Press Releases


2011 Gary E. Bird Horizon Award Bestowed on Granite Construction Team for Lean Construction Initiative

Release Date: Nov 13, 2011

Release Date: November 14, 2011
Contact: Contact Us

SAN DIEGO, CA—Bob Johnson, Director of Safety, and Deb Boyd, Claims Manager, of Granite Construction Incorporated, were honored with the Gary E. Bird Horizon Award at the 31st IRMI Construction Risk Conference. The award recognized the individuals for their lean construction initiative.

The award-winning program introduced lean construction techniques to the Granite risk management program, resulting in a safer workplace and a reduction in the number of soft tissue-related workers compensation claims. Safety and claims worked in sync to manage and reduce the number of open claims and associated costs and expenses. The results have been impressive. In the 3-year period since the lean concepts program was coupled with a rigorous workers compensation claims management initiative, the organization has seen significant reductions in claim count, claims costs, and associated legal costs.

The Gary E. Bird Horizon Award, sponsored by Marsh, is presented annually by IRMI to recognize a demonstrated commitment to improving construction risk management through the implementation of innovative, cost-effective, and efficient risk management techniques.

The panel of industry experts that judged the award submissions made insightful comments about the winning submission. “This was a great way to ‘sell’ safety, by marrying production efficiencies with safety efforts,” offered one judge. Another judge remarked, “Consistent culture and commitment of all on the team to protecting employees is applicable in all project environments.” A third judge commented, “From very small jobs to mega—this has impact.”

The other finalists for the award were Allan M. Yokoyama, Safety Administrator, on behalf of Albert C. Kobayashi, Inc.; Lillian Mendez, Insurance Coordinator, W.E. O’Neil Construction Co. of California; Shari Natovitz, Vice President and Risk Manager, Silverstein Properties; and Vicki Harkleroad, Director, Corporate Insurance, on behalf of The Tennessee Valley Authority.