ENR California is proud to announce the winner of its first Best Safety Award in conjunction with its annual Best Projects competition. This year, we separated the project’s safety aspects from the other category criteria and picked separate judges to review projects’ safety records and jobsite procedures.

Safety makes up 20% of the judging criteria for every project, and this year of the 139 total projects submitted, 56 projects also chose to be considered for the Best Safety Award. Submitters provided information about how well the project team went above and beyond the baseline industry safety requirements on the submitted project. Further information included what training/safety programs were implemented to prevent injuries and assure a safe jobsite and how do their OSHA recordables and lost time rates compare to other projects in the category, taking into consideration the number of man hours?

“Safety has always been an important area of ENR’s coverage, because it is so important to our readers,” says Janice Tuchman, ENR editor-in-chief. “It has been one of the Best Projects competition’s criteria from the beginning, but we think it deserves this special recognition. We are very excited to have this new category and new winner in each region.”

Safety judges included Ed Aschoff, CEO of the safety and risk consulting firm Dansure Inc., Los Angeles; Joel Becks, regional safety professional for DPR Construction, Redwood City; and Steven Hooper, safety director, Unger Construction, Sacramento.

This year’s Best Safety Project is the Marian Medical Center in Santa Maria, submitted by Kitchell. The Dignity Health project broke ground in 2008 and was completed in March this year. It includes a $13.8-million central plant to replace the non-conforming 1960s era plant; and a $159-million, four-story in-patient tower (plus basement expansion), doubling the size of the original hospital.

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Marian Medical Center, Santa Maria

Total man hours on the Marian Medical Center project was 1.1 million and Cal/OSHA consultations were on-going during the course of the project. In 2009, Kitchell was awarded the Cal/OSHA Golden Gate Partnership Recognition, which was developed to provide motivation and support to employers who proactively work with their employees and the Cal/OSHA Consultation Service. Then in 2011, Kitchell received the official letter from Cal/OSHA approving this project for SHARP Recognition, which recognizes worksites expected to have a significantly lower risk for serious accidents than other employer's worksites within the same industry.

The judges noted the results and recognitions, with Beck describing the safety efforts as “incredible results” on a “challenging” project. Hooper called the safety effort “commendable” and adds, “The amount of hours without a lost time incident is outstanding and shows that some safety systems were in place and working.”

The judges also chose an Award of Merit for the safety category: the City College of San Francisco’s New Chinatown/North Beach Campus project, submitted by Lend Lease.

The safety winners will be honored along with the 39 other Best Projects winners at the annual awards breakfast Dec. 6 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in San Francisco. They will also be featured in the Dec. 3 issue of ENR California.