This article below originally appeared on the AFL-CIO Innovation @Work website. The video originally appeared on ElectricTV.
Eighty percent of San Francisco was leveled by a major earthquake in 1906. The magnitude 6.9 earthquake in 1989, caught on live television as the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants prepared for the third game of the World Series, severely damaged the city and its people again, caused an estimated $6 billion in property damage, killed 63 and injured thousands.
San Franciscans live with the specter of the next big earthquake. According to the Southern California Earthquake Data Center, in 2013 there were 28 registered earthquakes of varying magnitudes. And if tragedy does strike again, the preparations by the city’s General Hospital–the only Level 1 trauma center in the city–will likely ensure it’s still standing.
The labor management partnership between the National Electrical Contractors Association and the Electrical Workers (IBEW) helped make the medical facility withstand up to a magnitude 8.0 earthquake on the Richter scale.
“This building moves 30 inches all different ways, and I believe it moves up and down five inches. It’s on a bowl with ball bearings, so this building is designed to be able to take an earthquake,” says Tom Thorson of IBEW Local 6.
The Electrical Workers ensured nearly 45,000 feet of large pipe and another 5,000 feet of smaller pipe was used for lighting of the new state-of-the-art facility that is currently nestled between two historic 1915 red-brick buildings.
“We’re trying to be as quiet as possible,” says Bryan Oliver, an IBEW Local 6 journeyman. “The emergency ward is still going on so we try to walk around on tiptoes as much as we can, but it’s still construction.”
This video from ElectricTV shows how teamwork between labor and management is necessary for any top-notch venture.