2023 NUCA Safety Award Overall Winner: 2023 NUCA Safety Award 100,001 to 200,000 Manhours – J.F. Wilkerson Contracting Co., Inc
SafetyWORKS is a regular column highlighting NUCA’s William H. Feather Safety Awards winners. If you would like to be considered for these prestigious NUCA awards in the future, please visit nuca.com/safetyawards for details.
Highlights of J.F. Wilkerson Safety Approach:
- To PROVIDE a safe working environment
- To LIVE by our motto, “Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility”
- To PROVIDE SAFETY equipment, supplies, training, enforcement
- To AWARD safe work practices, innovation, ideas, participation
- To see RESULTS of a Safety First environment
- To RESPOND to safety equipment and resource requests asap
- To meet or EXCEED OSHA and company safety standards
Motivating employees at this North Carolina contractor to think about safety starts with their company’s safety motto: “Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility!”
J.F. Wilkerson Contracting Co., headquartered in Morrisville, has always sought to provide a safe and secure workplace for their employees. The company has been in business since 1968 and has a reputation for delivering quality work on time and on budget. One of the key factors that contributes to the company’s success is its commitment to safety.
Safety is a core value and a top priority for the company. The company’s mission includes the goal of “providing a safe and healthy work environment for all employees, subcontractors, and the public.”
“Safety begins with the new hire training, graduates to daily and weekly Toolbox topic trainings, and culminates with a ‘Safety Day’ event for all employees and subcontractors that is held yearly,” said Michael Coates, the company’s full-time safety director.
Their strong focus on safety earned them the William H. Feather Safety Award for 100,001 to 200,000 manhours. But that’s not the first time the company has been recognized for providing their employees and management a safe construction jobsite environment. This enduring safety program starts at the top, and their NUCA membership complements company leadership’s decades-long emphasis on jobsite safety. The company’s safety committee, composed of representatives from different departments and levels, meets regularly to review and improve the safety program, and to recognize and reward outstanding safety performance.
Safety at J.F. Wilkerson starts with their new-hire orientation training, which includes video and materials from NUCA. The company uses NUCA’s extensive library of toolbox talks (all of which can be found online at nuca.com/toolboxtalks). Beginning in 2022, the company is using digital safety topics to enhance their online learning opportunities for employees.
Safety is found across the company. Daily and weekly safety meetings are facilitated by company foremen, with safety reports given at the weekly management meetings. Company “Safety Days” are all-day safety events held periodically. Subcontractors are invited and encouraged to attend all company safety events and training opportunities. In 2022, a new and revised company “Safety Award Program” was created that has a monetary award, but also penalties for safety violations, keeping employees more alert for safety every minute on the job.
All of this emphasis on safety paid off in 2022. There were zero injuries recorded on OSHA Form 300A and zero fatalities, from 115,414 man-hours worked by employees. J.F. Wilkerson has also achieved similar outstanding results for employee safety in 2021 and 2023. That is a tremendous safety record that the company can be proud of!
J.F. Wilkerson has been deeply involved with NUCA for decades. The company’s president Joe Wilkerson was a founding member of NUCA of the Carolinas chapter, with his son Brian a recent past president of the chapter. The company sponsors safety events for the Chapter, sharing their experience with other member contractors. Safety Director Coates is also active with the NUCA Safety Committee.
In 2022, the company included their subcontractors in every safety training event held by the company. OSHA 10-hour classes were held for their own employees and outside contractors and their workers. 45 company employees have attended a NUCA safety training program. Safety director Coates also teaches safety classes for the employees, and his courses include expert outside instructors.
J.F. Wilkerson is known in the Raleigh, NC, area as one of the premier utility contractors, and also one that places a high priority on employee safety and safety training.
J.F. Wilkerson has achieved the NUCA-STAR Gold level, and is currently working toward the Platinum level.
The company won NUCA Safety Awards in 1990, 2004, 2014, 2015, and again in 2022. These awards demonstrate J.F. Wilkerson’s excellence and leadership in safety, and its dedication to protecting its most valuable asset: its people!
J.F. Wilkerson Contracting Co., Inc.
10710 Chapel Hill Road
P.O. Box 183
Morrisville, North Carolina 27560
This article was written by Robert Baylor, NUCA Director of Communications. Tags: Safety WORKS