Carpenters Anchor Fluor Maintenance for Big Cajun II Outage


Quality, timeliness, and safety—all are essential components of a construction job well done. In New Roads, Louisiana, those elements are part of the DNA for scaffold workers from the Central South Carpenters Regional Council (CSCRC), as they complete scaffold work on outages at NRG Energy’s Big Cajun II electric power plant.

Fluor Maintenance, which manages the outages for NRG, is used to having that caliber of work from the Central South Carpenters, and they say they wouldn’t have it any other way. The CSCRC “responded to Fluor’s needs in providing more than 80 trained, qualified, experienced scaffold erectors for the job,” said a Fluor representative at Big Cajun II. 

“They had the proper certifications, they worked in a safe manner, they executed the job on schedule, and they helped make this a very successful project."

In fact, the performance of the CSCRC workforce is part of the reason that Fluor won an Associated Maintenance Contractors’ National Annual Safety Recognition Award, for all General Presidents’ Project Maintenance Agreement (GPPMA) jobs.

Maintenance of Big Cajun II’s three steam units occurs when a unit’s boiler cavity is cooled down. Scaffolding is built inside the cavity to accommodate the workers who will perform routine repairs and upkeep.

“Timing is critical when the boiler-cavity scaffold erection crew is marshaled and brought in,” said the Fluor representative. “It’s a very time-compressed schedule because when the unit is down it’s not making money.”

Training is key and it’s all-inclusive at the CSCRC’s Baton Rouge joint apprenticeship training center (JATC). Training includes instruction on the Safway scaffolding system, Cup Lock, Pin Lock, and tube-and-clamp fundamentals—crucial for power plant work. The JATC also provides required OSHA-10 training among its many safety offerings.

“Our goal is to provide properly trained, experienced, and safe workers to Fluor at all times,” said CSCRC’s Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Jason Engels. “The more productive our crews are, the faster they get the unit back up and running.”

“The UBC’s commitment to top skills is recognized throughout the industry,” said the Big Cajun II Fluor representative, “and thanks to Jason Engels and CSCRC Representative Ed Gautreaux, the Council has delivered as promised.”

The CSCRC represents carpenters in Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. The Baton Rouge JATC is one of 11 Central South training centers, and they’re all part of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters’ skills training program, which is headquartered at the union’s 17-acre state-of-the-art International Training Center in Las Vegas. The ITC is home to nearly one million square feet of training space and features a zone with a retractable roof, tailored for practice in multi-level scaffold erection.

Cutting-edge equipment and curriculum assures that Central South members are able to adapt to changing technologies and hit the ground running on every kind of industrial and commercial project.

(These photos show a boiler scaffolding mockup at the Carpenters International Training Center, which is used to train UBC members for projects like Big Cajun II)