Columbia’s Manhattanville Construction Workers Celebrate Holiday Season While Reiterating Number One Goal: Safety

December 19, 2014

The “Safety Stand Down,” as the event is known, kicked off with an emergency evacuation drill, where the 650-plus construction workers stop their activities and exit the buildings on site via the stairs.

The team reconvened on the eighth floor of the Jerome L. Greene Science Center for messages of safety from Patsy Lemole, general superintendent , and Steve Sommer, principal-in-charge, both of Lend Lease.

Union workers with construction hats

Lemole credited the unions and union leadership for the high level of safety at the site, recognizing the safety culture that persists through each trade and the pride between fellow workers in valuing an incident and injury free job site.  With people focused on time away for the holiday, Sommer emphasized safety vigilance by reminding the group that “injury, getting hurt – even death – never takes a holiday.”

Two men on stage performing.

Following a reorientation of safety topics from Joel Pickering, director of fire prevention/environment health and safety manager  for Lend Lease, Lend Lease superintendents performed a light-hearted skit on safety to further underscore the day’s message.   Forty construction workers were honored with safety recognition at the event, awarded by companies who felt the individuals were worthy of the recognition.

The day also featured an ornament contest, with each construction trade designing a full-size holiday ornament.  Ornaments recognizing Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and even the Seinfeld-inspired Festivus were on display as part of the contest.  The team holds emergency evacuation drills every quarter.

A holiday ornament

This article originally appeared on the Columbia Manhattanville website.