“It’s in our hands.” That’s the theme of Safety Week 2017. In its fourth year, the annual initiative brings together groups across the construction industry through training sessions and other events nationwide to emphasize the importance of creating a culture of safety on the jobsite.
This year’s event runs May 1 to May 5 and promotes jobsite safety as a shared responsibility. The theme also draws attention to the prevalence of hand injuries, as work-related damage to hands, fingers and tendons is one of the most common causes of missed work days. We spoke with Smoot Construction’s Matt McMillion, Corporate Safety Director, about the company’s approach to safety.
How would you describe Smoot Construction’s overall approach to safety?
The foundation of any successful safety program is of course Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance – however, in reality, this is just the beginning. A large part of Smoot Construction’s approach to safety is to stress the importance of creating an exceptional overall safety culture at all of our jobsites, as well as the company as a whole.
We have achieved a safety-first culture by placing a strong focus on accident prevention, continual employee training, which features customized safety and health OSHA programs, as well as management training and consultation (referred to as OSHA on-site). This training can help employees determine potential hazards at worksites, improve occupational injury and illness prevention programs, and possibly even qualify for a one-year exemption from routine OSHA inspections.
Within our company, who holds the responsibility to ensure worker safety?
Though the responsibility of worker safety ultimately falls upon the shoulders of the company’s Corporate Safety Director, our leadership tasks all employees with safety. From new hires to our most seasoned employees, each and every one of us are ultimately responsible for the safety of our workers on jobsites.
What is Smoot Construction’s future goals related to safety?
Smoot Construction’s number one goal regarding safety has remained the same for countless years – and will surely never change. Our employees, inclusive of leadership, work tirelessly to ensure each worker on our jobsites goes home safely to their loved ones every single day.
What are the benefits of Safety Week, and how does Smoot Construction participate?
By participating in Safety Week, we are able to turn our attention to safety-specific issues that may be occurring within the industry as a whole. This year, Smoot Construction is focusing on fall protection with a company-wide safety stand down. All employees and subcontractors will be trained to heighten the awareness of fall protection, as well as the new OSHA Fall Protection Standard implemented early this year.
What does leading our firm’s safety efforts mean to you, personally?
Leading the company’s safety efforts is beyond immeasurable and immensely humbling. I have found that it is the opportunities in life you do not take advantage of that you tend to regret the most. I see clearly that it is this career choice that has provided me with the opportunity to ensure hundreds and hundreds of people go home safely to their families every day.
Smoot Construction recently helped support the March 4th Bowl for Kids Sake Event, which is sponsored by Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Central Ohio. More than 1,5OO members of the local community and 1OO companies come together each year in support of the event, which, this year, raised more than $443,000 for the non-profit organization!
Teams of five bowlers competed to raise the most money and celebrate their efforts during bowling fun at the Columbus Square Bowling Palace. It was an exciting day full of live entertainment, local celebrities, raffle drawings, special prizes, and refreshments.
Smoot’s General Counsel, Dana Smoot, personally supports the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio. Dana serves as the Board Chair, offering countless hours to help the organization make a positive difference in children’s lives. Certified Big Brothers and Big Sisters provide high-risk children with a compass and direction for positive futures. Their programs develop higher aspirations, greater confidence, and educational success. They also help children realize their potential and build their futures.
Earlier this month, Lewis R. Smoot, Sr., Mark S. Cain, and Lewis R. Smoot, Jr., accepted a Certificate of Recognition on behalf of the company for our leadership in constructing the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Columbus Mayor, Andrew Ginther, not only paid homage to the organization for our role in the successful completion of this historical landmark, but for the exceptional contributions the firm has made to the city of Columbus.
We recognize this honor as a reminder of our employees’ hard work, dedication, and efforts in which they put forth each and every day. Our leadership offered their congratulations and gratitude to all members of the Smoot Construction organization.
Smoot Construction has been awarded a CM at Risk contract for The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’s New Exhibit Region: Wild World/Sea Lions.
This Wild World Exhibit experience shall be salt spray, sea lions and one-on-one animal encounters. Directly inside the Zoo’s Entry Plaza, this region will delight and enchant zoo guests with unforgettable animal encounters, presentations and tours; wild, Jack Hanna-themed experiences; a raucous colony of bellowing seals and sea lions, and much more.
Certain to be an adventure for the entire family, Wild World will be developed in the current Jungle Jack’s landing area and will actually incorporate some of the popular existing rides. The region will be based not on a specific, geographic location, but instead on a fun, nature-oriented and whimsical land where the connection between people and wildlife is celebrated.
The anticipated project timeline is:
Many thanks go out to Smoot Construction’s own Joe Hedrick who snapped this awesome shot of several of the company’s work trucks. The trucks look pretty darn cool surrounding a Columbus Ohio water tower.
The new Ohio Exposition Center project has completed. The project featured the demolition of several structures, as well as the associated site and utility work that was required in preparation for new building. The new 100,000 square-foot Cardinal Hall features a large main hall for trade and exhibition shows, along with multi-level lighting, electrical distribution, and networking capability for CCTV & Internet, water and drain access, large access doors with dock for loading in and out and storage space, as well at the ability to divide the space into multiple exhibit areas.
“Smoot Construction delivered the facility on time, despite OEC’s request to add a number of value-added enhancements, including an additional elevator, terrazzo tile in the concourse, the agriculture hall of fame, as well as additional parking. Your on-site construction team also worked through unforeseen and unsuitable underground conditions without any delay to the project. I would be remiss if I did not mention your team’s exemplary quality and attention to detail that was apparent throughout the project. The masonry and exterior Alpolic panels’ quality were of the highest order,” stated Virgil Strickler, General Manager, Ohio State Fair Commissioners.
We know a happy client is the best client!
Smoot Construction has completed construction of the newest Columbus City School, Ecole Kenwood, which is a French-Immersion school. The 66,000 square-foot school, which was designed and constructed with energy efficiency and sustainability in mind, also has an amphitheater, state-of-the-art audio-visual and security systems, Wi-Fi throughout, a gymnasium, and indoor and outdoor dining spaces.
The new Ecole Kenwood Elementary School is a replacement building located on the same urban site as the previous school. The project met the challenges of the constricted site while supporting the school’s Pre-Kindergarten through sixth grade French language immersion program. High-tech classrooms and flexible collaboration spaces will allow students to explore language through a variety of learning styles.
“It’s (the new facility) only going to enhance the great things that we’ve already begun and allow us to expand our 21st-century learning,” said Emma Corbin, now in her second year as principal at the school.
The new school’s technology, which was incorporated into the building, is designed to help children jump into the next generation.