Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:36 pm
Safety has become part of the company culture at businesses such as Milwaukee-based C.G. Schmidt Construction Inc., and safety also generates a return on investment for such companies. Safety was a priority when C.G. Schmidt was founded in 1952. In 1960, the company was the first contracting firm in the state to require hard hats on job sites, said Frank Slamar, the company’s safety director.
Since the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was founded in 1970, C.G. Schmidt has worked closely with the agency on its safety programs. The company works as a construction site supervisor, with numerous subcontractors working under its guidance, Slamar said.
"We are an extension of OSHA in helping the subcontractors comply with (safety) regulations," he said. "We qualify the subs before they come on site. They know the rules."
C.G. Schmidt has one of the lowest insurance modification rates in the state, Slamar said, which gives it both better insurance rates and makes it a more attractive contractor for projects. The company also has one of the lowest OSHA-tracked accident rates, he said. The average rate is 1, and C.G. Schmidt’s is 0.55, Slamar said.
Even though the company sees a return on investment for its emphasis on safety, Slamar said he and other company officials don’t think of it in those terms.
"The ultimate return is a safe work site and everyone gets to go home at night," he said. "How do you place a dollar value on that? We don’t put it in those terms. Safety is built into the job site."
All of C.G. Schmidt’s job site supervisors report directly to him on safety issues.
"Through job site inspection and training, I make sure they’re doing company policy," he said.
C.G. Schmidt routinely sends its managers and workers to OSHA training sessions held in partnership with the Associated Contractors General – Milwaukee office. Several of the company’s managers recently completed OSHA training offered there.
"No dollars are spared, no schedule is spared," he said. "If something is wrong, we’ll shut it down, or a portion of that job down."