When walking through the Midwest Mole office, you might find it surprising when you come across our on-premise fitness center. We have an expansive selection of weight lifting equipment, as well as several options for cardio machines and stretching space. Physical health is a major component of our organizational values. For our crews to do their best work, we believe they need to take care of themselves physically and mentally.
Just like any athlete, you need to prepare yourself for the game. If you go into the game out of shape, and you don’t stretch beforehand, you won’t perform the way you need to. It’s the same with this industry. You have to prepare yourself every day for the physical demands of the job. At Midwest Mole, that means encouraging our moles to develop and maintain good fitness habits.
We have a stretching program that Travelers Insurance originally developed for our people. Recently, Athletico Physical Therapy updated the program. We can’t exactly force anyone to participate in the stretching program, but we highly recommend it. We do it before work in the morning and again after lunch. We actively promote that on every project. In the same vein as our stretching program, we have a weekly yoga session in our gym. We believe it is equally important to have office staff get moving as remaining stationary can cause long term physical issues as well.
We also have a preventive care program. At the first sign of any back pain, shoulder pain, or anything like that, we will set them up with a chiropractor or physical therapist. This way, we can eradicate anything before it becomes an actual injury. We do that at no cost to the person.
The preventive care program has been very successful so far. We’ve been doing it for about six years now, and we probably spend from $10,000 to $12,000 per year on it to treat eight or nine people. It’s been highly effective, and it’s part of the reason we’ve been able to go five years without any recordable accident. That’s the proof in the pudding. All of our people are valuable contributors to this business, and we can’t afford to lose any of them for a significant amount of time.
There are ancillary benefits to these programs as well. One of the most obvious ones is that our people can see that we care about them, and that goes a long way. By integrating these programs into the fabric of Midwest Mole, we’ve demonstrated that we will go above and beyond to keep somebody healthy and take care of everyone.
Tunneling can be a physically demanding job; there’s no doubt about that. As an employer in this industry, we take it upon ourselves to make sure we set our people up for success in every possible way.