Super Safety Spotlight on Rigging

Helmkamp Superintendent, Gary Neese, is a prime example of how Helmkamp team members approach safety on the job site. During a recent project, Gary was leading the efforts for the installation of five pre-cast pieces of new catch basin for an owner's drainage system. Each weighed about 25,000 lbs. and the delivery of these pieces had to be carefully coordinated for delivery to the site.

They were state police escorted oversized loads. Roads had to be closed off, permits were needed, and the timing involved had to be exact. Not to mention the timed expense of the crane rental, etc. Senior Project Manager, Ryan Clay, choreographed the deliveries with state police and escort trucks (2-3 trucks) which in total, took most of a full day.

They found that the rigging sent to pick up the pieces with the crane were frayed in areas. Team member, Andy Summers, brought it to Gary’s attention suggesting it might not be up to par with Helmkamp standards. It was decided that they would wait until they could secure better rigging before lifting the basins, knowing that the schedule would be greatly affected. With the time constraints and state police waiting, they didn’t budge until another Helmkamp Superintendent, Randy Houck, delivered new rigging to the job site.

"A lot of people wouldn’t have done that," Gary said. “Do I think in my heart that the frayed rigging would have worked? Probably… but the safety risks prevented were more important." The safety risks being:

  • It could have kicked off to the side and struck someone.
  • It could have caused the other three lugs to snap and fall altogether.
  • It could have caused backlash to the crane.
  • It could have resulted in millions of dollars in potential damage.

Between understanding, teamwork, and an appreciation to do things safely, the timing with the state police, road closures, escort trucks, etc. all worked out and was still accomplished the same day. Great job to all for demonstrating what it means to have a strong safety culture at Helmkamp Construction!