How our projects are finding safety success

Eliminating accidents takes proper planning, proactive communication and a commitment to protecting oneself and those around you. While Skanska’s Injury-Free Environment® mindset and certain safety protocols are standard across all our projects, projects always need to innovate to meet their individual circumstances. Here are a few ways some of our projects are successfully keeping their people safe:

Making safety personal:  Zero lost-time injuries on a project is impressive, and that’s what our team achieved during the 25 months they spent constructing the Charles H. Barrows STEM Academy in North Windham, Conn. Superintendent Bruce Laudone had two goals in mind when he decided to lead all 480 safety orientations: he wanted to gauge firsthand the level of expertise of our trade partners’ workforce, and he also wanted every worker to begin to get to know him and hear his explanation of Skanska’s IFE culture. By meeting every worker, Laudone wanted to improve lines of communication and create a team mentality so both trade partners and Skanska would be working to deliver the best building possible. “It’s the personal touch that was a differentiator,” Laudone said.

                                              STEM Academy                                                       

The team at Barrows STEM Academy in Conn. achieved zero lost-time injuries over their 25 month project.

At the Ambulatory Care Center expansion Skanska is building at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, our team’s success here is also based on a personal approach to safety, said Ryan Aalsma, Skanska project executive. “We’re really trying to tap that energy that comes from the heart, that desire for people to do what’s right,” he said. “In this case, what’s right is no one getting hurt on our jobs and everyone going home safely.”

Also key at Lackland is keeping safety “fresh,” so it remains top of mind for everyone on site. “You have to make your safety commitments up front and revisit them every day,” Aalsma said.

Integrating safety into the project: Our Los Angeles Exposition Line Phase 2 transit project hires many local workers as apprentices to learn construction skills, and even with thorough, first-day safety orientations those new workers are not immediately familiar with job-site hazards. So apprentices are required to wear blue hard hats for their first 90 days of work so more experienced workers know to pay extra attention to them.

Los Angeles Exposition Line Phase 2
The team at Los Angeles Exposition Line Phase 2 is focused on safely building a light rail.

At Barrows Academy, attention to detail meant building safety into the pre-construction process. From when they first saw the project documents, our team was looking for safety concerns and how they could address them in construction. Then, Skanska was very straightforward in addressing those concerns in trade partner bidding documents, in part because of this project’s strict public procurement rules. At every stage of trade contractor procurement – from scope review to contract review to execution – safety was emphasized. “Even before they received their contracts, our trade partners understood how important safety is to us,” said Beau Burgess, project manager. “This understanding carried forward into construction.”

It begins at the top:  At Barrows Academy, Laudone understood that the buck stopped with him. By leading all of the safety orientations, Laudone made it clear that he was not only committed to safety but also someone that workers could turn to with concerns. For example, if a layout worker made a mistake rather than trying to hide it he would bring it to Laudone’s attention because of a non-blaming, open-door philosophy. Similarly, workers felt comfortable bringing up potential safety issues. “I’ve been on a lot of job sites where it’s us vs. them,” Laudone said. “Here, the trade contractors looked at us as a partner in creating this building.”

At the same time, if a project’s safety performance isn’t where it should be, the project leaders should be open to critiques and making subsequent adjustments to improve safety, Lackland’s Aalsma said. Additionally, the Lackland team has focused on doing Executive Site Safety Visits “with conviction,” said he. Any problems that are identified are quickly resolved.

ACC-for-Hub

At the Ambulatory Care Center at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, safety starts at the top.

At Barrows Academy, Expo Line Phase 2 and Lackland, our teams have demonstrated that a disciplined approach to safety can pay tremendous dividends. How will you incorporate these lessons into your own work?

Skanska USA

Skanska USA

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients in the public and private sectors, including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, life science, education, sports & entertainment, data centers, government, aviation and commercial industries.

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Why we support the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy

In a major effort to combat climate change and promote clean energy, the leaders of British Columbia, California, Oregon and Washington have joined together to form the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy. Through the plan, these leaders charged their governments to account for the costs of carbon pollution, adopt and maintain low-carbon fuel standards, and support clean energy for their region, which together represents the world’s fifth largest economy.

As Skanska continues to grow our business on the West Coast, we’re proud to support this landmark political, environmental and economic initiative.

