Construction

The Ice Breaker

What Starts a Conversation?

One noon hour about eighteen years ago someone stopped in at reception to drop off a sledgehammer. Since everyone else had gone to lunch I took it back to my office and set it by my desk. At some point in the afternoon, I planned to take it back to the shop. That was eighteen years ago, it still sits by my desk to this day. Like everyone else I have paintings on my walls and things I have collected over the years. Heck, I even have a Tardis, a BB-8 and the complete works of Gary Larson’s Far Side, but what creates the most conversation is the sledgehammer.

Leadership is about being accessible, being able to interact with everyone and to create an environment where everyone feels comfortable talking to the CEO. That’s not easy for some, and that includes the CEO, those three letters become an inhibitor to a lot of interactions. You can have an open-door policy, but you are still the CEO and with that comes the thought by others, that they cannot bother you, or they assume you really have no time for them. If the CEO believes leadership should be weaved throughout the company, then it is only natural that having time for others at all levels is one of the most import things he or she can do. It has been the sledgehammer that has assisted that open-door policy and why it still sits by my desk today.

Even the most hesitant will try and make a comment about the sledgehammer. Make a small joke at their own expense like ‘is that thing just for me’, or ‘that’s pretty scary’ or ‘what’s that for?’. I have a simple answer ‘it is a conversation starter and it just worked’ and thus begins a conversation. It may be about work but often, it is about family or sports or the news of the day or it could be a debate about who is better Queen or the Rolling Stones (for the record it is Queen). The contribution this old sledgehammer has made is it has lightened the mood and started a conversation. There is nothing special about this sledgehammer. No magic, it is just a sledgehammer but it is one amazing sledgehammer as it has the power to create a conversation with whoever walks by the office for the first time or has stopped in.

Leaders, no matter where they are in a company, must communicate about more than just the task at hand. If one only hears from their manager when the manager needs something done or if they have done something wrong, that is not leadership. Leadership is about growing those around you so that down the road they will excel and surpass the leader you are now. That means developing a relationship that creates an environment where growth and interaction can occur. Take the time to make time for others. This beat up old sledgehammer on occasion has been known to start that conversation.


Scot Rutherford

Former President & CEO
Edmonton

 

 

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Core Values: Are They Just Words?

Most companies today have developed their own core values. Whether plastered on the home page of their website or discreetly discussed in internal meetings, the identified values clearly spell out what is and is not acceptable to a company’s culture. But are they enforced as strictly as they are written?

Without knowing it at the time, I learned a great lesson on core values when I was in university some twenty-ish years ago. I was fortunate enough to play varsity basketball for one of the best coaches in Canada at the time. One of the reasons for his success was his adherence to the core values of the team. One of those values was that no player would receive preferential treatment, from the leading scorer to the 12th man. In one of our early season retreats, he told a story that has stuck in my mind to this day:

When Coach (I still call him this today) started out coaching in the 1970s, he moved his family from Newfoundland to Victoria to coach high school basketball. Not knowing anyone when they moved out, they quickly befriended a couple who had a son that played basketball. Lo and behold the son made Coach’s team, much to the parent’s delight. One of the team rules was that if you got caught smoking at school, you were off the team. The son, in a moment of teenage stupidity, got caught smoking one day. Word got to Coach and the son was informed of his fate. The father called up Coach and asked if an exception could be made, seeing as they were friends and all. Coach did not hesitate in informing his friend that the son was off the team, period. That decision ended the couples’ friendship.

I would have loved to have seen Coach’s wife’s reaction when she was told they would no longer be socializing with that couple. But ultimately she understood the reason and they moved on. If the star performer in your company clearly violated a company core value, would their employment be terminated?

If the answer is not immediately yes, then those values are worth about as much as the paper they’re written on. Core values are black and white in their intent, and managers have to enforce them as such for them to have a meaningful impact on the culture of a company.


Patrick Crevolin

Operations Manager
Edmonton

 

 

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Beattie Equestrian

Scott Builders has been contracted to complete an Equestrian Centre in De Winton Alberta. Prior to Scott Builders mobilizing on site, the foundations and part of the Pre Engineered building had already been completed. The scope of work is to remove the existing cladding, re-square the building and install new wall and roof cladding to the existing building.

