TISSA Enterprises: Safety Comes First

On any job site, contractors can never been too careful. In this high hazard industry, keeping employees safe is as big a concern as completing a project on time or in budget. For one company in particular, one accident is one accident too many.

Adissa Barry and Frank Murphy founded Tissa Enterprises Inc. (TEI) in 2001, pursuing their version of the American dream. From the very beginning, they focused on extending that dream to their employees, and made safety a cornerstone of TEI’s operations.

“It is our belief that all injuries and work-related illnesses can be prevented,” says Adissa Barry, president of the Baltimore-based general and electrical contracting firm.  “With this in mind, our shared goal from upper management down to every last employee is simple – zero incidents.”

To achieve zero incidents, in February, 2014, TEI implemented the Safety – Own it! Program, which aims to increase and improve communication when a crew sees something unsafe; encourages anyone at any level to reinforce a safe work culture; and confirms that it is okay to give safety feedback to supervisors, managers, or people in other work groups.

“At TEI, we know that each person, from the newest crew member to the CEO, should be equally as accountable for safe work practices and creating a safe work place,” says Frank Murphy, the company’s COO. “Our employees are important assets and that their safety and health at TEI work sites is our greatest responsibility.  Occupational safety and health will not be compromised to the demands of project schedule, production or cost.  Every employee deserves to work in a safe place and deserves to go home to their families every day after work.”

To further ensure workers and job sites remain safe, TEI involves its crews in creating Jobsite Hazard Analyses (JHAs) for all major work phases.  In addition to weekly tool-box safety meetings, on each job site, TEI holds daily pre-work safety meetings to cover the work tasks, associated hazards, and work procedures. The management team also conducts frequent safety evaluations of jobs.

All new employees must go through orientation and safety training programs. Ongoing safety training is provided to workers specifically related to the project scope of work.  TEI also partners with its clients, primarily data centers, research laboratories, health care facilities, and military installations, to ensure workplace safety. Recent projects include the RV Truit in Solomons Island, Maryland; the US Customs House Fire Alarm Replacement in Baltimore; and the Annapolis Commissary and Navy Exchange.

For their effort to achieve zero safety incidents, TEI rewards exceptional employees through a safety recognition program. When safety issues do arise, TEI follows up with corrective measures through its thorough accident and injury reporting system, and its safety violation/misconduct enforcement program.

TEI’s commitment to safety has the industry taking notice. In 2015, TEI received the STEP Award from the Baltimore Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors: The STEP Award is given to companies that meet or exceed safety training and education expectations.

At the end of the day, though, the biggest reward is that employees continue to pursue their American dream and go home safe.