CF Jordan, a large El Paso construction contractor, has been honored as one of the nation's safest construction companies by the Associated General Contractors of America, a national trade group. The company, which has about 600 employees in five Texas offices, was one of 21 companies to win first-place in the association's 2010 Construction Safety Excellence Awards program. The awards were given at the association's annual convention last week.
The awards are given to companies recognized for having strong safety programs and good safety records during the year.
CF Jordan was one of six Texas companies to win first-place awards. No other El Paso companies were selected.
Darren Woody, CF Jordan CEO and president, said the award is the gold medal of safety awards in the construction industry.
Ted Aadland, the association's past president, said the award winners are companies dedicated to the development and implementation of premier safety programs.
Woody said, "We have a real commitment to excellence in safety in the company. It's part of our DNA. It's not just about wearing hard hats. It's a cultural commitment to safety and quality control. Each employee takes responsibility for theirs and everyone else's safety."
Last year, CF Jordan had only eight injuries for 918,349 man-hours, the company reported.
"None of those were severe. None of them required hospitalizations," said Grace Gandarilla, risk and safety manager. CF Jordan's safety program includes Safety Scouts, a panel of 15 workers who meet once a month to provide recommendations for improving safety, Gandarilla said. The scouts are also trained to look for safety problems at job sites, she said. Another feature added about three years ago is warm-up exercises done by workers at construction sites each morning before work begins, Gandarilla said. The warm-up is designed at helping an aging work force remain healthier, she said. The company also has a chaplain available to workers who need to talk about problems.
The company realizes workers need to be healthy, physically and mentally, to keep a safe work environment, she said.
Woody said CF Jordan's focus on safety keeps it operating better at all levels. "If you have problems with safety, you probably have problems with other parts of the business," he said.
Gandarilla said the focus on safety also cuts the company's insurance costs, making the company more attractive to customers. Besides 21 first-place awards nationally, an additional 18 companies received second- and third-place safety awards from Associated General Contractors.
The AGC awards are distributed in a number of categories, based on the size of the company, the amount of work performed and the type of work performed. A panel of five independent safety professionals in government, corporate and insurance industries pick winners.
By Vic Kolenc \ EL PASO TIMES
Posted: 03/31/2011 12:00:00 AM MDT
Vic Kolenc may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 546-6421.
Information: agc.org; cfjordan.com