Comer Construction Wins Miss Utility Dig Smart Award

Comer Construction Wins Miss Utility Dig Smart Award

Pictured from left to right: Kevin Woolbright, Chair, MD/DC Damage Prevention Committee; Keith Kuzora, General Manager, Comer Construction; Susie Comer, President & Treasurer, Comer Construction; Leona Hill, Vice President, Comer Construction;  Timothy Kaptein, Director of Safety, Comer Construction; Mark Hamrick, Vice Chair, MD/DC Damage Prevention Committee

Comer Construction was honored with the 2021-2022 Miss Utility Dig Smart Award as the safest contractor in Maryland by the Miss Utility of MD/DC Damage Prevention Committee. The event was held October 28, 2022 at the Ocean City Fontainebleau Resort.

This is the 3rd time Comer Construction has received this honor for its commitment to damage prevention excellence and overall dedication to promote damage prevention in this sector of the construction industry.

Representatives from Comer Construction accepted this award during this year’s Greater Chesapeake Damage Prevention Training Conference held this fall in Ocean City, Md. hosted by Miss Utility of Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Delmarva.

What is the Miss Utility Dig Smart Award?

The Miss Utility MD/DC Damage Prevention Committee holds the annual Dig Smart Awards as part of its quest to promote underground utility safety and recognize contractors who steadily work toward damage prevention.

Nominated companies are evaluated based on their damage prevention procedures, employee training programs, enforcement of damage prevention laws, and participation in public/government forums, damage prevention meetings and conferences, and trade organizations.

Get to know Comer Construction:

Grading & Excavation

Maintenance of Traffic

Road Work & Paving

Utilities

HydroVac Truck

Stormwater Management

Hydro Excavation in Maryland

Hydro Excavation in Maryland

Project Quick Facts

  • Services: hydro excavation
  • Location: Various locations in Maryland
  • Timing: Fall 2022

Importance of Hydro Excavation

Locating, installing, and servicing underground utilities and facilities can be risky. Comer Construction’s hydro excavation capabilities provide superior damage and safety control, especially compared to mechanical methods.

Hydro excavation protects underground pipes, lines and cables from damage – reducing repair and restoration costs, increasing accuracy, accelerating completion, and protecting the crew. As high pressure water flows around buried utilities, surrounding soil is saturated and easily removed by the truck’s vacuum. 

This method is commonly used in exposing utilities, slot trenching, debris removal, and remote digging, as well as potholing/daylighting, piling hole excavation, and cold weather digging.

Clearing Blockages Without Extensive Excavation

Comer Construction was recently called in by Maryland American Water to use the hydro excavation truck at their plant off of Baltimore Pike in Bel Air, Maryland. We were tasked to clean out sludge and buildup in their tanks, grit chambers and wet wells.

A few days later, Comer Construction was back on site for work in the nearby stream to clean out intakes using the hydro excavation truck. These intakes draw raw stream water and deliver it to the plant grit chambers in preparation for treatment. They were full of sand and settlement, with capacity impaired by 75%. Comer Construction created a dam and barriers to divert the water, giving our crew access to clean and clear the intakes.

This job was particularly dirty – as evidenced by employee Todd Stephen, who could easily host an episode of Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe!

Protecting Employees & Preventing Utility Damage

Soft digging via hydro excavation also saves lives. We were recently tasked with replacing a fire hydrant. There were four unmarked secondary electrical lines that would have injured our team if we used mechanical methods. Thankfully, we used hydro excavation and safely excavated the area. 

The crew got the job done, but more importantly were also able to go home that night and see their loved ones. 

Hydro excavation services in Maryland

Hydro excavation requires specialized equipment and extensive experience. Comer Construction has both. We operate a GapVax HV-55 truck with 12.5 cylinder capacity using on-site disposal, and 1,200 gallon water capacity.  It’s available for use with our expert crews, or as part of our construction equipment rental services.

About Comer Construction

Established in 1982, Comer Construction provides grading and excavation services throughout Maryland as part of our complete site construction packages. Our cutting-edge construction equipment, award-winning safety program, and decades of experience – along with our distinction as a women-owned site development contractor – sets us apart.

Contact us to find out more about what we can do for you.

Get to know Comer Construction:

Grading & Excavation

Maintenance of Traffic

Road Work & Paving

Utilities

HydroVac Truck

Stormwater Management

June is Trench Safety Month!

June is Trench Safety Month!

June 2022 has been declared “Trench Safety Month” by the National Utility Contractors Association. This declaration of safety further highlights the association’s innovative educational and safety program, the “Trench Safety Stand Down” week, that will held June 20 – 24, 2022.

Every June since 2016 NUCA has held the innovative Trench Safety Stand Down (TSSD) Week for the utility construction industry. This year’s event will occur at hundreds of jobsites across the nation, reaching tens of thousands of workers.

What is a Safety Stand Down?
A Safety Stand Down presents the opportunity for employers to talk directly to employees and others about safety. These Stand Downs will focus on trench & excavation hazards and reinforce the importance of using trench protective systems and protecting workers from trenching hazards.  Comer Construction will be participating in the stand down with all employees throughout the week to emphasize the importance of trench safety.

