Welcome back to our weekly column where we check in with different colleagues and friends in the industry and how they are approaching business differently in this time of great change. The “common thread” for sure is that most of us are making the time to connect on a personal level while expressing vulnerability and compassion through one of the toughest economic times we’ve seen in our lifetimes.
This week we checked in with Chris Creasy, Director Of Business Development at Tutor Perini Building Corp. Here’s Chris’ latest update:
With over 22 million folks being unemployed at this time and thousands more working from home, when Christine Faria, the editor of TG&H reached out to me to ask me my perspective during this time, it felt a bit “strange” that I might be disqualified as I’m still heading into work every day. About the only thing that has really changed for me, I am not traveling to meetings, but instead using one of the numerous platforms (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, etc.) to have “virtual” meetings.
With that said, I wanted to give a big shout out to the construction industry and all of the workers that are out there swinging hammers and laying concrete as I write this. Even with the shutdowns and Stay at Home orders, construction has kept moving along in many states. Construction workers are deemed “essential” in many states and each state is handling things differently. With projects in Oklahoma, Nevada and California, Tutor Perini has made some adjustments to keep our workers safe, and to continue to meet our client needs to finish the projects on time.
Christine asked me especially to talk about how we’re taking care of the folks with steel-toe boots on the ground; I get it, so many of us are doing virtual meetings and can feel relatively safe in our offices. It’s a different challenge out there with folks who touch equipment and sweat side by side.
Led by our Director of Safety Scott Blais, Tutor Perini has implemented new “social distancing” guidelines. These include limits on the number of people in elevators, all meetings and safety orientations to be held with 10 people or less, tailgate safety meetings are kept to 10 people or less and the supervisor signs everyone in so as not to share the pen or have multiple people touching the paper, and maintaining 6’ distance between workers at food trucks as well as working on tasks. If a work task cannot be completed with a 6’ distance rule, a pre-task plan must be drafted on what precautions will be taken, i.e. masks will be worn, and employees will wash hands immediately following the task.
Before the start of each day TPBC employees and those attending orientation have their temp taken. Anyone with a temperature 100.4 or greater is sent home to get seen by a medical professional and direction is taken from them. We have asked our subcontractors on site to participate in this practice as well.
We have also increased the sanitation requirements on our projects: increased the number of wash stations, increased the number of bathrooms, offices are sanitized daily, bathrooms are cleaned daily and hand sanitizer is available throughout the site.
Availability of face masks and sanitizer are an on-going challenge. We have been fortunate to have a ceiling tile manufacturer that has been able to produce hand sanitizer now, which helps with the supply. We have also taken our “cooling headbands” and transformed them in cloth masks, which the tradesmen take home to wash on a daily basis.
Our goal, as it always is on a Tutor Perini project, pandemic or not, is for all of our employees to go home healthy and safe every night. I hope all of you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy and I look forward to all of us getting back to business as usual as soon as we can.