Volume 14, Issue 4
On This Page >>>
you would like to see published in the Frattalone Scoop?
If so, please contact
Shelly in the office.
Jim Wuztke considers his next steps after kneeling
over his 400 pound elk, it's 5 miles back to camp.
>> READ MORE!
1. From the Corner Office
Greetings everyone. As the Holiday Season rapidly approaches, we
can once again close the books on another successful construction
season at Frattalone Companies. Since Thanksgiving Day is only a few
days away, I would like to take this time to send a special word of
thanks. Thank you to each and every employee and, just as
important, their families they leave each day to come to work. As you
know, construction work is very demanding. Without the continual
support from the home front, success for both the employee and
employer would not be possible, so THANK YOU.
Frattalone Companies has had a long history of snow plowing, and this
year, we were successful in being awarded a couple new snow plowing
accounts: the University of Minnesota - St. Paul Campus, and 3M - St.
Paul (off West 7th Street). These new accounts will allow us to keep
an additional 15 to 17 people busy throughout this, hopefully snowy,
winter. This time of the year is also the time we would like to honor
the long-term employees of Frattalone Companies. As the tradition
goes, an employee receives a gold watch after the completion of 20
years of service. Upon the completion of 10 years of service, the
employee is awarded a gold ring with the imprint of a dozer on it.
Each year I am pleased and excited to award these gifts and give a
word of recognition to these well-deserved Frattalone Company
employees. Thank you and Congratulations to you and all of your
families for the great work and dedication to our Team.
I would like to congratulate the following people for their dedication to
TEAM FRATTALONE for their ten years of service. They will be receiving
their ten-year rings at the company Holiday Party:
I would also like to congratulate the people with twenty years of
employment to TEAM FRATTALONE. They will receive a twenty-year watch at the company
Please congratulate these folks on their accomplishments.
I would like to extend my best wishes to you and your family in
this Holiday Season.
Tony Frattalone, President
|HOLCIM job site Mason City, Iowa.
2. Safety & Training Corner
With the short, colder days upon us, we all need to be cognizant of
the slip hazards associated with our work environment. Tracks are
slick and the ground will soon be covered with snow. 3-points of
contact could not be more critical this time of year. I heard one
story where an employee used 3-points of contact and it brought him
home at the end of the day with skinned shins. Had this particular
employee not used 3-points of contact, his injuries could have been
much worse. These are the stories we want to hear. Good job!
As stated during the fall company meeting, our philosophy previously
was to “hit the ground running”. Yes, we always love to see an
ambitious worker, but our philosophy has changed. Studies referenced
by our insurance company revealed a worker who jumps from their
machine, in effort to complete another task, saves approximately TWO
MINUTES a day in comparison to a worker who uses 3-points of contact.
When looking at lost time injuries and workers compensation claim
dollars, saving two minutes a day is nothing. Younger operators also
need to use 3-points of contact. Jumping out of equipment has proven
to result in chronic back pain and/or injuries due to the compressing
|Another “best practice”, this time of year
especially, needs to be warming up. Our bodies should be treated
like the equipment we operate. While we are waiting for our
equipment to warm-up is an excellent opportunity for you to
“warm-up”. All crews should be taking a few minutes to physically
prepare their bodies for the day’s work with a few stretches
affecting the body parts that need it… backs, necks, arms,
shoulders, and/or legs. We support stretching 100% and do see the
value in workers compensation dollars saved.
Give your body some
preventative maintenance. Stretch Out!
On another note, everyone should have received training letters from
their respective unions by now. For those who have not taken a 40-hour
Haz-Mat class, I highly recommend it. We are encountering more and
more jobs that require personnel to be Haz-Mat certified. There will
come a time soon when all landfill work will require personnel to have
a Haz-Mat certificate. 8 hour MSHA refresher classes will be held
February 6th, 7th, and March 28th. GPS classes will also prove to be
beneficial as we progress more and more to the use of GPS for site
layout and grading. Should you have any questions, please do not
hesitate to call me at 651-248-9127.
Following our AWAIR (A Workplace Accident and Injury Reduction)
Program, we are required to notify employees what injuries have
occurred and our plan to prevent their reoccurrence. To date, we have
had 11 OSHA recordable injuries during 2007. This may keep us in the
RED level of the CHASE Program. The injuries with corrective action
that was or will be taken to prevent reoccurrence include:
- A train struck a truck crossing railroad tracks, and the truck
driver was injured. Corrective action included Union Pacific
crossing training during our summer meeting, safety meetings
encouraging complete stops, and railroad crossing surveillance.