To learn more about Trench Safety, view the trench and excavation safety video (below). Comer Construction was proud to be a part of this video with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Trench Rescue Training with Harford County Special Operations Team

Trench Rescue Training with Harford County Special Operations Team

Steve Hinch from the Emergency on Call Center (our next door neighbor) reached out to Comer Construction about assisting in a trench rescue training on Wednesday February 16, 2022. Steve is a Training and Exercise Planner for the Special Operations Team, HazMat and a Technical Rescue Technician. The focus of the training was for the Shock Trauma “ Go Team” to understand the dangers of a trench rescue and the importance of cave-in protection.

Comer Construction provided an excavator and operator to create a 6’ deep trench that was 5’ wide and 12’ long.  The training was conducted by Steve Hinch and Daniel Lemmon (TRT Crew Chief) from the Harford County Special Operations Team. The list of attendees varied from various Harford County EMT’s to special operations teams from Baltimore City, Baltimore County & Harford County as well as the Shock Trauma “Go Team.”

To learn more about excavation safety, please see the video Comer Construction made in conjunction with the National Association of Home Builders.

Get to know Comer Construction:

Grading & Excavation

Maintenance of Traffic

Road Work & Paving

Utilities

HydroVac Truck

Stormwater Management

2022 Safety Days

2022 Safety Days

On Tuesday, March 1 and Thursday, March 3, we conducted our annual Safety days.  We split the company in half and do half one day and the other half the other day. Here is what we covered:

Working Around Heavy Equipment

Presenter:  Emmett Russell (Consultant for the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA)

Topic: Internal Traffic Control, Blind Spots, Runovers/Back Overs, Caught Between, Struck By, Silica, Ladders, Falls.  This training session educated employees about safety while working on construction sites and around heavy equipment, vehicles and trucks.  This training included a demo using real equipment and showing the blind spots.

Notes: Fall Demo, workzonesafety.org, fall protection, overhead electric, blind spot demo w/ dump truck, handouts, videos, PowerPoints.

Buried Alive

Presenter: Eric Giguere (Motivational Speaker, Video Presentation)

Topic: Buried Alive. Eric Giguere, shares his story of how he was buried alive while working in a trench.  Eric explains the circumstances and events that led up to his accident and the profound effects it has had on him and his family.  Once you have heard Eric’s story, damage prevention will be more important to you than ever before!

Safety Information and Policy Updates

Presenter: Timothy Kaptein & Dorothy Kuzora (Comer Construction)

Details: Comer Construction QR code and The Substance Abuse and Testing Policy & Procedure.  Timothy Kaptein went over the QR code sticker that will be placed inside the new hard hats and went over the Comer Construction website for safety that the QR code will take you too.  Dorothy Kuzora explained and handed out the Substance Abuse and Testing Policy & Procedure.

DOT Safety

Presenter:  Steven C. Kirkwood (Administrative Officer III, Maryland Department of State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division)

Details: DOT Safety. This training session was a broad overview of the FMCSA regulations and how they pertain to Comer Construction, which included a question-and-answer session.

Notes: PowerPoints, load securement, CSA.

Stop the Bleed 

Presenter:  Steve Hinch and Harford County Employees (Harford County Government, Emergency Operations Center)

Details: Stop the Bleed is a national campaign to train people to assist in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives.

Notes: Hands on tourniquet and packing to stop the blood, PowerPoints.

These all day meetings were held at Knights of Columbus in Forest Hill. 

Get to know Comer Construction:

Grading & Excavation

Maintenance of Traffic

Road Work & Paving

Utilities

HydroVac Truck

Stormwater Management

Associated General Contractors Safety Award Winner // Maryland Construction Company

Associated General Contractors Safety Award Winner // Maryland Construction Company

Comer Construction, Inc. is proud to announce we were recently awarded the Maryland Associated General Contractors (AGC) 2018 Safety Excellence Award, in recognition of our extraordinary 2018 Safety Performance in achieving zero lost time and a combined incident rate 58% below the Bureau of Labor Statistics average rate for its industry sector.

Maryland AGC is a trade association whose membership includes general contractors, construction managers, specialty contractors, and service and supplier companies supporting Maryland’s commercial construction industry.

As a leading site construction company serving the Greater Baltimore Region for more than 37 years, Comer Construction understands that the safety of our employees, subcontractors, visitors and the general public on our construction sites and in our offices is of utmost importance. Comer Construction has developed a reputation for excellence during our nearly four decades in business which is built upon strict adherence to a set of values: Safety, Integrity, Quality, Commitment and Teamwork.

Comer Construction was presented with the awards at this year’s Champions of Safety Awards Program on June 5, 2019, at the Winslow at the Parker Metal Building in Baltimore. Comer Construction’s Director of Safety, Timothy Kaptein, CSP, accepted the award on behalf of the company.

Since 1927, the Maryland AGC has brought a strong, influential, single voice to the industry and is one of 95 chartered chapters affiliated with AGC of America, representing over 26,500 members nationwide.  Members of Maryland AGC are also members of AGC of America. This affiliation affords Maryland AGC members an even stronger industry voice and broad access to services, resources, and activities available on a national level. Comer Construction became a member of the Maryland AGC in 2017.

Located in Harford County, Maryland, Comer Construction, Inc. is a women-owned site construction company, certified by the Maryland Department of Transportation as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), and Small Business Enterprise (SBE).