SAFETY – BEFORE ALL ELSE
We care about each other, and our families and friends, and take seriously our responsibility to keep each other safe on the job. Working safely is supported at every level – from the field engineer to the boardroom. We train our employees on safe procedures so we ensure all of our workers go home without injuries.
Nobody Gets Hurt
Every MEC meeting, presentation and job tour, regardless of the subject or purpose, begins with Safety. MEC’s “Nobody Gets Hurt” philosophy is deeply embedded in the attitude of our work force and respected by public and private entities throughout the United States. Our commitment to performing work in the safest manner possible has been demonstrated time and again, and is evident through our experience modification rating (EMR) of 0.41 – approximately one-quarter of the industry average.
MEC’s Corporate Safety Policy is to provide a safe and healthful working environment for all employees. “Nobody Gets Hurt” means just that – no incidents and no injuries, no matter how seemingly minor a task appears. Everyone is authorized, and expected, to speak up when they see someone working unsafely or isn’t up to our safety standards.
Our Safety Program includes the following fundamentals:
Active Commitment by Management
Realizing that the actions of our leaders shape our safety culture, management is actively and openly committed to working safely. They encourage their managers to “do what they say they are going to do”, and hold their foremen and superintendents accountable. They ask that project safety plans be to the point so that crews clearly understand what is expected of them, which is to leave work in the same condition they arrived. Finally, they require employee engagement; no one is excused from the responsibility of maintaining a safe work environment.
Employee Engagement at all Levels
Everyone is responsible for their own safety and the safety of their coworkers, regardless of job title or responsibility. Employees are encouraged to be passionate about safety, and show that they are actively engaged by making sure the work environment is safe and everyone around them is working with a focus on safety. They are authorized – and expected – to speak up if they see someone working unsafely or if something isn’t up to our safety standards.
The Tools We Use
The tools we use on the job empower employees to become engaged and take an active role in creating a safe workplace. The tools are proven to prevent incidents by encouraging employees to be actively engaged in safety.
R.E.D. Books: Recognize. Eliminate. Document. Over 90% of accidents are caused by unsafe acts. The R.E.D. Book is a program designed to eliminate unsafe acts by asking employees to identify the hazards they feel can hurt them. By recognizing these hazards in advance, we are less likely to experience accidents. The R.E.D. book was an idea developed by MEC employees, which quickly became a real tool. All employees now maintain a personal RED book.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): All employees are required to wear the appropriate PPE for every step of a project. One prime example is the requirement that each employee must wear safety gloves at all times on a project. Our glove policy is based on many case studies and hours of investigation. After looking into the high number of laceration incidents, we began requiring all workers to wear gloves 100% of the time. Our policy has been improved with the addition of more comfortable, easier to wear gloves and Kevlar sleeves are now included on our required PPE list.
Hazard Analysis: In conjunction with work plans, the Hazard Analysis (HA) lists each task step-by-step and identifies the potential hazards and corrective actions. We have been writing hazard analyses for years, and our forms include sections titled, “What’s the Worst That Can Happen,” “Fall Protection Plan” and “Safety Checklist,” as well as pictures to illustrate the steps. Kept on site, the HA is modified as work changes.
The “Green Book” is a handheld, pocket-sized guide containing the hazard analyses that Foremen use to identify risks associated with tasks considered less hazardous than those with a detailed work plan.
Meetings and Trainings: With daily two-minute reminders, weekly toolbox talks and a monthly Area Safety Meeting, all employees receive the same information about safety, quality and production. MEC conducts training sessions throughout the year, during which we have breakout sessions that focus on all aspects of our work, including safety.
In addition to providing ongoing training to identify the need and proper use of special equipment like respirators, fall protection, forklifts, bucket trucks, manlifts, and rigging and hoisting equipment, MEC employees are offered courses in: