The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) recently announced that Bob McHolland of United Mechanical Corporation in Charlotte, North Carolina, is the recipient of Federated Insurance’s ACCA Super S.T.A.R. Award.
Each year, ACCA Corporate Partner Federated Mutual Insurance Company recognizes an ACCA member who represents the four components of the award: safety, teamwork, accountability, and responsibility. Since 2009 Federated has been proud to be ACCA’s exclusive corporate partner for their members insurance and risk management needs. In order to receive this award, a contracting company must be a Federated Insurance client and an ACCA member.
For Bob McHolland, president of the company, employee safety is of the utmost importance. United Mechanical Corporation employs 81 people, and when a new employee is hired, McHolland starts them off on the right foot by completing onboarding safety training with them.
“All our employees sit down with me on day one and we discuss the importance of safety and why we care for their safety — not only in the workplace, but also at home,” McHolland said. “It is critical to the ongoing development of our safety culture that employees understand that the entire management team genuinely cares for their safety and takes it very personally. If safety is just a set of rules, we cannot have a true culture of safety and we will certainly fail.”
The company also conducts an hour long safety meeting each month, which all employees must attend, and they often have outside safety professionals host to keep the messages fresh. On a monthly basis the managers also have their own cross-functional safety meetings. During these sessions, they review a different policy from the safety manual in order to keep new risk management topics in mind. McHolland notes that they utilize their Federated marketing representative and risk consultant to cover new topics, and he has attended Federated’s one-day Risk Management Academy.
“Our Federated marketing representative has by far been our best Federated resource,” McHolland said. “His dedication to getting us any additional safety-related resources we need has been of incredible value.”
McHolland also pointed out that safety values must come from a top-down management philosophy and consistent practice by each member of the management team. “It must be genuine and ingrained as a core belief in a company.”
To continue to enhance his safety message, McHolland has installed an LED message board in the warehouse where all the employees can see it. A new message is updated every two weeks, and has a “lost time counter” and a “days without an accident” counter, so all the employees know how long it has been since the last incident. Employees with no safety issues for the year earn monetary rewards and an extra day off.
“People that take this path understand the next step in their task and either eliminate the danger, protect themselves from the danger, or call a safety ‘time out’ to ask for help so they don’t get injured,” he said.
United Mechanical Corporation’s non-stop commitment to safety includes driving topics. They have created a company driving policy that addresses distracted driving and mobile devices. They also keep a Federated “Please Make It Home Safe Today” banner on their premises.
McHolland’s company took safe driving to the next level by installing GPS monitoring in each company vehicle and using weekly telematics information to rank their drivers. Top-rated drivers are awarded, while those who are rated lower are assigned driver safety training and coaching. As a result, they have seen lower rated drivers improve dramatically. They also use the vehicle’s GPS to log all scheduled maintenance on every vehicle and track reports. One of the managers even takes the time to complete a random detailed vehicle check to make sure the records, forms, and vehicle cleanliness meet the company’s standards.
“United Mechanical Corporation believes that safety is a destination and they are always on the journey to benefit both their clients and employees,” said Nate Oland, Federated’s senior national account executive. He noted that they stand out as a prime example of a workplace that understands that by prioritizing a personal connection to safety, work quality improves and shapes a healthy, safe culture.
“Each and every one of us is a very unique creation with a purpose on this earth,” said McHolland. “It is our priority to make sure that all our people get through the day safely so they may go home to the ones they love and be able to fulfill that purpose.”