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May 20, 2022
As the project manager on the Lyell Immunopharma project that broke ground in March 2020, Jeff Asavalertpanich found himself in charge of inventing, implementing and managing COVID-19 processes while enforcing DPR policies and CDC guidance, all on top of his “day job.” The Lyell project ended up working 132,253 team hours, with only three first aids, and zero recordables. There were a total of 13 reported, positive COVID-19 cases in 16,531 team days worked, but due to Asavalertpanich’s inexhaustible drive to protect the team and diligent contact tracing, there were zero transmissions within the jobsite.
The COVID-19 pandemic was the most significant safety challenge for DPR and Lyell. The project mobilized on March 8, 2020, just as the world was entering the new pandemic and all of its unknowns. DPR and Lyell enforced CDC guidance, travel was limited and quarantines were enforced as needed. DPR implemented a robust COVID-19 check-in for all workers, which included a QR code scan with daily survey for symptoms, outside of “border state” travel, and exposure to others with COVID-19 or its symptoms.
Navigating the uncertainty of the pandemic and enforcing new and evolving policies while safely building a world-class facility was an incredible challenge. Crew members were kept safe through mask wearing, social distancing, and robust contact tracing for high, medium and low exposures to the positive cases. There were zero known cases of transmission from crew member to crew member on the jobsite. Maintaining HPPA, respecting privacy and building trust were heavy challenges in sharing the right level of information within a large team. These once unimaginable challenges ultimately proved to be an honorable success story, largely due to Asavalertpanich’s non-stop diligence.
An outstanding project manager that maintains high, but fair, expectations and is perpetually accessible and available to consult on any issue, personal or professional, Asavalertpanich is an invaluable member of the DPR Seattle team. He volunteers his time within DPR as the DEI lead for the operations team, he leads DPR’s PM meetings, and is a highly sought mentor of the project engineers in DPR’s office. Asavalertpanich firmly believes in a team-build approach. In his words, “Our work should be inherently fun and enjoyable. But it is very important to also do fun stuff as a team outside of work.”