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.
“Safety is part of each employee’s job” reads Fehlinger Construction Group’s safety program statement. It’s been in place for 12 years, the same length of time since the company was founded by Herb and Charles Fehlinger. Safety has been part of this company since the first day of business.
Safety remains part of this Pennsylvania company each day. Each week Fehlinger holds a company safety meeting with all employees, encouraging each person to participate by expressing their opinions and any concerns about each jobsite and task. In encouraging this open expression from those on-site each day, the company found that it had a positive effect on overall safety performance and cooperation between supervisors and employees.
Fehlinger knows that safety is also linked to training. The company encourages their employees to attend the Pennsylvania One-Call annual safety day, a program supported by NUCA and NUCA of Pennsylvania. This event provides important learning sessions for excavation and trench safety, confined spaces, and other jobsite areas demanding attention.
The company also believes in rewarding its employees for their safety awareness. As an incentive, Fehlinger employees are made aware that yearly pay bonuses will also reflect the employee’s record of safety throughout the year and their cooperation in the company safety program. Pay raises and promotions determined through employee evaluations also reflect an employee’s safety record and work performance.
This policy is stated directly in their safety program statement: “Active participation and adherence to the Safety Program is a condition of each employee’s employment. No employee is required to work at a job that he or she knows is not safe. Therefore, we must work to make every workplace safe by detecting and correct unsafe working conditions, as well as the detection of unsafe work practices.”
Fehlinger’s safety officer Robert Samanas also credits NUCA of Pennsylvania for keeping the company informed on important current safety topics and updates on federal regulations. NUCA’s bi-monthly publication “NUCA Safety News” and its many articles on jobsite safety are also used as learning tools for employees and distributed to them during company meetings. Samanas’s own 44 years of industry experience and training includes OSHA 500, OSHA 501, and DOT Supervision training certificates.
Safety is simply an integral part of the company’s culture. NUCA recognized Fehlinger’s superlative performance and program ideals when it awarded the company similar national safety awards in 2014, 2015, and 2016. NUCA was proud to award Fehlinger Construction the William H. Feather Safety Award in 2017 and 2018. NUCA was honored to again recognize Fehlinger Construction for its commitment to a safe workplace by awarding the company the national Safety Award in 2020.
NUCA companies who go above and beyond to protect their most important asset—their hardworking employees—serve as an inspiration to the rest of the NUCA membership. NUCA encourages you to take Fehlinger’s award-winning commitment to employee safety into your own company’s jobsites and practices.
Fehlinger Construction Group, LLC
106 South Lehigh Street, Suite 203
Shavertown, Pennsylvania 18708
Fehlinger Construction’s Safety Checklist
To provide a safety and health program consistent with good operating practices and maintain compliance with applicable OSHA safety and health regulations.
To create an attitude of safety consciousness in management, supervision, and employees. We will establish a spirit of cooperation and teamwork throughout all operations regarding all health and safety matters.
Preplanning for safety in every portion of the operation through the active cooperation and participation of management and personnel. We will draw upon their experience and expertise to anticipate and mitigate or eliminate accident-producing situations.
Provide mechanical and physical safeguards to the maximum extent possible in compliance with government regulations, i.e., State or Federal OSHA, fire codes, etc.
To provide training for all employees on good safety and health practices and providing the necessary personal protective equipment and instructions for its use and care.