Construction Today - May 2017 - 24
COVER STORY: IRBY CONSTRUCTION COMPANY
river crossings. The project encompassed 13
of the state's 16 counties.
Irby Construction last year completed
work on a 345-kV transmission line and
substation in Arnegard, N.D., for the Basin
Electric Power Cooperative. The project included installing ground grids, conduit systems, a cable trench, concrete foundations,
steel structures and electrical bus work. The
company installed all major equipment
related to the substation including power
circuit breakers, instrument transformers
and disconnect switches. The project began
in 2015 and concluded in 2016.
In May, the company plans to complete
47 miles of a 500-kV transmission line in
Augusta, Ga., for Georgia Power Co. The line,
which supports power generated by two
new nuclear reactors, will be in service in
2018. "This is a marquee project for us in
CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM MAY 2017
terms of its importance to Georgia Power
Co.," Foster says.
The total line is 55 miles long beginning
at the Vogtle power plant in Waynesboro,
Ga., and ending at the Thomson Primary
substation in Thomson, Ga. Work began on
the project in 2015.
A Safety Vision
Prospective clients and employees of Irby
Construction are drawn to the company
because of its safety record. "Safety in our
industry carries a lot of weight. Whether
you're working as a general contractor or a
subcontractor, your safety performance and
safety culture are how a lot of project agreements are made," Jones says. "Our internal
safety culture is why we are able to recruit
and maintain employees."
Every new or returning employee of Irby
Construction goes through a five-day orientation program that includes training on
different safety topics including grounding
and fall protection. Employees are also
given OSHA 10-hour safety training. "We
fly everyone in to our headquarters, house
them for a week and put them through
this program," Foster says. "It's very expensive for us to do that, but the benefits
we've received in terms of safety ratings
and other metrics have shown this to be a
The company maintains an above-industry-average experience modification rate.
This is maintained and improved through
a number of ongoing initiatives, including
site visits and ongoing training. "Our vision
is to be a company that people want to work
for by having the right safety culture in
place," Jones adds.