June is National Safety Month! We chatted with Safety Coordinator, Joey Bolinger, about the ways that Rush helps our team members stay safe on and off the job site.
Joey Bolinger, Safety Coordinator
What kind of practices does Rush implement to keep employees safe?
We provide safety orientations for every new employee; this is one of the first steps in on-boarding and making sure that all team members understand our safety policies.
For our commercial construction division, we have specific orientations for everyone out in the field that goes out onto a Rush jobsite. We also do pre-qualifications for all of our subcontractors to verify that they have a record of working safely.
We also make sure our team members in the field are certified in First Aid and CPR.
How are Rush’s safety protocols different from standard safety requirements?
We go above and beyond in several ways. In addition to our Safety Committee, we’re in the process of developing a safety advisory team. This team will be aiming for a more global approach to making our company safer and create consistency across the board. We also have weekly safety meetings and weekly safety site inspections on our projects.
We care about raising the bar in all that we do.
Rush Safety Committee logo
What goes into verifying the safety rating of Rush subcontractors?
We pay close attention to their EMR or experience modification rate, as well as their OHSA 300 log. We also check to see if they have safety violations. Once this process is done, we do safety submittals from our sub-contractors and make sure all of their safety certifications are up to date before they start working with us. Once they start working us, we also do a pre-construction meeting to go over all of our safety protocols with them.
Why are safety ratings important?
Our first priority is always to keep everyone safe. EMRs are a good way of understanding a company’s past safety incidents and what they’re doing to improve their safety practices going forward. It’s an important tool in bidding projects as well. Companies that have high EMRs (or more workplace safety incidents) have higher costs associated with their projects. This affects the cost of insurance, etc., and raises the cost of the project for the client. This can have a negative impact not only for the safety of employees but is also a deterrent in the bidding process.
Rush’s current EMR rating is .7774, which is about 23% lower than the 1.0 base average that every company starts at. This means Rush has significantly fewer workplace injuries than the average contractor.
How does Rush stand out when it comes to safety?
We always lead by example. Our supervisors and project team members all set a good example and know that people are looking up to us. If people are out there doing the right thing, that sets the standard. We have high standards and empower everyone to hold each other accountable. Everyone has the authority to lead by example.
We recently completed the St. Michael Medical Pavilion project for Virginia Mason Franciscan Health. Chris Kreifels, CommonSpirit Health, noted that "The project was 100% accident free, which in and of itself is outstanding, but it also occurred during a Global Pandemic. Rush Commercial Construction's (RCC) immediate efforts to develop an updated safety plan to combat COVID-19 outbreaks and infections had immediate positive impacts. Our project lost very little time in the schedule because RCC's innovative approach to the Pandemic. I am proud to say that our project was on the leading edge of worker health and safety throughout the entire industry countrywide."
St. Michael Medical Pavilion 200 day safety celebration & topping out
“Well Being” is one of our core values with an affiliation tag line “We Care”. We care about our employees and are fully committed to doing things correctly and in compliance when it comes to Safety. We want our people and all workers supporting our jobsites to go home to their families safely each day with well-being top of mind—that’s why Safety is such a significant part of our corporate culture.