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KBI, SpringHill Suites by Marriott, Tampa

07/24/2009 01:57 pm

When it comes to safety, friendly competition can be a good thing. For Kuebler Builders, Inc. (KBI), this competitive spirit meant earning a second Sunshine State Safety Recognition Award for a Tampa SpringHill Suites by Marriott property it completed in January 2010.

KBI earned a second Sunshine State award for its SpringHill Suites project in Tampa, Fla.

KBI's safety challenge began during the fall of 2009, when one of their construction crews earned a Sunshine State award for a five-story Holiday Inn project in Titusville. With the 127-room SpringHill Suites property being built at the same time as the Holiday Inn, KBI turned its eyes to Tampa to see how they would perform safety-wise. According to Safety Director Ray Michelena, it was "Okay, Tampa. Titusville won this award; now let's see what you can do. This was a good motivator." The Tampa crew rose to the occasion and earned the Tennessee-based construction company its second Sunshine State in early January.

Because each construction project often means working with new tradespeople, Michelena says safety has to be communicated upfront clearly and consistently for it to be successful. "We do work all over the country, and each locale has their own thoughts and their own method of work, whether it is a site in Kansas or a site in Florida." To ensure safety expectations are understood by trades, the firm includes safety in all of its documents during all communication phases--pre-bid, bidding and construction. This communication consistency ensures all project members understand their emphasis on a strong safety culture. "We want everyone to know what is required regarding safety," he adds.

KBI's management is committed to keeping workers and tradespeople safe on-site. "We have to be absolutely, positively the best shining example we can be."

The Sunshine State Safety Recognition Award was created in 2006 by USF SafetyFlorida. Approximately 40 firms earn this honor annually for implementing safety initiatives that better protect employees on the job. To qualify, a business should request and receive a complete on-site consultation survey and employ at least one person at the worksite to be evaluated. Additionally, the business should have no willful, repeat or willful-repeat citations within 24 months of the consultation and no serious citations related to injury or exposure within 12 months of the consultation.

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