Safety is our highest priority during construction of the JTS 21st Century Campus. We know it’s an issue our community cares about, too, so we’ve tried to make sure we communicate clearly the steps we’re taking to ensure a safe worksite. We’ve done this in several ways—through the 21st Century Campus website, a special email address, and regular meetings with our community, both inside and outside of JTS.
Another forum we’ve created is the JTS Safety Task Force. The goal of the task force is to give representatives of the JTS community regular, detailed safety information from our construction contractor and the chance to ask any safety questions they might have.
Who’s on the task force? From JTS, it includes members of the faculty, student body, administration, and facilities department. This group meets regularly with two senior executives from our construction contractor, Gilbane Building Company, and the company’s safety coordinator, who works full-time on site.
In a typical task force meeting, Gilbane staff describe current and upcoming construction work on the site along with related safety protocols. Committee members then discuss and think together about safety issues that are particular to each stage of the project. Gilbane staff note any first aid that’s been offered by our on-site medic and report whether there have been any serious medical incidents. Since the start of the new campus project, there have been no incidents where workers required care beyond simple first aid. The task force also hears about random drug tests that may have occurred since their last meeting.
JTS community representatives can, and do, ask detailed questions, all of which are answered.
During the most recent Safety Task Force meeting, in December, members toured the current work happening on site. After donning safety gear, they were escorted to the “bunker,” a small structure which houses the campus’s electrical and mechanical equipment and serves as the conduit to utility lines from the street.
For the last several weeks, the bunker has been the main site of work on the new campus. There, a number of skilled tradespeople have handled complex projects such as relocating utility lines and making way for columns that will help support the new building.
The Safety Task Force has met five times since June 2017 and will continue to meet regularly during the campus construction project.