Archive for June, 2015

Access Controls Showcase

Friday, June 12th, 2015

In April, Egan hosted a networking and information session focused on security and access controls solutions. A group of customers learned how Egan and our product partners can equip buildings with security and monitoring systems.

Egan will continue to host these facility-focused events with customers by providing insights and resources to streamline their facility needs.

Each session will provide networking opportunities and valuable information on the many trades services needed for the life of your building.

Interested in getting information about future events? Contact us at

Award in Safety Excellence

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Several institutions are weighing in on Egan Company’s commitment to providing a safe and healthy workplace for employees, and the results have been glowing.

Jeff HawthorneThese awards affirm the great strides we’ve made to uphold safety at Egan, but there is much more work to do in order to reach our ultimate zero-injury goal. We must continue to empower all employees to voice their safety concerns and promote the imperative need for safety at every opportunity.

– Jeff Hawthorne, Egan Company Senior Vice President

Minnesota Safety Council

Egan Company received four Governor’s Safety Awards for achieving safety records better than the industry average in 2014, including an Outstanding Achievement Award and three Meritorious Achievement Awards.

National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA)

Nietz Electric, a Rochester-based brand of Egan, received two awards from NECA. The Zero-Injury Award was given to recognize a full year without recordable incidents and the Safety Excellence Award distinguishes exceptional safety programs based on comparisons to BLS data and other electrical contractors.

Minnesota Vikings tour InterClad shop

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

The crew recently interviewed Egan Company leaders about our role in the Minnesota Multi-Purpose Stadium development. President & CEO Jim Malecha and Senior Vice President Tim Woolworth discussed the stadium’s unique curtainwall geometry as well as the project’s historic significance for Egan and for the State of Minnesota.

“I think it’s going to be great for our state. It’s a showpiece. It’s something we can be very proud of,” said Malecha.

Read the full Vikings article and watch the video at

Summit Brews in Newest Expansion

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

2015_SummitBrewingExpansion (9)The Summit Brewing Company has seen popularity and demand skyrocket in recent years. Though they’re well-known for producing craft beer, they are by no means a small operation. The Summit headquarters in St. Paul, Minn., is the 28th largest brewery in the U.S., and it’s where Egan recently completed a revamp of electrical infrastructure for their newest expansion.

Summit began their ambitious development initiative in 2012, which included construction of a brand-new cellar (prior to Egan involvement) and then the purchasing and repurposing of an adjacent facility. The refurbished facility contains several new additions, and the entire electrical layout needed to be rearranged to accommodate the new equipment.

“Summit leaned on us to make the facility mesh together well,” said Mitch Schanus, Egan Company Foreman, “which is crucial when you’re looking to house an office, bar, and brewery environment in one building.”

When Summit’s primary electrical person retired several years ago, Egan was brought on thanks, in part, to an old connection. Egan Project Manager Randy Kalthoff and Summit COO Tom Thomasser had worked on a construction project together twenty years earlier in La Cross, Wisc. Kalthoff recognized the name on a project bid and reached out soon after.

“Tom and the Summit team started with a pretty general layout in mind for the building,” said Kalthoff. “Our expertise helped fill in the gaps to get them the most out of the space available.”

Egan worked with Summit’s broad specifications to essentially design and build the entire facility’s refurbishments.
The grand opening for the revamped facility took place in April, with Egan and Summit employees, beer enthusiasts, and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman in attendance. All of Summit’s facilities now receive regular maintenance from Egan electricians, a pleasant task when paired with a quick trip to the beer hall after a hard day’s work.

The Summit Brewing Project is a refurbished, 40,000 square foot, industrial/office facility with 3.5 acres of land. The work entailed complete rewiring, upgraded main service, new LED lighting, and a remodel of infrastructure for the office, training room, kitchen, and bar areas.

Egan Services Performed: Design-build of electrical infrastructure.

Becoming America’s Safest

Monday, June 8th, 2015

The construction industry’s stance on workplace safety has drastically changed in the past century. Increased demand for safer work environments has led to many innovations, new legislation, and a noticeable drop in workplace injuries/deaths.

Paul HartmanEgan has set the standard for other contractors to follow. By having Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) mandatory 100% of the time, it shows that everyone wants to see us return home safe to our families every day.

– Paul Hartman, Egan Company Electrical Foreman

These trends are encouraging, but there is no such thing as an ideal ratio. You can’t measure a tragedy’s impact by how many times it occurs, and citing statistical improvements does nothing to subdue the personal impact of a work-related injury or death. The only positive result comes from finding the will to do better by expanding the role of safety.

GantryUnloading1Egan Company first established a safety department in 1986. Having been founded in 1945, it may surprise some that Egan had gone over forty years without a dedicated safety program.

“There was widespread recognition of the seemingly inherent risks to construction back then,” said Larry Hanson, Egan Company Safety Director. “Some larger projects even had the predicted ‘acceptable’ number of deaths calculated beforehand in the scope.”

Getting hurt was a given, entrenched deep within the minds of those who worked in construction. To give you an idea, here is an excerpt from the American Electricians’ Handbook (published in 1932) about testing circuits for voltages: “The presence of low voltages can be determined by ‘tasting…If voltage is present, a peculiar mildly burning sensation results, which will never be forgotten after one has experienced it.”

FloorCrane1The construction industry’s safety expectations thankfully changed, and so too did Egan’s.

Egan has evolved a “zero-injury” policy. This more aggressive stance pushed the company to internally develop a proactive approach to safety, including initiatives like pre-workday safety plans, 100% eyewear/gloves, and the blue hardhat program for new employees.

