Xcel Mechanical Introduces New Safety Director

GARDENA, CA – When Steve Prisk walked into Xcel Mechanical Systems’ front door in early 1999, this proud third-generation union sheet metal worker became the new firm’s first-ever sheet-metal man.

“I was superintendent of myself,” he joked.

In the years since, Prisk has worn many important hats at Xcel Mechanical as the company has grown into one of Southern California’s recognized industry leaders in large-scale mechanical and plumbing engineering, design-build, and construction firms, including overseeing the company’s Sheet Metal Division and also its front-edge Building Information Modeling (BIM) team.

But with decades of construction industry experience under his belt, this former U.S. Marine Corps sergeant and Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopter crew chief knows that this command might just be the most important of his career.

“My job is to make sure that all Xcel Mechanical employees stay healthy and safe, and go home to their loved ones each day. And in the construction industry, that’s huge,” he said. “We achieve this by doing all we can to create and provide a hazard-free, safe work environment for all employees.”

Prisk said Job No. 1 is to oversee the continued development of the company’s existing Injury and Illness Prevention Program. And just as importantly, to communicate as effectively as possible to all company employees where Xcel Mechanical is succeeding, and where tweaks are needed.

“Communication is the absolute key,” he said. “We have a solid safety program in place. But getting mission-critical information out to the field in a timely manner can be a challenge for safety directors across the contracting business landscape. But we have excellent tools in place, and they are working.”

Important, he said, because OSHA is ramping up its requirements that contractors get certain mandatory postings out to the field – and to job sites – in what can be a very fluid environment. “We will succeed, but our employees must know that we all have a stake in this. All contractors across the country must remain OSHA compliant to stay in business. It is a huge priority for this company, and we will continue to earn high marks on all safety compliance rules and regulations.”

It didn’t always used to be this way.

Prisk said he remembers the days when less emphasis was placed on worker and workplace safety. But those were also the days when, U.S. Labor statistics show, far more U.S. workers were getting severely injured on construction job sites, or worse.

“The entire construction industry is now very aware, because now it affects their bottom line,” he said.

“If our MOD rate isn’t where it needs to be, there are facilities we wouldn’t be allowed to enter, and projects we wouldn’t be allowed to bid. And that would not be good,” he said.

“Every employee has skin in this game. It’s their safety, first and foremost. But it’s time to think of safety as important to our core business as anything else we do.”

About Xcel Mechanical Systems, Inc.
Xcel Mechanical Systems is one of Southern California’s recognized industry leaders in large-scale mechanical and plumbing engineering, design-build, and construction. Building owners, general contractors and consultants trust Xcel Mechanical to deliver cost-effective solutions that make buildings more comfortable, energy efficient, and easier to manage. We specialize in the Aerospace, Healthcare, Education, Data Center, Government, Commercial, and Entertainment sectors. For more information, please visit: www.xcelmech.com