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.