April 17, 2019
May 10, 2018
At the 100th Annual AGC Convention in Denver earlier this month, Sundt received the Environmental Enhancement Project of The Year for our work on the Arizona Public Service (APS) Four Corners Power Plant near Farmington, New Mexico. The project included major upgrades that will reduce emissions by 80 percent, allowing the 1570-megawatt plant to meet environmental standards and continue operating.
Sundt performed over 2 million man-hours at Four Corners with a peak craft staff of over 400, making this our largest single project in company history.
Over the course of the project, Sundt completed:
- 56,000 linear feet of piping
- 8,000 tons of structural steel
- 6,800 tons of duct
- 130,000 linear feet of weld
- 6,000 cubic yards of concrete
- 10,000 linear feet of drilled caisson
Also, at 60 feet in diameter, the new selective catalytic reactors we installed are the tallest in North America and the second-largest air pre-heaters in the world. “This project had several highlights,” said Sundt Senior Project Manager Steve Roberts, “but I’m most proud of how we addressed safety. Performing work at elevation in harsh weather including high winds, much of which was on structural steel, it was a huge accomplishment to finish with a 0.7 TRIR.”
Sundt’s Industrial Group self-performed much of the work on site with its own skilled craft workforce. Specialized trades included precision millwrighting, boiler-making, structural ironworking, piping, concrete and electrical.
The project was also a win for the surrounding area, providing work for the local skilled workforce, helping maintain continued economic viability of the plant for years to come, and improving air quality in the region. With the plant located on Navajo Nation land, Sundt ensured that its project workforce was at least 80% Native American, and the upgrade work is expected to provide more than $6.3 billion in economic value to the region over the next 30 years. Sundt also supported local youth and community initiatives throughout the project.
To ensure adequate staffing of skilled craft professionals, Sundt partnered with the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) to develop on-site craft training, as well as mentoring and an Apprenticeship and Development program to develop new workers’ skills.
APS Senior Project Manager Dewayne Keegel (third from left) joins Sundt employee-owners Ken Dean, Steve Roberts and Derek Neill in accepting the 2019 JLT Build America Award.
“We matured a lot over the course of this project, both on an individual and corporate level,” said Steve. “We even had a few people who started at Four Corners in craft roles, and by the time it was done they were working in management positions. For Sundt as a whole, the project is a huge achievement. It shows what we can do—the size and difficulty of projects we can take on.”
With over 20 AGC Build America awards spanning the past five decades, Sundt has won more Build Americas than any other contractor in history. These include projects across building, highway and transportation, utility infrastructure, and federal and heavy civil sectors. Alongside our partners and fellow AGC members, we are proud to build structures that benefit Americans every single day.
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.
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.