In August, ENR Southeast announced its 2022 Regional Best Projects winners, 32 projects completed across the six-state region that stand out among their peers in quality and execution. 

Now it’s time to recognize projects that stand out for another deserving reason: safety. 

ENR Southeast is recognizing two projects for outstanding safety records and practices, but you may notice one category that’s missing from this announcement this year: sustainability. We only received two entries for our Excellence in Sustainability contest this year and after thorough review, this year’s judges decided to abstain from awarding Excellence in Sustainability honors in 2022. 

Assisting with the judging for Excellence in Safety this year was Joshua Bullock, safety manager for Gray, winners of 2021’s Excellence in Safety Award for the EGGER Wood Products facility in Lexington, N.C. Bullock found the two winning projects that went above and beyond on challenging sites to maintain safe environments for crews. 

Congratulations to this year’s winning projects!

Best Project, Excellence in Safety

Invitae – East Coast Laboratory and Production Facility, Morrisville, N.C.

Submitted by 35 North

Logging 196,520 work hours with no lost time incidents, recordables or COVID-19 cases, crews with 35 North and BE&K Building Group transformed the 125,000-sq-ft former outlet mall into a high-performance laboratory and office space. The project also received a top nod as Best Project in the Renovation/Restoration category.

In its application, the project team says that in addition to standard pre-mobilization tasks, site safety procedure manuals and drug screen verifications, each subcontractor was required to complete a task hazard analysis for every task each day that included detailed descriptions of the subcontractors’ planned work. Bullock says that’s no small thing. 

“The task hazard analysis was a big one,” he says. “The safety observations each day – usually that’s done through your auditing systems.” 

Identifying at-risk behaviors and conditions are things that stand out to Bullock as a safety professional, he says. 

The application notes that ongoing safety observations were performed throughout each day by project and subcontractor ream members to identify those at-risk and safe behaviors and conditions, correcting at-risk behaviors and rewarding safe behaviors. 

“I think that they hit on a lot of the things that I would expect to see from a safety standpoint,” Bullock says.

The project team also relied on helicopter to transport dedicated outside air system units on the facility roof due to the site’s close proximity to an airport runway. 

Award of Merit, Excellence in Safety

Fountain Inn High School, Fountain Inn, S.C.

Submitted by Harper General Contractors

Harper General Contractors logged nearly 355,000 worker hours on its project to construct the new 230,000-sq-ft Fountain Inn High School in Fountain Inn, S.C., with no lost time accidents or recordable incidents, achieving its safety goals on the almost $70 million job. The project also received an award of merit in the K-12 Education category.

“This project was spread across 65 acres, so we made it our effort to observe every trade, every day to ensure that our safety standards were upheld,” the application says.

Bullock notes that the high school’s sports fields had to be seeded and strawed a year before the project, with no laydown or storage allowed on the fields. 

“When you have to basically limit yourself from using a large portion of your jobsite, that creates a whole list of problems you’re going to end up facing,” he says. “You’re going to end up condensing the job site with everything staged or stacked on top of each other, or scheduling on-time deliveries.”

The 1,000-student facility emphasizes robotics, metalworking, mechatronics and engineering, highlighting the school’s STEAM-based advanced manufacturing curriculum with CNC (computer numerical control) machines and more greeting students as they enter the new school.

The project required the blasting and removal of roughly 20,000 cu yd of rock and the navigation of record rainfall events. 

These awards will be celebrated along with all other Regional Best Projects and Firms of the Year at ENR Southeast’s 2022 Best Projects Awards event at the Atlanta Airport Marriott Nov. 11. Register for the event here