Shawmut Design and Construction hosted its 11th annual Safety Week at the end of October with a combination of virtual events and onsite, socially distant training sessions. Topics covered included total worker health, emergency preparedness, and isolation and loneliness.

Every jobsite and all 10 of the firm’s offices—including those in New York and Boston—participated. Team members in the field accessed the daily Toolbox Talks for their jobsite through a custom QR code. Employees throughout the firm attended virtual events hosted by experts.

“This year’s Safety Week not only focused on educating and training, but also celebrating and thanking our people,” said Shaun Carvalho, the firm’s chief safety officer, pictured at left. “We’ve been able to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and prevent outbreaks on our sites because of the diligence of our project teams and their commitment to safety and reinforcing our enhanced protocols.”

Pictured at top are Shawmut executives demonstrating proper distancing. They are (from left) Carvalho; Les Hiscoe, CEO; Joseph Lombardi, superintendent; and Glen Ryan, senior project manager.



On Nov. 19, the New Jersey chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-NJ) presented an online discussion about the safer design of restaurants and retail spaces for dealing with the impact of COVID-19.

The event’s speakers included Joshua Zinder, managing partner of JZA+D and AIA-NJ’s president; architect Bruce D. Turner, owner of Bruce D. Turner Architect; and Stacy Kliesch, owner and principal of Stacey Ruhle Kliesch Architect LLC.

Zinder discussed viral transmission spreads in dining facilities and the different challenges of high-end sit-down restaurants versus fast casual or fast-food eateries. Turner presented graphics showing how a respiratory virus spreads and the importance of face masks, then outlined challenges for shopping malls and commercial real estate investment as e-commerce dominates during the pandemic. Kliesch, as moderator, fielded attendees’ questions about costs associated with safety strategies, the latest in transmission risk assessment and suggestions for prioritizing upgrades and investments.