The challenging portion of the project is the addition of new steel in between the existing stables and the arena that matches the roof slopes creating the proper valleys and ridges.

The Centre will have a viewing lounge overlooking the riding arena, 34 horse stalls in the east and west stables, three tack rooms, laundry facility, washrooms, storage room, feed storage room, wash stations for the horses, grooming stations, a Farrier station and a hexagon shaped hot walker.

 

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Valleyview Regional Recreation Facility

Scott Builders is currently working on an amazing new Recreational Facility for the M.D. of Greenview and the Town of Valleyview which started on site in late November 2015. The Valleyview Regional Recreation Facility is a 57,298 sq. ft. building housing an aquatics area with 2 pools a hot tub and a sauna, a Field House with a third floor track and a commercial kitchen, change rooms for all areas and on the second floor a fitness area and a studio room.

Scott Builders is working with Kew Consulting, who is the client Project Manager, Architecture TB which is now part of the Stantec Consulting Family, using a Lump Sum Bid project delivery method. The project team is working together to provide the client with this exciting project for the community on time and to budget at the highest level of quality.

We have built partnerships with local companies to provide materials such as lumber, void form, concrete and gravel, and other items such as equipment rentals and service, propane and fuel supply and housing for out of town workers in the community. Also local trade workers have been hired to work on the project where possible and required.

Working with the local community to complete this project has been a beneficial path to the success for all involved and for Scott Builders to live our value of having a positive impact on the community.

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Build Your Network

Robert Kiyosaki once said ‘the richest people in the world look for and build networks, everyone else looks for work’. It is easy to get trapped in a world revolving around technology, where finding a job involves resumes submitted online, job postings found through LinkedIn, networking a.k.a becoming friends on Facebook. Sitting at home, feet on the coffee table, laptop propped open, coffee in hand; this is how we network now. We are forgetting that creating successful connections also involves a face to face conversation at some point.

The internet makes it easier to keep in touch with your network and learn about new opportunities, so please do not stop using it, however let’s not get too comfortable on that couch.

We are not saying to simply throw on a suit and go chat up strangers on the street; start by talking to the people you already know. The people you are already acquainted with are your most valuable resource. The person sitting in the desk across from you, the person pricing a job for you, they all have a network of their own. Talk to them, invest in getting to know them and before you know it, their network could start becoming yours as well. The only log-in information necessary is a handshake and a hello.

To start the conversation, ask the questions, and keep these tips in mind.

Look to gain knowledge and insight, don’t treat it as though you are asking for a job. The job may come later, but the early conversations are to create a connection.

  • Have a general idea of what you want to talk to different people about, think of possible topics of discussion.  Obsessing over it, however, will not help you.
  • Think people, not positions.
  • Invest yourself. This will take work, it will take time, it will take energy; think of what you could gain from it though.
  • Be confident, be self-aware. Take a look in the mirror; what sets you apart? Utilize your existing strengths and knowledge.
  • A network is not a tattoo, once it is there, it is not permanent. You will have to cultivate it and continue the conversations in order for it to continue to exist.

Networking is like farming, you reap what you sow. The more energy and effort you put into it, the better results you will see.  It may be awkward at first but like anything the more you do it the easier it becomes. So take heart and put yourself out there – the ‘old fashioned’ way. After all, there is no better place to invest your time than in yourself.


Darby Walters

Project Coordinator
Red Deer

 

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Scrapes, Cuts, and Pinches – Poor Hands

safety-glovesHand injuries account for a large majority of occupational injuries which makes sense because the hands are engaged in almost all activities on the job. Can you think of any occupation that does not make use of the hand? Hands are so important because of their utility. They provide us with the dexterity needed to perform most daily activities. In fact, hands, as tools, are so versatile they can perform more tasks than any other tool you may own.

There are many dangerous conditions on the job to which the hand is regularly exposed.  For example, sharp edges, pinch points, protruding objects, splinters, exposed blades, unguarded machinery and many more. These conditions may not always be obvious to the working person.

Pinch points can cause serious hand injury if a person is not careful. When dealing with moving parts or loads that could shift be sure to take precautions to keep your hands clear of danger.  Make sure you use tag lines, push rods and mechanical lock outs to prevent injury.

