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Peaking Project Wins Inaugural Safety Award

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Best Safety

Photo Courtesy of Durr Mechanical Construction
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The PSEG New Haven Peaking Project wins ENR New York's first-ever Safety Award.

The judges said the team on the PSEG New Haven Peaking Project—the winner of ENR New York's first-ever Safety Award—put many proactive safety measures in place and involved everyone from management to craft workers in the process.

The project involved adding three side-by-side combustion turbines at the utility's existing waterfront facility. The turbines' main job is to provide power during peak demand periods. The work also included installation of a selective catalytic reduction system and water injection to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by at least 90% as well as a combustion catalyst to cut carbon monoxide emissions by at least 80%.

"The project also demanded that we self-police our field crews with regard to safety and quality control," says project submitter Durr Mechanical Construction. That aspect of the work "really allowed us to shine by improving our labor efficiency and also streamlining the management process for the client."

Other safety procedures included following the client's job safety analysis (JSA) program, which requires foremen to break daily work activities into tasks, identify potential hazards associated with each task and describe the measures necessary to reduce and eliminate hazards. This information was conveyed to crews in meetings conducted before work began, after lunch breaks and whenever tasks or conditions changed.

"PSEG safety management collected and graded JSA forms and posted monthly average grades, which began at 80% but were improved to above 95% by providing training for foremen," Durr Mechanical says.

The team faced several obstacles, including unforeseen soil contamination that compressed the project time line. "But a very tight budget meant we couldn't just throw overtime at the problem," Durr Mechanical says. Working with the owner, "the seven-month construction schedule was rewritten, pipe by pipe and cable by cable," to stack activities concurrently that would otherwise have been consecutive. As a result, the project was delivered on time.

But aesthetics at the site, which overlooks New Haven Harbor in Connecticut, were important, too. By sharing one smokestack, the complex strikes a lower profile. In addition, conduits were placed underground, leaving the sides open and accessible.

PSEG New Haven Peaking Project, New Haven, Conn.

Key Players

Owner/Developer: PSEG Fossil

General Contractor/Construction Manager: JV of Durr Mechanical Construction, E-J Power Generation

Lead Design Engineer: Worley Parsons

Submitted by: Durr Mechanical Construction

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