263 Million Work Hours Without An Accident? No Problem For Bechtel

18 January 2010 San Francisco, CA Bechtel announced today that its projects around the world racked up 263 million safe hours last year, the equivalent of 10,000 individuals working safely for 12 years.

Individually, 53 projects each achieved at least 1 million consecutive work hours without a lost-time accident.

The stellar showing in 2009 was par for the course for Bechtel, a global engineering and construction leader that annually ranks among the safest big companies in the world. Again last year, Bechtel’s safety performance far exceeded the industry average, underscoring its commitment to safety and quality.

Heading the million-hour club last year was the giant Khursaniyah gas-processing facility in northeastern Saudi Arabia, which finished the year with 27 million consecutive safe work hours —a remarkable accomplishment for a complex construction project employing thousands of workers.

Also notable was the environmental cleanup project at Savannah River Site in South Carolina. Perennially one of Bechtel’s safest projects, it raised its safe-hour streak to 23.9 million hours. The project’s last lost-workday case was in April 2002.

Other top projects included the missile test range on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands (14.5 million safe hours), The Scotford oil upgrader in Alberta, Canada (11.8 million), The Transylvanian Motorway in Romania (8 million), and the Advanced Mixed Waste cleanup in Idaho (7.6 million).

“These records don’t happen by accident,” said Kevin Berg, head of safety for Bechtel. “Every morning when our people go to work, they’re armed with the best safety equipment, training, processes, and support in the business.”

Although the safety of people on a project is paramount, Bechtel also strives to make projects themselves safe so they can be used with confidence for decades. In fact, some of the world’s most reliable infrastructure projects are part of the company’s portfolio.

For instance, Bechtel has built 10,000 kilometers of railway, including Britain’s High Speed 1, and nearly three dozen rapid transit systems, including Bay Area Rapid Transit in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Athens Metro in Greece. The company also has built more than 27,000 kilometers of highways and roads, and has worked on more than 30 major bridge projects, among them the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington state.

These projects, along with hundreds of others completed by Bechtel, are some of the safest ever built. And in the end, that’s just as important as safety on the job.