Cuts, bruises, burns and poking.  Handling sharp objects, rough materials and splinters without the necessary hand protection are invitations for hand injury.

Thermal or Chemical Hazard.  From cold steel, a hot bearing or cleaning solvents, be aware of the potential for hot or cold burns.

A necessary precaution is to ensure appropriate work gloves are available to you and worn as needed. Not all gloves protect you from all hand injuries. Part of your hazard assessment should be identifying what type of gloves will suit the task.

Ensure you have the right glove for the task before using them.

More precautions to take to reduce injury are:

  • Lockout machinery and power before reaching into them.
  • Check and clear doorways and aisles and make sure you have proper hand clearance before you move loads through, also at the end make sure to secure your gates and doors.
  • Do not wear rings or wedding bands when working with machinery.
  • Do not pick up broken glass or spilled machine parts with your bare hands.

Remember your hands will obey any commands your brain sends them. So think safety first, avoid dangers and protect your hands – You Need Them.

#ToolboxTuesday #safetyfirst

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Major Renovations to Discovery Canyon

It is mid-August back in the early 90’s and the sun has been beating down on in Red Deer. She has been relentless for the last week. All you want is a little relief. The heat starts to make you impatient which causes you to lash out at your little brother. An easy target of entertainment when you are bored. It starts off as annoying poking and soon escalates to a full on fight equipped with a few smacks and loud yelling. It’s at that point that your mother loses her sanity and screams, “GO GET YOUR SWIMSUITS ON BEFORE I KNOCK YOUR HEADS TOGETHER!” Ceasing your behavior, you reflect on how much pain that caused the last time she did it. Rubbing your head, you quickly hustle to your bedroom where you squeeze into your swimsuit.

Hopping into the 1989 white Chevy Blazer you assume that you are headed to one of the pools in Red Deer, most likely for your mother to drown you. But as fate would have it, you are not. So you gently inquire, and Mom tells you that you are heading to Discovery Canyon. Your eyes widen and a huge smile spreads across your face. Thinking back to your last trip, you recall the long winding rocky stream, the black tire tube that was so hot when you jumped into it, the water splashing in your face, the smell of fries and hot dogs that came from the tiny food shack as you land in the pond at the bottom, and the shrieks of fun and laughter that come from all the children. It was real treat to get to go Discovery Canyon and cool off.

Fast forward 20+ years, now you are the parent and you get to take your little ones to that famous summer spot that you loved so much as a child. However, it is not quite what you remember, and for good reason. It has been over 30 years since it’s had a major renovation. Well this summer Discovery Canyon, part of the Riverbend Golf Recreation area is receiving a complete overhaul.

The need for enhancement of the stream and adjacent park has been on the City of Red Deer’s capital plan for years and it is finally here. The renovation will improve safety and accessibility as well as provide the community and visitors with a high-quality recreation experience for decades to come.

Ray Rogers, Project Manager with Scott Builders (who are doing the construction work), speaks of the project with enthusiasm. “We’re really excited about working at Discovery Canyon on such an interesting project. They have worked with us on prior projects, but not on this scale. The bulk of the work will be done by trades that are based right here, resulting in a win-win situation for the community.”

City of Red Deer’s Parks and Culture Project Specialist, Stephan Lyonnais confirmed that construction is already well on its way and the new facility will be ready to roll for the 2017 season, at which time new memories can be created with the next generation of little ones and their families. Let’s hope the summer is a hot one.

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Ladder Safety Image

Ladders: Portable Hazards

THINK OF STEPLADDERS AND EXTENSION LADDERS as portable hazards. True, ladders are perfectly safe when they’re used by “trained professionals” using the “proper procedures” but there’s something about ladders that invites people who are not trained professionals to laugh at the notion that you need training to use a ladder.

When you get right down to it (or right up to it, for that matter) ladders are handy tools for reaching places that were not designed to be reached, usually to do work that is not supposed to be done from a ladder. Also, think of ladders as a handy way to reach hazards that were thought to be safely “guarded” by distance and inaccessibility.

Ladders are implicated in a variety of accidents involving not only the obvious falls from height but also electrical contacts and contact with energized systems.

