Jacobsen Construction


SALT LAKE CITY — A pair of Jacobsen Construction projects are 2023 Excellence in Safety award-winners, the Engineering News-Record (ENR) has announced. 

The construction teams at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Corpus Christi Outpatient Clinic (ENR Texas & Louisiana) and The West Quarter Phase 1 (ENR Mountain States) were each exclusively recognized with the top safety award in their region. ENR, a prominent nationwide A/E/C industry publication, selects regional Excellence in Safety winners each year based on project teams’ incident data and their documented efforts to go above and beyond typical safety standards to prevent accidents and injuries. 

“An independent panel of safety experts considered many factors in their decisions, including a project’s overall safety program, OSHA-recordable incident rate and total work hours on the job,” ENR said in a recent announcement. 

Jacobsen’s winning projects will be formally honored by ENR at award celebrations in Houston and Salt Lake City in December.  

Both project teams’ comprehensive and jobsite-specific safety strategies are described in more detail below. 

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Corpus Christi Outpatient Clinic | 18,792 worker hours | 0.00 OSHA-recordable incident rate | Corpus Christi, Texas 

Safety successes: 

With as many as 300 people on the jobsite at the same time, the safety success of this project relied on individual buy-in to rigorous expectations and standards established by project leaders. A thriving safety culture was established early and often on this project via required training for all workers in which anticipated risks and mitigation strategies were thoroughly reviewed. 

Jacobsen implemented its My Attitude Can Help Other initiative on this project by prompting workers to give shoutouts to their peers in recognition of exemplary safe behaviors. Project leaders also emphasized a constant dialogue on the jobsite about the importance of safety. For example, all meetings were started with a “safety share” by at least one participant describing one way they work safely. Workers were also required to complete a task plan risk analysis every time they switched to a new task. All project teams, large or small, were also required to conduct safety meetings weekly where they took an in-depth look at one specific safety topic relevant to the project. Decisions about task sequencing, equipment use and material storage and staging areas were all made by first analyzing how each available option might affect the overall safety onsite. 

More about this project: 

The 78,500 square-foot U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Corpus Christi Outpatient Clinic replaced a smaller, outdated clinic that had been operating beyond capacity. The new clinic provides U.S. military veterans in the Texas Coastal Bend area with the most modern clinical resources available in primary care, radiology services, mental health support and women’s health services.  

The pristine new clinic, designed and built to blend in seamlessly as an extension of the Coastal Bend’s natural landscapes, is a much-needed space for local military veterans where they can receive world-class care close to home. The construction of the new facility was a tangible demonstration of Veterans Affairs’ commitment “to care for him for who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan,” a call to action contained in the agency’s motto. 

The West Quarter Phase 1 | 118,110 worker hours | 1.69 OSHA-recordable incident rate | Salt Lake City 

Safety successes: 

The West Quarter’s jobsite used an enormous workforce, with hundreds of workers onsite for most days during lengthy peak periods of the project. In light of this, project leaders made a deliberate effort to be as aggressive as possible in enforcing critical safety standards, knowing that a large jobsite with so many workers could easily create overlooked pockets of personnel drifting into too-casual safety behavior if expectations were not clearly and vigorously enforced. In the words of Tony Castillo, Jacobsen’s project manager overseeing all work onsite, “the safety policy was not three strikes, or even one strike, it was zero strikes.” For example, any personnel failing properly “tie off” as a precaution against falls were immediately removed from the project, with no exceptions. 

Project leaders implemented Jacobsen’s My Attitude Can Help Others safety initiative by regularly encouraging craftworkers 

to nominate each other for awards for safety-promoting behaviors, which ensured co-workers were continually encouraging 

each other’s safe behaviors and motivating one another with peer recognition. And because of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic just six months into the project, mask wearing onsite was strictly enforced in careful keeping with requirements from local, state and federal health authorities. 

More about this project: 

The West Quarter is a large-scale, transformative mixed-use development in the heart of Salt Lake City’s Warehouse District. The two close-knit residential and hospitality halves of the development share newly activated walkable space on the same huge city block. 

Residential amenities at The Charles, which holds 240 best-in-class units, include multiple courtyard and terrace spaces for active and passive recreation, an elevated pool and spa, two clubhouses, fitness facilities and a music room. Directly south of The Charles, the Element and Le Meridien comprise the first dual brand hotel in the Salt Lake City market. Le Meridian is known as a lifestyle brand, while Element caters to extended stay guests. The program is composed of 272 guestrooms with a ground level restaurant, 6,000 square-foot ballroom, roof terrace bar and pool. 

As a curbless, pedestrian-friendly destination, The West Quarter bridges west and east downtown Salt Lake into a more cohesive, impressive urban core — a long-held need for the city. Future phases of the development will include important multi-family housing, high-end retail and fine dining additions.