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 www.safetyleadershipconference.com.
120 employees | 1 site | 4 EHS professionals
When describing the safety department at Lindblad Construction, Megan Vidano, safety coordinator, enthuses that they’re “ready and eager to assist with any safety needs.” And that readiness and eagerness is fostered by an ownership team that takes “a very proactive approach to preserving the safety of each employee,” she says.
At Lindblad, a privately-held construction firm outside of Chicago, the owners approve and support numerous safety initiatives, ranging from industrial hygiene sampling for MDI compounds and silica at jobsites, annual company-wide training sessions, and defensive driving courses. In 2021, the company invited OSHA in for a voluntary overall program audit, and Lindblad also will undergo a third-party program audit to assess its overall safety program, culture and safety performance on jobsites.
“Jobsite audits serve as a leading indicator of safety in the field and a good opportunity to determine any areas for improvement,” Vidano explains. “Near misses and incidents are tracked and analyzed for root-causes then used to enhance the existing safety program to prevent future issues.”
Lindblad’s approach to all facets of EHS also includes an ESG (environmental, social and governance) program which aims, according to Vidano, “to preserve and promote the safety and wellbeing of the environment and workforce. This is achieved by respecting the environment in which we work and supporting fairness and an equal opportunity for others in the construction industry.”
Some of the elements of the Lindblad ESG program include:
- Environmental awareness training for all employees related to the scope of their work, such as work performed in protected wetlands.
- A chemical and waste management program to dispose of unused chemicals returned from jobsites.
- Participation in a program run by Commonwealth Edison to promote a more diverse workforce in construction-related jobs, as well as partnering with partner with minority and woman-owned businesses in the Chicagoland area.
“Engagement in the safety program from the top levels of management to each craft employee is fundamental,” Vidano emphasizes. “Efforts at Lindblad to preserve jobsite safety transcend the typical hazard prevention methods common of our industry.”
The company relies on leading indicators such as frequent jobsite audits to determine successes and areas for improvement, she points out, adding that these leading indicators are used to shape future training sessions and areas of focus, and to assist in pre-job hazard assessments.
All subcontractors selected by Lindblad must complete a prequalification process, and according to Vidano, the company’s safety team “relishes the opportunity to help subcontractors improve their own safety programs and employee development.” That kind of passion for sharing safety best practices also extends to Lindblad’s participation in client safety committees, as well as subcommittees focusing on such areas as electrical substation safety, damage prevention, and line-of-fire injury prevention.