AMS Mechanical Systems, Burr Ridge, IL, recently reported winning the Chicago Mechanical Contractors Association award for one million to three million hours with the lowest recordable OSHA safety rating of .76.

Safety Director Mark Rook says safety is integrated into day-to-day work, not treated as something separate at AMS.

“There are three key factors to developing an incident-free work environment. It’s imperative to have a commitment from senior management; There must be a safety program in place; and employees must understand why safety rules are in place and practice them before they need to use them. Our employees practice safety principles 24/7 — not just on the jobsite," Rook says.
Rook says communication is the key to ongoing safety. The AMS safety management team worked with insurance providers, project managers, and teams of key field personnel to compile their own comprehensive “Zero Accident Program” that encompasses several points of identifying, analyzing and aligning safety behaviors.

Those behaviors include:
• Development and distribution of all safety procedures
• Continuing education and training for all AMS key field personnel and project managers
• Site specific safety plan
• Safety incentive programs
• Development and implementation of “tool box talks”
• Pre-job and pre task safety analysis
•Jobsite safety audits
• Workman’s compensation and G/L claims management
• Near accident programs
• Accident and incident investigations programs
• Corrective actions and “Lessons Learned” programs
• New hire training and orientation
• Drug and alcohol testing.

AMS Mechanical believes this approach to safety accounts for its incident rate that is 50 to 60% below the national average.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by MCA Chicago, an achievement that speaks volumes about our culture of safety at AMS,” says John Berzanskis, president and CEO.

“We take safety seriously and communicate our safety philosophy to employees in a variety of ways. We’re fortunate to have a staff and workforce that embraces the culture, and live it in their daily work,” Berzanskis says.