilders recently revised its subcontract to include safety best practices in the subcontractors scopes of work. This increases the cost of bidding the work by some subcontractors but it has made our projects a safer place to work. At BNB all members of senior management have completed an OSHA 30 or 10 hour class and now subcontractors supervisors are required to take the same training. BNB developed the ACT Accountability program which makes supervisors as accountable for safety as they are for schedule and budget. Each year they are required to improve their safety knowledge. Foremen also must remain up-to-date on safety and are required to complete the OSHA 30 Hour class as they advance their careers. AGC Safety Team member BNB pays for all employees who wish to take safety classes as it believes a safety program is effective when it is prepared to deal with the hazards of construction.

General Contractor 150000-300000 hours (tie)

At Atkinson new employee orientation (NEO) is essential to ensure people are equipped with the proper knowledge and tools to succeed. The comprehensive NEO includes training on the companys safety culture drug screening and online training — with testing — covering 36 different safety-related topics. Finally the new employee sits down with the Site Safety Manager for a one-on-one orientation covering site-specific safety issues and policies. Following this orientation new employees complete Speak Up Listen Up (SULU) training. This reinforces AGC Safety Team member Atkinsons safety culture and encourages employees to take ownership in their own safety. Employees from the foreman level up to top management are required to complete OSHA 10 and Atkinsons “On the Front Line” training which centers on employee responsibilities and accountabilities. In addition Atkinson implements mandatory safety committee for each project with weekly meetings to ensure issues that arise are dealt with and closed in a timely manner.

General Contractor 300000-500000 hours

PCL recently completed a Safety Leadership Workshop that involved company managers and field supervisors. The workshop was an opportunity to revisit each person’s individual commitment to safety identify any barriers for achieving zero incidents evaluate internal organizational qualities and safety performance and discuss each individual’s personal safety action plan. The program also examines supervisor-to-worker relationships to promote mutual trust and evaluates the consistency and effectiveness of managements communication. Because of the diverse type of work PCL obtains the companys safety efforts are customized for each project. This AGC Safety Team member firm implemented a Craft Safety Workshop for both PCLs and subcontractors craft workers on each project. The purpose of this workshop is to get participants to think about and discuss the traits associated with safe workers the reasons behind poor safety choices and communication barriers between craft and management personnel.

General Contractor Over 500000 hours

With the ubiquitous use of BIM on its projects Turner discovered ways to build safety into the model. One example involves a recent four-story campus expansion building. While reviewing the model for scope coordination the fall hazards surrounding the large skylights became very apparent so AGC Safety Team member Turner team decided to cast safety netting into the slab edge openings. Although simple a modification like this has likely saved lives. Moreover using the model to coordinate tower crane radius for the three tower cranes used simultaneously on this jobsite was another way of ensuring maximum safety and efficiency. Another application of technology to safety improvement involves Turners use of safety auditing software designed for PDAs in the field. Safety observations collected at each project are uploaded to a web-hosted database that allows users to screen companies projects or territories for trends that include problem subcontractors and the frequency or severity of hazards.

Most Improved Subcontractor

AGC Safety Team member DBM believes it is important that the person who oversees safety is someone who does not work directly for the operations arm of the company in order to have a more objective approach to employee safety. DBMs safety director therefore works directly for its Board of Directors. Similarly DBMs safety committee works as an agent of the DBM Board and has the authority and autonomy to run its safety program with its own budget in a manner that strives for an environment of zero incidents. The safety committee consists of 50% field staff and 50% management. It holds regular open-door meetings and employees are encouraged to speak up and have their voices heard. Plus the safety director conducts both announced and unannounced safety inspections and audits and all incidents are reviewed by the safety committee which determines if actions taken by the superintendents and foremen are sufficient.

Most Improved General Contractor

It was a busy year of training with a multi-faceted approach for Sellen. In addition to continuing OSHA 30 training for Superintendents and OSHA 10 for all field employees AGC Safety Team member Sellen completed employee training in forklifts asbestos awareness lead blood borne pathogens fall protection scaffolding respiratory protection confined space aerial lifts HazWoper and flagging. Nearly 100 employees were trained as Qualified Rigger/Qualified Signal Person. A focus on foremen was the theme for 2011 and Sellen provided specific training to all foreman and safety staff in communication dynamic stretching and the use of daily safety planners. Continuing professional development of safety staff included root cause analysis training ASSE Professional Development Conference and two 2-day workshops. Sellen established high standards for cord management and housekeeping following the adage that a clean site is a safe site. Sellen projects are the cleanest in the Pacific Northwest!

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