Executive Leadership Takes OSHA 10-Hour Construction Training


​Safety is a core value and top priority, so much so that our entire Executive Leadership Team (ELT) – functional leaders from across the organization, including HR, marketing, finance, IT, development and more – recently completed the OSHA 10-Hour Construction Training.

Obviously, this group doesn't spend a great deal of time working directly on jobsites, operating construction tools and equipment or working on scaffolding at heights. (They're in the office overseeing accounting, technology and other necessary business functions.) So, setting aside the better part of two days to attend OSHA safety training certainly isn't required for their jobs. But they don't see it that way. To them, as executive leaders of Team Opus, the training is necessary to be better informed and support the safety and wellbeing of our associates, partners and general public. 

“It's one thing to talk about safety, but it's another to truly demonstrate their commitment this way," said Dave Bangasser, President & CEO of project management and construction. “In fact, when the OSHA training idea was presented to them, everyone immediately jumped on board, saying they would find it valuable and absolutely wanted to do it." 

The October training was led by our safety team of Andy Smoka, Director of Safety Management, and Joshua Babiasz, Regional Safety Manager. In addition to classroom learning sessions, the leadership team gathered on the shop floor in our Eagan facility to participate in realistic jobsite safety demonstrations. 

Perhaps the most impactful demonstration was about the danger of falling objects. The safety team installed a vertical tube, three-inches in diameter, running down the side of a 25-foot scaffold. At the bottom of the tube on the floor, they placed a watermelon with and without a hard hat on it. To illustrate fall impact, several items were dropped down the tube from the top of the 25-foot scaffold, starting with a light-weight nail. With the hard hat, the nail bounced off.  Without the hard hat, it dented the watermelon. And when a common four-inch bolt was dropped, it pierced the unprotected watermelon and went completely through it. 

“In the grand scheme of things, a four-inch bolt isn't all that large," Dave said. “The demonstration really helped us visualize the impact of something that small falling from several stories—and the impact a larger tool could have falling from a 30-story project, like 365 Nicollet, is significant. It's a great example of why we are so diligent in our safety focus." 

Properly assembled scaffolding is also imperative for jobsite safety, so the leadership team learned how it's done. They were given tools, divided into two teams, and challenged to a friendly scaffold building competition. “Truth be told, we are all quite competitive, so everyone had fun with this assignment," Dave said. 

They also learned about many other safety topics, including the use of personal protective equipment, electrical hazards on jobsites and how to properly use a fire extinguisher (yes, on a real fire). 

Now armed with their OSHA 10 cards, the ELT continues to demonstrate our number one value of safety. It's a steadfast commitment that extends throughout our entire organization and beyond—from boots-on-the-ground construction associates and partners, to project managers and office associates, to community members living and working near our job sites.