Lesia Shannon Kudelka
Communications Director and Ombudsman
Counsel to Office of Communications
South Carolina Safety and Health Administration (S.C. OSHA) representatives were onsite at the Boeing South Carolina 787 Expansion site in Charleston to celebrate BE&K/Turner's achievement of reaching a major safety milestone — 1 million man-hours worked without a lost-time incident --- on Friday, Sept. 24.
The ceremony was held concurrently with a traditional topping out ceremony attended by more than 1,000 people. The topping out ceremony celebrated the completion of the upper-most construction elements of the structure and a tree was placed on top of the structure, which will be planted on the grounds once the building is completed. Joining the more than 800 trade workers to watch the final piece of steel be hoisted to the structure's pinnacle, were Boeing's South Carolina executives, local and state officials, and other special guests.
S.C. OSHA entered into a first-of-its-kind partnership with BE&K / Turner in April 2010, whereby resources of both the state OSHA program and private industry were used to identify and eliminate hazardous conditions at Boeing's construction site.
"Our goal is to have no fatalities and no injuries to workers during this project, and BE&K /Turner has reached an important milestone towards that goal in working 1 million man-hours without a lost-time incident,” said Dottie Ison, S.C. OSHA Administrator.
S.C. OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program provided training to the construction workers onsite over the past several months, and the program's safety consultants did onsite inspections periodically to identify any potential hazards.
"BE&K / Turner has been proactive in putting the safety and health of their workers at the forefront of what they do,” Ison said. "When you implement a good safety plan and your workers stay healthy, they are able to stay on the job. The company can then meet important deadlines in construction like they have done at the Boeing site.”
The topping out event was immediately followed by a trade worker appreciation luncheon to mark the concurrent achievement. After a brief ceremony, the crowd enjoyed a buffet lunch.
"We are excited to be celebrating the topping out on schedule, and especially proud of our subcontractor partners who have completed nine months of fast-paced construction without any lost-time incidents," said Mike Pace, BE&K/Turner's project executive.
BE&K/Turner broke ground on the Boeing South Carolina 787 expansion last November, began steel erection in April 2010 and set the first steel trusses in May.