Maintenance Night Supervisor Kevin Logan wasn’t expecting a problem when he checked on a subcontractor working along Interstate 77 in Charlotte, NC, at around 10 p.m. on Jan. 25. But what he saw caught him by surprise.
I was real concerned about what was going on. It was too dangerous.
A subcontractor had hired a third party to handle traffic control while its employees conducted routine activities on the tolling equipment on the northbound managed lanes. When closing lanes, North Carolina Department of Transportation regulations require signage, barricades, a Truck Mounted Attenuator (TMA), a tapering lane closure and adequate manpower. Instead, the third party had closed the entrance to the beginning of the lanes by using only a line of eight orange barrels. Worse still, just one employee was on hand.
Arriving on the scene, Kevin didn’t hesitate to cancel the operation to prevent a possible incident.
If your gut tells you something is unsafe and you know in your heart it's unsafe, you stop it right there. You can't overlook things like this. If you do, it's going to cost someone their life
The problem stemmed from the third party not attending the crew’s pre-construction meeting to review the project’s approved work plan.
Kevin says the lesson learned that night is, “We’re not going to do the project unless everyone is here at the meeting so everyone knows each step, they’re aware of safety protocols and the right actions to take with standard lane closures in North Carolina.”
I-77 uses Ferrovial’s “Always Safe, Always Ready” card to empower every employee to stop any work they see or feel is unsafe, and Kevin did just that.
“I tell my guys they have the authority to stop work then and there if they feel unsafe,” says Kevin. “Then we’ll talk about it and figure out another route. The bottom line is, if you see something unsafe, you’ve got to say something.”
I-77 CEO Jose Espinosa agrees. He sent Kevin a personal email thanking him for shutting down the unsafe operation, which demonstrated Kevin’s “commitment to safety and active supervision.” Jose also praised him for “taking the time to make things right and for not passing by without stopping an unsafe act,” a decision the CEO said he will always support.
Greg Freeman, I-77 HSEQ Manager, also congratulated Kevin for building a culture of ownership when it comes to safety.
“Kevin recognized a hazard that could endanger the motoring public and I-77 employees and subcontractors and took the initiative to step in and stop an unsafe work condition. He is a credit to the company and his team.”
Greg calls the ASAR cards an “engagement challenge” in that they encourage employees to engage, speak up and feel empowered.
Incidents like this one teach us the success of a safety program rests not just with the safety manager, but in the positive examples demonstrated by our frontline managers and supervisors every day.
Ferrovial CEO Ignacio Madridejos reinforces this mandate with his own commitment:
I support and invite everyone to step in, engage and proactively take action to create safer workplaces.
We know Kevin feels THE POWER of “Always Safe, Always Ready.” The only question left is, “Do you?”