Tagged: Safety

OSHA 30 in Omaha

The OSHA 30 Training Program provides training for workers and employers on the recognition, avoidance, abatement, and prevention of safety and health hazards in workplaces. The program also provides information regarding workers’ rights, employer responsibilities, and how to file a complaint.

The OSHA 30 Training Program employees attend 30 hours of classes delivered by Jeff Bennett, Thompson Electric’s OSHA authorized trainer.  The 30 hour class is intended for employees with responsibility for safety in the field or as a refresher class for their personal well-being. The past 2 months Jeff Bennett provided OSHA 30 training for 16 employees from our Omaha office.  This was the fourth OSHA 30 Training class in the past couple years in Omaha.

The 16 employees that attended the OSHA 30 Training were Charles Ball, George Turner, Mick Coffman, Daniel Erdbruger, Bret Falk, Nick Guthrie, Dave Hibler, Lynn Kahnk, Brad Madej, James Mahr, Nick Vincent, Aaron Miller, Chris Saab, Doug Stephens, Dan VanGrud and Richard Roan.

We are proud of the commitment made to achieve the OSHA 30 Certification and recognize those who attended with an OSHA 30 Safety Vest.

Congratulations to all…

What’s In Your Cup? Dangers Associated With Energy Drinks

Published: June 2017
By Tom O’Connor

Construction workers often use energy drinks, such as Monster and Red Bull, for a quick pick-me-up. However, many people are unaware of the risks their consumption poses. Using these highly caffeinated and nutritionally deficient beverages can result in serious health complications. In fact, many companies in the construction industry have deemed energy drinks dangerous enough to ban them from work sites.  Read the rest of the article here.

Year in Review – Safety




It’s the time of year, when we start to review our performance from the past year.  We’ll start with a review of our safety programs and the impact that it has on the company as a whole.

Let’s start by looking at our safety rates.  These are national standards that are used to determine how Thompson Electric compares to other electrical firms across the country.  The two that get utilized the most are:

EMR – Experience Modification Rate – What is EMR?  It is a number used by insurance companies to gauge both past cost of injuries and future chances of risk. An EMR of 1.0 is considered the industry average and Thompson Electric’s rate is .71 for 2013, below the national average.

RFR – Recordable Frequency Rate – What is RFR?  This is calculated by an average of the number of injuries per 100 employees working 2000 hours per year.  The national average is 3.1 injuries per year and Thompson Electric’s rate is 1.7, well below the national average.

How do these ratings impact Thompson Electric?  First and foremost, the safety culture within Thompson Electric is for the safety of our employees.  Keeping everybody safe is Thompson Electric’s top priority.  Second, it shows the insurance companies that we’re committed to keeping our employees safe, by providing an environment that encourages a strong safety culture.  Third, it shows our clients that we are committed to maintaining a safe job-site.  Fourth, by being below the national averages on both the EMR and RFR, we receive better insurance rates, which helps give Thompson Electric a competitive advantage.

To sum up our safety for 2013, we had a very safe year, which is a positive reflection of everybody working for Thompson Electric and we will continue to work hard to ensure that this trend is maintained into 2014.

Holiday Safety Tips…

It’s that time of year when we start to decorate for the holidays.  Making our homes festive both inside and outside.  With this time tested tradition of decorating, comes some safety concerns.  We use our decorations once a year and around here they are exposed to some extreme elements, cold, snow, ice to name a few.  So we have compiled a list of the Top 10 Holiday Safety Tips for your reminder.

1. Inspect electrical decorations for damage before use. Cracked or damaged sockets, loose or bare wires, and loose connections may cause a serious shock or start a fire.

2. Do not overload electrical outlets. Overloaded electrical outlets and faulty wires are a common cause of holiday fires. Avoid overloading outlets and plug only one high-wattage appliance into each outlet at a time.

3. Never connect more than three strings of incandescent lights. More than three strands may not only blow a fuse, but can also cause a fire.

4. Keep tree fresh by watering daily. Dry trees are a serious fire hazard.

5. Use battery-operated candles. Candles start almost half of home decoration fires (NFPA).

6. Keep combustibles at least three feet from heat sources. A heat source that was too close to the decoration was a factor in half of home fires that began with decorations. (NFPA).

7. Protect cords from damage. To avoid shock or fire hazards, cords should never be pinched by furniture, forced into small spaces such as doors or windows, placed under rugs, located near heat sources, or attached by nails or staples.

8. Check decorations for certification label. Decorations not bearing a label from an Independent testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or Intertek (ETL) have not been tested for safety and could be  hazardous.

9. Stay in the kitchen when something is cooking. Unattended cooking equipment is the leading cause of home
cooking fires (NFPA).

