MYR Group, Inc. Turns Safety and Heath Record Around Through OSHA Partnership, Achieves Three VPP Stars

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MYR Group, Inc. Turns Safety and Heath Record Around Through OSHA Partnership, Achieves Three VPP Stars


MYR Group, Inc. is one of the largest electrical transmission and distribution companies in the country. They also install and maintain electrical wiring in commercial and industrial facilities. In August 2004, MYR Group, along with five other companies of the Electrical Transmission and Distribution (ET&D) Construction Contractors and Trade Associations formed a national OSHA Strategic Partnership (OSP). MYR group has devoted a lot of time and resources to this effort. The training courses and best practices implemented through this national partnership have contributed to improved safety and health throughout the company.

Three of MYR Group's subsidiaries have now achieved Star status in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) Mobile Workforce Demonstration for Construction. Two districts of Sturgeon Electric, the transmission and distribution group and the commercial and industrial group, received approval for their work performed in Colorado in August 2008. L.E. Myers received approval for their work performed for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in multiple states in September 2008.

Success Impact:
Transformed from Significant Case Recipient to Star Recipient

In 2002, MYR Group had a Total Case Incidence Rate (TCIR) of 7.3 and a Days Away, Restricted or Transferred (DART) rate of 3.9. They were also facing the reality of significant fines and penalties due to OSHA enforcement action. Through concerted efforts throughout the organization, safety and health has been transformed into a key value. By 2007, their TCIR was reduced to 2.7 (a 63 percent decrease) and their DART to 1.2 (a 69 percent decrease). Their 2007 rates are also 53 and 63 percent below the 2006 Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) national average for the power and communication line construction industry (presented in the table below).

MYR's Most Recent Available Data (2007) 2.7 1.2
2006 BLS National Average 5.8 3.2
Percentage Difference -53% -63%
Increased Management Commitment, OSHA Partnership Influences Change in MYR Group's Safety Culture

Management at MYR Group committed itself to transforming safety into a core value and becoming an industry leader for safety. Several key initiatives have assisted MYR Group influenced this transformation. Specific examples of how they accomplished this include:

  • Instituting performance-based training at the foreman and general foreman levels.
  • Establishing safety goals for superintendents, construction managers, and operations managers.
  • Enforcing management accountability and disciplinary issues.
  • Renewing their Corporate Safety Management System.
  • Developing a comprehensive new hire orientation program.
  • Reorganizing the Corporate Safety structure to more effectively serve the needs of operations.
  • Conducting an assessment of the workforce to determine the overall level of knowledge of the company's safety-related work practices regarding:
    • Grounding specific to Transmission, Distribution, and Substation work practices
    • Crane operation
    • Wire Stringing and Rigging Operations
    • Developing, and requiring Managers to complete and adhere to, Personal Safety Plans intended to mitigate specific hazards and exposures of the manager's respective area.
  • Performing comprehensive job site visits with safety and operations personnel focusing on areas of loss or concern.
  • Conducting industry-specific OSHA 10-hour and Supervisory Leadership and Outreach training seminars.
  • Improving accident investigation, tracking, and procedures including statistical reports to management.
  • Focusing more of an effort to have all Near Miss Incidents reported and investigated in a timely manner.
  • Providing additional leadership training at the foreman, general foreman and district manager/superintendent level to ensure consistent expectations are met.
Origin: OSHA Regions IV and VIII
Entered VPP: August 2008
Industry and NAICS and SIC Codes: NAICS 237130 – Power and Communication Line Construction
Employees: 2,900 employees
Employer: 1
Source and Date: Eric Lahaie, OSHA National Office; Steve Theis, MYR Group, Inc. (September 2008)
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