ESS Reinvigorates Safety Culture In A Big Way

ESS Editor | Tuesday September 1, 2020

At ESS safety is not something we do in addition to work, it’s how we work. With three new brands added to the ESS family, and more than 500 new employee-owners joining our ranks, 2019 was a big year. As a part of our integration strategy, it was important that we reinvigorate our safety efforts and be laser-focused on promoting safety excellence across all current and new operations. During our 2020 annual meeting in Branson this year, our safety team rolled out some new strategic initiatives structured to reinforce a positive and proactive safety culture. These initiatives include supervisor-led safety meetings, thorough site safety audits and data-driven incident reporting.

While our crews use industry-leading tech tools to measure and maintain best-in-class safety performances, we recognize that a true safety culture is built by our teams over time; hour-by-hour and day-by-day. As employee-owners, our team members have a vested interest in owning their job, promoting safe work, and managing our risk. We approach our work focused on safety, quality, and production – in that order. When we do this, our ESOP and our employee-owners reap the benefits!

Reese Switzer, Utility Superintendent, stated, “safety is a huge part of our job, and my guys know this. We have a plethora of industry leading tools at our disposal that help us stay safe and deliver our projects faster and more efficiently. Hands-on experience and utilizing all of these resources are a few of the many ways we implement our safety culture every day.”

Part of our enhanced 2020 safety initiatives is a quarterly safety recognition award. This award goes to the region who scores the highest on their overall safety performance. Our first quarterly safety recognition award has been earned by the team members of our Kansas City field operations. During quarter two, they exemplified what it means to promote a positive safety culture and collectively delivered a top notch safety performance. They received some sweet swag including branded t-shirts and Gates BBQ gift cards!

“In the last several years we have doubled in size. Safety has always been a priority, but after adding AGC and Hutchens to the mix we really needed to enhance what that looked like for us. We are proud to say that safety is a constant conversation with our people. Whether that be our vice presidents, superintendents, and foremen, or our skilled craftsmen – they know how important it is. We are also excited to continue to roll out programs recognizing excellence in safety. Showing our employee-owners that they are excelling and doing a good job really goes a long way,” stated Kyle Osweiler, Safety Coordinator.

Tyler Myers, Assistant Vice President, commented on the recent safety recognition, “we are extremely proud of our team members’ buy-in and engagement in regards to safety. Through teamwork and communication these folks developed a mindset geared around safe and productive work and earned the first quarterly safety recognition award.”