Safety is Fundamental to Success

Garco endeavors to maintain a safe and healthy work environment for our employees and subcontractors. Our goal is a ZERO incident rate. From 1992 through 2013, Garco has qualified for the Associated General Contractors (AGC) Safety Team, which is a cooperative safety program between the AGC and Washington’s Department of Occupational Safety and Health.

To ensure that safety is a top priority, all Garco Superintendents and Foremen receive in-house and outside continuing education of current safety procedures and OSHA and ACOE EM 385-1-1 regulations. Moreover, each new employee at Garco receives a complete orientation from their supervisor prior to working in the field. Garco’s full-time Safety Director, Randy Zutter, and Garco’s site safety personnel have teamed up with the AGC to monitor, train, and promote worker safety on each project. Garco also utilizes the safety services available from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industrial Division of Consultative Services.

Safety Incentive Programs

Malmstrom Garco staff and crew

Garco tracks employee safety performance by both weekly performance and by the number of “safe hours” worked by each employee. The weekly program rewards the worker with Safety Bucks for a safe week’s work. Safety Bucks are redeemed for selected wares. The Safe Hours Program rewards our employee’s safe work with a variety of items which range from a personalized winter weight Carhartt jacket up to a week’s paid vacation. This program begins with an award at 500 hours of safe work. It has now progressed up to 35,000 safe work hours for several of our long term employees. Both systems are effective and well received by the work force.

Garco is also aware that safety incentives are extremely valuable for a job site as well. Therefore, as a standard practice to reward all of the workers at our projects, Garco will host a job site picnic to show our appreciation for their efforts in working toward a safe and productive project.

Finally, during the summer of each year, Garco hosts a Garco Safety Picnic. For this event, ALL of the Garco employees and their families are invited to spend a weekend day at a large theme park located near Spokane. The day, which includes a catered lunch, employee safety awards and donated prizes, is Garco’s way of showing a genuine appreciation for a safe workforce.

Self-Insured

Garco Construction became self-insured for industrial insurance July 1, 2012. In Washington State, an employer can be either self-insured or they can purchase the required insurance from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I). Under this system, only the most highly qualified and safety conscious companies meet the requirements to be a self-insured employer. Beginning in 2010, Garco initiated the qualification process to become self-insured. During the qualification process, all facets of our safety program were evaluated. Then, upon our first application to L&I, Garco’s safety management system and safety programs were approved. First time approval is not common. The absence of EMR data for the years 2012 and 2013 is due to the fact that Washington State does not calculate an annual EMR for self-insured employers. However, the Department of Labor and Industries does monitor the accident/incident statistics of all self-insured employers on an annual basis. If a subpar performance is noted, the self-insured status of an employer may be withdrawn.