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INTREN’s Midwest South Tulsa, Okla., Department Completes 365 Days of Work Without a Safety Incident


Marking the specialty utility contractor’s fourth departmental safety achievement in five months, INTREN’s Midwest South (MWS) Tulsa, Okla., department reached one-year incident-free as of January 13, 2017. The department successfully completed 365 days of work without an OSHA-recordable or an at-fault utility damage.

“The Tulsa division has truly embraced the INTREN safety culture and the company’s values and integrity,” Account Manager Steve Littrell said. “Their drive and determination to do the work correctly and safely is what has allowed us to reach one-year incident-free.”

The INTREN Tulsa department is working for a major utility to replace both primary and secondary network cable and repair/rebuild manholes and vaults in Tulsa’s downtown underground network. To date they have removed  over 16 miles of cable and installed over 10 miles of primary and secondary cable, while repairing 11 manholes and vaults. Upgrading the city’s network cable system will provide improved electrical reliability and is part of a greater plan to bring about economic growth.

“The success of this division and the other divisions who have reached one-year incident-free in the past five months is due in part to the management INTREN has established,” said Regional Vice President, Midwest Dennis Bednarski. “Littrell has excelled in leading our crews not only in Tulsa, but across the Midwest. His ability to identify talent and grow them as leaders is a major factor in our success.” 

In addition to the MWS Tulsa department, INTREN’s Midwest Central (MWC) Boring, MWS Cincinnati Civil Underground and MWC Substation departments reached one-year incident-free in the past five months.

It has been reported that every six minutes in the United States, an underground utility line is damaged during excavation work.  Thus, it is imperative to instill programs and procedures to better ensure the safety of the professionals as well as the community.  As a result, INTREN is proud to say that we have recently renewed our Gold Shovel Standard Certification.  Aligning with INTREN’s motto that “safety is our number one priority,” the mission of the Gold Shovel Standard is to encourage best-in-class performance through the use of better safety management, thorough measurement, and clear reporting. 

The Gold Shovel Standard is a first-of-its-kind program that allows incentives to be targeted directly to individual excavation companies.  The program consists of two parts in which certification is coupled together with a rating system based on the company’s historical performance in excavation.  The goal of this program is to boost effectiveness and improvement within the industry while keeping safety at the forefront. 

In order to gain certification from the Gold Shovel Standard, a company’s policies and procedures must align with the Gold Shovel Standard’s safety initiatives as well as provide safety training.  Additionally, each company is required to have an internal program for investigating and reporting all damages following an incident.  Finally, each company will receive an EICO score, a measure of a company’s caution when excavating near buried infrastructure, to determine how well the company is keeping up with their initiatives.

INTREN is proud to renew our Gold Shovel Standard Certification and continue implementing our safety initiatives in order to better serve our community and ensure that each employee strives to be OutPerforming. Everyday.

For more information on the Gold Shovel Standard, visit http://www.goldshovelstandard.com/

Midwest Central Substation Department Reaches Milestone through Adherence to INTREN's Safety Culture and Overcoming Challenges

What is usually a rare milestone in the utility construction industry has become more common as INTREN celebrates its third department achieving the one-year incident-free mark this year. The milestone is important in itself, but it came at a time when the Midwest Central (MWC) Substation Group was adding additional labor resources and mentoring a subcontractor.

"The crews in the substation department are in a growth phase," said INTREN MWC Account Manager Sean Hughes. "To come on board, embrace our culture, learn our safety processes and procedures and then perform error free is truly remarkable."

Along with growing the INTREN work force, the crews also mentored the minority subcontractor LiveWire, Inc. This team is working with LiveWire, Inc. employees side-by-side on the project who are included in the incident-free effort.

"The achievement is a huge accomplishment and can be attributed to the training, skill and expertise of our field employees and their adherence to INTREN's safety culture," said Lance Rosenmayer, INTREN President. "To do this while also growing another company shows the dedication, integrity and leadership capabilities of this team."

INTREN is an active participant and leader in ComEd's Safety for Life Rules, as well as many other utility providers' safety initiatives. These rules enforce strict safety standards and procedures which INTREN adheres to on all worksites.

