May 9, 2018
May 8, 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.
May 7, 2018
Sundt Chief Operating Officer Tom Case (second from left) and Corporate Director of Health, Safety and Environment Paul Levin (third from left) visit the Gilbert Light Rail Project.
Sundt has an excellent safety record, winning the AGC Grand Award twice. Our commitment to the cause was further proven this week when company leaders visited job sites as we celebrated National Safety Week.
Chief Operating Officer Tom Case and Corporate Director of Health, Safety & Environment Paul Levin stopped by four of our Phoenix-area projects to talk with the crews. While their focus was on the importance of task hazard analyses and open communication among craft and admin employee-owners, Tom and Paul also made the trip to show our company’s dedication to National Safety Week. This is the fourth consecutive year we have been a sponsor for the event, which lasts through Friday.
“We wanted to kick off the week with good conversation,” Tom said. “We wanted to be visible and spend time listening to our employees and sharing our goals for the week.”
Tom and Paul visited four sites: Gilbert Light Rail, Union Tempe, Ak-Chin Casino Expansion and a confidential client. They were joined along the way by Transportation Group Manager Jeff Williamson, Industrial Group Manager Rich Kiel and Industrial Sector Manager Greg Ayres. Their message was clear.
“Every day is a safety day and every week is a safety week,” he said. “People are working really hard under schedule pressure to finish jobs. We need to spend time making sure we get it right and we do it safely. Don’t be in a hurry. Don’t cut corners. Look out for each other.”
May 4, 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.
May 3, 2018
Sundy Project Engineer Dilip Allam.
Soon after graduating, he moved to Detroit and attended Wayne State University to earn his master’s in Civil Engineering. When he graduated in fall 2016, he moved to Tempe to work for Sundt. He and his brother, Dinesh, work for our Concrete Division. Dilip is in El Paso and Dinesh is in Tempe.
How did you learn about Sundt?
I joined Sundt as an Engineering Intern in summer 2016 and continued to work as a student while I was in my last semester in the fall. I was working from home in Detroit. Then I was offered to join full-time after school and took the offer.
What’s the most challenging thing a Project Engineer has to do?
What’s it like having a brother who essentially has the same job as you?
It is great to work together. We talk a lot about process development and how to lean our processes. One major process development we did together was creating a BIM process for estimating. In this project, Dinesh created a process that we call model-based estimating, which we are using for estimating in concrete and I created how-to videos for the whole process. I learned a lot of things from him throughout that process. Regarding personal life, I think it is always good to stay closer to your family members.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
I would have the power of super speed like The Flash. It would help me be unstoppable while playing soccer or field hockey.
What’s your favorite movie?
“The Shawshank Redemption.”
What’s one thing someone should do or visit when in the El Paso area?
The Scenic Drive is interesting in the evening.
Project Linus blankets go to sick children or those facing hardship.
Named after the beloved, blanket-carrying character from the “Peanuts” comic strip, Project Linus does real-life work that improves the lives of children facing hardship.
Tucson Chapter Coordinator Rene Lassise said her group has a database of around 300 volunteers who make blankets and drop them off or pick them up and quality check them at collection sites around the city. One of those locations is Sundt’s Tucson office; the company lends space to the organization once a month.
Project Linus gives blankets to facilities and nonprofits that distribute them based on need.
“Our blankets are delivered once a month to hospitals, clinics, the DCS/foster care facilities, Ronald McDonald House, Emerge!, Blake Foundation/Easter Seals, etc.,” Rene said. “We try to fill the needs at the hospitals and clinics first, getting blankets to the neediest children.”
Project Linus’ national organization estimates purchasing the material to make a blanket costs $20. The Tucson chapter also accepts donations of new, clean yarn and fabric. By mixing donations with new materials, Rene is able to make kits available to groups and individuals to turn into blankets.
Volunteers from the Tucson chapter made 6,800 blankets last year. A $2,000 grant from the Sundt Foundation is helping the organization supplement what it has and keeps volunteers from having to dig as deep in their pockets to pay for supplies. In a sign of gratitude, the organization made a blanket with Sundt’s logo on it that hangs in the Tucson office’s lobby.
“Our organization needs these blankets for the children all the time, 365 days of the year. It isn’t a one-time event,” Rene said. “The grant from the Sundt Foundation enables me to have the materials available for the volunteers to make the blankets.”
Rene said her chapter receives numerous cards and letters from blanket recipients. She has almost five scrapbooks filled with thank-you notes.
“I have one story from a young lady I met at the University of Arizona during one of our events on campus,” Rene said. “She was a senior and getting ready to graduate that spring. When she was 15, she attempted suicide. While in the hospital, she was given a Linus blanket. She said she realized the world is full of caring people and she still had her blanket in the dorm room with her.”
This is part of a series of blogs about the positive impacts made by the Sundt Foundation.