More than 500 people including construction craftsmen, trade partners, members of the Houston Airports executive staff, Hensel Phelps leadership, and the mayor of the City of Houston were on hand for the National Construction Safety week observance at the construction site of the Federal Inspection Services (FIS) area at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The $518 million renovation of the FIS area is part of the Houston Airports IAH Terminal Redevelopment Program (ITRP).
The event was held by Hensel Phelps, the prime contractor for the FIS project, in conjunction with the City of Houston, to recognize the impressive construction safety efforts demonstrated by the 400 construction workers and trade partners actively working on the site.
“As mayor, I have been to many ribbon cuttings. But this is the first time I have been invited to come pay tribute and acknowledge those who have built those fine buildings or built those terminals or built those bridges. Human capital, men and women, who work every day, are the ones who make the investment and allow all these other things to take place,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Congratulations on 512 days without a lost time accident!”
Mayor Turner connected with the construction workers by sharing his work safety experiences as an electrician’s assistant before attending college. Turner added that his job helped him pay for college.
Hensel Phelps President and CEO Mike Choutka said the number one priority should be to send all construction teammates home safely every single day. “The work you do is what makes it possible to have landmark projects like this happen…Thank you for building America!”
The event included a tour of the ongoing Federal Inspection Services Area redevelopment jobsite, and recognition of the special team of workers who meet regularly to discuss ways to make work on the project a safer and more efficient process.
The event coincided with North American Occupational Safety and Health Administration “Safety Awareness Week” which began May 1, 2023. The observance is considered an important exercise for the entire U.S. construction industry sector. The construction workers were challenged to continue being vigilant and recommit to workplace safety by taking the safety pledge during the event.
“These are milestones that mark our way to progress, success and completion,” said Houston Airports Director Mario Diaz as he noted the advancement of the project. “We are out of the ground. We are erecting steel. We have the West Pier that will be finished by the end of the year. We have the north concourse that will be completed, and it is the result of the work you do.”
Diaz said 40 million people came through the airport last year, and experienced some of what it is like to go through a large-scale complex construction project. He acknowledged for the travelling public and for workers, construction time at an airport is not an easy process to experience. But he said the completion of the project will help the airport fulfill its mission to connect the people, businesses, cultures, and economies of the world to Houston.