Construction and engineering company Cupertino Electric, Inc. (CEI) recently won the Associated General Contractors of California (AGC) Safety Award of Excellence in the category reserved for specialty contractors working more than one million hours in 2011. “Cupertino Electric has always been an innovative engineering and construction company that has been able to deliver better, faster, more complex projects safer,” says Patty Becker, director of corporate safety. “It’s great to be recognized for the good work that our employees do every day to promote our safety culture. This award validates our efforts and encourages us to continue to drive our safety programs to be the best in the industry.

The company credits this year’s honor to its focus on the 5 Es, which include education, empowerment, evaluation, engagement, and execution. The company implemented a plan to educate its employees on CEI’s goals and expectations for safety and provide the necessary training to perform tasks safely. In addition, it also empowers employees to stop a job if they feel unsafe. “Safety has no rank at Cupertino Electric,” continues Becker.

In terms of evaluation, the firm analyzes hazards related to tasks that are performed every day and implement corrective measures on written pre-task plans to mitigate hazards. The company is also constantly evaluating the effectiveness of its own safety efforts internally. Regarding engagement, it actively solicits feedback on its safety program and incorporates suggestions for improvement to allow employees to help shape the program. The firm is proactive about recognizing employees for meeting and exceeding safety standards to further engagement. Finally, on the execution side, it is focused on making sure that it updates its plans as conditions change to complete its work incident- and injury-free.

To keep its winning streak, the firm intends to expand its safety outreach to subcontractors and vendors and implement more leading indicators to identify areas of improvement. “Going forward, we at Cupertino Electric will continue to foster an incident- and injury-free workplace, and to promote safety as a personal value among employees,” concludes Becker.