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An Ever-Evolving Culture of Safety

Safety orientation video

By: Harkins CHST, Safety Officer Tyler Schulz

At Harkins, we take great pride in the role we play to improve people’s lives in our marketplace, in our communities, and in our company. But even more than that, we carry an unwavering responsibility to do whatever it takes to ensure that our people can return home safely to their families. Through heightened awareness and continuous training, Harkins continues to uphold the highest standards of safety.

We are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to communicate and initiate protocols across the company. This year, we plan to focus our attention on our current safety program, which has provided leadership and guidance to ensure the safest working environment for all employee-owners and trade partners. With the ever-changing rules and guidelines, it is important to continue refining our program to stay ahead of the curve and up to speed on
all things safety. Some of these changes include:

  • Harkins Safety Policy – We will be reviewing the entire policy and verifying that it is up to date with best practices in the industry, including the addition of heat and cold stress programs, ergonomics, working alone, and a leading indicator program.
  • Safety Manual – All sections will be restructured into separate documents to provide employee-owners an easier way to search and access specific information.
  • Safety Exhibit – This exhibit will be enhanced and incorporated into all commonly used documentation as a tool for our field teams.
  • Fire Safety and Temporary Heater Programs – These programs will be upgraded to the new NFPA 241 requirements that began in 2022, including changes to the types of heaters allowed in wood-frame buildings, fire watch durations, and on-site security measures.
  • Safety Submittals – Create a standard procedure for safety submittals and for all new projects to request, receive, and utilize.

Harkins prides itself on making training a top priority for the company. In 2021, we achieved an EMR rating of 0.56, which is the lowest in our company history and truly exceptional. The average rating is 1.0. If your EMR dips below 1.0, this
means you are considered safer than most. This ranking signifies the dedication that we have to safety on our jobsites. We offer Harkins University classes, OSHA10 and OSHA30 certification opportunities, Click Safety webinars, toolbox talks, and quarterly Safety Stand-downs as a way of educating our field personnel on various safety rules and regulations.
We plan to implement Shaping Accident-Free Environment (SAFE) workshops to explore why individual employee-owners continue to be at-risk in spite of regulations in place, allowing them to be directly involved in a new culture of creating an incident-and-injury-free workplace.

With the help of our marketing team and safety committee, we have completed the filming of a new corporate safety orientation video that will be shown to all trade partners before they enter the jobsite. This replaces our current video with more up-to-date industry standards and company policies that we feel will better educate our partners.

With these changes and more in the coming years, Harkins will continue to be a leading contractor with safety top of mind.

Safety Orientation Video

Harkins Celebrates Grand Opening of USO Quantico Marine Corps Base

Quantico, VA

On Tuesday, February 15th, Harkins celebrated the grand opening of the USO Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore Quantico Marine Corps Base (MCB).

The new location is made up of 5,100 sf within walking distance of the Barracks and Garrison Headquarters. The project involved the restoration of an existing office building into a premier gaming center. The building now features offices spaces, a conference room, multiple lounge areas, a TV room, arcade, cafe, support space, and ADA compliant restrooms. The exterior was pressure washed and touched up with a fresh coat of paint. With the help of our employee-owners, the design team, and trade partners, we were able to cut down construction costs to allow the USO to continue doing what they do best, providing support for our service members and their families across the country.

Quote from Lisa Marie Riggins

​​​​​​​Harkins’ history with the USO dates back over 30 years. It all started when late President J.P. Blase Cooke attended a USO ball and met his wife. Since he started at Harkins, we built a strong relationship with the organization through various philanthropic contributions and aiding in the construction of various USO lounges and centers across the East Coast. Along with USO Quantico MCB, Harkins recently completed a USO lounge at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and an All-Star Depot in Ft. Belvoir, VA. We look forward to our continued partnership to give back to our men and women in uniform.

Grand Opening Photos

Harkins Breaks Ground in Charlottesville

Friendship Court Groundbreaking

Charlottesville, VA

On January 15th, Harkins celebrated the groundbreaking of the Friendship Court Redevelopment Phase I project in Charlottesville, VA. The event was open to the public, both in-person and virtually. The groundbreaking attracted over 150 guests that included representatives from the Piedmont Housing Alliance, Portico Church, and the City of Charlottesville.

Friendship Court’s redevelopment will be the largest construction of low-income housing for the area in over 20 years. A multi-phased project, Phase 1 will consist of 106 units with buildings 1 and 2 totaling 35 stacked townhome-style units, while building 3 will include a one-level structured parking garage and three levels as a wood-framed, center corridor apartment building. The project is one of the few Passive House projects in the state of Virginia that is designed as a highly coveted, energy-efficient community, built to rigorous standards for insulation and energy use. This will be Harkins’ third Passive House project in two years.

​​​​​​​As part of Harkins’ 2025 Strategic Plan, our goal is to be resourceful and develop core business sectors in our current regions that will allow us to gain and maintain a footprint in our newly established Richmond & Tidewater region. The Friendship Court project will allow Harkins to continue to expand into this region as we look forward to future developments in the market.