Committed to Zero Injuries

two workers working on an outlet

January 12, 2024

At Interstates, an unwavering focus on safety isn’t just a priority—it’s a hallmark of our success. Evidenced by multiple milestones and accolades, including one million man-hours without a recordable injury for the fourth time in eight years, our safety culture sets us apart in the industry. “Culture-focused safety for our team members is non-negotiable. We’re willing to do whatever it takes to keep our family safe,” says Dave Los, Vice President of Operations at Interstates.

Almost two decades ago, the company worked hard to move from a compliance-focused safety model to a behavior based approach. “After a significant event, we zeroed in on keeping our family safe at all costs, fostering a culture that champions safety,” adds Los. Building a comprehensive safety culture was not without its hurdles. According to Ian Seuser, Director of Safety at Interstates, one of the key challenges was ensuring buy-in for this zero-injury culture across the organization. “The immense growth the company has seen and accelerated client schedules have posed their own difficulties,” Seuser mentions.

A Competitive Edge

The company’s commitment to safety serves as a critical differentiator in the market. “We don’t just say ‘safety first;’ we live it out every day in every situation. This allows us to work with some of the most safety-conscious clients in the industry,” Los explains. Seuser concurs, saying, “Leaders stand up and push back if there are safety concerns. Operations ultimately owns the safety of our team members.”

A Legacy of Achievements

Interstates has consistently raised the bar when it comes to safety milestones. For the fourth time in eight years, our organization achieved one million man-hours without a recordable injury. We also garnered several prestigious awards, including CURT’s Construction Industry Safety Excellence (CISE) Award for outstanding safety management and improvements. Companies that receive this award have an aggressive safety program that goes above and beyond safety regulations and the CURT safety program, and it is only given to one company among specialty trades of a similar size. We also recently received the South Dakota Governor’s Safety Award of Honor. This award distinguishes Interstates for valuing the safety and health of its employees. Notably, the company’s Incident and DART rates for 2022 were 82.5% and 88.0% better than industry averages, respectively.

"You Matter, I Care" Initiative

Interstates has a forward-looking safety roadmap that includes investing resources in mental health, safety equipment, and training. “We will never give up on putting safety first. No matter our growth trajectory, we will keep that family core value real and ensure that our team members are not just a number,” says Seuser. Along these lines, Interstates recently launched a new program called “You Matter, I Care,” aiming to deepen the interpersonal relationships among team members. “When you know your teammates better—know about their families, jobs, outside interests, and dreams—you will care more about them and ultimately work to keep them safe,” says Los.

Safety at Interstates is not just a checkmark on a list—it’s a core tenet, a competitive edge, and a family value. By instilling a culture that goes beyond rule-following to one that lives and breathes safety, Interstates sets a benchmark not just for itself but for the industry at large.