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AWCI’s Excellence in Construction Safety Award

Category: More Than 100,000 Annual Man-Hours

Winner: Precision Walls, Inc., Cary, North Carolina

Every single one of Precision Walls’ 300 supervisors, foremen and managers have completed OSHA’s construction outreach program within the last three years. In addition, each one has attended a “competent person training” program.

Branch safety managers at each of this company’s nine locations inspect jobs on a weekly basis. The jobsite inspection covers all areas of safety concern: general jobsite, PPE, scaffolding and ladders, boom and scissor lifts, fall protection, power tools, electrical, IIF training and OSHA inspections.

Photos are taken of any near misses or violations. Then Precision Walls’ managers issue a special report documenting the result of the inspection, with the jobsite foremen signing off.

Every week the branch safety manager communicates the information in the inspection report to the company’s vice president of safety, its field operations manager, general superintendent, general manager and project manager.

Safety issues are discussed at the weekly production meeting held at every branch office. Each Precision Walls’ branch is responsible for providing action in the form of a verbal or written warning, in order to prevent or eliminate a near-miss or violation from reoccurring.

When asked how their safety program has saved the company money, Precision’s vice president for safety, Gerry Golt, said, “We instituted a program of 100 percent hand protection and 100 percent eye protection two years ago. In 2005 we had a total of 30 hand injuries (cuts) and 15 eye injuries (foreign product in eye). At the end of 2007 we had a total of 10 hand injuries and five eye injuries. Putting a cost on 45 injuries at (direct and indirect costs) $1,000 per injury, $45,000 versus 15 injuries at $1,000 per injury—$15,000, we realized a savings of about $50,000 over a two-year period. That’s much, much more than enough than enough to pay for the PPE we provided to our employees. Most important, during the same two-year period we did not have a costly, serious hand or eye injury. We can measure the cost of a serious hand or eye injury in the area of $10,000 to $50,000, depending on the severity. There is no way to put a cost on an injury prevented by the use of this PPE, but to our company, it is priceless.

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