For over 60 years, our goal at Electric Conduit Construction (ECC), has been to create a culture in which employees “live” quality and safety in all of their actions—where they are passionate about quality and safety as a personal value rather than simply obeying an edict from a higher level of authority. An environment in which employees not only follow HSE guidelines but also consistently see others taking safety-focused actions, hear others talking about safety, and feel safety all around them. It is something that we take seriously. It is at the heart of what we do every day. And, to a large degree, these efforts have been very successful. Each year we face new challenges. We are proud, however, of our ability over the decades to address those challenges. Our goal is the elimination of all accidents and incidents. This can only be achieved by creating a dynamic and positive safety culture.
How are positive safety cultures developed? It starts with maintaining a leadership emphasis on quality and safety. Even when ownership and management have the best intentions, there are sometimes gaps between what they say and what they do. As a result, employees get mixed messages about whether safety is truly important. To continue to cultivate and grow a culture of quality and safety, the field employees must see that everyone is engaged in safe work practices. It is also imperative that peer involvement is encouraged. Expectations must be clearly communicated among management and the entire crew. We have developed several methods for employees to provide real time feedback on each project. Finally, zero accidents and incidents can only be achieved through increasing employee ownership and empowerment. Structures and incentives are in place to allow for all employees to participate in the success of their own projects.
Our safety policies and programs are designed to prevent accidents and incidents. To do this we have to ensure our policies are compliant with regulatory requirements and internal directives.
We have four safety managers, two are Certified Safety Professionals, (CSP’s), they are responsible for making sure employees receive proper training in the right sequence and at the right time. Their responsibility continues by verifying the effectiveness of training in field applications. And audits field coaching.
Cloud computing and our safety management system (SMS) allow us to establish effectiveness, and identify specific reasons for non-compliance. Of course, all inspection, audit and checklist information is submitted through our SMS and generates records. This information produces analytical reports and helps our safety managers become preventative instead of reactive to negative safety trends. The information gathering and reporting is near real time. Trends can be revealed quickly. This allows for intervention before an incident develops. Our data not only identifies those trends but also will identify probable causes for identified non-compliance issues i.e. gap in employee training or lack of clarity within the training program itself.
No program is perfect. The tendency for workers to become complacent is a factor to be recognized and dealt with regularly. Without a foundation of belief and a philosophy of trust, our employees would not reach the safety performance levels that they have achieved in recent years. Our ability to verify behaviors, with the goal of continued improvement is essential for the safety of our employees and growth of our safety program.
Safety training is a crucial part of meeting regulatory requirements and ensuring employees are able to recognize and react to task related hazards. Our training program is designed to ensure employees have the proper knowledge and skill set to perform safe work. We believe that investing in training for our workforce ultimately prevents injuries and incidents and improves worker productivity, it also increases customer confidence in our ability to deliver a project safely.
All employees are required to meet the training requirements defined by their scope of work. Most of our workforce are cross trained and able to perform any type of work that they are deemed qualified and competent to perform.
Every ECC employee will complete safety training at their new hire and training is refreshed annually. Annual training is instructor led training that is designed to meet the requirements based on our historical and expected scope of work. This includes but is not limited to:
- Competent person excavation
- General Work Site Safety
- Personal Protective Equipment
- Equipment Safety
- Excavation Safety
- Aerial Lift/Fall Protection
- Utility Damage Prevention
- Hazard Communication Training
- Fire Safety
- Work Zone Traffic Control Hazards/ MUTCD
- Job Hazard Analysis Training
- OSHA 10 & 30
- NFPA 70E Electrically Qualified Employee Training
- Manhole Entry/ Confined space
ECC has also instituted a safety management system used to ensure qualifications do not lapse throughout the year. Understanding that employees have different skill and training levels, we are endeavoring to develop a process to identify individual strengths and weaknesses. This will allow us to fine tune our training schedule and target areas of safety training that need improvement.
Supervisory employees are responsible for assuring the safe execution of all work and maintaining compliance with regulatory, customer and ECC specifications. All supervisors will receive the same training as employees with additional training focused on; incident reporting and investigation, ECC code of ethics, effective communication, safety program documentation and quality program compliance, etc. Our supervisor training sharpens individual skills, to promote the understanding of best practices that keep our job sites safe and efficient.
For many years the holy grail of safety has been the achievement of zero injuries. To our knowledge, no company has achieved this. The quest to make this a reality has yielded a treasure trove of knowledge that can be applied to minimize accidents and injuries. We take safety very seriously. After all the hazardous environments that our crews are subjected to, we have achieved long periods interrupted with only minor injuries. We will continue the quest for zero injuries because a person that believes in safety on the job, will believe in safety off the job. This belief has the potential to improve the lives of our employees and their families.
is the foundation for all we do
For over 60 years, we’ve built an environment within our company where safety is everyone’s responsibility. Every phase of every project, we accept nothing less than an accident-free jobsite. We believe this standard leads to safer and more productive jobsites and that’s why we’re dedicated to having the highest level of protection for our employees, our customers and the general public. That’s our standard.