Underground Safety on NEBT

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We have been working with the DC Clean Rivers Project since early 2012 to establish a world class underground safety program based on best practices and continuous improvement that strives to exceed OSHA requirements. John Walker, McMillen Jacobs’ DC Clean Rivers Project Oversight Safety Manager, provides some impressive data: “We have completed approximately 8.7 million man-hours on the DCCR program with 2.2 million so far on the Northeast Boundary Tunnel Project. The current recordable incident rate for NEBT is 1.52, which is well below the total recordable incident rate average of 2.4 for heavy civil construction and is trending downward with nearly 2 years remaining on the project.”

Part of our success is rooted in developing a contract safety specification that has evolved from project to project by incorporating more progressive approaches to risk mitigation. Some of these enhancements include a requirement for all workers to complete a minimum of ten hours of safety training prior to start of work, investment of more resources by contractors to support non-English-speaking personnel, and implementation of a craft involvement program to provide a stronger voice for workers by integrating them more closely into the day-to-day safety operations.

As a team we offer much more than underground safety oversight. We continue to partner closely with project contractors to identify risk, but more importantly to find solutions that enhance safety culture, to ensure workers and the public are protected at the highest level.