Our written safety program meets the regulatory requirements of AWAIR (A Workplace Accident and Injury Reduction Act, Minnesota Statute 182.653). But when it comes to the Knobelsdorff Electric Safety Program, meeting the statute is just the beginning. We’ve integrated safety protocol into our regular routine, and we promote a culture of safety throughout our company. Here’s a look at how.
Weekly Safety Meetings
Every Thursday morning, KEI holds a weekly all-hands safety meeting at the Goodhue shop. Local employees attend in person and those working in remote sites call in via a live feed video chat. During the meeting, we discuss any safety items, positive or negative, that took place on any of our job sites, at home, on the road, or throughout the construction industry. It’s a time for employees to openly discuss what happened so that others can learn from the experience.
Beyond the discussion, we also present safety-related material on topics like back safety, customer specific safety requirements, defensive driving, and PPE. All employees participate in presenting the material.
Job Safety Analysis (JSA)
Prior to the start of each day’s work, we hold a JSA (job safety analysis) meeting. All crew members take part in these meetings to identify hazards associated with the scope of work, along with the mitigation techniques that will be used for those hazards. JSA meetings also ensure that crew members have the skillset to complete the assigned tasks in a safe and productive manner. Our crews understand that a quality JSA will save them time in the long run and ensure that everyone will go home safe at the end of the day.
KEI's Confined Space Policy
To ensure employees are safe from dangerous conditions due to performing a service in a confined space, KEI developed and implemented a policy. Our policy follows the guidelines outlined in OSHA standard 1910.146. Any space deemed “confined” by the designated, on-site, competent person will be identified so that unauthorized access will be prevented, hazards of the space are identified, and safe entry procedures will be established, documented, and understood by all crew members who may be affected by the confined space during their scope of work. KEI will not allow any employee to enter an identified confined space unless the conditions of our program are met and personnel have been properly trained.
Experience Modifications Rate (EMR)
Insurance providers judge companies through their EMR, and will detail the cost of previous injuries in order to determine the potential cost of future claims. Our EMR rate is no different and impacts the entire company - from reducing insurance costs to gaining more bids on work. At almost 25% below the national average, KEI has one of the lowest EMR’s for electrical contractors in the United States!
By keeping our EMR low, we are maximizing our investment in our Safety Program. It starts with a strong safety plan, actionable steps to improve safety, and training to ensure that employees are safe on the job. The Knobelsdorff Electric Safety Program sets attainable and realistic goals and continuously works with our employees and managers to lower the frequency and severity of injuries.
A Culture of Safety
KEI believes that safety is everyone’s responsibility and prioritizes employee opportunities to participate in safety-related training. At the beginning of 2019, KEI conducted its annual three-day safety training that nearly 100 employees participated in.
During that training, they covered topics such as:
- OSHA Compliance
- Lockout Tagout
- First Aid / CPR / AED
- Arc Flash / Arc Blast Protection
- Fall Protection
- Confined Space
- HCS / HAZCOM
- Silica and Asbestos Awareness
- Competent Person
- Forklift-Telehandler Instructions
We see employee buy-in strengthen each week at our safety meetings, where both newly hired employees and seasoned veterans openly discuss safety as it relates to their work. But we don’t just talk about safety - we live it - from our processes and culture to the services we offer our customers.