The Importance of Safety at Midwest Mole

In any construction field, safety is of the utmost importance, and that’s even more true for a trenchless tunneling company like Midwest Mole. If you’re going to spend the majority of your workday underground, you need to know that the tunnel you’re working in is safe, and that your co-workers have all the knowledge and expertise necessary to stay out of harm’s way.

That’s why Midwest Mole has a comprehensive safety program that ensures our people are working in the safest conditions possible at all times. Our approach to safety is that it really comes down to the individual ― every single person on our crews functions as a safety inspector on our job sites. We recognize that our safety director can’t be everywhere all the time, so our focus is on teaching our people the best methods they can use to not only protect themselves, but also to keep an eye on everyone around them.

This all starts with our orientation process, which is a day-long session for every new Midwest Mole employee. Even if someone has experience working on road crews ― a type of construction that does have some overlap with what we do ― the trenchless tunneling industry is still a whole new world in many ways. Whether we’re discussing rigging, fall protection, confined space methods, or even just teaching them where to put their hands, we need to get everyone up to speed before we ever consider sending them down into a tunnel.

Another important aspect of our safety program is recognizing the people who make an effort to make our job sites as safe as possible on a daily basis. That’s why we make such a big deal out of our annual safety awards. Every year, we present these awards at our company banquet. We hand out awards for individuals who helped us achieve no injuries, no accidents, and no property damage, and we also have specific safety awards for our foremen.

Our people take these awards seriously ― partially because we all want to work in the safest possible environment, but also because our crew members love to compete. The sense of pride the winners have when they receive these awards is truly inspiring. For example, one of our experienced foremen, Oscar, has all his safety award plaques hanging on the wall in his house.

Overall, our approach to safety has evolved over the years to the point where we’re entirely confident in every employee’s ability to avoid accidents and injuries. Instead of just checking a box and handing our guys some meaningless test at the end of a safety meeting, we make sure that they really learn something every time they participate in a safety training session. Safety directly impacts all of us, so we need everyone to be on the same page ― every site, every day.

Who Fits the Midwest Mole Mold?

We readily admit that the work we do at Midwest Mole is not for everyone. Our work is challenging, and it goes without saying that you’ll likely get more than just your hands dirty. But at the same time, we believe that work should be rewarding and enjoyable, instead of being something you dread when you wake up every morning. So, what makes a good Midwest Mole employee?

For us, the biggest thing is work ethic. If you’re not willing to roll up your sleeves and work hard, you will not be a good fit for Midwest Mole. In addition, trenchless tunneling is work that often requires travel, which means we need people who are willing to sacrifice some of their time at home for nights in hotels.

Another major piece of the puzzle for us is that our employees need to be passionate about what they do on a daily basis. You’re not just pushing pipe in the ground ― you’re encountering new and exciting challenges every day. If you don’t take pride in your work, and you don’t truly enjoy your job, you won’t fit in with our team of dedicated people.

There’s another aspect of the Midwest Mole life where you either have it or you don’t, and that’s whether you’re claustrophobic. We will never judge or make fun of you for being afraid of tight spaces, but the fact of the matter is, our people spend a significant amount of time underground, crawling around in rather narrow pipes. Our team is full of supportive, friendly people, but we need to know what your skillset is, and whether we’ll be able to send you underground without worrying that you’ll freak out down there!

Who doesn’t fit in with the Midwest Mole family? If you’re the type of person that needs to have a consistent schedule, working similar hours and days every week, it’s probably not going to work out. In our industry, change is a constant, and we need to be able to adapt to any curveballs thrown our way. Beyond that, we need people who own their work, and don’t make excuses. If you’re selfish, or if all you care about is your paycheck, Midwest Mole isn’t an environment where you’ll thrive.

If none of this information scared you off yet, and if you’re still reading this post, why not head over to our Careers page and submit your resume today? We’re always looking for talented, hard-working people to join the Midwest Mole family!

Opportunity Knocks, Midwest Mole Answers ― One Wild Weekend in the Nation’s Capitol

In our industry, you never know when you’ll meet a new client, or forge a valuable new relationship. Several years ago, we were at a trade organization convention in Phoenix, Arizona, and a contractor stopped by our booth to see if we could provide a pricing quote for a large project in Washington, D.C. We ended up going in together on that job, and as a result, we met several different key players in the D.C. market.

From there, we’ll fast-forward a few years, to when Midwest Mole President Jason Miller and rail division manager David Howell were heading to the airport after wrapping up a project in the D.C. area. Moments after Jason and David dropped off their rental car, David got a call from a contractor who said that a sewer had failed just one block away from the White House, and a sinkhole had opened up in the street as a result.

There’s probably quite a few companies out there that would say, “It’s too late, we’re already at the airport to head home,” but Midwest Mole is definitely not one of those companies. Instead, we rented another car, drove from the airport back into D.C., and helped repair the sewer and fill the sinkhole.

Because this was on Memorial Day weekend, we had to pull some strings to even get materials to do the job. We ended up calling one of our contacts in Virginia, who loaded a truck with pipe and delivered it to the job site around 11pm that night. We worked around the clock all weekend long to rehab that sewer, and the city was able to re-open the street shortly after Memorial Day.

When you’re a relatively small company located in Indiana, and you’re getting calls to do a bunch of work on a holiday weekend in the heart of the nation’s capitol, it’s incredibly rewarding to be the company people come to when an emergency pops up. It requires a lot of travel and even more hard work, but moments like this one remind us of why we put in all the hours.

That’s why we say that our industry ultimately comes down to relationships ― with contractors, with our materials suppliers, and with utility companies across the country. Sometimes there’s no advance warning when opportunity is about to come knocking, which is why Midwest Mole is ready to answer the call day or night, all year round.