photo courtesy of Hunter Site Services
1st Phase 20180606 142402

America's Safest Companies 2022: Hunter Site Services

Oct. 5, 2022
Safety is more than a day's work. It's a long-term commitment to employees, clients and the public.

Editor's Note: There will be an awards ceremony for the 2022 class of America's Safest Companies at the Safety Leadership Conference in Cleveland on Oct. 18-20, where current and past winners will be sharing their blueprints for success. You can learn more about the conference and sign up to register at

Hunter Site Services

Specialty installation of blast resistant buildings

Houston, TX

30 employees | 3 sites | 2 EHS professionals

Once a quarter, production stops at Hunter Site Services. Employees come together to celebrate birthdays and work anniversaries. Meals are provided, and so are cookies or cake. But that’s not the main focus of those gatherings; rather, it’s to focus on safety.

Safety Days are an opportunity for all employees—including management—to conduct required compliance training as well as focus on team building, behavior-based safety observations (BBSO) and inspections, and review policies and any changes. At the end of the day, there’s even a competitive game to reiterate what employees were just trained on.

“The whole day is geared toward getting our employees involved and engaged in our safety program,” says JoAnn DeLaO, HSE manager.

Safety Days also include recognizing employees who have turned in quality BBSOs, completed equipment inspections, and gone above and beyond with regards to safety. They all receive a $5 gift card. Prior to a Safety Day, management reads all BBSOs and chooses those (usually four or five) who will be entered into a drawing for bigger prizes, such as $50-75 gift cards, Milwaukee pack out accessories, Bluetooth speakers and ice chests.

“Engaging and recognizing our employees lets them know we value them,” DeLaO says. “In turn, they will value us and will go the extra mile for safety.”

That’s especially important since Hunter Site Services is a specialty installer of blast resistant buildings, which are used as safe havens in case of explosions.

The company, which was previously named one of America’s Safest Companies in 2016, continues to push the safety needle. The company constantly evaluates its processes and procedures and also reviews policies annually. Every two years, a team of safety professionals from other industry organizations audits the company’s books, its field safety and DeLaO’s performance.

“We take all the feedback and opportunities to grow and create goals to get where we need to be,” she says.

That need to educate and train—and the desire to improve safe operations—is what led to the creation of Safety Days in the first place. DeLaO says Hunter Site Services used to train on paper, read aloud or show PowerPoint presentations.

Now, the company invites subject matter experts to come in and present on topics such as heat stress and excavation. They offer hands-on training for matters such as fall protection, hand tools and equipment certifications. They’re also trying new methods for delivering that training, such as adult learning theories, games and VR training. They’ve even started offering third-party training for supervisors with a focus on soft skills to teach them how to coach and lead better.

“I think we are setting new standards,” DeLaO says.

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