Archive for the ‘Site Work’ Category

Watch Super Bowl stadium get built in 50 seconds

Friday, January 24th, 2014

With the big game between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Donkeys about a week away, EarthCam is sharing a time-lapse video of MetLife Stadium under construction. The clip compresses about 2½ years of construction into 50 seconds.

The $1.6 billion stadium was filmed from August 2007 to March 2010.

Go Hawks!

Vote for wild crane photos

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Want to see some cool photos of cranes at work? Check out Craneblogger, which is running its 4th annual crane photo contest. There are three categories:

Coolest Mobile Crane Photos

Coolest Tower Crane Photos

Wildest Crane Photos

You can vote until Oct. 30 and winners will be announced on Nov. 8. The top three from each category will win a Liebherr crane model and the top winner will be profiled in Wire Rope Exchange and Crane Hotline.


Could OSHA change course on its proposed delay of crane operator certification?

Friday, September 6th, 2013

By Debbie Dickinson

Crane Institute of America Certification



Just because OSHA has proposed a delay to operator certification, doesn’t mean it will happen. Take notice of recent activity in Washington, D.C.

We recently learned about a different regulation in a similar situation to 1926.1400 Cranes and Derricks in Construction; on Aug. 7, OSHA withdrew a proposed rule to amend the On-Site Consultation Program.

Although not related to cranes and derricks, there are parallels worth noting. Stakeholder concerns that a delay discourages employers from participating was the key reason for moving forward. Many in the crane industry fear the same would happen if crane operator certification is delayed.

OSHA first issued an intent to delay and outlined plans for changing the Consultation Program at the end of July, just a few months after its proposal about crane operator certification. Yet, no such plan has been forthcoming from OSHA for cranes and derricks. The final rule for both are just 8 days apart.

While we remain unsure of what OSHA will do regarding crane operator certification, we do know that:

1. A delay is unnecessary; CIC has offered specific solutions to OSHA that fully solve the concerns raised.

2. According to industry studies, 80% fewer crane-related deaths and 50% fewer accidents occur with certified crane operators.

In addition, Peg Seminario, Director of Safety and Health for the AFL-CIO testified on Aug. 1, 2013 before the Subcommittee on Oversight, Federal Rights, and Agency Action Senate Judiciary Committee on “The Human Cost of Regulatory Paralysis.”

According to Seminario: “It is inexcusable and shameful that even where there was broad agreement that the cranes and derricks standard was needed and about what the rule should require, that the regulatory system failed to protect workers…During the eight year rulemaking, 176 workers died in crane accidents that would have been prevented.” Seminario’s testimony is clear: OSHA knows that certification saves lives and that delays will mean more people will die, unnecessarily.

Please contact OSHA and express your expectation that the agency remember its mission “to ensure a safe and healthy workplace,” which does not align with OSHA’s recent attitude that the purpose of regulations is to provide the agency with greater authority for imposing citations and fines on employers.

I hope that out of respect for the lives at stake, for the negotiated rule-making process that was fully supported by industry experts, and for the millions of dollars already invested by the industry, that OSHA does not delay. CIC will continue to remain compliant with OSHA and to drive our business based on the safety and needs of the industry.  Employers can rely on CIC to:

1. Conduct meaningful certifications; CIC certified by type and capacity years before the OSHA regulation because this helps employers make sound decisions and gives operators credentials with merit.

2. Assess the knowledge, skill and abilities of operators for the purpose of reducing accidents.

3. Provide affordable, accessible and accredited certifications for crane operators and riggers.

Debbie Dickinson is executive director at Crane Institute of America Certification, which offers NCCA accredited certifications for mobile crane operators (five classifications) and qualified and advanced riggers and signal persons.

Greenfire flames environmental passion

Friday, May 31st, 2013

While Bullitt Center is grabbing headlines as the greenest commercial building in the world, a project in Ballard is taking green building a step further by dedicating about half of its site to urban gardens and open space.

The DJC is profiling the Greenfire Campus project in a special section.

Greenfire’s office building will use about 70 percent less energy than a typical office, and its apartments will use 42 percent less. All that urban agriculture will be fed by two cisterns that store stormwater runoff.

Expect to see more projects like this in the future.

Contractors finally embrace high-tech

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

The old adage is that contractors are slow to adapt to new technology. That may have held true in the past, but go to any job site now and you’re likely to see iPads and other mobile devices hard at work.

Just how these devices speed productivity is the subject of two articles in the DJC’s Construction & Equipment special section. In one article, Skanska discusses how it’s moving toward a paperless job site. In the second, Howard S. Wright profiles its high-tech “Big Room” that is outfitted with various high-tech devices to streamline collaboration and communication between all of the project team members.

Even with all those high-tech gizmos in the Big Room, HSW still designed in a glass wall for posting sticky notes.

L&I busts Eastern Washington contractors

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

In its quest to crack down on unlicensed contractors, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries says it made surprise visits to 63 work sites in Chelan and Douglas counties this past weekend.

The result? Eleven contractors were cited for either lacking a state registration or for not being registered for the work they were doing. Each first-time offense carries a $1,000 fine.

