KEEPING SAFE EVERY STEP OF THE WAY
The parking garage restoration work we did at the Worker’s Compensation Board – Alberta (WCB) building was more than just getting the job done right; it involved working in a fully operating parkade that could not be closed while maintaining the highest levels of safety. It was a chance for us to ensure that our safety was up to code and adequate for the work we do. At the WCB building, we were repairing structurally unsound concrete, replacing trenches, and resurfacing areas of existing traffic deck coatings; work that requires large and potentially dangerous equipment. Air-powered jackhammers, sandblasters, concrete saws, and shotblasters were all used. No matter how many times you use a piece of equipment, someone with a fresh set of eyes will always bring good questions about the safety of the job procedures, and in this case, the WCB Safety Coordinator brought some excellent questions to the table. She was asking us about the decibel readings from our equipment, the certification of filters in our vacuums and air filters, and even the proper ear plug insertion depth.
At first we were surprised; it’s not too often you’ll have a client asking such focused questions, but they were invaluable and appreciated. Not only did we get to review what we know about our job procedures and safety, but our weaknesses were exposed too. We learned what we know, and what we don’t know, and we became better for it. Safety policies were revised, job procedures were updated, and we set new goals of where we want to be for our safety. Most importantly, this all happened while the job was running at full steam through the nights in order to be open for traffic at 6:00am.
In the end, the job was completed on schedule, there were no lost time incidents, and the client was satisfied with the project.