Insights

WISE CONSTRUCTION’S STANDARD OF SAFETY: CREATING UNIVERSAL RULES FOR EVERY JOBSITE

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Wise Construction is not only going to get the job done, but we're going to get it done right in the safest way possible. With a deep-rooted safety culture, knowledgeable project management and field personnel, and a Corporate Safety Director with 17+ years of experience, we are proud to say that all of our jobsites are in, well, safe hands.

Functional safety solutions are put in place on every single one of our jobsites, so no matter the size of the job or the heights scaled, our people are safe.

One of the universal safety practices we enforce on every Wise jobsite is a '6 Feet Fall Rule'. This means that fall protection plans are required for all operations over 6 feet on our jobsites. This is not a typical safety requirement and is an example of our proactive mindset when it comes to safety. This rule has been implemented at one of our higher-ed projects in Cambridge, MA, where we are upgrading the existing fire alarm and sprinkler systems on the first, second and ground floors. The kicker: we are upgrading these systems around, above, and below an in-house museum storage facility with shelves upon shelves of priceless artifacts and the University’s active lab space.

"The excessive deck height and priceless museum storage below required an extensive working platform approximately 40 feet high," says Andrew Lynch, Project Executive.

This logistically challenging phase required scaffolding and a working platform in order to install the new systems over the museum storage. “The staging itself took about two weeks for Lanco Scaffolding to complete,” says John Stetson, Superintendent. “Prior to assembly, it took a few weeks of proper planning to come up with a feasible game plan to overcome the obstructions we would have to work around. We were asked to provide a visualization of how we would construct this massive work platform. Museum and University staff wanted some sort of drawing to indicate where the structural base of scaffolding would be placed.

We had to get a bit creative to satisfy the team’s request for visualization. This challenge was overcome by having an onsite meeting with Kendal Moran, the project manager for Lanco Scaffolding, where he was able to thoroughly explain the process. Wise Project Manager, Julia Kalaev, and I were able to take the information he provided during that meeting and use Bluebeam software to markup the topographical drawing to indicate locations for the scaffold towers.”

As Wise oversaw the assembly of the scaffolding that amassed to approximately 40 feet in height, our safety protocols were immediately put in place, including our universal ‘6 feet fall rule’.

Stetson says, “Safety is a top concern for us and Lanco Scaffolding as well. At every point during the construction of the supporting structure, assembly of the work platform, and now upgrading the systems, our trades followed Wise Construction’s safety protocols.”

Marty Leik, Corporate Safety Director, adds, "We enforce a 6 Feet Fall Rule at all times on all of our projects, including when we are erecting scaffolding. This is actually an atypical practice as there is no requirement for scaffold erectors to be tied off while erecting and dismantling scaffolding. More and more companies, including Wise, though, will still have their workers utilize fall protection while building as it is good practice these days. But we require fall protection plans for all operations over 6 feet, so that is where that rule comes in.

For this project, we built a scaffold 'dance floor' over the artifacts that is allowing our trade partners to complete their work at ceiling level--safely--and provides a safe way, via the stairs, to access the working platform. An added bonus is that the platform has a designed protection system for the materials stored underneath.

Our superintendent, John Stetson, is on site doing a great job managing safety."

Wise’s safety measures haven’t ended at the scaffolding. Because we’re working at an active University, there are several different professors who use the space in the warehouse. There is a full machine shop that is in use daily, a clean room, a laser lab and two floors of offices all under the same room where we are working.

Stetson adds, “The space is pretty tight in the warehouse section of the building. The majority of the work taking place is 40 feet off the ground level. Coordinating the move of the items in each of the professors’ dedicated areas has been an obstacle, but proper planning and communication with the University and museum staff has kept all of the tenants safe. Their cooperation has made challenges like this extremely manageable.”

Keeping our trades safe is our number one priority when executing a project of this complexity. However, our proactive mindset and universal safety practices, elevate our standard of safety on each of our jobsites no matter the size of the project.