Construction firm keeps 14-year safety record going

EV Construction has not lost time to injury in more than 5,000 days.
314
EV deputizes each member of the team to identify safety concerns and intervene immediately to keep the workplace safe. Courtesy Kelsey Juergens

The construction industry is all about risk taking, but one company has mitigated one of the most daunting risks that consistently haunts the industry. 

Holland-based EV Construction is celebrating more than 5,000 days of no lost time to injuries, which is equivalent to almost 14 years.

“Achieving this milestone was not an easy accomplishment,” said Mike Novakoski, president and CEO of EV Construction. “Our team has put thousands of hours into training and safety programs to keep our employees healthy. While we are a construction company dedicated to delivering quality projects to our clients, our foundation is the safety and wellness of our team members.”

The milestone is unprecedented because, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the American construction industry experienced 79,660 incidents that resulted in time away from work in 2019. The average duration of time away was 13 days; more than one-third of the total cases resulted in 31 days, or more, of time away from work.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction incidents can include cuts from materials and tools, fatal and nonfatal falls from ladders and scaffolding, and burns from chemicals or equipment. Some jobs expose workers to harmful materials, fumes, or odors, or dangerous machinery. Workers also may experience muscle fatigue and injuries related to lifting and carrying heavy materials.

EV employs over 150 people. The average worker at the company logs 2,085 hours per year since the trend began. EV Construction offers a variety of services such as earthwork, steel fabrication, carpentry, interior finishes and firestopping, construction management and general contracting to the senior living, health care, manufacturing and food processing industries.

“Our success is the direct result of the unbelievable level of buy-in and participation we receive from each employee,” said Tony Roussey, chief operating officer and safety director for EV Construction.

Roussey also attributed the success of the company’s safety record to a multi-tiered program — run by employees — that deputizes each member of the team to identify safety concerns and intervene immediately to keep the workplace safe.

EV Construction has three personnel on staff, along with its outside consultant Seth Wehber, president of SWMGT, a safety consultation and training firm. They all meet regularly to discuss leading and lagging indicators that affect the success of the program. They use these indicators to set goals and determine the next steps for accomplishing those goals.

Additionally, the company has a safety committee with members who work on construction sites daily and meet on a monthly basis to report on near misses (good catches) that happen on sites, share best practices, and discuss challenges they are facing and determine solutions for them.

EV Construction also holds mandatory monthly safety meetings for all staff members. A member of the Safety Leadership Team reports each month on the progress of no-lost-time-injury days, days since the last recordable incident, near-miss reports and areas of improvement on which to focus. During each meeting, an expert is brought in to discuss a safety topic ranging from scaffolding and fall protection to fire safety.

At new hire orientation, each employee is given a copy of the corporate safety manual, as well as an e-reader for easy access to corporate documents at all times.

“By focusing on safety, we have also been able to positively impact other areas of the business such as quality, productivity and customer satisfaction. We believe it all starts with a strong safety culture,” said Roussey. “Employees are the lifeblood of our company and imperative to our success. Safety is a companywide effort, not to save money on insurance premiums, but because we are morally and ethically obligated to send each team member home safely at the end of the day. For us, safety has always been about ‘leading from the heart.’ Our employees are not a number, they are part of our family.”

Facebook Comments