(Photo above and below courtesy of Skanska USA)
C

Last week, for example, 600 workers listened raptly to Charlie Morecraft, 58, as he told his cautionary tale. A former petrochemical worker, Morecraft had sustained serious burns while on a job. The experience turned him into a lecturer on safety.

The crews had previously seen a video of Morecraft’s story. Brad Vinton, a steward for local subcontractor Mass Electric, calls the story "a rude awakening" to the dangers of taking shortcuts.

advertisement
...

The event for Terminal A workers is part of an effort to boost individual responsibility for safety that is gaining ground at construction sites. The goal is to foster in each worker an ethical impulse to maintain safety standards, above and beyond existing rules and rewards. "When a worker gets injured, the manager’s first response should not be ‘who is liable?’ but ‘what can we do for him and his family?’" says Jay Greenspan, a founder of JMJ Associates, Austin.

Skanska U.S.A. Building Inc., the local construction manager at-risk with Tishman Construction Corp., hired JMJ as a safety consultant on Logan and other jobs last year after learning of the firm’s track record for facilitating safer practices on oil and gas projects. Results cited by JMJ include a 55% reduction in lost-time incidents over two years at a U.K. project.

Before 2001, JMH was hired mostly by project owners, says spokesman Bob Allbright. The trend shifted toward construction clients after Bovis Lend Lease partnered with oil giant BP on a job involving JMJ. Word began to spread.

On Site. Skanska’s Johnson (right) oversees Terminal A rebuilding and its safety program.

Skanska’s aim is not so much to improve safety at Terminal A, where there have been no major injuries, but to instill a philosophy of improved safety and communication, says Peter Johnson, Skanska general superintendent. "It needs to be industrywide," he says, and adopted by individuals regardless of employer.

At Terminal A, the safety program includes daily talks to workers. Workers get tips on confronting colleagues who do not practice safety. Managers go up on the catwalk twice a day to talk with workers, write notes to outstanding workers and offer aid to families of the injured.

Logan’s $4.4-billion, 10-year modernization is in its ninth year, with some 400 projects on a 2.2-sq-mile site, says Christopher Gordon, Logan director of capital programs. The job to rebuild a new 380,000-sq-ft Terminal A plus a new 185,000-sq-ft satellite terminal is so constrained that a 3,900-ft-long, 10-ft-tall wall is constantly shifted to separate construction from planes. Work began in spring 2002 and is to conclude next year.

Terminal A will consolidate Delta Airline’s national flights and shuttle operations, says Thom Lang, Delta regional director. Despite financial woes, Delta moved ahead with the expansion of a key hub. The plan had called for maintaining nine gates during 48 months of construction. But after 9/11 caused traffic slowdowns, the team decided to close the terminal, saving 14 months.

Other capital program pieces wrapping up include the $350-million doubling of the international terminal to 1 million sq ft. The project entailed adding a new ticketing area in front of the old terminal, which will house expanded baggage areas and federal facilities. Logan will also open bids in November for a $50-million, 5,000-ft runway.

rews on the $375-million Terminal A project at Boston’s Logan Airport are getting a dose of preventive medicine on the merits of jobsite safety. The treatment, part of a safety program administered by the construction manager, appears to be making a big impression.