First Companies earns diamond level certification

Chris Smith, First Companies safety director, poses with the company’s 2020 Diamond STEP Award. Courtesy First Companies

First Companies Inc. announced it achieved diamond level in the Associated Builders and Contractors’ STEP Safety Management System.

First Companies demonstrated high levels of engagement on both the leadership and employee level. The company also exhibited access to and investment in regular training, such as OSHA-30, first aid, silica exposure, masonry wall bracing and reasonable suspicion recognition, and showed an ability to monitor participation and evaluate comprehension through its training database.

“We can serve our partners and clients well in every aspect, but if we can’t ensure that they will return home to their families every night, all other forms of service are irrelevant,” said Craig Baker, president of First Companies. “At First Companies, working safely is not just something we do. Rather, ‘safe’ is a term that defines the type of people we daily choose to be. I am very proud of our team for all the hard work reflected in this achievement, and I am thankful for trusted partners, like ABC, who support our industry and all those impacted by it.”

STEP participation demonstrates safety leadership and a cultural commitment to safety performance. Diamond is the highest level of achievement in this program, and only 13% of all participating companies are awarded this level of achievement.

STEP applicants measure their safety processes and policies on 25 key components through a detailed questionnaire to implement or enhance safety programs that reduce jobsite incidents.

“An industrywide commitment to total human health is essential to ensure both the physical and mental health and safety of our workforce,” said Greg Sizemore, ABC vice president of health, safety, environment and workforce development. “As a STEP participant, First Companies’ leadership has demonstrated a commitment to create the conditions for all to do their work without incident. By implementing proactive safety measures, such as emergency preparedness plans and a sound personal protective equipment policy, First Companies is committed to consistently raising the bar when it comes to safety performance.”

According to ABC’s annual Safety Performance Report, applying STEP processes significantly improves safety performance among participants regardless of company size or type of work and can reduce recordable incidents up to 88%, making the best-performing companies 827% safer than the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics industry average. Ratings range from diamond, the highest, to platinum, gold, silver, bronze and participant.

First Companies based in Kentwood, offers commercial real estate, construction and property management services in Michigan and surrounding areas.

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