Dave Kievet, group president of Boldt’s western operations, credits the achievement to Boldt’s safety program, safety personnel and the dedication to safety by each employee. “Reaching this mark is representative of the culture at Boldt – getting everyone home safe is our number one priority,” said Kievet.
From managing tower cranes high above the ground to working with many different subcontractors without previous knowledge of Boldt’s safety program, the Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento project’s magnitude and complexity makes safety no easy task. Add in the urban setting with busy traffic and a hospital operating inches from the construction site, and some might say consistent safety is nearly impossible. But for Jon Rennan, Boldt’s safety director who oversees the project, safety success means implementing a system that works.
“Everybody is encouraged to talk about safety and everybody’s responsibility is safety,” he said. “We tailor a unique safety program for each job, and when you get everyone’s buy-in to that program, you see amazing results such as this milestone.”
The safety record for the Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento midtown expansion project includes the 395,000-square-foot Anderson Lucchetti Women’s and Children’s Center, which is currently being constructed; a complete renovation of Sutter General Hospital; and the completed construction of Sutter Capitol Pavilion, a 210,000-square-foot medical office building and outpatient service center. All of the buildings will be connected by a series of spanning structures and bridges.
Worker Training Is Key
Boldt team members receive extensive training to learn the safe work practices and conditions of the company’s safety program. Common safety communication and education materials focus on:
- Lifting from the knees to limit back injuries – Both at job sites and in office environments, Boldt has been a pioneer in incorporating ergonomics in the workplace.
- Fall prevention – Boldt crews must be physically tied off if working 6 feet or more off the ground. Additionally, Boldt has purchased equipment specifically designed to minimize fall exposure, such as aerial work platforms and specialized scaffolding.
- Housekeeping initiatives – Employees keep job sites clean and ensure no materials carelessly are left on the ground.
- Equipment use – Boldt stresses the importance of inspecting and removing damaged or broken tools, a critical step in workplace safety.
- Safety programs – Boldt tracks “near miss” events through its continuous safety improvement process to learn from potential accidents.
- Employee feedback –Boldt established a toll-free hotline so employees can call anonymously to report safety issues.
Kievet said Boldt’s safety training is a large part of its impressive safety record, but the attitude at construction sites and a focus on individual employees and their families impact safety positively as well.
“We care about our employees’ well-being, not just the company’s bottom line,” said Kievet. “And when you can show employees that our safety program is about keeping them safe, and getting them back to their families, it comes through in safety results.”
This safety announcement comes after another recent safety milestone achieved by the Boldt: 4 million hours worked without a lost-time accident across the entire company. Boldt has also been named one of America’s Safest Companies by EHS Today, has won three safety awards from the California Construction Employers Association and nine Wisconsin Corporate Safety Awards and recently was recognized by the Minnesota Safety Council with multiple safety awards. In 2002, CEO Tom Boldt was inducted into the Safety Hall of Fame.
Kievet said employees on the Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento project site won’t relax just because they hit this milestone. “We intend to keep up the hard work and aspire to finish this, and every job, without any accidents, to ensure that each and every person returns home safely at the end of the day,” said Kievet.