Release Date: May 13, 2011

The Boldt Company Receives Governor's Safety Awards

Grand Rapids Herald-Review

The Minnesota Safety Council has awarded Governor's Safety Awards to The Boldt Company's Cloquet and Rochester offices for superior performance in workplace safety and health. In determining award winners, the Minnesota Safety Council solicits injury information from workplaces and compares with national data along with a firm's past performance, ongoing safety program and activities.

Boldt's Cloquet office received an Award of Honor for a consecutive year for exceptional accomplishment in reduction of injuries and illnesses in the workplace and implementation of more than 90 percent of specified benchmarks. The Rochester office received a Meritorious Achievement Award for above average performance in incident rates and implementation of at least half of specified safety program benchmarks.

"An effective safety program reduces injuries and costs, maximizes productivity and builds morale," said Carol Bufton, president of the Minnesota Safety Council. "Employers like The Boldt Company understand that safety is good business, now more than ever."

Based on the total number of work place incidents, construction is considered the most dangerous industry in the U.S. However, due to a company-wide commitment to safety and continuous improvement, in 2011 Boldt reached and surpassed three million work hours without a single lost time accident.

Nationally, Boldt's incident rate has trended well below the country's average in the construction industry for many years. At any time, Boldt may have 200-300 active jobs nationwide and the firm employs an average of 1,000 direct-hire employees and several hundred subcontractors.

"The most important thing we do is create a safe working environment for our employees, subcontractors and customers," said Boldt CEO Bob DeKoch. "This award is the result of a commitment to safety across the board, not only from our employees in the field, but our executive staff and leaders throughout the company as well."

Boldt team members average 70-75 hours per person, per year in safety education including daily safety meetings. When reviewing improvements to the existing safety program, Boldt focused on common areas of exposure and created a communications program to change behaviors in those areas. Specifically communications and education materials focus on:

• Correctly tying off. Boldt crews have to physically be tied off if they are working six feet or more off the ground. Additionally, Boldt purchased equipment specifically designed to minimize fall exposure such as aerial work platforms and specialized scaffolding.
• Lifting with your knees to limit back injuries. Both at job sites and in office environments, Boldt has been a pioneer at incorporating ergonomics in the workplace.
• Keeping job sites clean so injuries are not caused by materials carelessly left on the ground.
• Inspecting and tagging out damaged or broken tools.
• Boldt also tracks "near miss" events through a database to keep track of and learn from potential accidents. Field supervisors have been reporting these incidents for five years.
• Boldt established a toll-free hotline so employees can call anonymously to report safety issues.

The awards were received May 12, 2011 at the Governor's Safety Awards luncheon. The luncheon is part of the 77th Minnesota Safety & Health Conference, coordinated by the Minnesota Safety Council. The conference is the oldest and largest gathering of workplace safety and health professionals in the region.
Boldt has been recognized as one of America's Safest Companies by EHS Today Magazine.