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Richard Goettle, Inc., Geotechnical Engineering and Construction, On Site Tour, August 20, 2021, Part 2

Sep 8, 2021, 15:03 PM by Jessica Bloomer
Part 2: ERC faculty and students tour Richard Goettle, Inc., Geotechnical Engineering and Construction site, August 20, 2021

Written by: Jory Gould and JaiJian Ding

Goettle's and Ulliman and Schutte’s Project Managers and Directors of Safety talked to us about how their companies’ safety culture has evolved over time. Goettle is a contracted engineering and construction company whose safety executives pride themselves on their dedicated staff and safety-focused corporate culture. To develop a safety culture, the company needs to have a strong concept of safety and put safety first in everything. Through this technique, Goettle Geotechnical Engineering and Construction and Ulliman and Schutte Construction have achieved safety levels better than the industry average. Their combined safety cultures are reflected through their employment of ample safety professionals, daily Job Safety Analysis (JSA) meetings, new employee safety training, and by choosing contractors who value safety culture. 

Goettle and Ulliman and Schuttee each hire many safety professionals who are located at each construction site. The safety supervisors and safety managers have obtained the corresponding educational background and professional certifications and have many years of experience in related positions. Safety managers need to carry out daily patrols and ensure that workers are following specifications. They also make suggestions and encourage employees to improve the safety culture.

Assigned personnel take part in a short meeting to do JSA before starting work every day. Because the tasks of a construction site are ever-changing, the contents of the JSA are not repeated in the same content every day. The result of the JSA experience is that the workers familiarize themselves with the requirements of the day's tasks and dangers. They “take five” and reflect for seconds to recall important safety actions they must perform when they enter the site.

New employee training is implemented when a new employee joins the team. The security supervisor matches the new employee with a more experienced employee who can assist the new employee in learning the safety practices.  A minimum requirement for all their workers is a high school diploma.

Finally, Goettle selects a contractor that they can trust. Goettle’s safety supervisor verifies the safety of the contactor's actions and materials. Not only are the contractor's safety personnel on hand to direct the contractor's work, but Goettle’s safety personnel oversee and are held responsible for the overall safety of the contractor’s work.

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Students listen to an introductory overview provided by the hosts near the job site trailer

Goettle ERC Field Trip Reflection: Similarities Between Goettle Safety Protocols and Nursing Protocols
Written by: Trevor Holtz     

Our ERC hosts were project managers and other leaders of Goettle Geotechnical and Construction Engineering and Ulliman and Schutte Construction, who welcomed us on site. Our hosts were extremely hospitable, taking time to explain their day-to-day safety protocols. Every day, onsite construction workers meet for a morning huddle to discuss daily assignments. Team leaders will note changes in the environment as a part of this huddle, as well as expected safety protocols to perform the job at hand for this shift. Experienced personnel will also monitor the site throughout the day to ensure that workers remain safe and take proper precautions during their work.

During our discussion, I noted the similarities to these safety procedures often seen in nursing. It is commonplace to engage in staff huddles at the beginning of hospital floor nursing shifts, during which healthcare personnel will discuss expected safety protocols and changes to the floor environment that will be important to be aware of for oncoming nursing staff. These similarities are also echoed in more experienced nurses, often serving as charge nurses, monitoring the floor for any nurses having trouble implementing safety procedures and possibly placing themselves or patients at risk. Our discussion continued to similarities in the way that new personnel is trained to perform their job safely.

Construction workers at Goettle and Ulliman and Schutte adopt a shadowing experience procedure for new hires in which new employees will follow more senior employees to better learn job functions and safety protocols needed to be maintained while working. This practice is similarly implemented in nursing where both student nurses and new hire nurses will shadow and learn from preceptor nurses with more experience.

Overall, I found the trip to be both enjoyable and intellectually stimulating. I am thankful to our hosts and our instructor for setting up and guiding us through such an interesting experience.

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ERC students at MDS Construction Site during walk-through provided by hosts from Goettle Geotechnical Engineering and Construction and Ulliman and Schutte Construction 

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Hosts from Goettle and Ulliman and Schutte Companies at MSD Project

Written by: John Singletary

During the guided tour hosted by Goettle Geotechnical Engineering and Construction and Ulliman & Schutte construction, they elaborated on the project groundwork initiative they are working on in collaboration. They stated that their goal was to build these systems to help hold sewage to be treated before being released back into the environment. Currently, sewage and rainwater are mixed into the current system. When there is excessive rain, this causes the current system to overflow. When that occurs, it releases raw sewage back into the environment. Building these holding tanks can help reduce the amount of untreated sewage that gets released. 

In my opinion, the environmental impacts of reducing raw sewage being released would be necessary for protecting the environment in which we live. There are many things to consider concerning the release of raw sewage into the environment. This can contaminate the water supply, fish, and wildlife with harmful microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, and fungi), chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and industrial waste; some untreated sewage can result in the bioaccumulation of many of these.

Through the Goettle and Ulliman and Schutte project at the Metropolitan Sewer District, the quality of the environment we live in can be dramatically improved and, subsequently, the quality of life by promoting the best possible health outcomes.

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University of Cincinnati Procter Hall during Interdisciplinary ERC Field Experience Debrief Session and Lunch, including students who participated in the onsite experience and the Occupational Medical Residents who joined us for lunch and debrief. 

End of part 2. Thank you to the hosts from Richard Goettle Geotechnical Engineering and Construction, Inc. and Ulliman and Schutte Construction for providing a site visit for ERC students and faculty!

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