Army Corps of Engineers Contractor Achieves Million Man-Hour Milestone--Twice

Working in one of the most hazardous industries and dangerous work sites, in the midst of the nation's greatest catastrophes, ECC Operating Services LLC of Burlingame, Calif., has logged 1 million work hours without a lost-time accident for the second time. A prime contractor doing debris and demolition work for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Louisiana Recovery Field Office (LARFO) in its Hurricane Katrina recovery operations, ECC achieved no-lost-time-accident marks of 1,419,459 work hours from September 2005 to February 2006 with a workforce of 12,000, and another 1 million from September 2006 to April 2007.

The National Safety Council recognized the distinction, and, in a June 7 ceremony, ECC spread the wealth, conferring an award to the Corps for its collaborative efforts in top-down safety emphasis and monitoring in achieving the milestones.

"Thanks to key individuals in the Corps who helped us keep the safety bar really, really high," said August Ochabauer, ECC vice president of operations."

Working with local, minority-owned businesses in New Orleans and surrounding areas, ECC and USACE have worked to clear miles of debris from ruined buildings and dead trees in parkways and other public areas. To date, the LARFO mission in South Louisiana has included removal of 27.7 million cubic yards of debris--enough to fill more than seven Empire State Buildings--and demolition of 17,804 structures, many containing regulated asbestos-containing material.

Richard Gioscia, ECC vice president of environment, safety and quality, said, "I never thought we could achieve something like this down here," adding that "when we persevere and don't compromise our values" anything is possible.

"You've done an outstanding job," said USACE's Mike Park, LARFO director. "It's a tribute to the culture you've developed here."

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