- A driver cut his hand climbing a fence attempting to help an
injured driver. In the event of any crisis or emergency, looking out
for yourself is number one. We never want to put ourselves in danger
when attempting to save or help another.
- An operator fell, injuring her shoulder while stepping from the
dozer track to the superintendent’s truck to replace the fuel
nozzle. 3-points of contact were not used in this situation. The
correct procedure is to set the nozzle on the equipment, get off the
equipment utilizing 3-points of contact and then replacing the fuel
nozzle while standing firmly on the ground.
- A mechanic’s finger was cut when the wrench being used slipped
and a metal panel was struck. Many times, gloves restrict feeling
but likely would have prevented an injury in this situation.
- A laborer developed a hernia setting 22” arch pipe. Heavy
equipment on site should be used whenever possible to minimize
manhandling of heavy objects.
- An operator’s grip slipped while getting into a loader causing
him to fall to the ground. Slowing down and making sure of firm grip
and footing would help to minimize falls.
- A laborer received concrete burns on his legs while filling a
manhole structure with concrete. This could have been prevented by
running water and placing block in the base of the structure to
provide something to stand on or wearing waders. Concrete should
always be washed off as soon as possible.
- A driver broke his collarbone when the flip tarp crank struck
him. Retraining was performed with all drivers. The retraining and
investigation process revealed some tarps rolled incorrectly.
- A laborer experienced a significant shoulder injury while
hammering out a hole in a structure. Overexertion may have been a
contributing factor along with too large of a jackhammer.
- An operator hit a soft spot on the haul route and jarred his
back. Maintaining a smooth surface as may have prevented this
- A mechanic was hammering off a bucket tooth when a piece of the
tooth struck his leg. The metal had to be surgically removed. This
incident may have been prevented if the employee was not positioned
in the line of fire while hammering or if he had been wearing
protective clothing such as a leather apron.
Equipment theft has
struck again at Frattalone Companies. A 2005 Case IH STX 450 Quad
(equipment number 454504) was stolen from the Otsego job site. It was
last seen October 18, 2007. Please keep your eyes peeled for this
piece of equipment.
Vandalism is also a major threat on some jobs. To protect our
equipment from both theft and vandalism, CSDZ (insurance agent)
provided some tips in their Fall 2007 Connection Newsletter:
Park equipment in
keys every day
Turn equipment fuel
Turn master battery
alarms/tracking systems for large equipment
Keep inventory of
your equipment/tools (take pictures)
Inform the local
police of your operation hours
Verify all equipment
is marked with specific identification
equipment/trailers in to make stealing more difficult
Control access to
suspicious behavior immediately
Thank you for doing
your part to make Frattalone a safe and productive place to work. Have
a safe Holiday Season.
3. The Elk Hunt
Back in the late 1970’s, Ron and Dan Notch, my high school buddies
and I would discuss our dream trip hunting elk out west. Of course,
over the 30 intervening years, things like work, family, and money
stood in the way but we continued to dream. Finally, last
Thanksgiving, we agreed we’d better “get-r-done” before we were all
too old and beat up to enjoy it. We had a mutual friend, Rob, who grew
up in Salmon, Idaho and was willing to help organize the hunt. Idaho
releases a limited number of licenses to out of state hunters so we
applied as a group in January and were fortunate enough to make the
cut. Our licenses required us to shoot bulls with a minimum 8 inch
The firearms elk season in Idaho runs for almost a month starting
October 15th. We departed after work October 12th, drove the 19 hour
trip, and were in Salmon by 1:30 P.M. the 13th. We met the rest of the
group at a café in town. After lunch, we went up to camp.
Camp was about 20 miles from town but it was almost an hour and a
half by truck. We passed by herds of mule deer and big horn sheep.
Camp was set in amongst the lodge pole pines at 8,370 feet on top of
Baldy Mountain in the Salmon/Challis National Forest. The Salmon River
valley lay to our north and east.
| There are roads cutting across the side of the
mountain so you were never more than 4 to 5 miles from a road. You
could see the valley and the ranches below so it was difficult to
get lost. The air is noticeably thinner. It feels as if you just run up several sets of stairs while holding
your breath. The scenery is breathtaking. This is the side we would be
Generally, Idaho elk hunting consists of finding an elk herd,
getting above them and walking down the mountain until you encounter
them. You park your truck at the bottom of the mountain and drive back
up to camp. Sounds easy since all the walking is downhill.
