Manhattan Mechanical Services announced a third consecutive year with zero OSHA recordables. As Chicagoland’s premier merit shop mechanical contractor, a proactive approach to safety has created a deeply ingrained safety culture that drives this impressive record.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforces safety standards in the workplace to ensure safe working conditions for workers, offering employers training, outreach, education, and assistance to maintain a safe and healthy work environment. Employers are required to record any work-related injuries and illnesses that require medical treatment beyond first aid or involve a loss of consciousness, time off work, work restrictions, transfer of jobs, diagnosed cases of cancer or chronic irreversible diseases, fractured or cracked bones or teeth, punctured eardrums, or fatalities.

As a result, OSHA utilizes this information to evaluate risks and hazards in the workplace with the intent to identify and prevent further injury, illnesses, or fatalities. OSHA safety standards are responsible for saving thousands of lives and preventing countless injuries and diseases.

At Manhattan Mechanical, high safety standards remain paramount in each project’s execution and quality mechanical services. A safety-first approach is crucial to mitigate risks, according to corporate safety manager Nate Hassett.

"The credit goes to our employees for being able to perform projects injury-free," says Hassett. "Their input and reaching out to our safety department are huge factors in our success and contribute to our safety culture."

Proactive versus reactive

According to Hassett, Manhattan Mechanical’s proactive approach to safety is one of the keys to their successful record, staying one step ahead of any potential injury, illness, or fatality on site. “We don’t sit around and wait for something to happen,” explains Hassett, “We are proactive instead of reactive.”

Manhattan Mechanical integrated Loss Prevention Observation Cards into their safety protocols, allowing craftsmen to identify potential risks and hazards on site. The safety team requires job safety analysis (JSA) forms before beginning any work on site, providing an evaluation of risks and hazards and identifying safety equipment on site, such as safety showers, alarm systems, etc. At the end of the week, employees submit key performance indicator (KPI) reports to the safety team.

The safety team examines the collected information during internal safety meetings, creating the opportunity to mitigate risks at each site by identifying and addressing safety concerns. A constant flow of safety information is provided to the rest of the team through safety flashes/email blasts, toolbox talks, and weekly safety meetings.

In 2021, business continued to boom for Manhattan Mechanical, but challenges came with that growth. New large projects presented opportunities for multi-skilled craftsmen to demonstrate their abilities; however, new safety risks and hazards also arose. Using their foresight, the team evaded OSHA recordables.

Active presence by safety team

Manhattan Mechanical’s safety team maintains an active presence at each site. Members of the safety team perform weekly visits to ensure safety protocols are in place and that no additional risks or hazards exist.

“We want our team to know that we care about their safety,” notes Hassett. “Their well-being is our number one priority, and our communication and involvement with our team make our safety culture the best in the industry.”

A trained craftsman is a safe craftsman 

Manhattan Mechanical’s extensive training program ensures that their craftsmen are fully trained on skills needed on the job and on the safety protocols and procedures necessary to maintain their high safety standards. Mandatory annual training is conducted at Three Rivers Manufacturing Association (TRMA) in Joliet, Illinois, on procedures and policies unique to an individual job site.

Employees must pass a TRMA safety test before continuing onto training conducted on site by Manhattan Mechanical. Craftsmen are required to pass safety testing on a job site before proceeding with any work. Additionally, unique safety training is completed and includes topics such as working from heights, hole watch, fire watch, lockout tag out (LOTO), confined space entry, dropped objects, safe driving, and more.

Safety culture recognized as the best in the industry

Along with their three-year zero OSHA recordables record, Manhattan Mechanical has received numerous safety awards from organizations such as Associated Builders and Contractors, ExxonMobil, and the Four Corners Construction Group. Recently, Manhattan Mechanical received the Three Rivers Manufacturing Gold Award for the second consecutive year.

As for the future with zero OSHA recordables – Manhattan Mechanical is full steam ahead. 

“Our employees are the key to the successful safety culture that we’ve built,” explains Hassett. “From the supervisors to the foreman, to our safety and training departments, etc., our commitment to safety is a shared responsibility that we take to heart. If it can be done, it can be done safely. This is why Manhattan Mechanical stands above the rest.”