The safety record on the site of the new Exempla Good Samaritan Hospital in Lafayette, Colo., has been a case study on worker safety. More than 900,000 worker hours without an accident have already been completed on the $175 million hospital, which is scheduled to open next fall.
But as weather turns colder and snow begins to descend upon the state, the hospital wants to make sure the more than 600 workers stay healthy.
That’s why nurses from the nearby Exempla Lafayette Clinic went outdoors recently to administer free flu shots to any of the workers who wanted them.
Mary Jackson, spokeswoman for Exempla Good Samaritan, said nearly half the workers rolled up their sleeves for the free vaccine, which was administered inside a tent across the street at the Exempla clinic.
"Our mission is to offer health and healing to the communities we serve," Jackson said. "We have had no lost time due to worker injury or sickness. A project of this size — to have that is pretty phenomenal.
"Giving the flu shots is another way we believe … the construction workers are part of our community."
Jackson said construction is still on schedule, thanks in part to the fact there have been no accidents and no lost work days. Jackson credits that to contractors Mortenson/Saunders and to the hospital’s internal risk management staff.
Each morning, workers onsite begin the day with stretching and bending exercises to get them limber.
Construction on the hospital began in August 2002. The hospital will have urgent care, as well as an emergency room. Labor and delivery and cardiac care also will be available.
There will be a Level II neonatal intensive care unit, as well as an adult intensive care unit.
Interventional and diagnostic radiology will be onsite, as well as orthopedics and pediatrics.
Jackson said the hospital will have most of the same services as St. Joseph’s and Lutheran.
The hospital will have 143 licensed beds to start, with the ability to go to 350. It will provide full service to both inpatient and outpatient visitors.
By Mike Lee