May 10, 2018
May 9, 2018
One of our vendors shows the CPS Energy crew why an extinguisher with just water is bad for a propane fire.
Putting out fires at work or home requires the proper equipment. Being prepared can make the difference between life and death or, at the very least, help avoid property damage.
Our team at the CPS Energy Headquarters project in San Antonio got a firsthand look when AmPro, one of our safety equipment suppliers, put on an extinguisher demonstration earlier this week. AmPro is one of several Sundt partners who have shared their expertise during National Safety Week. This is our fourth consecutive year we have been an event sponsor.
In the demonstration of what not to do, the AmPro representative used a Type A extinguisher, filled with water, to douse a propane fire. No luck. It was a prime example of using the wrong equipment for the task.
“The reason it didn’t go out is propane fires are continuously fueled,” said Senior Field Superintendent Shawn Werner.
There are extinguishers for all kinds of fires.
Type A: materials like cloth, wood and paper.
Type B: combustible and flammable liquids like grease, gasoline, oil and oil-based paints.
Type C: electrical equipment like appliances, tools or other equipment that is plugged in.
Type D: flammable metals.
Type K: vegetable oils, animal oils and fats in cooking appliances.
We use Type A-B-C extinguishers at our sites because they contain dry chemical powder that puts out most common fires. Home improvement stores carry multipurpose extinguishers that cover Class A through Class C.
Make sure your home and workplace are armed with the right equipment in case of a fire. For more information, please visit the U.S. Fire Administration’s website.
May 7, 2018
A bolt strikes a hard hat during a presentation about the dangers of falling objects.
Everyone who walks on to one of our active job sites must wear personal protective equipment. That gear is, of course, topped off by a hard hat.
Our crew at the GO 10 project in El Paso got a first-hand look this week at why they always wear protective gear on their heads. As part of National Safety Week, they took part in demonstrations on site that showed the damage falling objects can cause.
Bolts and a 2×4 piece of wood were dropped through a tube from 20 feet high on to a hard hat. While the hat was damaged during the process, it fared much better than a watermelon that wasn’t covered in a separate drop. When the bolt landed on the melon, the plant split open, simulating what could happen if someone wasn’t wearing a hard hat.
According to OSHA statistics, falling objects caused 9.4 percent of deaths on job sites in 2016. While hard hats are necessary and helpful, we also employ a number of other methods to keep craft professionals safe. Our workers tie off when working at heights and their tools are protected from falling by using tethers or lanyards. We raise guardrail heights when work occurs above a standard height and set up barricades under areas where overhead work is being done in case something falls. Barricades are also established in areas where crane lifting operations take place. We ensure loads being lifting are secured and we maintain clean work areas to keep items from falling to a lower level.
Here’s a look at some of the other activities that have occurred at our job sites this week.
Ina/I-10: Eight employees took part in a demonstration to show how quickly they could perform everyday tasks with one hand. They were asked to put on a shirt, tie a shoe, open a bag of chips and a cup of yogurt only using their non-dominant hand. The exhibition was designed to show how tough the easiest activities are to complete when you have a hand injury.
Signal Butte: The team welcomed a 3M representative to discuss respiratory protection, including respirator selection and proper use and maintenance of the equipment.
Sacramento State Science II: Acme Safety Supply and Dewalt Tools made presentations on silica prevention and awareness and fall prevention. Demonstrations and giveaways were followed by small group discussions and questions.
Truckee High School and Truckee Elementary: The team focused on slips, trips and falls and fall protection equipment training. In 2016, 39 percent of construction deaths were caused by falls.
March 16, 2018
United Rentals representatives give a demonstration at our Wilson Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant project in Texas.
National Safety Week got underway at our jobsites across the Southwest on Monday. The day’s theme was “Excavations, Flagging and Controlled Access Zones” and included presentations from vendors we work with to keep our employee-owners and subcontractors safe.
More than 80 employees and subcontractors attended a demonstration by United Rentals at our Wilson Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant project in Allen, Texas. Wilson staff were on site at 7 a.m. with a trench box, a steel or aluminum structure used for protecting workers to avoid cave-ins while performing underground work.
Excavation and trenching are among the most hazardous of construction operations. Cave-ins are more likely to result in fatalities than other excavation-related accidents during trench shoring and excavation.
Several of our craft professionals are new to the company and the one-hour presentation was among their first impressions of our emphasis on safety. We have been a Safety Week sponsor for the past four years.
“I asked 15 craft workers how it went and they really liked it and thought it was interesting,” said Safety Representative Brien Brenfleck. “A lot of them had never been with a company that had done Safety Week.”
Safety Week’s mission is to raise awareness of the construction industry’s continuing commitment to eliminating worker injury, and to clearly communicate its dedication to a shared culture of care and concern.
Our Safety by Choice program focuses on how and why workers need to be safe. We encourage our employee-owners to make good choices every day so they can go home to enjoy their favorite activities with family and friends.
March 2, 2018
Sundt Safety Representative Chris Morales.
Chris Morales joined Sundt’s San Diego office late last year as a Safety Representative. He has been in the construction industry since 2007 and holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Resource Management from California State University, Bakersfield.
What interested you most about working for Sundt?
The diversity of work the company performs. The fact that Sundt is an employee-owned company added to my interest.
What do you do in average day?
Every project has its own unique challenges. I ensure all safety and health policies are being followed in the field. I work with everyone on-site and act as a resource for all matters health and safety.
Who gives you the best advice?
Some of my best advice comes from people working in the field. If I feel something should be done differently or propose a change to a process, I ask the employees for their input. I use this advice (if it’s good) to further my success and strengthen my value as a safety professional.
What is the one thing anyone who visits San Diego must see?
Balboa Park is a large, beautiful public space with some great museums, San Diego Zoo and spectacular sites.
Where do you like to travel?
I love to travel and see different areas of the United States. I want to visit Asia soon.
Sundt Project Manager Fabian Leal.
Originally from Brownsville, Texas, Fabian Leal has spent his career working in his home state. He’s serving as the Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Project Manager at our CPS Energy project in San Antonio. He has lived in the city since 1999 and is a graduate of the University of Texas-San Antonio.
Fabian became interested in the construction industry when his dad, an electrician, took him along on small jobs on weekends. He said he learned about integrity and hard work during those excursions with his father.
What was it about Sundt that interested you in working here?
There are many things that brought me to Sundt. Things like the ESOP program, the safety culture and the vast array of project types the company performs. What made me realize I found a good home is best compared to the ’80s sitcom “Cheers.” Whenever I go by the Texas office or visit with other teams, everyone knows your name and makes you feel welcome.
How do Project Managers spend most of their time?
Customer relations, helping manage on-site activities and being a leader to my project team.
What’s your favorite book?
Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War.”
Do you have a hidden talent?
Nope, I am without a hidden talent. I am just in the business of spreading cheer and joy at work.
Dog person or cat person?
Dog person. I love their loyalty. I was raised in a household that only had dogs. Also, I learned later in life that I’m allergic to cats.