Photo courtesy of Ampirical
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America's Safest Companies 2021: Ampirical

Oct. 18, 2021
At Ampirical, a perfectly planned and budgeted project is still considered a complete failure if someone gets hurt.

Ampirical | Utility engineering and construction
Covington, LA
262 employees | 6 sites | 7 EHS professionals

In the construction industry, it’s always good when a company finishes a project ahead of schedule and under budget. But as Rod Courtney, HSE manager with Ampirical, points out, neither of those things matter much if you can’t also say, “We finished the project without hurting anyone or the environment.”

At Ampirical, a perfectly planned and budgeted project is still considered a complete failure if someone gets hurt, Courtney explains. “We perform all our work knowing errors will occur, and we build that into the process and allow our employees to fail safely. We don’t try to fix the worker; we fix the work.”

Every employee is responsible for identifying actual and potential hazards, and every employee, subcontractor and visitor to a job site receives appropriate health and safety instructions before entering a job site, and any activity undertaken must first take safety into consideration.

“Preventing accidents and injuries is not only in the best interest of our employees and subcontractors; it is also in the best interest of the company as a whole,” Courtney says. To keep employees—especially those working from home—focused and engaged throughout the pandemic, Ampirical developed a Safety Committee Charter, which aims to:

  • involve all employees in achieving a safe, healthy workplace;
  • have all safety-related incidents, injuries, accidents, and illnesses promptly reviewed;
  • conduct bi-monthly workplace inspections, identify hazards, and recommend methods to eliminate or control the hazards;
  • annually evaluate workplace safety and health, and recommend improvements to management.

To be considered for an America's Safest Companies award, organizations must demonstrate excellence in several areas: support from leadership and management for EHS efforts; employee involvement in the EHS process; innovative solutions to safety challenges; injury and illness rates lower than the average for their industries; comprehensive training programs; evidence that prevention of incidents is the cornerstone of the safety process; good communication about the value of safety; and a way to substantiate the benefits of the safety process. 

The 2021 ASC awards will be presented during a ceremony at EHS Today’s Safety Leadership Conference 2021, in Cleveland, Ohio. For a detailed look at this year's program and to register, go to for all the details.

Safety managers frequently lament that they’re not involved in significant decisions at the corporate level, but not so at Ampirical, where the HSE department is involved early on in the construction and engineering process. “As the HSE manager, I attend pre-bid meetings with clients and potential clients long before any work starts,” Courtney says. “This not only allows us to ensure our programs are aligned, but also shows our clients how important safety is to our leaders.”

You cannot eliminate injuries by managing statistics better,” says Matthew Saacks, the company’s president. “We will not be satisfied with our performance on any job unless we can say the job was done accident-free and without jeopardy to the health and safety of all those involved.”

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