We felt pretty confident Sunday evening before season opened. The
weather was clear and warm and we had located a herd of elk just over
a ridge about 150 yards from our camp that contained 1 larger bull and
3 small ones. So opening morning we quietly walked to our spots and
waited for it to get light enough to “walk down and shoot one”. As we
waited for it to get light, a 4 wheel drive with Montana plates roared
up the road and a bunch of hunters hollered “how ya’ll doing” to us
and proceeded to bail out of the truck and over the ridge. We could
hear the elk as they stampeded for lower ground through the dark. Ah,
the joys of hunting public land. Now the elk were in the forest 800
feet below us. Maybe this wasn’t going to be so easy. Never saw an elk
close enough to shoot on day 1.
The second day dawned cloudy, misty and cooler. We spotted two
trucks at the bottom, took our positions and started down the mountain
once it got light enough to see. No sign of the Montana crew this
morning. Came across a dozen elk in a clearing. The bull mingled with
the cows so couldn’t get a clean shot. After that it was an uneventful
5 mile walk down the mountain. Sore feet and no elk on day 2.
Day 3 we were greeted with 19 degrees and 4 inches of snow in the
campsite. Once again we worked our way down the mountain and once
again we encountered elk but this time they were running thorough the
woods. We shot one, and let the rest go. Time to go to work. We had a
400 pound elk and were 5 miles from the pickup. We were only half a
mile from camp but we were 800 feet below it. We decided to go up. We
boned the elk, broke it into 3 packs, put all of the guns and warm
cloths into a 4th pack and started climbing. Now I understand the
meaning of the term “hard up”.
What an experience! I can hardly wait for next year. Antelope hunting
in the Wyoming flats.
Jim Wutzke, Project Manager
4. Employee of the Month
Each month the superintendents nominate an employee who they feel deserves the title of "Employee of the Month" for the previous month. The person who is chosen receives a gift certificate for
$100 and picture on a plaque in the office. Congratulations to the
- Aug - Ben Eiler
- Sep - Jim Galle
- Oct - Jamie McLaughlin
Employees who have been awarded employee of the month are now
available on the web site. See the Current
5. Holiday Schedule
Listed below are the days that Frattalone Companies will be closed this year:
- 11/22,11/23 -- Thanksgiving Day
- 12/24, 12/25 -- Christmas Eve / Day
- 12/31 -- New Years Eve
- 1/1/08 -- New Years Day
6. Births & Wedding Announcements
Marie Cote and Mike Blakenborough were married on Saturday, August
7. Frattalone Store is ON-LINE !
Now you can order Frattalone Apparel on-line.. and just in time
for Christmas! Simply click on the link in the About Us, or here.
There are mens, womens and childrens clothing items, along with other
items available for purchase. The on-line store is for specialty
items only. The Frattalone Store, located in the office, will
still be stocked with sweatshirts, t-shirts, hats, jackets and other
miscellaneous items. Please contact Shelly Boss in the office if
you have any questions, if you need help with an order, or if you have
any suggestions as to what items you would like to see in the on-line
store. Happy Shopping!!
8. NADC and MUCA Scholarships
Frattalone Companies is a member of the National Association of Demolition Contractors,
as well as the Minnesota Utility Contractors Association, which entitles any employee and
their family members eligible to participate in their scholarship program. These scholarships
are awarded annually to High School seniors. For an application, please see Shelly in the office.
9. Frattalone Golf Tourney
The 11th Annual Golf Tournament was held on Sunday, September 23rd
at Gem Lake Golf Course this year. It turned out to be a beautiful
day, which was enjoyed by all who joined us. Congratulations to Mike
Hansen and Justin Boss who were this year’s winners.
10. Holiday Party
Mark your calendars… the Frattalone Companies’ Holiday Party
Saturday, January 5th, 2008
Jimmy’s Conference Center
Deuces Wild will be performing for our entertainment after dinner
and the program. For our out-of-town guests, we have
reserved a block of rooms at the Holiday Inn Express, which is
connected to Jimmy’s. Invitations will go out in early December.
11. Citizenship: Toys-for-Tots
We will be accepting toy donations for the Toys-For-Tots program
from December 3rd through December 17th. Please consider donating a gift for a child that is
less fortunate. Drop box will be in the office.
12. Daily Work Schedule
If you would like the daily schedule e-mailed to you every evening,
please provide the front desk with your e-mail address. It would
be nice and much easier to start out the new season e-mailing the
daily schedule instead of having employees call in.