In June, EWMI was awarded the 2019 Award of Excellence from the Chesapeake Region Safety Council  (CRSC). Our recognition came with a Platinum status, the highest honor available through the organization. 

How did EWMI achieve this prestigious honor, and what distinguishes the CRSC award from accolades we’ve received in the past? We sat down with Joe Fittos, EWMI’s Director of Health and Safety, to learn more.

Proactive Safety

Our use of leading rather than lagging indicators was a critical factor in CRSC’s decision to honor EWMI with the Award of Excellence. While many companies simply react to hazards when they arise, EWMI is different – we work to identify potential problems before they cause work delays or incidents on the jobsite.

Using our Blue Card program, which allows employees to commend their peers and voice their safety concerns, the Safety team at EWMI identifies trends on our jobs across the country.

This summer, on a California project, the Safety team noticed several Blue Cards mentioning snakes onsite. “Instead of waiting for a potential recordable injury or issue, we took proactive action,” said Fittos. “We did a stand-down with our crews and educated them on the proper way to deal with snakes, and instructed them to use their Stop Work Authority if a professional needed to be brought in.”

EWMI’s proactive, rather than reactive, safety strategy distinguished us from our competitors in the CRSC award process.

Defining our Metrics

Along with typical safety metrics, CRSC looked at subjective measures of safety companies competing for the award. When measuring vehicle and driver safety, incidents can be overlooked due to a lax definition of “preventable accidents”.

CRSC looked at the total miles driven by EWMI crews without a preventable accident – and asked us to provide our definition of a preventable accident.

Our team was proud to report that we had driven 1,052,741 miles without an accident, along with our stringent definition of a preventable accident.

Safety as a Core Cultural Value

EWMI goes above and beyond to keep our crews across the nation safe. “We don’t just talk about safety like it’s some abstract concept,” Fittos said. “It’s not just our Safety team that views safety as our Core value – it’s a value engrained in every person that works for this company. From the moment they walk in the door, they understand that safety is the standard and expectation.”

Another defining factor during the award review process was training, which has instilled a deep-seated safety culture at EWMI.

“There are a lot of companies that will put new employees in front of a computer for a few hours and then throw them into the field,” Fittos explained. “That’s just not how EWMI does things. We have a two- to four-week safety program before anyone goes into the field, depending on the employee’s safety background walking in the door. That training, along with the Blue Card program and mentorship from current employees, ensures that everyone gets home safe.”

Best-in-Class Safety with EWMI

If you want your next job done right, reach out to EWMI. We’re a full-service environmental management partner with a broad range of capabilities and a strong focus on safety. To learn more, reach out to a member of our team – we’d be happy to answer any of your questions!