First of two parts
Recently, Kraus-Anderson has logged over 1.3 million worker hours in 2016 without a lost time accident. KA maintains one of the strongest safety performance records in the industry, thanks to the participation of every KA employee, in the office and in the field. The Safety Team recently discussed KA’s multifaceted approach to building safety into the forefront of every employee’s awareness.
Q: KA is growing, we’re busy, and we’re working in over a dozen states. We’ve added over 100 employees in the last year. How do you keep up with training and enforcing safe work behaviors in all our employees?
JAY VANDER LEEST, DIRECTOR OF SAFETY: Safety orientation begins on the first day of employment at KA, and reinforced as part of the two-day on-boarding orientation provided to all new office employees and superintendents each month. Jobsite specific orientation takes place for all KA employees and subcontractor employees upon their arrival on a KA work site. On-the-job field training takes place with weekly toolbox talks. KA also offers five online training classes to field employees on an annual basis; and employees are offered training on a plethora of topics, on an as-needed basis.
Q: What are the safety highlights over the past year?
JAKE LEONI, ARM, CHST, CRIS, SAFETY COORDINATOR: Over the past year KA has fully implemented a jobsite safety orientation for all new KA projects, a Safety Best Practices Program, and the use of iAuditor to conduct safety inspections. To date, we have zero lost time claims for 2016, one of the lowest Experience Modification Rates (EMR) in company history, zero OSHA citations over the past 31 months, and a Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) well below the industry average. It is an exciting time for the safety department and KA, and to stay on top we will need everyone’s diligence to continually improve the safety culture at KA.
Q: As a construction manager, how does KA work with our subcontractors to enforce safety on the jobsites?
JAKE LEONI: Subcontractor management is one of the toughest challenges we face at KA. The key is, first of all, leading by example in all that we do. We also strive to set expectations through a robust pre-construction safety program followed by diligent follow through of our safety program and values throughout the lifecycle of each project.
Enforcing safety with our subs starts with identifying whether or not the safety issues are a field issue or management issue. If it is a management issue, it is in KA’s best interest to reach out to the subcontractor principals reminding them of their obligations as an employer to properly train and provide adequate safety equipment to their employees. If we are a voice for the subcontractor field employees we so dearly count on, our working relationships will grow and safety will improve. If it is a field issue, having the “see something, say something” mentality, holding individuals accountable and using our disciplinary program when needed have been and will continue to be essential to continuous improvement.
Q: Talk about our partnering efforts with MNOSHA through the CHASE programs.
JAKE LEONI: Since 2013,KA has partnered with the Associated General Contractors of MN (AGC) and achieved Construction Health and Safety Excellence (CHASE) MN Level 2 status in recognition of exemplary leadership in promoting worker health and safety. More recently we have partnered with AGC and MNOSHA compliance in achieving CHASE Level 3 status, which is the highest level offered through the CHASE program. To be eligible for this program, our injury stats must be at least 40% below the industry average and we must prove that we not only meet OSHA’s minimum safety requirements, but are willing to implement safety best practices. CHASE level 3 is a site specific program and we’ve participated with three projects, including Valspar Applied Science and Technology Center, City Place Phase II – SE retail and TRIA Orthopaedic Center.
Next week: Subcontractor safety and partnering efforts