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Setting a good example is not a put-on. It's simply working safety into your daily routine at home and on the job. When we all work safely, everyone's job is safe and their future more secure.

New employees certainly benefit by seeing operations conducted the safe way. As you all know from experience, people new on the job take a while to adjust and to discover who they are in the overall set-up of the plant. New employees who have never held a job before or were employed by a firm that had a weak safety program probably will need considerable safety instruction. We will attempt to give it to them, but naturally, they also observe and seek advice and information from fellow workers. These early impressions of you and of safety operations will be at least partially formed through these contacts and observations.

On the other hand, newcomers formerly employed by a firm that emphasized safety will probably think more of you personally if you measure up to the caliber of people they are accustomed to working with.

"Don't do as I do; do as I say" is a pretty tired expression, and it got tired because we all have repeated it many times not just verbally but through our actions; and actions speak louder than words. When we leave our safety glasses resting on our foreheads rather than in place over our eyes, or when we kick an empty milk carton under a bench rather than pick it up, we're selling safety but it's a useless soft sell. Our actions are saying, "I believe in wearing eye protection but not in protecting my eyes; and I know trash can cause a tripping accident, but it isn't important enough to make me pick it up." 

There's another angle to setting good examples. Too often people dress to impress others with their good taste rather than their knowledge of safety. Wearing rings, bracelets, and other ornaments is dangerous around machinery and in many other jobs where it's possible for jewelry to be caught by moving parts of machinery, thus cause injury to the wearer. Long sleeves, floppy pant legs, and long hair can be hazardous on some jobs, too.

So we should always dress for the job. Our image as a fashion expert may suffer, but it will give way to the more important and more beneficial image of safety.

Maybe some of us feel we are already setting good examples for safety, but maybe this self-image isn't too accurate. Think just for a moment isn’t it strange that we always think about having the nice things happen to us and when we think about an accident, it's usually happening to someone else?

Accidents are a reality. Make your personal safety just as real and you'll have a good chance of not becoming the other person to whom accidents are always happening.

We also might remember that our children someday will be entering the work force. And they, like the newcomer on the job, can benefit by our actions that exemplify safety consciousness.

Most of us try to demonstrate to our kids how to cross streets or how to light matches when they're of age. If, through the years, your kids learn from you how to use a ladder correctly, or that it's good practice to keep tools in their proper places or that there's a right way to lift things, you've given them an additional opportunity for the better life the future promises.
Over the past few weeks we have been discussing some of the chemistry of hazardous materials; today I am going to expand our science curriculum into combustion.  Any program on fire prevention and safety is based on a clear understanding of how materials ignite. In order for a fire to occur, three elements are required; Oxygen, Heat, and Fuel. These elements are frequently shown as the "fire triangle."

The elements of combustion are very similar to the construction of a triangle in that all sides must come together before a fire can occur. Therefore, the goal of a fire safety program is to keep these elements apart. Since oxygen is present in nearly all industrial work situations we must separate or control the heat and fuel sources to reduce the chances of fire.

Take a look around your work areas today--and everyday--where both heat and fuel sources may be found. And remember housekeeping is important. Keep your work areas clean and organized. It is also important to know your evacuation route in case of a fire, as well as the location of the nearest fire extinguisher.

Case Western Reserve University's Tinkham Veale University Center (The "Tink")  has received LEED Gold certification, well exceeding the project’s minimum requirement of LEED Silver. Congratulations to the project architect, Perkins+Will and Donley’s construction management team led by project executive, Greg Consolo, for their efforts and handwork to reach this achievement!  

To earn LEED Gold certification, the Tinkham Veale University Center had to earn between 60 and 79 points under the LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) green building rating system. LEED components include a live, green roof, FSC certified wood panels, recycled carpet tiles, recycled glass terrazzo floor, structural steel with recycled content, chilled beam cooling system, radiant heat flooring system, double glass curtainwall with passive air system, and an automated, solar-intelligent shade system.  You can read more details about Donley's work on the Tink project here.

Experience this extraordinary building first-hand by holding your next event there. Visit the Tinkham Veale website to learn more.  

The tower crane is now in place at the University of Virginia’s Education Resource Center (ERC) project in Charlottesville as crews start to set the lower level foundation wall forms. A joint venture between Donley’s and McCarthy, the ERC project site is nestled between the Lee Street Parking Garage, the main entrance to the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center and an active railroad line. 

