Boldt kicks up “SafeThinking” culture on St. Olaf College project

At The Boldt Company there’s a saying, “Zero today; no injuries, shortcuts or distractions.” Those are words we live by, day-in and day-out. They are an integral part of our safety culture. While each jobsite has unique needs, a few things remain constant – A strong construction health and safety excellence program requires knowledge, resources, leadership and collaboration.

Construction companies like Boldt have turned to programs like Minnesota’s AGC CHASE Partnership to help them achieve their safety goals. The CHASE program is designed to recognize AGC member contractors for their safety programs and performance, while providing incentives for the partnership. Recently, Boldt applied for a CHASE LEVEL 3 Partnership on its St. Olaf College project in Northfield, Minnesota. For Boldt, this means taking the Zero Today safety mantra and putting it to work on the construction of a new residence hall and a set of townhouses on the St. Olaf College campus.

What is the CHASE program?
Simply put, CHASE stands for Construction Health And Safety Excellence. It’s a multi-tiered program that encourages construction companies to move their safety protocols and practices from “adequate” to a much higher standard. It’s a recognition of a company’s desire to do better from a safety perspective, for the client, the company, and the local community. The CHASE program gets construction companies involved with ongoing safety goals and helps to map out a path for improvement.

Tim VanDeWalker, Safety Manager for Boldt’s Rochester office looks at it this way, “Jobsite safety continues to be a top priority for us. To achieve our goals, we incorporate it into our everyday practice on our jobsites, and work with programs like CHASE to help us get where we need to be to reach our ‘Zero Today’ goals.”

Currently, Boldt is recognized as a CHASE Level 2 contractor, and is actively working on a Level 3 Partnership for two Minnesota sites: St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN and the Byllesby Dam Project in Cannon Falls, MN.

CHASE project participatory levels:
Level 1. This introductory level is geared toward AGC members who want to be recognized as safety compliant, meaning they meet the minimum requirements as set out by the MN AGC and OSHA. Steps for approval start with jobsite visits from an independent auditor with the AGC. Based on the findings, pointers are provided on how to get everyone on the jobsite working safer and improving the overall safety outlook. Once the recommendations have been completed, the company earns a Level 1 designation and can move forward and apply for CHASE Level 2.

Level 2:  Companies begin to think about ways to improve their safety numbers. Receiving Level 2 recognition means companies, like Boldt, are doing more than just meeting minimum safety standards and they are actively working toward a more comprehensive program. They have good safety policies in place and put best practices into play; they go above and beyond current minimum requirements.

Level 3: As a current CHASE Level 2 company, Boldt had the opportunity to apply for a Minnesota Level 3 Cooperative Compliance Partnership. At this level, the commitment and collaboration with OSHA and the MN AGC is higher. It’s about collaboration, sharing best practices and learning from others.  OSHA brings some of the insights they have gathered while inspecting other CHASE Level 3 projects and shares what they have learned with other contractors in the program. This improves the safety culture of all of contractors within the construction industry-including Boldt.

Jason Krueger, VP and general manager of Boldt’s Rochester office sums up Boldt’s CHASE Level 3 work and its commitment to Zero Today, “When it comes to safety, we actively contribute to the best-practice discussions across the entire industry. Knowing that everybody is learning and working together as safely as possible, improves all safety metrics. To know that we are doing something unique and doing this as safely as possible, not only for our employees and subcontractors, but also for the safety of the students on the St. Olaf College campus, is what makes this so important.

About The Boldt Company
The Boldt Company (Boldt) is a leading professional construction services firm with customers across the United States and is a subsidiary of The Boldt Group. Founded in 1889, Boldt is a fourth-generation family and employee-owned firm headquartered in Appleton, Wisconsin. Boldt is recognized as a pioneer in Lean construction and in the industrialized construction space. Boldt operates 18 offices across the U.S. that serve customers in healthcare, power, industrial, education, automotive and commercial markets.