Egan’s safety department continued to develop beyond focusing solely on compiling impressive statistics, unveiling a new program identity, “Safety Brings You Home,” that emphasizes Egan’s focus on protecting people.

[Shawn ColletteEgan’s] safety program goes above and beyond all programs I have seen in my 20 years on the job. When we work with other contractors, they often adopt our standards, making the job a safer environment for all.

– Shawn Collette, Egan Company Pipefitter Foreman

It marked the start of a transformational era for the company. Egan’s Incident Rates has progressed from 7.71 (2000) to 2.04 (2014).

This past year, Egan was named one of America’s Safest Companies by Environmental Health & Safety Today magazine in recognition of sustained safety excellence beyond industry expectations.

Egan continues to move forward in the belief that work-related injuries are preventable, but we can never claim to control all the variables. What we can control is how we collectively work together and support each other to promote safety.

Training to Work and Live Safely

Sunday, June 7th, 2015

safetytrainingphotoSafety awareness is essential in construction, something Chuck Roberts, Egan Company Plumbing Foreman, learned quickly while on the Southdale Medical Office Building jobsite in Edina, Minn.

He noticed a woman with a seeing-eye dog struggling to navigate around the construction. Roberts went to her and asked her where she needed to go and safely walked her around to the other side of the block.

“She was confused and could have put herself in danger,” Roberts said. “Since this is our jobsite, I felt I had to do something to help keep her safe.”

Andy Forsberg, Superintendent at PCL Construction, was impressed that Roberts took the time to help this woman. “He is a very busy guy running the parking ramp, base building, and a build-out on level four,” Forsberg said. “The crew on this site has a great attitude toward safety.”

Jobsite Awareness

At Egan Company, we are committed to providing all employees with a safe and healthy place of employment. One of the ways we do this is by investing in safety training resources for employees.

“One way we empower our employees to ensure their own safety in the workplace is by providing all necessary skills and information through training,” said Larry Hanson, Egan Company Safety Director.

safetycpr (2)Egan has a full-time safety team that facilitates regular safety training for all employees. Training is provided through weekly jobsite toolbox talks, task specific training, and online courses offered for employees to gain safety knowledge and experience.

Many of these trainings are tailored for jobsite and construction site employees, such as OSHA 10 & 30, defensive driving, and boom, scissor, and fork lift operation.

However, many Egan employees have taken what they’ve learned in their safety trainings into their everyday lives.

Ashley Czichray, Egan Company Plumber, was recently leaving a jobsite and witnessed a pedestrian get struck by a taxi. She was forced to think quickly and recall what she had learned in her various safety trainings.

After calling 911, she made sure to not move the injured woman. She then covered the woman with coats to keep her warm and comfortable until the ambulance arrived.

Safety Awareness at Home

Administrative and office staff also take safety training classes, including CPR and First Aid, in order to be prepared in any situation, at work or at home.

Chris Jarombek, Egan Company Account Manager, utilized his CPR and First Aid education just three days after taking the class. While up at his family cabin in the Leech Lake area, he joined a group for dinner at a local restaurant, and one patron started to choke. He quickly grabbed him and asked if he was choking. Jarombek performed the Heimlich Maneuver until a piece of food was ejected.

“If I hadn’t attended the CPR/First Aid classes at Egan, I would not have known how to help someone in that terrible situation,” Jarombek said. “I’m not sure I would have had the confidence to immediately snap into action.”

Our company-wide goal is to ensure that any and all injuries be prevented. Any injury to our workers, subcontractors, or other involved parties is not acceptable.

“By providing our employees with the tools to react confidently and quickly, we hope to prevent as many injuries as possible, whether it is on a jobsite, at home, or in public,” Hanson said. 

Giving Back to our local community

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

This Spring, Egan Company stayed active in the community with a few acts of giving. And, some of our employees have been inspired to take the giving spirit into their everyday lives.

DSC_0186Spring Blood Drive

In March, Egan held its semi-annual blood drive through Memorial Blood Centers. Partnering with Insignia Systems, Inc., to help save lives in the community, 39 employees participated to donate a total of 42 units of whole blood, far surpassing our goal of 28.

Todd Fechner, Egan/InterClad Project Manager, first donated at Egan’s Fall Blood Drive in September 2014. He now regularly gives blood platelets every two to three weeks, which directly helps patients undergoing chemotherapy, an organ transplant, or those with weakened immune systems.

“I hadn’t donated in 15 years,” Fechner said. “I want to thank Egan for getting me back into donating blood and saving lives.”

DSC_0380Green Up: Earth Week

Egan celebrated Earth Week with five days of activities and events that showcased how we “Green Up” to care for the environment, including tree plantings, coloring contest for kids, a company hybrid vehicle session, and a local park clean-up.

Egan also gave away hundreds of tree seedlings to employees to plant at home. This event had an impact on our employees, many of whom planted more than one tree.

“We planted the Norway Pines in our backyard. My husband and I have our house already completely surrounded by trees and woods,” said Megan Kunkel, Egan Company Payroll Specialist. “Because a lot of our trees are mature oaks, we are planning ahead for the day that we might lose our oaks to a disease or a storm by planting many new trees.”

On Earth Day, over 40 Egan employees helped clean up Hartkopf Park for the City of Brooklyn Park.

“We’re happy to help the City of Brooklyn Park in any way we can,” said Duane Hendricks, Egan Company Chief Operating Officer. “This park clean-up provided us a great team-building activity, and also enabled Hartkopf Park to continue to be a great place for local families.”