Local 92 completes Chevron job injury-free

A shell section of a distillation tower (or fracturing tower) is set into place at the Chevron refinery in El Segundo, Calif., by L-92 members. Photo courtesy of Nooter Construction.

Refinery offers more work to members when they complete project under budget, ahead of schedule

MEMBERS OF LOCAL 92 (Los Angeles) completed a 30-month job accident-free at the Chevron refinery in El Segundo, Calif., for Nooter Construction.

George Snyder, a 10-year Local 92 member and Nooter superintendent, said the two-and-one-half-year job included the construction of a 177-foot-tall, 32-foot-wide distillation tower, also known as a fracturing tower, which separates lighter and heavier fuels.

He credits Nooter project superintendents Jerry Rother and Billy Lynn for helping to bring the job in ahead of schedule and under budget. “Their knowledge of building [fracturing] towers was immeasurable and greatly contributed to the success of this job,” he said.

Chevron was so pleased with the Boilermakers’ performance that they gave them more work after the [fracturing] tower was completed. Boilermakers added skirts to coker drums for three units, retubed a furnace, and did some pipe work at the 1,000-acre refinery that boasts more than 1,100 miles of pipeline.

“It was a great project that kept approximately 50 Boilermakers working day and night shifts for about a year, as well as pipe fitter crafts who came in after we erected [the tower],” said nine-year Local 92 member Richard Six. “It was a lot of hours, and we did a lot of good, safe work in that time.”

“Our biggest sell in the refineries is that we bring in skilled craftsmen. We bring in workers with years of experience in the trades with an excellent training program behind us,” Snyder said. And it’s this training that keeps Local 92 competitive. “We come in with the skill level to do the job.”

Henry Chavez, a 10-year member of Local 92, says it “feels good to know you can call someone who knows your skill level and they’ll say, ‘Yeah, we’ve got a job for you,’ and you can go right to work.”

Local 92 BM-ST Eddie Marquez says his members are training all the time to update their skills to the most current technology, as well as working to keep their job sites safe. In fact, the local can now boast of a five-year, zero-lost-time accident rate from 2002 to 2008 — a safety record that was key to their securing the Chevron job.

“I’ve never been in an environment [referring to Chevron] that was so dedicated to safety,” said Chavez. “We had safety meetings every day. They teach safety day in and day out.” And despite how dangerous the work is, Chavez says, “You can be very comfortable, knowing you’ve got a guy looking out for your safety.”

Contributing source: Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building Trades News