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Winning with Safety
Encore Electric created a Culture of Safety Excellence — and was named the safest construction company in America by the Associated General Contractors (AGC)
Editor's Note: This blog was co-authored by Jack Cain, Encore Electric's director of health and safety and Marlin Linder, vice president and director of project resources for Encore.
Construction is dangerous work. We work in an industry that has challenges with workplace safety and talent recruitment, and we need to meet increasing demands and drive industry growth — often at significant cost and burden. At Encore Electric, our culture is a relentless focus on keeping our employees and our workplaces safe and productive. Our efforts helped create a unique workplace culture that cares about safety in the entire industry — our employees, their families, our fellow craftspeople on the job and our customers. And because of that, we’ve been rewarded with safe projects, continued opportunities for our customers, and high employee satisfaction.
Construction safety has to start at the top of the organization, and senior leadership must be absolutely committed.
Our commitment to safety goes back to our company’s founding more than 16 years ago. From the beginning, our company’s leaders — from our president through to field leadership — have put together a culture where any employee who sees something that is not safe is encouraged to speak-up and stop work. Employees are commended for pointing out that this condition is unsafe or recommending doing things a different way. We back each other up. We’re accountable to each other.
We have learned from the best. Each time we have had the chance to be invited to present to the judges for the Construction Safety Excellence Awards, we have had the opportunity to sit in on other presentations. There is some amazing work happening out there across the country and throughout our industry related to construction safety best practices. We strive to incorporate what we have learned into our safety program. We are focused on continuous improvement and we promote a learning culture. It’s always a work in process.
We’re not perfect — no construction company is perfect. But it’s not okay for even one of our employees to get injured on the job. We work hard to ensure our craftspeople are prepared to avoid accidents and are ready to respond to any situation.
We want every one of our 850 employees to work safely and go home not just injury free, but better than when they got to work that morning. We strive to make a positive impact on our employees’ lives and that strong commitment to our people allows us to provide the highest level of service to our customers.
Contractors of all shapes and sizes are held to rigid industry safety standards and regulations, but at Encore Electric, our commitment to safety excellence goes beyond industry baselines. Here is a look at just a few of the investments we have made:
When we were being considered for the Construction Safety Excellence Award, we did something unique. Our craftspeople showed how our safety culture runs deep into the organization. The judges asked our craftspeople questions about safety practices on their job sites and heard personal perspectives and experiences from each of our electricians. It was a clear home run for the judges to hear these stories.
By making safety job #1 at Encore Electric, we’ve realized many benefits, including:
Of course, just because we’ve achieved safety success and won accolades doesn’t mean we’re going to rest. We're going to continue to challenge our teams every day when it comes to safety and success. We will continue to invest in the right people and technologies and learn from other leaders in our industry.
Our savings have already allowed us to invest in new technologies like Total Stations from Trimble (Viewpoint's parent company) prefabrication facilities that yield additional cost and time savings while keeping our teams safer. We are looking into Viewpoint Team to enhance our collaboration efforts in the future.
The CSEA award was truly for our employees. Do we want to earn this distinction again? You bet we do. But construction safety is much more than an award. It’s a culture, and above all it’s about keeping people safe. We’re excited to share our message with you, so come meet us in Portland in September, we’d like to hear about your safety successes, too.
See how your team can streamline project collaboration between the field and office with Viewpoint Team!
Jack Cain serves as Encore Electric’s director of health and safety. In this vital role, he is responsible for the development and implementation of the organization’s comprehensive, award-winning health and safety program in the electrical construction, service and maintenance industry. He oversees a staff of safety professionals that make thousands of site visits a year, and has implemented numerous new programs dedicated to safety in the past few years, including a crisis program, a lessons learned meeting on accidents and near-misses and spearheaded an effort to help Encore Electric win the 2019 Associated General Contractors Willis Towers Watson Construction Safety Excellence Grand Award as the safest construction company in America. He brings 30 years of health and safety expertise to Encore Electric projects and job sites every single day.
Marlin Linder is a co-founder of Encore Electric and serves as vice president and director of project resources. He oversees all project leadership and manpower along with safety and master electrical licenses. He brings his expertise to preconstruction and construction operations. His efforts to position the company for the advantage of clients reflects his entrepreneurial passion, a drive that has propelled his 32-year career in the electrical industry, focused primarily in the mountains of Colorado, Denver, Colorado Springs and Montana. Known for his expertise and understanding of the industry, Linder’s long history of managing multiple large business units is evident throughout the Rocky Mountain Region.