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Friday September 29, 2000

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Workers celebrate 1 year of no accidents

Headline Photo

file photo

A Swinerton and Walberg Builders employee surveys a site while construction continues in the distance. Nearly 200 employees of Swinerton and Walberg Builders will be having a barbecue today for a year of no accidents.

By Blake Smith

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Swinerton and Walberg holds barbecue today to honor

Swinerton and Walberg Builders is celebrating a year of "no time-loss accidents" today with a barbecue for the nearly 200 employees working on the new Memorial Student Union.

While constructing the new union during the past year, crew members have suffered nothing more than slight scratches and sprains, said Doug Huie, student union senior project manager.

"The thing that makes this one special is that there were large amounts of steel being used and extensive excavation done," said Pat Lynch, Swinerton and Walberg business development manager.

"It makes it very unusual that we haven't had something," Lynch added.

Safety has been a main priority for the construction company, Huie said, which accounts for the low number of accidents.

"It's a really good representation of our subcontractors and field workers and how we're trying to run a safe job site," Huie said. "We emphasize safety very strongly."

Swinerton and Walberg Builders has hired a full-time traffic control coordinator to regulate the amount of traffic that comes through the union construction zone, he added.

Construction site injuries range from normal scratches and bruises to the unusual case of death.

Even if injuries occurred, Huie said, the construction schedule would not have been affected.

"There is generally more than one person working in a critical area," he added.

The student union construction has been difficult to complete because of a lack of maneuvering space and a large volume of foot and vehicle traffic in the area, Huie added.

Now that structural components of the UofA Bookstore portion of the new union are complete, the final phase of applying plaster, bricks and working on the interior could present less of a safety risk.

Huie set a target date of Nov. 22 for completion of the bookstore. He said application of the exterior skin, which consists of bricks and stucco, will begin next week.

Union businesses could move into that section by December.

The other area, located on the former Gallagher Theatre site, is slated to open in late February.