O'Neal Celebrates Safety Week 2016

O'Neal Celebrates Construction Safety Week

Construction Safety Week 2016 is taking place this week. The Construction Safety Week 2016 theme is "We are Stronger & Safer Together," highlighting the importance of collaborating across the industry to promote safety and eliminate worker injury.

Safety Week is an annual industry-wide initiative supported by national and global construction firms and trade associations representing the Construction Industry Safety Initiative (CISI) and the Incident and Injury-Free (IIF) CEO Forum. These organizations and companies have aligned to inspire everyone in the industry to be leaders in safety.

At O┬'Neal safety is a core value we live each and every day. Everyone knows that safety is a priority on a construction site. However, not everyone may have a solid plan in place to make sure their employees are safe at a job site. As an employee-owned company, safety is a core value at O┬'Neal because our people are our most valuable asset. We are committed to keeping our project personnel, team members, clients, subcontractors, the public and the environment safe when providing our services. We have always maintained a culture that promotes a safe work environment.

Safety is paramount in the planning, design and construction of every O┬'Neal project. We deliver safe work environments with proper planning, orientation, training, communication, oversight and documentation.

What is O┬'Neal doing?
At O┬'Neal, we have implemented a mandatory Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 10 hour training program which is part of our Safety and Health Program. Our engineers, designers and architects at the minimum, must complete the OSHA 10 hour training. This initiative has increased awareness of safety best practices at the earliest stages of a project. The OSHA 30 hour training is required for all O┬'Neal project managers, construction managers and safety technicians. 

To take it even a step further, every Monday morning a weekly toolbox talk is held for all workers. Behavior Based Safety Observations are performed and weekly findings are discussed at the Monday morning toolbox talk. We also routinely hold safety lunches for all workers where site specific safety topics are discussed as well as any incident, injuries or near misses.

Site Specific Safety Plan
Before work is conducted on any job site, we always put a proactive safety plan in place. This plan incorporates both O┬'Neal┬'s and the owner┬'s safety requirements. This plan always includes a safety manual for each subcontractor, and their designated safety person for the site. A training matrix is submitted showing specific safety training for each worker.

Subcontractors who have more than 25 workers must submit a resume on their proposed Safety Technician. This person should have more than two years of safety experience and an OSHA 30 hour card. In addition, all on-site employees will go through a safety orientation the day they arrive on the job. During this orientation, specific and present hazards, emergency alarms, evacuation routes and injury reporting is discussed.

We go even further to require that a Job Safety Analysis or Safety Task Assignment is completed before any work can take place. This includes any hot work, excavation, confined space and crane critical lifts. In addition, jobsite safety walks are conducted each week where findings are discussed, so an action plan can be made.

Leveraging Technology
O┬'Neal has also been leveraging technology to improve safety. From training and education to tracking and documentation, O┬'Neal┬'s construction and safety teams are able to utilize technology on the website. In addition, as an integrated design and construction firm, O┬'Neal is using technology to impact safety in the planning and design phases. ┬"We have been able to utilize Building Information Modeling (BIM) software to help our engineers identify and remove hazards in the model, long before there is a hazard on the job site,┬" said Chris Campbell, O┬'Neal┬'s Safety Director.

We are proud to say that our safety program received the Safety Training and Evaluation Process (STEP) platinum-level National Safety Award from the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Established more than 20 years ago, ABC┬'s STEP Awards program specifically recognizes construction companies for their achievements in safety training and self-evaluation, including their ongoing efforts to develop a quality safety program.