10. Turn off, unplug, and extinguish all decorations when going to sleep or leaving the house. Unattended candles are the cause of one in five home candle fires. Half of home fire deaths occur between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. (NFPA)


This is a link to other holiday safety tips.  http://esfi.org/index.cfm/pid/11991

Part of the fun of decorating is creating memories with your kids and grandkids, so please be safe and have fun creating those memories that will last a lifetime.

Thompson Electric Committee Members Have a Blast!


The Thompson Electric PM Team, Field Team and Prefab Team committees held their last quarterly meeting of 2013 in Sioux Falls on Friday, October 11.  We welcomed new committee members Ted Heath from Sioux Falls to the PM and Prefab Team,  Brad Madej and Joe Perchal to the Field Team and Jenna Donley to the PM Team, all from Omaha.

This meeting’s theme was Humility.  Team members learned an important quality of a good leader is being humble.  Attendees were called up one at a time and asked to either spell a word or answer a trivia question.  Several people admitted they did not know the answer prior to trying to answer and one person asked if he could get help.  We also had many good spellers and trivia buffs!

The team activity was shooting sporting clays at Hunter’s Pointe in Humboldt, SD.  The Sioux Falls team made arrangements this year for our meeting space to be at the reserve and had a delicious fried chicken lunch catered to us.  Thanks to Darryln Hamilton for arranging this!

We had 4 teams compete in the sporting clay shoot for the best of 50 rounds at 7 different stations.  The winning team was Jeremy VanWell, Ray DeWitt, Corey Floyd and Todd Becker.  The top 3 individual scorers were Jeremy VanWell, Mike Julius and Ted Heath.  It was very refreshing to see experienced shooters assisting the first time shooters. It shows that we have great people on our team who are natural born mentors!

Committee Information:  The PM team committee consists of all Thompson Electric project managers and estimators.  The Field team committee consists of two field supervisors from each Thompson Electric division appointed by their division manager to serve at least a one year term.  The Prefab team consists of the Prefab shop manager from each Thompson Electric division.  The purpose of each committee is to bring forth issues relative to their line of work for discussion and resolution across divisions.  Proposed resolutions are carried to the Executive Committee for approval.  The meetings provide opportunities for training and team-building activities across divisions as well.

Meetings are held in January, April, July and October of each year.  The April, July and October meetings are travel sessions held in Omaha, Sioux City and Sioux Falls.

Sioux Falls No. 1


Another year, another No. 1 ranking by Forbes

Forbes released its annual Best Places for Business & Careers ranking today and once again ForwardSF2placed Sioux Falls No. 1 in its “Small Places” category. This is the 10th time Sioux Falls has been the No. 1 place in the last 11 years.

This honor follows CNBC‘s announcement last month that South Dakota notched the top spot as its Best State for Business, including the highest score ever achieved in the ranking’s history. A closer look at Forbes’ numbers reveals that Sioux Falls’ cost of doing business was rated No. 2 and our job growth 14th, both very impressive marks measured against 184 other communities.

Our metro population might be “small” at 238,000, but our community serves a significant regional footprint that supports a higher level of amenities in healthcare, lifestyle and retail than the numbers may represent. We also draw from a larger employment pool than the data reflects.

Part of our community’s ongoing success can be tied to the efforts of the public and private sectors working together through Forward Sioux Falls. Thanks for your continued investment in the Sioux Falls area by investing in Forward Sioux Falls.

Safety – Never taken for granted


Safety comes in all aspects of our daily lives.  Workplace safety, job-site safety, highway safety, food safety, consumer safety, hunter safety and many more too numerous to mention.  We can and probably do, take safety for granted, but as a large employer of 250 plus employees, Thompson Electric does not have the luxury of taking safety for granted.  Safe working conditions and job-site environments do not happen by accident.  I know, Thompson Electric makes safety a priority for the job-site and also for the offices to keep our employees safe.

Three years ago, the leadership of Thompson Electric, made an even stronger commitment to safety by hiring an experienced Safety Director, Jeff Bennett.  Jeff is tasked with keeping our employees safe by visiting job-sites, giving training seminars, providing training to new and current employees and reviewing all of our safety processes and procedures.  At times, he has a thankless job.  Everyone is not always happy to see him when he shows up on job-sites.  Not only does he have the responsibility of employee safety, he also has to be the enforcer of Thompson Electric’s safety requirements.  As I said before, at times a thankless job.  But if and when an accident happens and all personnel are given the appropriate first aid or medical treatment, the first question that gets asked is, how did it happen and what were the safety precautions in place.

So, the next time Jeff shows up at a job-site, think of it this way, he is not there to make your job difficult, he is just there to make sure you get home safely every night.  I’m sure your spouse, significant other and your loved ones appreciate all of his efforts.