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Lowe's Regional Distribution Center Construction Project Reduces Injuries and Illnesses and Promotes a Safety and Health Culture


Background:

The Lowe's Regional Distribution Center Construction project was completed in 2007 and involved building a $100 million, 1.4 million square foot facility located at Route 20 and Montague Road in Rockford, IL. The facility includes super flat concrete floors, a structural steel and metal deck framing system, pre-cast wall panels, and office build-out for warehouse and office space. The facility, which is the size of approximately 30 football fields under one roof, has more than five miles of conveyors moving 32,000 products through the facility. The center, the first in Illinois, serves more than 100 Lowe's stores in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana, and Michigan.

Success Impact:

Injury and Illness Rates

Ragnar Benson Construction had 26 first-tier subcontractors on this project. Including the work done by Ragnar, the subcontractors worked a total of 254,520 hours. There were twelve second- and third-tier subcontractors on the project that worked a total of 34,700 hours for a grand total of 289,290 hours spent completing the project. The project had no lost time injuries and had only two OSHA recordable injuries.

Injury and Illness Rates Below BLS Industry Average – Total Case Incident Rate (TCIR) and Days Away, Restricted and Transfer (DART)

The average TCIR rate on this project was 1.4. Using the 2005 Nonresidential Building Construction Injury and Illness Rate from the BLS of 5.4, the project TCIR rate was 74% below the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) national average for that industry.

  TCIR DART Fatalities Hours Worked
Length of Project (6.5 Months) 1.5 0.0 0.0 289,290
BLS Industry National Average for Most Recent Year 5.4 2.6 N/A N/A

Promoting a Culture of Safety and Health

Over the course of the Partnership, daily and monthly inspections were conducted at the worksite. Hazards observed were corrected in a timely manner. One enforcement verification inspection was conducted, but no citations were issued.

One major emphasis of this Partnership was to increase safety and health training. Over 225 employees, including supervisors, received over 600 hours of training. Each employee working at the site received site-specific orientation prior to working at the site.

During Partnership meetings, Partnership members discussed OSHA policy and standards. This included, but was not limited to, application of NFPA 70E, fall protection, the powered industrial truck standard, housekeeping, and personnel protection equipment (PPE) use.

Partnership Objectives:

The primary goal of this Partnership was to reduce serious injuries and illnesses and provide a safe and healthy work environment for employees at the Lowe's Regional Distribution Center. Employee involvement was a key part of this initiative, and the increased number of safety and health programs and best practices that were implemented among subcontractors are indicative of this. Another important element of this Partnership involved an increase in the number of employees, employers, and supervisors who participated and completed relevant safety training.

  • Origin: Region V, Aurora Area Office
  • Partners: Lowe's Regional Distribution Center Construction Project, United States Department OF Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) North Aurora Area Office
  • Partnership Signed: July 2006
  • Industry: Construction (NAICS Code 236210, SIC Code 1541)
  • Employees: 250
  • Employers: 38
  • Source and Date: Nancy Quick, Region V, Aurora Area Office (November, 2007)
Inside of the facility of the Lowe's Regional Distribution Center Construction project Inside of the facility of the Lowe's Regional Distribution Center Construction project

Inside of the facility of the Lowe's Regional Distribution Center Construction project

Lowe's Regional Distribution Center Construction project workers wearing PPE

Lowe's Regional Distribution Center Construction project workers wearing PPE

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