It’s no secret that electrical contractors take the well-being of their employees very seriously. Integrated Electrical Services (IES), a Houston, Texas-based national provider of electrical and communications systems and services for the commercial, industrial, and residential markets, was recently recognized for being a contractor that promotes a strong safety culture. The company’s operations in Baton Rouge, La., and Greenville, S.C., were presented with the Safety Training and Evaluation Process (STEP) Platinum Award for 2010 through the Associated Builders and Contractors’ (ABC’s) Pelican Chapter. Only 3% of ABC member companies are recognized at the platinum level.

“We emphasize safety from the minute an employee is hired,” says Harvey Hammock, IES director of safety. “Before our new workers are allowed in the field, they must first cover 12 safety subjects. Once they’re permitted onto a job site, we assign them a mentor, and for the first 30 days of their employment they are required to wear a high-visibility vest with 4-in. letters that state, ‘SAFETY FIRST.’ The vests tell our more seasoned employees who is new and who needs to be supervised closely for unsafe work practices. We believe these initial requirements are one of the reasons we consistently win safety awards, and our injury rate continues to be well below the national average.”

Established in 1989, the STEP program is an organized approach for analyzing and developing safety and loss prevention programs. Developed and written by contractors for contractors, the program incorporates both Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) required safety data and self-assessment requirements to give a full, wide-ranging report on the entire nature of a company’s safety program.

This was the 17th consecutive year that this division within IES has been recognized by ABC with an award for its safety programs and record.