Statistics on lost-time injuries list approximately 1,500 accidents per year in Canada involving ladders. The highest number are in construction, manufacturing was a close second followed by and transportation. The number of non-work-related accidents involving ladders is thought to be much higher (almost everyone can tell a hair-raising ladder story or two).


Ways to Prevent Incidents When Using Ladders:

INSPECTION: Inspect every ladder before use. Look for cracks or rotted sections on wooden ladders, missing parts, loose connections, damage, and bending or broken welds on aluminum ladders. Check for deformation on all ladders. Don’t use any ladder that is defective in any way.

SLIPS: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in the U.S. reports that half of all ladder accidents involve the ladder slipping. Either the base of the ladder slips away from the structure it is standing against or the top of the ladder slides sideways.

To prevent this from happening:
• Inspect the ladder before use to make sure it has the appropriate safety feet – a non-slip insert or teeth that will grip in soil.
• Don’t use the ladder unless the base can be placed on a secure and level surface.
• Set up the ladder so that it makes a 75-degree angle, or a one-in-four slope (one foot out from the horizontal for every four feet up).
• Don’t use a ladder unless the top can be placed squarely against a secure and level surface.
• Make sure the ladder extends at least three feet above the top edge of the structure.
• Tie off the top of the ladder securely and/or have a helper at the bottom of the ladder, holding both sides and standing with one foot on the bottom rung.
• Don’t set up a ladder where it might get bumped (place barricades or helpers to alert other users of the area.)

PAINT: Never paint a wooden ladder or use one that has been painted. The paint could not only promote rotting (by trapping water in the wood) it also hides defects. Instead, treat wooden ladders with a clear wood preservative and protect them from the elements by storing them in a dry place for using it when you’re painting outside or inside by using interior painting ideas.

LADDER TYPE: There are different types of ladders, with different weight ratings. Type IA ladders (sometimes marked “extra heavy duty, industrial”) are rated for 300 pounds. Type 1 (heavy duty) are rated for 250 pounds. These are the types used in construction and industrial workplaces. Type II (or medium duty) and Type III (light duty) are rated for 225 and 200 pounds respectively.

FALLS: Use a ladder with non-slip rungs and make sure the rungs (as well as your footwear) are clear of mud, grease or other slippery things.
• Use “three-point contact” while you’re on the ladder: Always have two feet and one hand or two hands and one foot in contact with the ladder.
• Keep your body between the side rails of the ladder. Don’t reach out so far that you have to move your torso out from between the side rails.
• Don’t carry tools or supplies up a ladder. Use a tool belt or pull supplies (such as a paint can) up from the ground using a rope.
• Make sure a stepladder is fully extended and braced. Do not stand on the top three steps.

Use these tips and we can all reduce the number of incidents involving ladders. Email Ian Simpson should you have any more questions.  ians@scottbuilders.com

SUCCESS WITH SAFETY!

 

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Airdrie Fire Hall

Airdrie Fire Hall

The Airdrie Fire hall will be shared by the Airdrie Fire department and the Alberta health (EMS). This 11,529 sq. ft. facility includes a basement and is situated on a ½ acre.

The building has a basement which will accommodate a fitness room the EMS locker room, storage, mechanical, electrical and a laundry room.

The main floor will accommodate dorm rooms, kitchens, washrooms with showers for both the Fire department and EMS.

The apparatus bay will have three bays: two for the Fire department and one Bay for EMS.

The exterior patio has in slab snow melt system and a steel landing for the BBQ.

Scheduled for completion on June 5.

 

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Fluid Life

This three storey office complex will be completed in the summer of 2016. Fluid seems to be the name of the game as there have been a few initiatives implemented to keep this project flowing and on schedule.

Last fall the entire site was fully paved as soon as the site services and grade beams were complete. This improved productivity and eliminated down time in the spring. Mud was not tracked into the new building, work is not interrupted with site paving and easy access enticed trades to come to our site first. This resulted in the project scheduled being maintained.

The concrete floor for the 1st level office area and the lab was poured before the building was closed in, last fall.

There is always a risk with the weather during an outdoor concrete pour, we selected a time where the forecast looked optimistic – and needless to say it was. Completing the pour earlier allowed for the substantial amount of mechanical and electrical work in the lab area to continue with minimal interruption.

 

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