posted on March 07, 2013 15:37
The Houston Business Roundtable and the Houston Area Safety Council announced the finalists for the 26th Annual Safety Excellence Awards at the Network Tailgate Event on Friday, February 5th. Infinity Construction Services and Brazos M&E were announced as finalists in the General Contractor category, and United Electrical & Instrumentation as a finalist in Specialty Contractor Hard Crafts.
Since 1988, the Houston Business Roundtable (HBR) has been recognizing Greater Houston Area Industrial Contractors for their outstanding safety performance. This award process over the years has brought many of the Owner Companies in the Gulf Coast together with their Contractors in a cooperative effort to improve on-site safety, eliminate accidents, and most importantly, reduce injuries to employees. This year some significant revisions were made to the safety award process to increase recognition and improve the sharing of best practices.
The HBR Safety Excellence Award process is a six month long effort and involves, literally, hundreds of volunteers and participants. It begins with a request for nominations, and this award is unique in that contractors must be nominated by their clients, the users of their services and there are no self-nominations. Contractor work sites are nominated where the client had verifiable safety performance data for the past calendar year.
Nominated contractors are put into award categories based on the type of work they do and in some cases by company size based on total U.S. work hours reported for the previous year. This makes for a more fair evaluation and allows more companies to be recognized.
Mentoring is a new feature of the award process and Mentors are representatives from the Contractors that achieved “Best in Category” the previous year. Each Mentor is assigned an award category and provides assistance to that group of Contractors in preparing for the submission of information and field audits. Mentors also assist in selecting Contractors to be audited and serve as Co-leaders of the field audit teams.
Criteria Used to Select Contractors for Field Auditing
Total Recordable Injuries & Illnesses
Safety Policy & Procedures
Year to Year Improvement in Statistics
Documented Best Practices
Each nominee submits their OSHA required safety data regarding fatalities, lost workday cases, recordable injuries and illnesses, copies of their safety policies and procedures and documentation of their “best practices”. The initial evaluation is based on total US data and the information submitted is evaluated and scored by a group of Owner representatives and Mentors to determine the Contractors that will be further evaluated in the field. Typically, three or four Contractors in each of seven categories are identified for field auditing. Mentoring Companies do not compete for award recognition while assisting other Contractors in the award process. They will be eligible again the following year. This allows for more Contractors to be recognized and Mentors are fulfilling a significant purpose of the awards program by sharing their best practices and experience with others.
Review of Site Safety Programs
Emphasis on Employee Interviews
Over 100 Specific Safety Items Evaluated and Rated
Safety audits are conducted by teams of owner and contractor representatives at the Contractor’s work site. Site management and field employees are interviewed to verify that the written safety policies and procedures have been implemented at the work site. This provides an opportunity for team members to see what others are doing to improve safety performance and take the good ideas back to their respective companies and work sites. The audit team leaders with assistance from the Mentors and team members compile the audit scores and determine the level of achievement for each Contractor and identify the Best in each Category. Additionally, a new award recognition has been established for the “Newcomer of the Year”, a Contractor that may be participating for the first time or one that hasn't been nominated for at least three years.
A unique feature of this award process is the requirement that the “Best in Category” Contractors come to a “Best Practices” seminar and present their best practices that led to their excellent achievement. All other companies are encouraged to take these ideas back to their own companies to improve their own performance. Through the sharing of best practices the entire industry improves its safety performance. There is an attitude that is prevalent among the owners and contractors that outstanding safety is not proprietary and must be shared with others. Many of the volunteers that participate in the award program are safety professionals with many years of experience and many have been involved in the HBR Safety Excellence Award process for several years. This is a win-win process for everyone involved.
This award process was developed and is maintained by the HBR Safety, Health & Environmental Resource Committee that meets monthly. HBR believes that the Greater Houston Area Contractors involved in this award process have developed world class safety programs and have produced significantly better safety records than any other group of contractors in the world.
The 2013 Safety Excellence Awards Banquet will take place at Moody Gardens on Friday, May 17th.