Lemons are great in ice tea but not so great when they accidentally come in contact with your skin or eyes.  Lemon juice has a ph level of 2.4.  This is why it can burn when you come in contact with it.  pH is a numeric scale used to specify the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. 

Last week, I explained some of the hazards of portland cement and the caustic nature of this white powder.  When mixed with moisture, portland cement becomes highly caustic (pH > 12).

It is important to know the pH of substances because they may be corrosive or react with incompatible materials. For example acids and bases should not be stored or used near each other as their accidental combination could generate a huge amount of heat and energy, possibly resulting in an explosion.  pH is also important to know in case you spill the material on your skin or in eyes. 

The pH values of some common substances are given in the table below.


Typical pH


Typical pH


Typical pH

Stomach acid (gastric juices)




Pure water




Baking soda


Lemon juice


Household ammonia




Household bleach




Portland Cement

12 - 13

The pH scale is logarithmic. That means each change of one in pH value is 10 times more acidic. Therefore, a substance with a pH of 2 is 1000 times more acidic than one with a pH of 5!
Currently at 334’ above Lakeside Avenue, Donley's concrete crews will pull the core at the downtown Cleveland Hilton Hotel project for the last time on Saturday. They will finish 355’ above Lakeside with one more lift in each core. 
Pictured here are team members Steve Pruchniki, Jeff Heinz, Jordan Lance, Matt Prez, Bruno Carrion and Mario Ezzo (laborer). 

Congratulations to the entire team on an amazing job! 

On any given day, there are numerous ways that we can come in contact with site particles.  Whether through the air or from direct contact, these materials can be very dangerous.  Today I share some of the hazards of portland cement and the caustic nature of this white powder.

When mixed with water, or when in contact with moisture such as in eyes or on skin, portland cement becomes highly caustic (pH > 12) and will damage or burn (as severely as third-degree) the eyes or skin.


  • Exposure to airborne dust may cause immediate or delayed irritation or inflammation of the cornea.
  • Eye contact by larger amounts of dry powder or splashes of wet portland cement may cause effects ranging from moderate eye irritation to chemical burns and blindness.




  • When engaged in activities where portland cement dust or wet portland cement or concrete could cement products could contact the eye, wear goggles or safety glasses with side-shields.
  • In extremely dusty environments and unpredictable environments, wear unvented or indirectly vented goggles to avoid eye irritation or injury.
  • Contact lenses should not be worn when working with portland cement or wet portland cement products.



Seek medical attention immediately and flush eye thoroughly with water. Continue flushing eye for at least 15 minutes, including under lid, to remove all particles.

On July 9, Oatey Co., a Cleveland-based manufacturer and distributor of plumbing and related products, held a groundbreaking to celebrate the construction commencement of their new corporate headquarters. Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and Cuyahoga County Commissioner Armond Budish were in attendance and both thanked Oatey for their commitment to Cleveland. 

Photo courtesy of City of Cleveland Photographic Bureau.

Donley’s, has been hired as the Construction Manager at Risk for the project and is teamed with Vocon, the Project Architect.  The project is slated to be completed in Fall 2016 in time for Oatey to celebrate their 100th anniversary in high style.

The new building is located on Emerald Parkway Drive  on a beautiful 7 acre site bordering the Cleveland Metroparks and overlooking the Rocky River Valley.  Oatey’s 2-story, 43,500 sq. ft. facility will consolidate corporate staff from three separate locations into one fostering greater collaboration and communication among team members.   It will also feature an outdoor terrace, multiple cafes, a fitness center, collaborative conference spaces and a R&D lab.

On June 29 First Interstate Properties hosted a groundbreaking to celebrate the construction of Legacy Village’s new $25M Hyatt Place Hotel and parking deck. Donley’s will be serving as the Construction Manager on the project as well as self-performing the concrete placement. 

Located on the north side of the Legacy Village complex, the new hotel and parking deck will bring additional amenities to Lyndhurst residents and Legacy Village patrons alike and will be completed in spring 2016—just in time for the Republican National Convention. The scope of work includes 135 hotel rooms, meeting facilities, kitchen and dining facilities, an exercise area, an indoor pool, and a five-level parking deck to accommodate 355 vehicles.
Teaming with First Interstate Properties are Donley’s, Perspectus Architecture and DESMAN Associates. Our staff includes Greg Consolo, Project Executive; Jay Waddell, Senior Project Manager; Pat Canada Project Manager; Jeff Vavrek, Project Superintendent; and Don Landis, Project Engineer.