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WIC Week—Safety & Quality Control

When it comes to the construction industry, a company’s approach to Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) and Quality Control (QC) says it all. These programs are like the backbone, setting the tone for the company’s reputation with both clients and employees. At Manson, we take EHS and QC very seriously, and they’re intertwined with our company values: Taking care of people, Doing the right thing, and Finding a better way. For the third part of our Women in Construction Week series, we caught up with some of the women involved in Manson’s EHS and Quality Control programs.




Loretta Murrell, Safety Manager


Q: How long have you been with Manson?


A: I came aboard 23 years ago when I was hired on as a pile driver.


Q: Given that construction is such a male-dominated industry, what brought you to it?


A: My personality and I’ve always been a non-traditional person. I was literally driving through Los Angeles over the Vincent Thomas Bridge and looked at the Port and thought, “That’s where the money is.” Then I started to look into what type of work was available. I couldn’t be a longshoreman, so started as deckhand and then later applied to pile driving. A friend of mine suggested pile driving. She said she knew I would like it because it was hands on. I also fell in love with the water. I became a pile driver to an apprenticeship trainer to a safety professional.


Q: Explain your role and your day-to-day


A: I am a Safety Manager. In a nutshell, I handle safety deliverables, create information to improve safety, and empower others to improve safety. It keeps Manson proactive.


Q: What about your work inspires you?


A: I am driven by appreciation because I put a lot into my work. It is also economically rewarding and, as women, we have to be able to take of our families. I like the challenges and the opportunities for growth it offers also. I went through a lot of professional growth over the years, which opened so many doors.


Q: What do you see in your future in the construction industry?


A: I have benefited so much with the opportunities afforded to me and want to give back to women in construction. I believe there are many women like myself that would benefit working in this industry. I see myself participating in groups such as Trades Women Inc. and Women in Construction in ways I can help others. The other exciting thing in my future, during retirement, I plan to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, keeping things hands on.



Q: What has been your biggest challenge of being a woman working in construction?


A: It was more difficult in the ‘80s. Back then, ethical conduct on jobs was lacking. What is it like now? Much easier but still difficult. I appreciate that I can speak with other female counterparts, because the way we think or simply because they’re relatable.


The Industry has become more aware that diversity enriches the workplace. But there are still issues surrounding gender in the workplace, such as how a woman is perceived when exerting authority or simply being assertive. You have to do things or speak a particular way to command respect.



Carey Shannon, Safety Training Specialist


Q: How long have you been with Manson?


A: 14 years


Q: Given that construction is such a male-dominated industry, what brought you to it?


A: It was not my intention to be in construction. I was hired through an employment agency. I previously worked at an insurance company. But I am glad I turned it into a career.


Q: Explain your role and your day-to-day


A: As a Safety Training Specialist, I work with the new Manson Learning Network. I still work on the weekly incident report which helps keep everyone informed about safety-related events and to improve our processes. I reach out to people throughout the company and determine more information that may be needed to make it easier for others to understand what happened. I also work with the Manson Learning System, which has been a good information resource for Manson. I have also worked on a variety of projects over the years.


Q: What about your work inspires you?


A: I love learning about construction, the process of building something, and what that looks like from start to finish. I now have a deeper appreciation for the way things are built. Also, I take pride in our crews and equipment.


Q: What do you see in your future in the construction industry?


A: Continuing working and learning more about the importance of OSHA requirements and how it affects every Manson employee. I am excited to facilitate training sessions and to get others excited about safety.


Q: What has been your biggest challenge of being a woman working in construction?


A: Sharing opinions are not always well received. Field work does not have a lot of other woman around and being the only one on the job site is not always easy.



Hannah Huezo, QC Engineer


Q: How long have you been with Manson?


A: 5 years. I was also an intern in 2013 & 2014


Q: Given that construction is such a male-dominated industry, what brought you to it?


A: I have always wanted to be an engineer. My dad was an engineer. I knew I wanted construction and not design. I studied Ocean Engineering and I wanted to be in dredging.


Q: Explain your role and your day-to-day


A: As a QC Engineer I maintain the compliance program on our project at the Port of Port Arthur in Texas. I follow the contract and enforce its requirements. QC really weaves its way in and out of everything. For example, it’s relevant to production, in that, to state the obvious, it takes less time to do something the right way one time instead of the wrong way and then do it again the right way.


Q: What about your work inspires you?


A: Sometimes I think to myself, "What would happen if no one did this work?" If we didn’t dredge the waterway, it wouldn’t be possible to assist or even affect trade in a positive way in that area. I have also come to care about the city and the community where I am working. This project affects the whole community. By building 600 more feet of dock in Port Arthur, it'll bring more trade and industry into the town.


As a QC Engineer, I’m helping to keep the Manson standards. Quality is about paying attention to those standards and the clients' expectations. That can and will separate us from the pack both now and in the future.


Q: What do you see in your future in the construction industry?


A: I want to help to develop younger engineers, help to give them a good starting point or to be a mentor.


Q: What has been your biggest challenge of being a woman working in construction?


A: Finding pants with the right pockets. Honestly though, I make sure that my knowledge base makes it undeniable no matter if I’m a man or woman. What I’ve found is if you’re at a point with your knowledge and work ethic that is undeniably good, it doesn’t matter who you are, what you look like, what gender you are. You know your stuff. That’s been my approach and I think that’s why it hasn’t come up for me. For me it’s more been a challenge of being young and just needing a project manager to step in, not about being a guy or not. And when problems do happen, it’s more about being different people then being different genders.




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