Beck Safety Program Earns National Recognition from AGC

  • Apr 10, 2019

The Beck Group, the integrated architecture and construction firm, was recognized by the Associated General Contractors of America with a 2019 Construction Safety Excellence Silver Award in the over 3 million work hours category.

The team, led by Beck’s Director of Safety, Tim Kuykendall, accepted the award at the Associated General Contractor of America’s annual luncheon in Denver on April 3.

“At Beck, we care about our team, our clients, our trade partners, and vendors because it is part of our company’s DNA. It is what makes us successful as a firm and as individuals. The success of our safety program is rooted in caring and our teams are 100 percent committed to this value,” said Kuykendall about the firm’s award-winning program.

Continue reading to learn about The Beck Group’s award-winning safety program.

A Commitment by Leadership

The foundation of Beck’s safety program is built on a platform that senior leadership helped foster, including CEO Fred Perpall and CAO Joe Flores.

Executive and regional leaders at Beck stay engaged through an array of updates including monthly safety reports, participating in job-wide safety meetings, and discussing safety as a standalone topic in meetings. Leading by example ensures the rest of Beck and its trade partners understand that everyone plays a role in keeping our people and job sites safe. 

 

The Zero Accidents Plan

One of the unique features of Beck’s safety program is the Zero Accidents Plan or ZAP. The ZAP is a site-specific plan that communicates our safety philosophy and commitment. It identifies, prepares, and addresses safety issues about a project before construction. It typically includes an emergency action plan and assignments, critical issues, as well as outlines additional safety requirements.

After developing its ZAP, project teams schedule what is called the Subcontractor Pre-Construction Safety Review. The review includes the Beck project team, trade partner’s project managers, superintendents and foremen responsible for supervising work. During the review, safety expectations and project requirements are reviewed. In addition, trade partners performing certain tasks must submit a site safety plan for their scope of work and a safety plan, which includes hazards management and required worker training. 

 

Training is Critical to Success

On every construction job, project and subcontractor teams must attend orientation. During orientation, the team reviews site-specific hazards, procedures and expectations, and employee and worker training. During this time project documentation is also verified.

Anyone who enters a trench, confined space, uses fall protection equipment, or operates motorized equipment must also present a certificate of training. In addition to a certificate, our trade partner must prove it has met or exceeded Beck’s minimum training standards. For example, anyone using fall protection equipment must show a certificate of training for four hours of fall protection user training. They must also provide a copy of the training syllabus and the duration of each element.

To effectively change behavior in our industry, Beck focuses on training and verification at the onset rather than waiting until a job is underway and an incident occurs. Educating partners on how and why to work safely is the most effective tool in creating a safe work environment.

 

Tracking Our Efforts

Beck’s Safety Incentive Program recognizes and rewards safe behaviors and awareness. Recipients who practice safe behaviors are carefully chosen by Beck’s project manager and superintendent as they conduct their daily safety report walks. Tradesmen are recognized during weekly job-wide meetings and presented with a certificate and a gift card or prize.

Beck tracks and reviews all elements of its safety program to understand what works and how to improve. This includes peer reviews during corporate committee meetings, our superintendent’s monthly safety meeting, the monthly project leaders meeting and employee safety committee.  These peer reviews drive the development of unique and innovative practices.

Teams conduct monthly reviews of key performance indicators for safety elements that are measurable and indicate the safety health of a project. There is no written policy to conduct these reviews, it organically started because Beck’s employees care and are deeply committed to being safe.

 

XMOP, A Best-In-Class Practice

Support from leadership, our Zero Accidents Plan, training, recognition and tracking are great examples of Beck’s commitment to safety. Moreover, what sets Beck apart is its Excavation Method of Procedures or XMOP.

XMOP is a process that ensures the team identifies all known utilities and underground hazards before penetrating the ground. Surface identification alone is not enough. A detailed plan called an Existing Utility Drawing (EUD) identifies known utilities, conflicts, emergency notification, restoration procedures, and specific work procedures before excavations or ground penetrations begin.

A EUD requires that a third-party locator, Beck staff, or other consultants place all known or discovered underground hazards on one drawing. New structures and proposed new utilities are placed on the EUD to enable conflict identification.

Daily excavation permits are required when penetrations are within 25 feet of known conflicts or hazards, plus superintendents issue daily dig permits before ground penetration. By implementing XMOP Beck reduced accidental utility strikes by a staggering 90 percent.