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Month List

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.
Saturday is Independence Day and that means fireworks! Our country has celebrated with fireworks every 4th of July since 1777 and, unfortunately every year there are numerous injuries related to this long-standing celebration practice. This year, as we near the holiday, I share with you some safety reminders to keep you and your children safe. 

Prepare Before You Light
  • Use legal fireworks, available at licensed outlets.
  • Store fireworks out of children’s reach.
  • Keep pets safe indoors.
  • Always keep water handy.
Think Safety First
  • Only adults should light fireworks.
  • Only use outdoors.
  • Do not throw fireworks or hold in your hand.
  • Protect your eyes.
  • Light one firework at a time and move away quickly.
  • Never relight a “dud.”
Be Responsible After
  • Soak used fireworks in water.
  • Be considerate--clean up used fireworks.
  • Keep matches and lighters away from children.

Have a happy and safe 4th of July!

William Powell III, or Billy as he as known to most, is a Regional Safety Manager for Donley's, Inc. 
Learn more about Donley's safety program.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2013 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, 69 lives were lost that year as a result of falls from scaffolds and platforms. With a bit of knowledge, attention to detail, and ongoing maintenance to keep scaffolds in excellent working order, fall-related fatalities can be significantly reduced.  Read below to learn more... 

Platforms and Decking 
Scaffolds must be fully planked or decked whenever possible. Platforms and decking planks may be made of:
  • Solid sawn wood (scaffold grade only)
  • Manufactured wood
  • Manufactured steel
  • Manufactured aluminum
Common Visual Defects
Platforms* must be free from defects, including:
  • End Splits - A separation that extends through the plank from face to face. End splits are caused by repeated exposure to wet/dry conditions. If an end split exceeds 18," remove the plank from service. 
  • Saw Cuts, Drilled Holes and Notches - Saw cuts across the face or through the edge of the plank, drilled holes or notches will reduce the plank’s load carrying capacity. Planks with saw cuts, drilled holes or notches should be removed from service. 
  • Edge Splits - A separation of the narrow edge of the plank usually caused by forklift damage. A diagonal split may be caused by overloading. Probe the split to determine the depth; shallow weather checks are acceptable. If an open split is detected, remove the plank from service. 
  • Dents, Gouges and Depressions - Dents can indicate internal structural damage. Dropping the plank or impact from heavy objects on the plank will dent the plank. Remove the plank from service and visually inspect the plank before reuse. 
  • Face Breaks - Irregular cracks across the face of the scaffold plank. Usually a result of overloading, face cracks dramatically reduce the strength of the plank. Remove planks with face breaks from service. 
*Wooden platforms must not be painted to hide defects. 

Guidelines for Deck Spacing & Extensions
  • The space between the last plank and the uprights cannot exceed 9 inches. 
  • The space between planks cannot exceed 1 inch, except where necessary for obstructions. 
  • Platforms and walkways, in general, must be at least 18 inches wide. 
  • The ends of each platform must be cleated or restrained by hooks (or equivalent) to prevent accidental displacement, or must extend at least 6 inches over the centerline of the support. 
  • The maximum extension of the plank cannot be more than 12 inches for planks that are <10 feet long. 
  • The maximum extension of the plank cannot be more than 18 inches for planks that are >10 feet long. 
  • Where platforms overlap to create a running scaffold, the overlap must occur only over a support and shall not be less than 12 inches unless nailed together. 
The platform shall not deflect more than 1/60 of the span when loaded. Allowed deflection: 
  • 3 foot span = 0.6 inches of deflection 
  • 5 foot span = 1 inch of deflection 
  • 7 foot span = 1.4 inches of deflection 

At Donley’s, safety is our culture. Our daily goal is to operate incident free. To learn more about scaffolding/platform safety regulations, please visit OSHA.GOV.

William Powell III, or Billy as he as known to most, is a Regional Safety Manager for Donley's, Inc. 
Learn more about Donley's safety program.

Today, I share with you a construction safety hazard that can cause serious injury or even death to construction workers, yet is so common that it happens an estimated 100 times every second. That hazard is lightning. 

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), lightning is one of the leading weather-related causes of death and injury in the United States and the odds of being struck by lightning over your lifetime is 1 in 3,000! Most likely to develop on hot, humid days when outside construction activities are most likely to be taking place, thunderstorms and lightning can be very dangerous. Understanding how to protect oneself from an average 100,000,000 volts of electricity per lightning strike is extremely important.
Do’s and Don’ts If Caught In a Lightning Storm
  • Do take shelter inside a building or car and close the windows and doors. 
  • Do get off equipment immediately. 
  • Do get out of the water if you are swimming.
  • Do get out of the water if boating. If you cannot immediately get out of the water, stay low and avoid contact with the water until you can get away from it. 
  • Do not take refuge under any tall, isolated object, such as a tree. Standing under a group of trees shorter than others in the area is better than being in the open. 
  • Don’t touch electric fences, clothes lines, metal pipes,rails, telephone poles or any other conductor. 
  • Do put down any object that might conduct electricity, such as a rake, hoe or shovel. 
  • If you are outside with no way to get to shelter, do get to a low spot, make your body as low to the ground as possible but do not lay flat on the earth. Curl on your side or drop to your knees and bend forward putting your hands on your knees. If there is a group of people, spread out. If someone feels there hairs stand on end, it may mean lightning is about to strike. Stay calm and keep low.
First Aid for Lightning Strikes
If someone is struck by lightning, provide first aid immediately for any injury that is visible, and be prepared to provide CPR. And call 9-1-1 immediately!
Did You Know…
  • Rubber-soled shoes provide absolutely no protection from lightning
  • If you can hear thunder, you are within 10 miles of a storm and are within reach of lightning.
  • An automobile can offer protection by acting like a Faraday cage, provided that the occupants do not touch the metal of the care while inside.
Knowing this information will help keep you safe in a storm and may just safe your life!

William Powell III, or Billy as he as known to most, is a Regional Safety Manager for Donley's, Inc. 
Learn more about Donley's safety program.

Congratulations to our safety professionals for winning the Rookie of the Year Award from Predictive Solutions.  The Rookie of the Year is awarded to the client that has both obtained the highest percentage of their initial utilization goal and utilized the data to improve their overall communication of leading indicators to reduce incidents.
Representing Donley’s in the picture below is Todd Jenkins, Rich Reese and Billy Powell.  Also pictured is Grace Herrera, the process improvement leader from Predictive Solutions.  Donley's other safety professionals not pictured are, Javier Pabon, Edward Infante, Richard Pellath, David Williams, Mark Hevener, Dominic Iachino and Bob Gates. 

In addition to our safety professionals, we extend our appreciation and thanks to all Donley's employees and subcontractors for helping to shape our culture of safety by making it a daily focus to operate incident free!