“An unregistered contractor typically has no liability insurance, no bond, and pays no taxes or workers’ comp,” said Dean Simpson, manager of L&I’s construction compliance program, in a release. “That means they’re leaving consumers unprotected and are unfairly competing with reputable contractors who do great work and meet the requirements.”

Simpson said his program has stepped up staffing and focus, inspecting more than 10,000 jobsites in the last fiscal year — 56 percent more visits and 39 percent more violations uncovered than in the previous year.

Mark Straub, executive officer for the North Central Home Builders Association, said his group supports L&I’s crackdown.

“We continue to receive numerous calls from consumers who thought they were getting ‘a great deal,’ only to discover that they have little or no recourse when they’re ultimately left in a lurch by these bad actors,” Straub said in the release.

L&I has carried out surprise inspections at 257 work sites, issuing 41 citations, since the agency began sweeps in August. The agency also found a number of other violations relating to uncertified plumbers, underage workers and unpermitted work on manufactured homes.

“We want to show people we’re out there, even on the weekends,” Simpson said. “We want unregistered contractors to know we will find them and for honest contractors to know we’re not ignoring this problem.”

L&I’s contractor compliance program has 21 inspectors around the state that make random site visits and respond to tips. Contractors can register at

Skanska holding world’s largest workplace safety initiative

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Skanska is in the midst of its eighth annual Safety Week, which it bills as the world’s largest workplace safety initiative. That means all of Skanska’s 53,000 employees around the world, including its 9,400 U.S. employees, are putting an extra focus on workplace safety and wellness. Subcontractors, suppliers and business partners are also included.

The program has thousands of activities held at Skanska jobsites and offices that educate employees on how to better avoid workplace risks and evade injuries. Examples are rescue techniques and fire training, flex routines, health and first-aid training, and ladder safety.
Speaking of ladder safety, Skanska is hosting a ladder safety presentation at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday at its UW Medical Center jobsite. Doug Wing from Little Giant Ladders will give a demonstration.

Skanska has developed some best practices for ladder safety:
• Always inspect the ladder prior to use.
• Choose the right ladder for the job based on if you are working at low, medium or high heights.
• Move slowly and deliberately while on a ladder. Over-reaching or leaning can lead to a loss of balance.
• Most importantly, always maintain three points of contact while ascending and descending a ladder. The user should keep either two hands and a foot or two feet and a hand on the ladder at all times.

Over the past six years, Skanska’s lost-time accident rate for employees has been reduced by 50 percent. By 2015, the company aims to eliminate three out of four lost-time accidents.

More information on Safety Week 2012 can be found at It runs until Sunday.

Is an L&I inspection good for your bottom line?

Monday, October 10th, 2011

The state Department of Labor & Industries claims getting cited for a workplace safety violation can be good for a company.

L&I says a recent study of 10 years’ worth of inspection data found significant reductions in claims and claim costs following a safety inspection or consultation.

The greatest impact came when an inspection resulted in at least one citation. Research found a reduction in worker injury claims of as much as 20 percent over similar worksites that weren’t inspected.

“Safety is not always at the forefront of an employer’s mind. But when a significant event takes place, like a serious injury or an L&I inspection, it can really get their attention,” said Barbara Silverstein, director of L&I’s Safety and Health Assessment and Research for Prevention program, in a press release. “This can lead to a greater recognition of what can be done in the workplace to reduce hazards, itself leading to safer workplaces and fewer injuries.”

The study found that enforcement inspections at fixed-site businesses were followed by a 4.3 percent greater decline in compensable claims rates than at non-visited businesses. At non-fixed-site businesses, such as construction sites, the number was 3.1 percent greater.

A study summary can be found at

Colman Residence tower support shafts finishing up

Monday, August 8th, 2011


DBM Contractors on Wednesday expects to finish what will now total 116 drilled shafts at the Colman Residence project across the street from the Journal Building.

The concrete and rebar filled shafts will support the 16-story, 208-unit apartment tower. Crews are now digging the grade beam foundations that will sit atop the shafts. They also have installed the rebar that will strengthen the concrete box that will support the project’s tower crane.

The project team is: Goodman Real Estate, owner; Turner Construction, general contractor; Weber Thompson, architect; and Magnusson Klemencic Associates, structural engineer.




DJC’s 50 yard line for construction

Friday, July 8th, 2011
The Journal Building provides a backdrop as crews lower a rebar cage into a freshly drilled hole.

The DJC has a front row seat for Goodman Real Estate’s Colman Residence project. With such a convenient location, look for frequent updates on this blog as construction progresses.

Crews from DBM Contractors this week have been drilling and installing concrete piles that will support the 16-story apartment building. That will be quite a task because plans call for 109 drilled shafts ranging in diameter from 24 to 48 inches, reaching depths of 40 to 145 feet.

A DBM worker directs the flow of concrete into another drilled hole.

Before DBM started drilling into the earth, Goodman pulled up 20 trees that had surrounded the site for decades. DJC colleague Katie Zemtseff wrote about that in May.

The project team has Turner Construction as the general contractor, Weber Thompson as architect and Magnusson Klemencic Associates as structural engineer.

The building will have retail topped by 208 apartments aimed at young urban professionals.

I wonder if any of them will cross the street to work at the DJC.