Labor and Economic Opportunity
Media Contact: LARA Communications 517-373-9280
October 6, 2017 - Walbridge Ford Dearborn Campus Transformation (DCT) Project today received the Michigan Voluntary Protection Program for Construction (MVPPC) Rising Star Award for workplace safety and health excellence from the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA).
"I am pleased to recognize Walbridge for its best practices and innovations that promotes a safe work environment, protects workers and increases productivity," said MIOSHA Director Bart Pickelman. "This award exemplifies the successful joint efforts by management and employees for excellence in workplace safety and health."
MIOSHA Consultation Education and Training (CET) Director Nella Davis-Ray presented the MVPPC Rising Star Award to Walbridge Chairman John Rakolta, Jr., and Walbridge President Mike Haller who accepted the award on behalf of the company.
Walbridge’s best practice is its Safety Observation Process -- a leading indicator prevention tool that is used on all Walbridge projects. The process involves Walbridge employees and contractors identifying a project hazard, correcting it, documenting it, categorizing it, and submitting it to Walbridge safety personnel using a “Green Card.” All observations are put into a spreadsheet so those observations with the highest frequency can easily be identified.
The MVPPC program was created in 2009 to recognize construction companies with exemplary safety and health systems that have strengthened worker protections significantly. The MVPPC award program is open to fixed-base projects (sites), resident contractors working at an MVPP site, and mobile workforce operations.
The Rising Star program provides the "stepping stone" for those business entities that have the desire and potential to achieve Star Status within one to three years. Rising Star participants have a good safety and health management system and have incidence rates at or below the industry average for two out of the last three years.
"National VPP sites experience 60 to 80 percent less lost work day injuries than would be expected of an average site in their industry," said Pickelman. "Not only do the MVPP and MVPPC programs significantly reduce injuries and illnesses, they also have a tremendous impact on the bottom line."
With the assistance of Walbridge, Ford Motor Company is transforming its Dearborn facilities into a modern, green, high-tech campus. The transformation of the company’s more than 60-year-old Dearborn facilities will co-locate 30,000 employees from 70 buildings into primarily two locations – a product campus and a world headquarters campus. More than 7.5 million square feet of work space will be rebuilt and upgraded into more technology enabled and connected facilities. When completed, the product campus will include walking paths, trails and covered walkways, more green spaces, a new design center, autonomous vehicles, on-demand shuttles, eBikes, and more.
The second campus location (around the current Ford World Headquarters building) will feature a new Ford Credit facility and provide employees with improved connectivity and enhanced accessibility to the expansive green space that surrounds the building.
Construction of the new product campus has begun at the Ford Research and Engineering Center. The majority of work is expected to be complete by 2023. Major work on the second campus around Ford World Headquarters will begin in 2021 and is expected to be complete in 2026.
“Safety is the number one core value within our company,” said John Rakolta, Jr. “Performing safely and keeping it top of mind extends to all of our projects, but it’s especially gratifying to be recognized for our efforts at the Ford Dearborn Campus Transformation Project. We welcome the opportunity to share what we’ve learned and mentor others on the critical importance of safety in our industry.”
Walbridge is a privately held, top-50 construction company founded in Detroit in 1916. The company offers construction management, design-build, engineering management, general contracting, pre-construction, program management and turnkey solution services. It also self-performs concrete, equipment installation and facility management services. Walbridge employs 600 professionals in offices located in North America, South America and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.walbridge.com.
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