Skanska USA Civil, a leading contractor for civil engineering, construction, and infrastructure projects, announced today that it has been awarded “VPP” status, safety recognition by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP), for its work on the Croton Water Treatment Plant project in the Bronx, New York.
The project, which Skanska is performing for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYC DEP), is also the first New York City agency project to receive VPP recognition.
“Safety is and has always been our utmost priority at Skanska, and is the reason why we invest so much time, money and resources into safety planning and prevention on every jobsite we operate throughout the world,” said Michael Viggiano, executive vice president for Skanska USA Civil. “We’re honored to achieve OSHA VPP Merit status, which marks the Croton project as one of the safest in the U.S. Everyone working on this project should feel a great sense of accomplishment, and I thank everyone at Skanska who makes safety a priority each day.”
“As the largest municipally owned water and wastewater utility in the nation we have more than $13 billion in capital construction projects planned for the next 10 years and we are committed to providing the safest workplace possible for our employees, contractors and consultants, “ said DEP Commissioner Carter Strickland. “The Croton Water Treatment Plant will be the largest underground facility in the U.S. and we are proud to have worked with Skanska towards this important achievement for the health and safety of the workers involved in the construction of the Plant.”
VPP recognizes employers and employees who demonstrate exemplary achievement in the prevention and control of occupational safety and health hazards while developing, implementing and continuously improving safety and health management systems. Honored companies also maintain injury and illness rates well below the national Bureau of Labor Statistics’ averages.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national average for lost time accidents in the heavy civil industry since 2008 is 2.2, whereas Skanska’s lost time accident rate on the Croton Water Filtration Plant project is 0.35 – six times below that average.
Skanska applied for the award because of its successful safety procedures illustrated through the company’s work at the plant. OSHA granted Skanska VPP status with Merit recognition for implementing numerous innovative and effective safety measures on the Croton project such as extensive procedures for identifying on-site and environmental hazards, and the creation of a number of programs designed specifically for employees to encourage workplace safety. One example, “Safety Super League,” is a jobsite contest that recognizes the construction crew’s safety accomplishments. In addition, Skanska sets rigid criteria for subcontractors to meet before being considered to work with Skanska on the project. As is true of all Skanska’s jobsites, workers always have to complete mandatory safety orientation and task specific training before work begins on a site.
Skanska and JV partner Tully Construction Company are currently constructing the Croton Water Filtration Plant for the NYC DEP. Under the contract, Skanska is responsible for building the plant’s structure and installing the concrete, machinery, piping and control equipment. Skanska will also provide all start-up services and commissioning to enable the NYC DEP to utilize the facility immediately. When completed, the new water treatment, which will have the capacity to treat 1.1 billion gallons of water per day, will supply 10 percent of New York City with clean, quality drinking water.
Widely recognized as an industry leader and innovator in workplace wellness and safety, Skanska created a national and global safety leadership team whose main purpose is to share best practices and global implementation of Skanska’s Injury-Free Environment (IFE)® culture.
Some of Skanska’s safety programs include:
“Stretch & Flex:” Stretches performed every morning in every office and at more than 10,000 worksites worldwide, aimed at preventing soft tissue injuries as well as build employee collegiality.
Safety Week: The world’s largest safety event dedicated to driving awareness of workplace safety and wellness. On October 22, 2012, the company kicked-off its 8th annual Safety Week, involving the company’s 53,000 employees around the world, including 9,400 US employees, as well as the company’s subcontractors, suppliers and business partners.
Skanska’s Innovation Grant Program which invests money and resources into 21st century innovative technologies and tools to prevent workplace accidents before they happen.
Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development networks in the country, serving a broad range of industries including healthcare, education, sports, data centers, government, aviation, transportation, power, energy, water/wastewater and commercial. Headquartered in New York with 39 offices across the country, Skanska USA employs approximately 9,400 employees committed to sustainable construction and development and an injury-free workplace. Skanska USA Building, which specializes in building construction, and Skanska USA Civil, which focuses on civil infrastructure, generated $4.9 billion in revenue in 2011, representing 28 percent of Skanska’s global construction revenues. Development units Skanska USA Commercial Development, which invests in and develops office and multi-family projects in select U.S. markets, and Skanska Infrastructure Development Americas, which develops public-private partnerships, are both leaders in their selected markets. Global revenue of parent company Skanska AB, headquartered in Stockholm and listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange, totaled $18.9 billion in 2011.