SafetyWORKS is a new column highlighting NUCA’s William H. Feather Safety Awards winners. If you would like to be considered for these prestigious NUCA 2021 awards, please submit your entry by the end of December 2021. Award details can be found at nuca.com/safetyawards.
This Connecticut NUCA contractor member sometimes tells clients that their company’s initials have another meaning: Managed Safety Discipline!
NUCA proudly recognized Midstate Site Development (MSD) this year for its long-standing commitment to employee safety, awarding the Connecticut company one of the three coveted 2020 NUCA Safety Awards. This full-service site contractor’s stated goal is to promote a culture of safe work at all times with their employees, no matter what job they perform.
Safety runs deep at Midstate, through its employees and its leadership. Midstate’s owner Glenn Korner provides the necessary resources to all of its employees to achieve safe work, and empowers them to make this happen. These resources start with safety training, the right tools, and effective leadership.
“Human nature is the biggest threat to safety,” said Korner in an interview about his company’s excellent safety record. “You have to have a culture of safety where everyone is onboard, and you have the right safety equipment on the job.” Korner insists that everyone one of his employees has access to the right safety gear on every one of his jobsites.
Safety begins at the top and works its way down through the ranks. “Midstate has a safety committee comprised of a foreman, laborer, and operator. They share employee ideas about what we could be doing better to improve safety. We also have a safety incentive program that rewards employees for sticking to our safety policies and staying accident-free,” explained Korner.
Midstate’s Safety Management Team delivers more than 25 years of construction safety experience and a full-time safety officer to MSD’S workforce. The company’s safety team provides state-of-the-art OSHA and environmental training programs to their employees. The company also lends out its safety officer to other small contractors for training and advises smaller companies that have a poor safety record.
A written safety program has been part of Midstate since it was founded 20 years ago. 15 of Korner’s employees have attended a NUCA Excavation Safety & Competent Person Training Program. The company also has a Defensive Driving Program and a written fleet safety program. And Midstate has participated in NUCA’s annual Trench Safety Stand Down each June since it began in 2016.
Korner also expects his company-owned equipment to be safely operated, and designed and manufactured with employee and jobsite safety in its design. His company owns Volvo excavators because he is confident that this company’s equipment provides a level of safe operation to his employees and others on the jobsite, such as rear cameras and folding cab steps. Volvo makes up the majority of the company front-end loaders, while NUCA National Partner Caterpillar equipment makes up all of his fleet of 13 bulldozers, four rollers, and two backhoes. The average age of the company’s machines is less than five years.
This commitment to safety shows in Midstate’s statistics. There were zero worker comp claims in 2020, and no injuries from vehicle accidents because there were no accidents. In the last three years, there have been no reportable OSHA 300 log incidents, either.
That is an impressive safety record which shows what a company’s strong commitment to employee and jobsite safety can achieve. NUCA hopes every one of its members can achieve a similar outstanding record.
Midstate’s Safety Checklist:
- Midstate believes their company’s biggest asset is their employees. Nothing is more important than their safety and continued well-being. Midstate and their families rely on this commitment. There can be no compromise.
- Commitment to safety starts with company leadership and is the life blood of their safety program. Company leaders must set an example and support a company’s safety program 100%.
- There are no excuses for unsafe shortcuts on any jobsite.
- Trust and communications improve employee attitudes towards safety and can be the key to fostering a culture of safety commitment. Midstate recognizes the importance of personal responsibility for safety and performance.
- Employees know they are a vital part of Midstate’s safety culture. This simple message is reinforced daily, weekly, and monthly by the company and each employee’s peers. They can be rewarded with paid time-off for safety accomplishments.
- Midstate’s safety program ranks among the industry’s best and is supported by regular company safety activities including: 1) a comprehensive new employee orientation and mentoring program, 2) a daily crew pre-task planning meeting, 3) weekly toolbox safety meetings, 4) a job hazard analysis, 5) site-specific hazard training, 6) monthly roundtable safety meetings, and 7) bi-weekly Safety Committee meetings.
- Midstate uses state-of-the-art Topcon GPS automation to reduce the exposure of their employees in and around the equipment during the workday.
- For recent events, Midstate developed a silica safety program, a civil unrest protocol, and a Covid-19 policy for its operations and employees.
By Robert Baylor, NUCA Director of Communications