One key procedure that has allowed the MWC Substation Group to achieve this one-year incident-free milestone is creating safe work plans. With constant change in work type and environment, safe work plans are generated for every job, calling attention to safety concerns and allowing discussion on how to address those concerns.

INTREN has earned an Honorable Mention in 'Overall Social Media Presence' category of the MEA Member Social Media Awards. The purpose of the awards is to recognize companies that have made significant contributions to the energy industry and customers through exemplary social media achievements.

Specifically they said that "INTREN tell stories with their posts, they are interesting and fun to read…and even though Facebook still has a small reach, INTREN's videos are doing extremely well."

Utility companies, such as ComEd, WEC Energy Group, Ameren and Consumer's Energy were among some of the winners in different categories.

You can read more about the MEA Social Media Awards @ http://www.midwestenergy.org/social-media-awards.html.

Moving into 2017, INTREN continues to expand its footprint and capabilities coast-to-coast with new projects in the Midwest and on the West Coast, discussions of expanding services to the East Coast, as well as the development of a new service offering.

In the Midwest, INTREN was awarded a contract in September with a major Missouri and Kansas-based utility. The project, which began on October 17, 2016, marks the first time INTREN has performed work with this utility. The work entails distribution cable replacement which includes directional boring and underground electrical work. To best serve the needs of the project, INTREN has also opened a management office in Kansas City, Missouri.

On the west coast, INTREN with its professional services department, L2CMS, is participating as a subcontractor with a comprehensive pole replacement program in central California. The program was developed to provide this west coast utility with a consistent, standardized and managed end-to-end solution for their comprehensive pole replacement program that will increase efficiencies and reduce costs.

Working with two additional partners, the project began in early October with planned inspection of more than 35K electrical poles.  In the first half of 2017, L2CMS will manage the project estimating, project planning and closeout portions of the project, while INTREN will work closely with the team to complete the pole replacement portion.

On the East Coast, INTREN is excited to be in discussions with a major utility regarding underground electrical projects with a goal to open an office in Q2 2017.

INTREN is now offering transmission line construction services. Regional Vice President of West Coast Operations Jason Combs, who has expertise with transmission line construction throughout the Midwest and western United States, will assist in leading this new service.

For more information on INTREN’s developing business and capabilities, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tim Ayers, INTREN’s Director of Safety and Quality, was this year's Keynote Speaker at the 50th Annual Conference for the New England Chapter International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) in Burlington, Vermont.  The Chapter reached out to Tim for his presentation on teamwork and leadership, and received a riveting parallel between the Apollo 13 mission and their own work place challenges.

Tim’s presentation focused on his analysis of the Apollo 13 mission and how the challenges the crew experienced were recognized and dealt with using human performance tools, good planning and procedure adherence.

 

One clear take away from the Apollo mission was the teamwork and clear concise communication between mission control and the astronauts. Tim’s presentation paralleled this to how our workforce can interface and ensure total success of our mission using these same tools.

 

While Tim originally developed his presentation for the electric distribution field, ISA identified that his depiction easily transferred to their own workforce.

 

Attendees came out with the understanding of how this approach led to hazard reduction and risk reduction through teamwork and were energized to work together for the success of their own missions.

 

The New England Chapter's mission statement is to promote professional arboriculture, research and awareness of the benefits of trees in New England.

 

The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) promotes the professional practice of arboriculture and fosters a greater worldwide awareness of the benefits of trees.

For more information on INTREN’s safety and quality standards, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

In the New Year, INTREN will continue its longtime emphasis on safety and damage reduction with a focus on making investments in a well-trained workforce. We have always taken pride in making safety and customer satisfaction come before profit, and we stand with our clients—new and old—in making our industry one in which it is safe to work.

INTREN’s safety initiatives have been extremely effective with 2016 seeing a 15% improvement under Safety and Quality Director, Tim Ayers’ leadership. The improvement translated into a significant reduction in incidents and accidents.

In 2017, INTREN will continue its three-prong approach to addressing safety and a quality workforce, which includes culture, leadership and big data.

