SafetyWORKS is a regular column highlighting NUCA’s William H. Feather Safety Awards winners. If you would like to be considered for these prestigious NUCA awards in 2022, please submit your entry by the end of December 2022. Award details can be found at nuca.com/safetyawards.
For a company to win the utility construction industry’s top safety award takes a commitment to what matters most on a jobsite: safety.
“Our people do dangerous and important work every day to benefit themselves and their families,” said Tim Haechten, general manager at Foremost Pipeline in Gaston, S.C. “It is important to remember that without you doing that safely, your family could suffer.”
On March 5, NUCA was proud to award Foremost Pipeline the 2021 Overall Winner of NUCA’s William H. Feather Safety Award.
The company’s impressive record in 2021 of 432,804 man-hours worked with one recordable accident, zero fatalities, and only one OSHA 300A injury (not disabling) helped them to the final selection. What really stood this company apart was its further motivational emphasis of employee and workplace safety: family.
“At Foremost we want everyone to go home better than they came to work. Family is our motivation to keep safety first. Our safety mindset helps everyone make smart choices in their day-to-day activities on and off the job.” Foremost’s Christopher Vincent, the company’s HSE Coordinator, told Utility Contractor that this mindset is instilled by holding everyone accountable as well as have a “for your future” mindset. Company executives want their employees to think towards their future goals, such as retirement.
Foremost takes the approach of safety as being the foundation of every employee’s future. “Without a safe mindset you jeopardize you and your family’s future,” Vincent explained. “We do not use scare tactics to push safety. Instead, we simply point out that safety is something you do daily for yourself and your family.”
Foremost Pipeline Construction Co., Inc.
386 Frontage Road
Gaston, South Carolina 29053
Foremost found NUCA to be a prime source for safety toolbox topics that fit the company’s approach. “We do apply training to our job-specific tasks that our managers gain from NUCA programs,” said Vincent. “With all of the training we do, policies and procedures we put in place, and the PPE and tools we provide, safety comes down to watching out for yourself and your brothers/ sisters on your crew. In our 56-year history, Foremost’s commitment to safety earned four past NUCA safety awards in different manhour categories, but this is the first time for the association’s top safety award.”
We asked Foremost for some insight into their program. “Unsafe acts cause four times as many accidents and injuries as unsafe conditions. The Seven Common Causes and L.M.R.A. work hand-in-hand in the field. Foremost also uses Stop Work Authority for every employee. If you see something unsafe, then it is your obligation to say something. This goes from the new guy on day one to the gentleman who is at his 30th year anniversary with Foremost,” Vincent said. “Safety is First and Foremost to our company.”
NUCA was proud to award Foremost Pipeline the 2021 William H. Feather Overall Safety Award at our March 2022 convention in San Antonio, witnessed by their peers. Congratulations, Foremost Pipeline, and keep up the great safe work!
We’ll highlight the other NUCA Safety Award winners in upcoming issues of Utility Contractor.
Robert Baylor is NUCA’s Director of Communications.
Foremost Pipeline follows several safety protocols. One is the Last Minute Risk Assessment (L.M.R.A.). This program consists of five questions supervisors and employees ask themselves before any work starts.
- How can I get hurt?
- How could I hurt someone else?
- How can they hurt me?
- What can I do to ensure nobody gets hurt?
- Is it safe to work now?
Foremost also has the “Seven Common Causes” to guide their program. These are statements which act as reminders for all employees on where accidents begin. These seven causes increase the likelihood of an accident occurring.
- Taking short cuts.
- Being OVER-confident.
- Starting a task without complete instructions.
- Poor housekeeping.
- Ignoring safety procedures.
- Mental distractions from work.
- Failure to pre-plan work.