By Curt BiberdorfMarch 29, 2013
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Alaska District selected Haskell Corporation as the Contractor of the Year during its 14th Annual Celebrate Safety ceremony March 27 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
Haskell Corporation was among 10 contractors and two individuals honored for their safety performance in 2012 during the event, which included a new category for contractors involved in the humanitarian assistance program in Asia.
"Construction workers working on Corps projects are much safer than those working on other projects throughout Alaska and the nation, and that is thanks to our safety conscientious, caring and cooperative contractors," said David Prado, Alaska District's safety and occupational health office manager.
Celebrate Safety is a program that recognizes and promotes excellence in safety on Alaska District construction and environmental projects.
The program's ultimate goal is improving safe work practices and historical trends, and the annual ceremony is a means to honor those teams and individuals who, through their accomplishments, provide freedom to themselves and others from dangers or hazards in the work place.
Although enforcement is an important part of the safety program, Celebrate Safety started with the thought of "going out there catching people doing things right," said Col. Christopher Lestochi, district commander.
"The idea is that somehow we can improve the safety program by identifying best practices and then sharing them with each other," he added.
Key features of the program are raised awareness of safety at all levels, improved relationships between contractor and government personnel to affect excellence in safety, project level awards to honor outstanding contractors and their team, individual level awards to honor demonstrated safety excellence, and a systematic basis to identify, recognize and reward those contractors and individuals who demonstrate excellence in safety.
The safety achievement award is for contractors who demonstrated excellence in safety for a project in Alaska during calendar year 2012. This year's winners are:
• Bristol Environmental Remediation Services, LLC for hazardous, toxic, radioactive waste remedial action on Northeast Cape.
• Bethel Services, Inc. for remedial action of a formerly used defense site at Unalakleet.
• Haskell Corporation for phases one and two of a project to repair the coal handling processing plant boilers at Eielson Air Force Base.
• Granite Petroleum, Inc. for construction of a fueling facility during phase one of a Fort Richardson brigade complex project.
• TBI Construction Company for construction of organizational parking at Fort Richardson.
• White Mountain Construction, LLC for small indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity petroleum, oil and lubricants construction contract in various locations.
• STG Incorporated for phase two construction of mooring points in the Lower Yukon River Delta.
From those winners, Haskell Corporation took the 2012 Celebrate Safety Contractor of the Year award.
Individual awards are for the contractor or government employee who demonstrated dedication and commitment to "go the extra mile" in the work place to advance the safety program.
Eric Barnhill of Bristol Environmental Remediation Services, LLC won the award for his performance on the hazardous, toxic, radioactive waste remedial action at Northeast Cape while Sandra Bartorillo, of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Richardson Resident Office, received it for her efforts on the construction of a fueling facility during phase one of a Fort Richardson brigade complex project.
The advancement of safety principles award is new this year. It focuses on contractors working for the district's humanitarian assistance program, which support's U.S. Pacific Command's theater engagement strategy.
For a variety of reasons, the culture in Asia is less safety-oriented than the United States, and the expectations are much lower. "Despite these challenges, through strong efforts on the part of our contractors, we are beginning to see changes on our sites with a view toward safety," Lestochi said.
The new category recognizes these efforts. This year's winners are: Mukta Dinwiddie Maclaren Architects for design-build in Bangladesh; New Horizon Design & Construction Management Co., Ltd. for quality assurance in Vietnam; and Tesco Ltd. for quality assurance in Laos and Cambodia.
Finishing projects on time, within budget and to the highest quality while earning an income are important goals, but "all of that gets wiped away if we lose one person on one of our jobs," Lestochi said. "That is really what we are talking about when we are focusing on safety."