“We have to work with risk factors all the time, and a changing climate is a significant business risk,” says Steve Clem, a Skanska vice president in Oregon (Read his OpEd on the subject in Sustainable Business Oregon). “The more tools we have to address and mitigate the risks we know are coming, the more equipped we can be. Our leaders are setting smart policy, based on sound research. If we follow through on it, we will guarantee a vibrant, healthy world for our children while also creating a sustainable clean economy going forward.”

Bertschi School

We built the West Coast’s first certified Living Building, the Bertschi School Science Classroom Addition in Seattle.

Our own business is centered on doing what’s right for the environment while providing the buildings and infrastructure urban areas need to thrive. Measuring and managing carbon emissions is part of our daily work towards our Journey to Deep Green™ and being a leader in reporting and reducing CO2 emissions. We’ve developed our Color PaletteTM framework to measure and guide Skanska’s green performance.

Not only do we hold our company to high standards, but we’re committed to supporting national and global efforts to support clean energy and green building. Skanska’s volume gives us buying power that can be used to leverage market change if we partner with clients and policy makers. In a market that remains fiercely competitive, well-crafted policy helps us do the right thing faster.

In July, we dropped our membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to protest their backing of proposed changes that would weaken the use of LEED in federal buildings. (Read our CEO Mike McNally’s explanation of Skanska’s position here in this op-ed published in The Washington Post.) Today, we were gratified to learn that the U.S. General Services Administration is continuing to support third-party green building certification systems by recommending the use of LEED 2009 and Green Globes 2010 for use in federal projects.

The Pacific Coast Action Plan for Climate and Energy is an important step in the right direction. If a region as large as that one – with 53 million people and with a combined GDP of $2.8 trillion – can come to a consensus, and across international boundaries, we hope this inspires the rest of the U.S. to take similar green actions.

“The actions outlined in the Pacific Coast Climate Plan will help us address carbon in a much more unified way that support a truly sustainable future – socially, environmentally and economically,” says Clem. “Efforts like this will drive innovation, encouraging businesses to develop better products and solutions that are good for profits and people.”

 

Skanska USA

Skanska USA

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients in the public and private sectors, including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, life science, education, sports & entertainment, data centers, government, aviation and commercial industries.

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Introducing Our Core Values

Skanska Core Values

photo credit: Skanska USA

At Skanska, our beliefs and actions are guided by our Five Zeros, our Code of Conduct and our commitment to diversity and sustainability. We take pride in holding ourselves and our projects to the highest standards, and our values provide benchmarks to evaluate our successes and opportunities for improvement.

Our Code of Conduct ensures that we do business in the same fair and principled way all over the world. On top of that, we have our Five Zeros, which guide our goal setting and decision making, including how we’re achieving an Injury-Free Environment for ourselves and our clients. The pursuit of sustainability is a cornerstone of Skanska’s guiding principles. From the projects we tackle, to the materials we utilize, to our construction techniques, sustainability is a holistic part of our processes. Skanska embraces diversity as a key business strategy and strives to ensure our culture is inclusive and respectful. We know that a diverse team is a better team and is essential for creating an open and high-achieving environment.

As this blog develops, we will explore some of the lessons learned in the pursuit of our core values. From frank discussions about ethics, to explorations of our latest green projects, to spotlights of our project teams, we will share what our core values mean and how they continue to shape the world we’re building.

Michael McNally

Michael McNally

President and CEO, Skanska USA

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Introducing the Skanska USA Blog

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Welcome to the Skanska USA Blog! Skanska has seen tremendous growth since Rudolf Fredrik Berg founded “AB Skanska Cementgjuteriet” in Sweden in 1887. Much of that growth and success can be attributed to Skanska’s adherence to the Five Zeros, our values expressed as five targets: zero loss-making projects, zero environmental incidents, zero accidents, zero ethical breaches and zero defects. The Skanska USA blog will help bring to light these Five Zeros through insights from Skanska leaders, stories and images from our project sites, and examples of best practices in both construction and development. From safety best practices to innovations in construction to the latest in green technologies, this blog will dig into Skanska’s true foundation—our people. We encourage you to read, share and comment on all that you find here.

Michael McNally

Michael McNally

President and CEO, Skanska USA

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