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May 19, 2023
Washington Patriot Construction
By engaging employees in its construction safety program, Washington Patriot Construction gains valuable insights from across the company on the best practices to adopt and integrate into its safety program.
A recent example of a newly implemented best practice is the prompt communication between construction sites and teams. This practice was developed from lessons learned on a recent project when a subcontractor discovered an unexpected underground pipe. After verifying that it was not an electrical pipe, the subcontractor proceeded to cut the pipe and detected a strong natural gas odor. He promptly stopped and sought assistance from Washington Patriot’s civil subcontractor, who shut down the natural gas valve and notified the site superintendent.
Unfortunately, the team later learned that it had not followed the proper protocol for shutting off valves, which could have led to multiple dangerous situations. It shared this information at Washington Patriot’s quarterly meeting and instituted a new procedure for gas leaks on jobsites.
Furthermore, Washington Patriot develops weekly updates on all its projects. These updates, which include photos from the week’s activities, are circulated among a select group of team members for review before being distributed to project teams. This practice enables the team to identify and address any safety deficiencies promptly, thus preventing future occurrences.
Additionally, Washington Patriot employs webcams on its projects that can be monitored at any time to ensure compliance with safety protocols.
Washington Patriot understands that safety is crucial in the construction industry. By creating a strong safety culture and demonstrating that construction can be done safely, it believes it can attract and retain the next generation of builders. That’s why it hires interns and teaches them the importance of safety early on in their careers. By sharing and instilling Washington Patriot’s safety culture with them, the company shares the tools and importance so they can carry it with them as they grow and evolve in the industry.
Washington Patriot also believes in working together as an industry to make safety a core value on all construction sites. As mentors to 8(a) companies, Washington Patriot helps them establish robust safety programs, which strengthens the industry as a whole. Last year, Washington Patriot completed an 8-year mentorship with a protégé construction firm from Oak Harbor, and this firm has since built its business and safety program to take on larger and more diverse projects. Washington Patriot recently become a mentor to another 8(a) protégé firm, which desires to work on federal government installations in Washington state.
To further enhance its safety program and culture, Washington Patriot hired a third-party safety consultant who is assigned to all projects. The consultant makes regular visits to jobsites and shares safety updates and information with all personnel, including craft workers, subcontractors, designers, and owners who may be on site.
Washington Patriot believes that informing everyone on its jobsites about safety hazards will ensure they understand what precautions they can take and promote good safety habits on other jobsites they enter.