“We believe that everyone has the right to come home unharmed at the end of each workday.”
This is not just a saying management throws around at Skanska — a major project development and construction group in the United States — it’s a mission statement. Skanska puts safety at the forefront and has an excellent track record.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 150,000 construction-site injuries occur each year in the U.S., and many are avoidable. That’s a key focus during Skanska’s company-wide Safety Week — an educational campaign designed to keep both Skanska employees and the general public safe in and around construction zones. The company just recently wrapped up their 12th consecutive Safety Week this summer.
Their Safety Week format has been enhanced since 2014 with a number of different educational activities. Two years ago, Skanska employees started reaching out to industry suppliers, contractors, clients and designers to make it a more inclusive event.
This year Chicago Pneumatic (CP) was contacted to present, thanks in part to one of our representatives, Cap Rents, Astoria New York. It was an honor to participate, and we sent three of our colleagues to New York City. On hand were Gus Armbruster, Jim Richmeier and Dmitri Cremo. Together, Gus and Jim gave two separate presentations to Skanska crew members.
Bright and early, following Skanska’s daily stretching routine at the Brooklyn Bridge, Gus and Jim gave a brief presentation to more than 200 crew members on the history of CP rivet busters, and the role they have played in forming the construction industry over the past century. It was of special interest to Skanska employees, who run several CP rivet busters out on any given job. During the presentation, Gus and Jim also provided a hands-on demonstration of best practices during operation, and later discussed key maintenance procedures specifically for rivet busters.
When the first presentation was over, Gus and Jim were granted security access on top of the Brooklyn Bridge to observe a Skanska crew member break up concrete with CP rivet buster. Gus and Jim were both thrilled to see CP tools in action, and it proved to be a unique experience for both.
The day concluded at the Bayonne Bridge, which connects Bayonne, NJ, to Staten Island. This time, it was less formal. Gus and Jim simply met with two Skanska groups on top of the actual bridge where work was being done. Skanska has played an important role in putting an emphasis on safety, and we see many parallels between Skanska’s commitment to safety and our own.
Safety is a big part of CP’s standard product features.
Take for instance the rivet buster we presented to Skanska. It has one of the best power-to-weight ratios on the market to help alleviate tension on the back. It also includes CPS which indicates to the operator to replace wear parts, preventing any chance of failure during operation. This can ease operator fatigue and standard reflective tape to increase worker visibility on roads and bridges. These are examples of how we consider the end user and subsequently integrate key safety features into our equipment.
Overall, Gus, Jim, and Dmitri felt like the day was a great success. The Skanska crew asked some great questions regarding the rivet busters, and we believe we provided some important safety tips to the very capable Skanska team. We thank Skanska for the opportunity and hope to participate again in the future.
Some food for thought: We can all get a little wrapped up in our bottom line. But, ultimately people should be the real bottom line. When you make an investment in your employees and are 100 percent invested in their safety, it pays dividends.
Just ask Skanska.