The Kemper County energy facility’s startup and construction teams have won Southern Company’s Quest Award for the first quarter of 2015, helping to underscore a safety record that’s already about seven times better than the national average for comparable construction projects.
“It’s significant that not only did we avoid any recordable incidents for the first quarter of 2015, but, more importantly, there were no serious incidents,” said Dave Empfield, Kemper construction site manager.
The Kemper County energy facility’s total project-to-date safety score now stands at .48, while the national average for construction projects with similar manpower, time and scope is more than 3.5.
Since construction at Kemper began in 2010, more than 32 million man-hours of work have been logged at the site by tens of thousands of workers, providing local jobs.
“Considering the number of workers on site since construction began, man-hours and our excellent safety record, that means a significant number of injuries have been avoided, some of which could have been serious or life threatening,” said Joe Miller, startup manager for the Kemper project. “Dave and the construction team started this project by setting high expectations regarding safety performance. The safety culture at the Kemper project today is a direct result of those early expectations as well as the fact that safety is a core value for each member of the project team.”
Southern Company Environmental and Construction Services has 17 projects by which the Kemper County energy facility was benchmarked for the award.
At the heart of Southern Company’s safety culture is the Safety Through Everyone’s Participation program, by which all employees are not just asked, but expected, to observe potential safety hazards and take action to address them. For example, Southern Company E&CS worked more than 1.1 million hours during the month of March, making more than 2,400 STEP observations, identifying and addressing more than 780 ‘at-risk’ situations.