On Friday, February 19, GE Johnson achieved 500 days with zero recordable injuries on the Pikes Peak Summit Complex project. Working at an altitude of 14,115 feet poses many safety threats, but the team continues to maintain a safe working environment.
GE Johnson implemented safety measures unique to this project including a buddy system, a fitness test for working at high altitudes, and lightening awareness training. In addition to these measures, crews perform daily stretch and flex, create hazard recognition reports, and identify their top five hazards to look out for that are specific to their work each day.
“Our biggest challenge that we recognized early on was the fatigue and stress that it puts on the construction workers at altitude. About 10 percent of our workforce were not able to perform at the altitude,” stated Tim Redfern, GE Johnson construction manager, field operations.
The project team has successfully continued to work through this winter with the help of the Pikes Peak Highway crews, who plow snow on 20 miles of road for the project crews to safely make it to the top of the mountain in the mornings.
“We’re down to the hardest part of the project, trying to work through this winter and we’ve had great success. It has been a great collaboration between us and Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain,” said Redfern.
This Summit Complex is the highest ongoing construction site in North America. Constructing this challenging project will create a facility that takes advantage of the inspiring views and natural beauty of Pikes Peak, also known as America’s Mountain.
About the Pikes Peak Summit Complex
Replacing the existing visitor’s center, which was constructed in 1963, this challenging project will create a facility that takes advantage of the inspiring views and natural beauty of Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain.
Each year more than half a million people visit the summit of Pikes Peak, which sits 14,115 feet above sea level. The new Summit Complex will feature an immersive visitor experience and is designed so visitors can focus on the beauty, richness, and scenery of America’s Mountain, with multimedia exhibits that tell the story and history of the mountain and enhance the experience.
Started in June 2018, the complex is scheduled to complete in late spring of 2021. With a short work season atop the mountain (late spring to late fall, weather permitting), each day’s shift is shortened to keep workers safe from the effects that can be suffered at altitude.
GE Johnson started the project by relocating the central utility plant, blasting, and moving dirt and massive boulders for the foundation of the new complex. These materials are stored on site for reuse, with limited laydown areas.
- The new facility will be 38,000 square feet
- 30,000 tons of rock has been excavated
- There are 418 precast panels
- There are 319 Permatrack boardwalk panels
Photo courtesy of GE Johnson