Boom Lift Certification Training

This past September, Excel Construction held a boom lift certification training at our Fullerton headquarters. The training was for Excel personnel and there were 18 attendees.


Excel’s Safety Manager, Cesar Galarza, conducted the training. Cesar is an OSHA Certified Master Trainer. He is also a military veteran and a reserve firefighter with the Boeing fire department.  In addition to conducting on-site safety inspections, he directs all of our safety training programs. All personnel at Excel must be certified in order to operate our fleet of in-house equipment including scissor lifts, boom lifts, forklifts, backhoes, concrete saws, rollers, Bobcats, and more.


Boom lifts, also known as “Knuckle Booms,” are very versatile units and work well in areas with hard to reach places. Telescopic Boom Lifts are aerial work platforms with sections that extend telescopically. They are commonly referred to as “Stick Booms.” These are typically used to reach over obstacles such as landscaped areas and overhangs, to reach facades, roof lines, and monument signs.


The training included topics such as safe use and handling, including loading and unloading from the transport vehicle, staging, ingress and egress, fall protection, and communication with team members. Each trainee received “stick time” and did not receive their certificate until they demonstrated mastery of all tasks.


Excel Construction Services, Inc., believes that safety doesn’t happen by accident, so we are committed to preparing our employees to always have a safety state of mind.

Excel Construction July Field Staff Meeting – Sidewalk Café Food Truck

Every once in a while, Excel hosts a food truck to show their appreciation for their valued staff.

After our monthly Field Staff Safety Training meeting in July, all staff were invited to get breakfast at the gourmet food truck, Chef TLC’s Sidewalk Café.

Chef TLC’s Sidewalk Café, out of Newport Beach, is known for their creative presentation and bursting flavors. They pride themselves on being affordable & offering fast service. They won ‘Best Food Truck of 2016’ from Newport Beach.

Chef TLC’s Sidewalk Café’s full menu is extensive and their Food truck/catering menu is event specific. On the menu for Excel’s breakfast were fully loaded and delicious breakfast burritos, side of fries and choice of orange juice or coffee.

It was a warm summer morning and Excel brought out canopies so employees could enjoy their breakfast in the shade in our newly finished picnic area at our Fullerton headquarters.

Immediately following breakfast and with a fresh cup of coffee in hand, our field technicians got back on the road and on their way to meet our customer needs.

Thank you to everyone at Excel for all you do!


Long Beach & Willow Starbucks – NEW Store

Excel Construction Services Inc. has built a new store for Starbucks in the city of Long Beach.

This beautiful store is part of a group of stores that have been built in under served communities that could benefit from economic development. Each store is built by women or minority-owned contractors, staffed by partners from the community and sells product made by local, diverse vendors.

Excel is a woman owned business, certified by WBENC: the leader in women’s business development. WBENC’s mission is to fuel economic growth globally through access to opportunities, by identifying, certifying and facilitating development of women-owned business.

The Long Beach store is also partnering with Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network, a nonprofit with which it will offer free training programs to help young people develop job skills. It’s an ongoing relationship to help create local jobs.

Starbucks and Pacific Gateway worked together to provide 15 youths who have experienced obstacles on their way into the workforce with training and jobs at the new store.

Starbucks employees who work at least 20 hours a week are also eligible to study for bachelor’s degrees through Arizona State University.

Excel Construction is extremely honored to be a part of something so impactful and potentially life-changing for these youths.

Excel Construction 2nd Annual Company Picnic

It was a blazing hot day in May but that didn’t stop Excel employees from having some fun in the sun! Excel held their 2nd Annual Company Picnic on May 20th at La Mirada Regional Park and all employees, their spouses and children were invited. There was no pre-scheduled work that day, only emergencies, that way the picnic could have maximum attendance.

The picnic was catered by Lucille’s Smokehouse BBQ and frozen treats were also available to help guests cool down.

The day was full of fun activities for kids and adults too. There were games, slides, a bounce house, face painting, relay races and even a chance to win prizes. The inflatable horse race was just supposed to be for the kids but somehow the adults got involved. Fortunately, no injuries were reported, other than the pride of the participants!

The face painting contest was so popular last year, Excel brought in two artists this year to keep up with demand.  Participants in the face painting contest chose their own designs.  A judging was held and top runners up received gift cards for movies and dining.  The winner of this years $1,000 first place prize in the face painting contest was Robert Anthony, Customer Service Representative. The Facilities Operations department won the tug-o-war, their prize was a pizza party at work the next week.

Thank you to everyone for helping to make this a great day for the Excel family!


Excel Construction Services Company Picnic 2017

Lucille’s BBQ

Excel Hits the Lanes To Support Junior Achievement

On Thursday April 6th, the Jones Lang LaSalle team held an afternoon of bowling, prizes, lunch and giving back to the local Junior Achievement students at their annual JLL Play4JA Bowling Event. The event was held at Concourse Bowling Center in Anaheim, CA.