Safety Culture Above All Else

Safety has always been a core value at INTREN. It is ingrained into every aspect of our company. Here are just a few ways we help keep our employees and our customers injury-free.

  1. Mandate INTREN’s “Safety Rules for Life”:
    • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) always worn when performing critical tasks
    • Establishing and enforcing a 'Zone of Protection’
    • Always testing before touching
  2. Continuously meet confined and enclosed space safety requirements
  3. Utilize our updated job briefs designed to create more discussion prior to starting each day, at midday and when conditions change
  4. Continue to build our ‘Green Hard Hat Program’, which identifies new workers. This allows our experienced employees to mentor them during their initiation period to our culture of safety

Leadership

For those with a good work ethic and who embrace our safety culture, there is always a path to leadership. Here are five ways we train and encourage those future leaders:

  1. Provide an internal Leadership Academy for ongoing training and development led by Human Resources
  2. Help provide individuals with the tools and knowledge needed to understand how their actions in the field affect the business overall through continued leadership training
  3. Promote more effective forms of communication
  4. Develop and promote leaders who are accountable for their actions, while providing them with the ability to trust our culture and share issues, challenges and mistakes, so others can learn from them
  5. Recognize and promote employees who align with our safety goals

Utilize Big Data

INTREN has always been at the forefront in embracing new technology that makes our business more efficient and safe. Here are two of the exciting ways we are using data to make our job sites injury-free.

  1. Utilize new technologies that analyze field and historical data to provide safety insights
  2. Pivot to focus less on using data to describe incidents, but rather to predict and prevent incidents

At INTREN, we believe by refining our culture, empowering leaders and investing in new technologies, we will continue to raise the bar in performance and safety for our customers, while expanding our workforce, for many years to come.

For more information on INTREN's safety initiatives, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For information on INTREN careers, visit INTREN.com/careers.

At INTREN, we are blessed with so much and it is our social responsibility to share it with others. With gratitude in our hearts, we are proud to have worked with many organizations in our community and across the country this year. Below are some of the organizations we have partnered with in 2016. To learn more about these organizations, please click on their logo.

Illinois

         
         
        
        

 

California


        

Missouri


        

Wisconsin


        

For more information on INTREN’s stewardship initiatives, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

“Culture defines who we are. If we get it right, we strengthen our ability to live our values, achieve our results and win together. There is no problem we cannot solve together.”
—Loretta Rosenmayer, INTREN Founder & CEO

Every day, INTREN is focused on delivering on the promise of stewardship and diversity.  That is obvious with the 100+ organizations that we sponsor and support every year.  Yet, with all we do externally, we wanted to make sure our intended culture was in alignment with our employees, as well.

To test the impact of our efforts, we recently implemented the first INTREN Culture Survey.  Distributed throughout the entire organization by an independent firm—the survey results provided powerful insight into our employees’ day-to-day experiences at INTREN and in-depth feedback for continued improvement and development.

This candid input will further strengthen our ability to be an integrated, unified and culture-oriented company that OutPerforms. Everyday.

For more information on INTREN’s culture, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Recently, JULIE released a new web-based Remote Ticket Entry (RTE) tool that allows excavators to enter and update dig tickets online. Because this new application is web-based, tickets can now be entered from any web-enabled device such as computers or tablets…even phones!

As one of the top five largest Illinois companies that use JULIE, INTREN generates numerous tickets. The remote ticket entry will make that process safer, faster and more efficient.

When the new tool was released, a focused training effort was organized by Matt Kirchman, INTREN's Project Management Office Director, ensuring all users with an RTE account received training on the new system.

"When the new RTE tool became available, we realized that we had a chance to be an industry leader by embracing new technology to help us perform our work more safely and efficiently," says Kirchman. "Not only did we target the group of employees that were using the old desktop application, but we also looked to find people that were previously phoning in tickets. Our goal was to turn them in to RTE users so that they could better provide the information required to get accurate locates on the ground."

Training wrapped up in October, and the tool is now available to all RTE account holders. For more information, visit the Remote Ticket Entry page on the Julie Illinois One-Call System website.