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May 17, 2021
Safety, Healthcare

As part of our internal safety education program, this year we're highlighting a different Life Saving Commitment (LSC) each month. Life Saving Commitments are best practices for tradespeople to apply on our jobsites to keep everyone as safe as possible. This month, our focus is the healthcare environment and the Interim Life Safety Measures (ILSM) and Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) measures that are required inside these life-saving environments. 

When it comes to life-safety and healthy environments, the healthcare industry is the benchmark for other industries. Healthcare providers understood long before other clients that safety excellence is found in partnership, and as such, they were some of our first clients to be actively engaged in our safety program. They have also pushed us to improve our own safety practices. 

For example, our Underground Utility Damage Prevention (UUDP) program originated five years ago to address the risk exposures commonly found in expansive facilities such as medical campuses. Our revamped process exposes buried utilities before we begin work to both protect our own team and also to prevent unplanned shutdowns, which could put the lives of those working on the project and those in the hospital at risk.  

Working inside an active hospital requires a heightened level of attention to the details and to planning for safety. There's a constant awareness of what's going on all the way around us – above, below and beside us. We've worked next to every type of sensitive situation, from surgeries to multi-year studies that can't be disrupted by noise, dust or vibration. For some of our team members who have spent most of their careers working inside a hospital, the safety requirements are second nature. This work requires the right mindset and someone who is sensitive to the needs of a healthcare setting. 

So what happens behind the dust partitions in a hospital that is different than other projects? We sat down with a few of our healthcare field staff to learn more about what it takes to work inside a hospital.

In their own words:

Q:  What changes have you seen in the approach to safety?

Justin Howell, Senior Superintendent

Dan Coppock, Superintendent 

Paul McCarron, Carpenter Foreman 

Q:  How is hospital construction different from other projects? 

Jack Brown, Labor Foreman


Ray McGhee, Superintendent

Q:  What is most important when working in a healthcare environment?

Eric Butz, Superintendent 

Zac Humphries, Superintendent

Dan Coppock, Superintendent

Q:  What do you wish you knew before you started working in hospitals?

Eric Butz, Superintendent 

About the Authors

Daniel Ruane

Daniel Ruane, CSP, CHSTVice President, Safety, Illinois & Wisconsin

Dan has 19 years of experience as a safety professional in the construction industry. In his role as vice president of safety, Dan is responsible for planning, implementation and maintenance of Pepper's safety training programs. He is involved in pre-planning of projects to ensure all safety and health concerns are addressed and conducts regular project safety audits.

Dan is actively involved in promoting safety in the industry. He serves as chairman of the Builders Association (AGC Chicago Branch) Safety and Health Committee and is a member of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE). He speaks at several events throughout the year including quarterly forums and the spring summit/safety awards ceremony. Dan holds a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety and Health from Illinois State University, and he is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) and Construction Health and Safety Technician (CHST).

Dave Murphy

Dave MurphyVice President, Safety, Indiana

With more than three decades of industry experience, Dave Murphy serves as Pepper Indiana's Vice President of Safety. He is co-creator of the Underground Utility Damage Prevention process, has helped develop virtual safety trainings, and is an advocate for leadership development and open communication to improve safety in the field. Under his leadership, Pepper has received national recognition for its safety records and programs, including the Coalition for Construction Safety's 2020 Safety Innovation Award and the Associated General Contractors of America's 2018 National Construction Safety Excellence Award. 

Dave is a frequent speaker at local and national industry and safety conferences, including the National Safety Council Congress and Expo, AGC, AGC of Indiana, Lean Congress, American Institute of Constructors and more. He holds a Master of Science in Industrial Management from Northern Illinois University and a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Illinois State University. He is OSHA 30-hour certified, Green Advantage certified and has his American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) Healthcare Contractor certification.


Aaron Boggs, COSSDirector of Safety, Ohio

Aaron has more than 25 years of health, safety, and environmental management experience in both the private and public sectors. As Director of Safety, Aaron is responsible for developing, implementing, and managing all safety programs, policies, and procedures. He leads the development of project-specific safety plans and trains team members in compliance with federal, state, local and Pepper safety related standards.

Aaron is a Certified Occupational Safety Specialist and holds multiple certifications in industry specific topics. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Science Degree in Occupational Safety and Health at Columbia Southern University. Aaron invests time with community-based youth archery programs, Boy Scouts of America, NWTF Jakes programs, National Veterans Wheelchair Games and continues to provide emergency response services as a Firefighter/Paramedic in his community.