Junior Achievement’s mission is to “Inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy,” through a community partnership of educators, volunteers, philanthropy and businesses.

JLL and other vendors for the annual Play4JA Bowling Event volunteered to raise money for the So Cal Junior Achievement students. Last year, contributor’s partnership and their generosity helped to raise over $13,000 for JASoCalto directly impact the lives of the community’s students!

The goal this year was to raise $10,000!  Donations were strictly voluntary and were made to directly support JASoCal.  Also, this year, donors selected the area of support they wanted their funds to be allocated (Los Angeles, Orange County or Bakersfield) and JLL employees could find information on submitting their corporate gift matching via the donation website as well.

Excel Construction was a sponsor of the event.Participating this year was Kecia Ellsworth, Senior Account Manager, Chris Mott, Chief of Staff, and Karen Ratzlaff, CEO.

Do Your Supervisors Recognize Alcohol Abuse?

Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that binge drinking (five or more drinks on one occasion for men, and four or more for women) was responsible for over 70% of the costs related to excessive alcohol use. Train your supervisors and managers on how to identify and respond to potential problem

The first step is to establish or refine your company’s drug and alcohol policy. Much of the burden lies with front-line supervisors who interact with employees every day.

Use these tips to help supervisors learn to identify and respond to problems:

  • Be attentive. The sooner a problem is identified, the sooner it can be addressed. Look for job performance issues like:
    • Rising accident rates,
    • Increased absenteeism or tardiness,
    • Decreased productivity, and
    • Deteriorating coworker relationships.
  • Observe. Watch closely if you begin to notice changes in an employee’s work patterns or performance. It’s not the supervisor’s job to determine the cause of the problem but rather to observe behavior and determine the effects on job performance. Behavior changes may be related to alcohol or other drug abuse, but they can also be caused by other medical problems.
  • Document. Supervisors should maintain a written record that explains the behaviors they are observing. It should include the name of those involved, the time, date, what occurred, names of witnesses, and actions taken. Also document job performance and attendance over time.
  • Address problems. Once the issues have been documented, meet with the employee to discuss the situation. Talk about what you’ve observed, but don’t judge. Keep communication channels open. Confronting employees about possible alcohol use is difficult. Consider when and how to involve your human resources department, safety and health manager, or employee assistance program coordinator.

As a result of the conversation, look for improvements in job performance. If things do not change, be clear with the employee about next steps (intervention, recommendations for treatment, etc.) in keeping with your alcohol and drug policy.

Is Zika Coming to a Workplace Near You?

It’s time for environment, health, and safety (EHS) managers to add another task to a seemingly endless list of everyday duties. The Zika virus has been identified as a workplace hazard, and it is incumbent upon employers to protect their workers from contracting the virus. Today we offer some steps you can take to keep the Zika virus from infecting your workplace.

Where in the United States?

The Zika virus is creeping north from South America. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), although there are, as of yet, no locally acquired cases of the Zika virus in the United States, there have been a total of 426 travel-associated Zika virus cases. On the other hand, there have been 596 locally acquired Zika virus cases in U.S. territories, with 570 of those in Puerto Rico.

The CDC points out that imported cases could result in local spread of the virus in some areas of the United States.

In addition, the mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus could migrate to the United States.

Is your workplace affected?

Workplaces in industries that could be affected by the Zika virus include healthcare providers and first responders, who are exposed to blood and bodily fluids, and outdoor workers, who could be exposed to mosquito bites.

Steps you can take to protect workers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently released a guidance for protecting workers from contracting the Zika virus. The guidance outlines steps you can take to protect your workers from Zika.

It all starts with training. Employers should train workers about their risks of exposure to the Zika virus through mosquito bites and direct contact with infectious blood and other bodily fluids, as well as how to protect themselves. Employers should also provide information about Zika virus infection, including modes of transmission and possible links to birth defects of the children of workers who are pregnant or may become pregnant or whose sexual partners are or may become pregnant.

Additional steps to protect outdoor workers include:

Step 1: Provide insect repellents, and encourage their proper use.

Step 2: Provide workers with, and encourage them to wear, clothing that covers their hands, arms, legs, and other exposed skin. Consider providing workers with hats with mosquito netting to protect the face and neck.

Step 3: In warm weather, encourage workers to wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing. This type of clothing protects workers against the sun’s harmful rays and provides a barrier to mosquitoes.

Step 4: Provide workers with adequate water, rest, and shade, and monitor workers for signs and symptoms of heat illness.

Step 5: Get rid of sources of standing water (e.g., tires, buckets, cans, bottles, barrels) whenever possible to reduce or eliminate mosquito breeding areas. Train workers about the importance of eliminating areas where mosquitos can breed at the worksite.

Step 6: If requested, consider reassigning workers who indicate they are or may become pregnant or who have a sexual partner who is or may become pregnant to indoor tasks to reduce their risk of mosquito bites.


