Faith Technologies’ Excellerate Process Adds to Project Safety
One of the greatest challenges contractors find on many construction projects is determining how to set up staging areas for tools, materials, and work stations. The footprint of most construction sites is much smaller today than it was 20 years ago. Just the requirements of setting up work areas introduces additional hazards to the site, as well as slowing production due to the movement of materials and tools.
Prefabrication efforts have been utilized for many years to alleviate some of these issues; however, many of these efforts still involve staging materials on site for extended periods of time. At Faith Technologies, we have taken our prefabrication to new levels in a process called Excellerate, which focuses on productivity and better utilization of manpower. Our four manufacturing facilities support construction projects in multi-state regions. Leadership teams in these facilities include individuals with extensive manufacturing backgrounds, partnered with upper-level electricians with extensive field experience. All major projects are required to utilize Excellerate for a given percentage of the man-hours charged to the job.
As expected, these efforts have produced great results in reducing the amount of manpower required on jobsites, as well as increasing productivity and efficiency, but the magnitude of the effect on site has been greater than original projections. Perhaps the greatest benefit to our projects and employees resulting from our Excellerate efforts has been in safety. As we have analyzed results and performed site safety audits across the country, the recurring theme has been the significant impact on safety, both in our Excellerate facilities and on projects.
Three major areas contribute to increased jobsite safety:
- JIT: Delivering materials just in time (JIT) reduces the space required to store materials and set up areas for pipe cutting/bending. By utilizing Excellerate effectively, these tasks are completed off-site and delivered JIT so employees don’t have to work around or move materials and equipment to perform their tasks.
- Housekeeping: By building assemblies off-site, a large percentage of trash and debris never make it to the project. We recently asked one of our groups to stack the cardboard from a rack of lights they had removed from packaging. The cardboard alone for eight 2×4 light fixtures was stacked nearly as tall as the mobile rack the lights were delivered on. Less waste reduces the number of dumpsters and pick-ups on site.
- Ergonomics: Excellerate’s most dramatic effect on safety is in ergonomics. Work stations in our Excellerate facilities are specifically designed for each activity, allowing assemblies to be built at a level and angle that best benefits the employee. Some of our large assemblies, like duct-bank assemblies, are built in a controlled environment, delivered to the site, and set directly into an excavation, greatly reducing the amount of time our employees are exposed to excavation hazards on site. It also reduces time needed to be spent in inclement weather or muddy conditions. All assemblies are packaged for delivery to greatly reduce the amount of lifting/carrying required, reducing exposure to strain and sprain injuries.
Even though we have seen great safety gains as a result of our Excellerate process, we have only scratched the surface. Our leadership team continually supports innovation and encourages input from all of our employees as we constantly strive to meet our primary Core Value of an uncompromised focus on keeping people safe.