Mark Rook of AMS Mechanical Systems Inc. credits his company’s “safety culture” for its low accident and injury rates. 

The Burr Ridge, Ill.-based company’s recordable Occupational Safety and Health Administration incident rate of 0.76 was good enough to win an award from the Chicago chapter of the Mechanical Contractors Association. 

AMS won in the 1 million to 3 million hours worked category. 

“It is an honor to be recognized by MCA Chicago, an achievement that speaks volumes about our culture of safety at AMS,” said John Berzanskis, the company’s president and CEO. “We take safety seriously and communicate our safety philosophy to employees in a variety of ways.  We’re fortunate to have a staff and workforce that embraces the culture, and live it in their daily work.”

For Rook, who is the company’s safety director, there is more to just practices in ensuring a safe workplace. Company officials point out that AMS has an incident rate more than 50 percent below national averages. 

“A positive safety culture begins with senior management and must be communicated to employees on a daily basis,” he said. “There are three key factors to developing an incident-free work environment.  It’s imperative to have a commitment from senior management.  There must be a safety program in place.  And employees must understand why safety rules are in place and practice them before they need to use them. Our employees practice safety principles 24/7 — not just on the jobsite.”