An Interview with Julio Ruiz and Dome Construction's Safety Team

We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Julio Jr. Ruiz, a Jobsite Safety Management Consultant and well-respected industry veteran with over 30 years of experience in construction safety & risk management. We engaged Julio to partner with us as an independent third-party auditor to assess and ensure job site safety, focusing on COVID-19 safety at our large projects 20,000 sf+. It was imperative to identify potential issues and helping our team keep up with current safety trends – during one of the most historically challenging years.

Julio sat down with our Director of Risk Management, Brent Miller, and Safety Officer Frank Zamora to discuss Dome’s safety performance during the pandemic as we adapted to unprecedented safety guidelines.

Julio was initially recommended to us by our Insurance Broker, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., at the onset of the pandemic.  In his capacity as our Safety Management Consultant, he was an essential resource to Dome, providing helpful information about COVID-19, such as how to identify and mitigate hazards related to the virus.

As our Jobsite Safety Accountability Supervisor, his role was critical to our Safety Team. Julio provided us with unbiased and critical feedback on Dome’s COVID-19 program and performance at our project sites. In addition, with input from Frank, Julio also created a COVID-19 safety audit form and performed weekly safety audits. During each visit, he worked closely with Dome’s COVID-19 Safety Officer to identify any necessary changes that should be implemented or adjusted.

Julio Jr. Ruiz

Safety Management Consultant

Brent Miller, Dome Constructions Director of Risk Management, appreciates the value Julio brings, “There’s significant value in having Julio review our jobs. He helps our teams look for issues, keep up with current trends, and access new, accredited information. Having an independent audit of our projects allowed us to gauge how well we were doing and make any adjustments or improvements where needed.”

Safety Officer Frank Zamora adds,

“Julio keeps our job sites consistent and keeps everyone on the same page.  Working with Julio has been beneficial to our team because he can directly communicate with our onsite safety coordinators and safety team. This communication is crucial because it allows Julio to execute any necessary changes in real-time directly.”

The entire nation was struck with a big safety learning curve when the COVID-19 Pandemic hit, and Julio was impressed with Dome’s response, “The thing that has impressed me most about Dome has been your rapid response to adapt to changing conditions.”

Safety is crucial for any business. In construction, it’s everything. Dome has been named one of the top performers in our insurance captive during the 2020 Fiscal Year. This accomplishment is due in large part to the emphasis and continued work to improve our safety performance. Not only is safety vital for our people, but a strong safety performance also provides increased financial flexibility. With our teams performing at the top of our insurance captive, we can reallocate portions of our budget in additional, impactful ways.

Our expedited implementation of worksite protocols helped us reduce the spread of COVID-19. According to Julio, understanding early on that COVID-19 was a (respiratory) droplet issue and not (only) a surface issue was vital.  By introducing ventilation & managing the density limits in rooms with high transmission probability, we could limit the likelihood of exposure to the virus on our job sites.

Julio shared, “Overall, I am extremely impressed with the group as a whole responding effectively. Dome has done very well. Your practices are consistently executed, and density management within rooms is being done extremely consistently.” As we progress, Julio stressed the importance of educating and recommending safe practices for folks to use both on the job site and outside of work for COVID-19 safety. “Working with Julio keeps our COVID-19 Safety Response consistent and current” remarks, Dome’s Safety Officer, Frank Zamora.

We asked Julio to reflect on Dome’s safety performance, and here’s what he had to say, “A safe job is a reflection of the safety management and project management team. Dome has done a fantastic job executing safety management practices to train its frontline leadership personnel. There hasn’t been a single project that I’ve visited where the project team hasn’t stepped up to speak to me about safety on their job site. It’s important to remember that if we don’t find something wrong at the job site – I’m not doing my job right, and that’s the reality. I need those frontline people to be looking for safety hazards and exposures – and Dome is a great example of that. Dome runs great projects beyond just quality control. Their people are concerned with what’s going on. There’s no such thing as a zero-free risk environment. The important factor is how effective is the management system for safety management, and Dome does a great job.”

Julio’s 10 Tips to Maintain Health, Safety, and Wellness

Start a wellness program

Keep talking to each other

Check-in on one another

Don’t overwhelm people with information

Have a purpose-driven life

Dive into your hobbies and find new passions

Give yourself to others by sharing your time

Be kind and accepting

Spend time with animals

Add Zinc and Vitamin D to your routine

Thank you to our Safety Team Contributors