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May 20, 2022
In early 2021, Centennial rolled out a series of virtual monthly lunch and learns beyond COVID-19 that addressed safety in the field and office, thus keeping all safety topics front and center, not just COVID-19. Lunch and learn safety topics included falls, trenching, confined space, electrical, emergency action plans, active shooter, defensive driving, wildfire smoke and heat illness. The virtual lunch and learns were limited to 60 minutes. This helps to ensure that the information was received and understood by employees and management.
To support greater awareness of utility safety, the “Fine the Line” utility strike prevention campaign was developed. The campaign was in direct response to utility strike incidents. The campaign focused not just on underground but also utility hazards encountered above ground and overhead. The campaign also helped to support the requirements for proper utility locates and proper notification at the forefront. Every utility must be located and visually verified before any construction activities take place near such utilities. The Find the Line campaign was rolled out during the monthly all hands call and reinforced and discussed during monthly lunch and learns and other meetings. These discussions were led and supported by the HSEQ members and staff.
To keep incident prevention at the forefront, Centennial stepped up its focus on doubling the reporting of unsafe conditions and near misses in 2021. Unsafe and near miss reporting should be looked at as a positive and not a negative action. Not reporting an unsafe or near miss could become the next incident resulting in a worker injury, property damage or worse a serious injury or fatality.
To aid in the support of the HSEQ program, the Centennial Project Safety Officer’s Academy III was added. Centennial project safety officers were enrolled in nine online safety training courses. Classes covered fall protection, electrical safety, equipment safety, crane safety and general construction related safety operations and leadership. The project safety officers were also mentored with the help of the Centennial HSEQ staff and were trained in high-risk plan reviews, site inspections, hazard recognition, incident reporting and incident mitigation processes. Each Centennial office has a project safety officer assigned that helps to ensure that safety is the number one core value. The Centennial HSEQ safety committee also receives input from the project safety officers.
To ensure that the ever-changing COVID-19 policies were in place and followed, Centennial HR department and executive management took the lead again in 2021. The plans, policies and procedures were carried out from the top down, with plans and process as well as easy reporting and risk management tools to meet the ever changing Washington state and CDC requirements. Centennial has been an AGC Safety Team member since 2009.