Safety on the job seems like an obvious must-have, like the right piece of equipment or a well-trained crew member. However, safe practices can often be overlooked in the name of getting a task done quickly or simply being ignorant to proper standards or equipment operation. Forgetting safety is not an option. Adhering to proper safety procedures during a project helps to ensure that everyone gets home unharmed after the day is done. By developing structured safety programs and reinforcing safe practices to employees, companies can be rest assured that their crews are prepared for whatever a job may throw at them.
To recognize the companies that strive for safety and the general well-being of their employees, NUCA awards companies with the William H. Feather Safety Award. Who is William H. Feather, you ask? He was the very first chairman of the Safety Committee and widely regarded as the backbone of NUCA’s early safety initiatives. He was honored for his many contributions to the association in 1976 when he was named Ditch Digger of the Year, but his premature passing led NUCA to search for some additional way to commemorate his passion for safety. At NUCA’s 1978 convention in New Orleans, a new award was created to recognize those contractors who exemplify Mr. Feather’s commitment to a safe workplace.
The awards are given to companies based on incidence rate (OSHA 300 log), company safety statement and company safety program information. Participation in NUCA safety programs and activities is also taken into consideration. The 2015 William H. Feather Safety awards were given out at the NUCA Convention in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, this past March. Check out the recipients below.
Pam Kleineke is Managing Editor of Utility Contractor.
Bradshaw Construction Corp.
For more than 30 years, Bradshaw Construction Corp. has strived for the highest levels of both quality and safety when completing projects. According to the company, its safety program was developed to ensure compliance with federal, state and local regulations with a particular emphasis on the OSHA Act of 1970. The overall winner says, “Regard for the safety of the general public and our own employees is a responsibility of all levels of our organization. We intend to prevent any human suffering. Accidents, even minor ones, cause pain, both physical and mental. Prevention of injury and illness is a goal well worth achieving.”
Safety and teamwork go hand in hand at Team Fishel, as its No. 1 value is to be accident free. The company works toward its vision by empowering its entire workforce to make safe choices, to hold each other accountable for safe behavior and by recognizing and rewarding safe behavior. All of the teammates at Team Fishel are required to have at least 40 hours of job and safety training per year and communicate safety issues on a weekly basis.
Barnard Construction Co.
At Barnard, jobsite safety is considered well before boots ever step on to a construction site. As the company explains: “Every project bid includes a thorough investigation of the safety requirements needed before we ever turn a shovel of dirt. Job Hazard Analyses are started during the bidding process. These efforts continue all the way through completion of the project.”
Western Summit Constructors
At Western Summit Constructors Inc., everyone has a voice and the company wants it heard — especially when it comes to safety. The company has even created a program called “Craft Voice in Safety,” which has successfully empowered employees with a voice to collaborate with management. According to the company, “This environment allows a two-way investment — where craft are actively involved in our program’s health and maturity, providing a voice in ways to improve training and education, planning efforts and safe execution of work.”
DeKalb Pipeline Co.
With a safety program that’s been in place for more than 20 years, DeKalb Pipeline Co. remains committed to providing a safe, healthy and injury-free work environment for its employees. To instill the importance of safety from the get-go, the company requires new crewmembers to go through safety training and be paired with a mentor.
J.F. Wilkerson Contracting
Continued education and training have been at the forefront for J.F. Wilkerson Contracting as it continues to make improvements to its safety program and policies. The company hosts “Safety Day” events every six months, as well as offers weekly “Safety Tool Box Meetings,” to educate its crews and reinforce the importance of safe practices on the job.
Up to 50,000 Man-Hours
A multiple William H. Feather Award winner, Iowa Trenchless follows a simple and effective approach to safety: Think first, act second and always be prepared. This method allows the company to achieve its goal of completing the day with zero injuries.