Earthquake Protection, Preparation, Response and Recovery

Contrary to public perception, earthquake preparedness is not just an issue in California. All Pacific coast states; the inland western states; the New Madrid region along the Mississippi and Ohio valleys; the Charleston, South Carolina area; the New England region; Alaska; Hawaii and many others have exposure to earthquake damage. California has a greater frequency and severity, but California companies are generally better prepared. Is your facility prepared?
Protection and preparation

Earthquake Recommendations:

• Ensure that the building(s) meet or exceed current building code requirements for seismic resistance. Have a professional engineer with seismic-structural expertise evaluate the buildings, equipment and storage systems. Act on the recommendations.
• Check for existing wall, beam and foundation cracks, and slumping, heaving or other building faults that will cause quick failure in an earthquake. Note that these may be signs of past quake damage.
• Check the suitability of the vertical support and sway bracing of all tall and roof-mounted equipment. Anchor and brace floor-mounted equipment to prevent sliding. Make similar checks of rack and shelf storage systems’ bracing and anchors.
• Provide barriers on shelves to prevent stock slippage. Keep heavy materials on lower shelves.
• Ensure all sprinkler piping meets the seismic requirements of NFPA 13, Standard for Installation of Automatic Sprinkler Systems. Locate sprinkler control valves outside. Use diesel drivers for fire pumps; place the fire pump in a separate seismic-resistant pump house. For additional information, refer to the Travelers Risk Control document Earthquake Protection for Sprinkler Systems.
• Install flexible connections and seismic shut-off valves on all chemical, flammable liquid, and gas lines. Provide diking around flammable liquid tanks. Ensure all liquid petroleum gas tanks are strapped to their saddles.
• Use flexible couplings and braces for pipe protrusions through walls and floors.
• Use safety film on windows and glass doors.
• Train and drill employees on earthquake survival techniques, such as where to stay, where not to go, and “duck, cover and hold.”

Earthquake Recommended Responses
• Earthquakes do not typically give any warning. If you are inside, you should stay there. It is best to take cover under a sturdy object and hold on. If you are outside, drop to the ground and stay clear of buildings, trees and power lines.
• Wait until the shaking stops, then evacuate.
• If you are inside a vehicle, pull over and stop. Do not stop on or under any bridge or overpass. Also keep away from trees, street lights, power lines and traffic signals.
• Account for all employees; comply with evacuation orders.
• Survey the site for any damage. If structural damage has occurred, bring in a structural engineer to evaluate before entering the building.
• Attend to hazardous material spills and other leaks and report to the appropriate agencies as required.
• Check for downed power lines.
• Shut down any leaking sprinkler systems; post a fire watch.
• Activate business continuity plan.
• Be prepared for aftershocks.
• Restore fire protection systems.
• Start salvage operations.
• Cover and secure openings in roofs and walls.

Preparing for a Power Outage

When the power’s out, your business and your workers may face hazards that they don’t expect. Be aware of—and prepared for—the hazards of suddenly being powerless.

Here are some hazards you might not anticipate that can occur during power outages:

  • Fire. NEVER use candles during a power outage or power outage due to extreme risk of fire. Use only flashlights for emergency lighting. Prepare by laying in a supply of batteries.
  • Spoiled food. Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to keep food as fresh as possible. If you must eat food that was refrigerated or frozen, check it carefully for signs of spoilage.
  • Power spikes. Turn off or disconnect appliances, equipment, or electronics when the power goes out. Power may return with momentary “surges” or “spikes” that can damage computers as well as motors.

Tips On How To Avoid Vehicle Burglaries

Most criminals who are looking to steal items from a vehicle are looking for the easy targets.  Most commonly known as a ‘smash and grab’, the burglars are looking for high value items that are in plain sight which can be easily and quickly taken after finding an unlocked door or smashing a window.  Imagine the costs and inconvenience of not only having to replace a smashed window, but also having to replace your driver’s license, credit/debit cards, laptop, cell phone, etc.  Here are some great tips to help prevent being a victim of a vehicle burglary.

ALWAYS lock your vehicle when left unattended.

  1. Never leave your wallet or purse in your vehicle and in plain view when leaving your vehicle unattended.
  2. If you use a portable GPS, remove it from the dash or windshield and place it in your glovebox or trunk when leaving your vehicle unattended.
  3. Never leave any high value items (laptops, cell phones, jewelry, tools) inside your vehicle in plain view while unattended.  If you cannot carry those items with you, secure them in the trunk.
  4. Use a sunscreen in your windshield, even at night or when parked in a parking structure.  This makes it much harder for a burglar to look into your vehicle.
  5. Remember:  Vehicle burglars usually will not break into a vehicle with the intention of ‘searching’ it in hopes of finding something of value.  This takes too long and the burglar risks being seen.  If there is no easy opportunity that is readily available for a ‘smash and grab’ thief, they will more than likely pass your vehicle and look for a better target.