National Work Zone Awareness Week is dedicated to the safety of our workers, roadways, and drivers. As part of our commitment to safety, I Build America – Ohio is giving safety managers the spotlight to share why safety is so important to our crews and our communities — and how the public can do its part. Check out the profile below for a first-hand look at why safety is important today and every day!
Name: James J Johnson Jr.
Company: Shook Construction
Title/Position: Regional Safety Manager
Years Working in Construction: 49
How did you begin your career in construction?
Worked my way through college. I turned construction into my career. I have 43 years in the Carpenters Union. I have worked as a Journeyman Carpenter, Foreman, General Carpenter Foreman and Superintendent for Shook Construction before joining Shook`s Safety Team.
How do you contribute to the overarching safety of your company’s workforce?
I have a very diversified background in construction. Before being employed by Shook, I worked on numerous commercial projects such as high-rise buildings and parking garages in downtown Columbus, Ohio, and several Ohio State University projects. I then turned my career to bridges and road work until joining Shook in 1994. I have been privileged to work in every market channel in the company. My background has given me great advantage to make sure our work is conducted safely. Currently, I am a full-time on-site project safety person. I conduct all the new hire safety orientations for our employees and subcontractors. Any site-specific safety information is also provided..
What does your company do to ensure safety on the job?
Shook’s Safety team consist of four regional managers under the direction of the Safety Director. The managers are all experienced and come from a diversified background. Our territories overlap somewhat so we can give assistance if needed. Shook provides training to ensure that the field personnel are qualified to conduct their work safely. Shook also provides a drug and alcohol-free workplace. The Safety department is in constant communication with the field and each other.
What is one thing you wish the general public knew about safety in construction?
Safety Personnel are there to help. Everyone in construction has a family to care for and to come home to.
How can the public help keep construction workers and work zones safe?
Obey the posted work zone speed limits. Do not drive distracted. Be aware of your surroundings. Drive like that is Your family member out there in the work zone.