HELENA — Montana State Fund presented the Montana Building Industry Association (MBIA) with a $539,902 check Thursday morning for their efforts to improve workplace safety.
MBIA instituted a Group Retention Insurance Program, or GRIP, which help foster safe workplaces for construction sites.
“Montana State Fund applauds the efforts and determination of the Montana Building Industry Association’s GRIP program to reduce workplace accidents and send their workers home safely at the end of the day,” said Laurence Hubbard, President and CEO of State Fund. “It is commitment like theirs that will have a lasting and meaningful impact on Montana’s workplace safety culture.”
Montana is near the highest in the nation in workplace accidents and fatalities per capita.
MBIA Executive Director Steve Snezek said taking steps to prevent accidents, especially in the construction industry, can be lifesaving.
“The most important thing is that the worker go home safe to his or her family each night,” said Snezek. “The second thing is we want those workers to come back the next day and help us in the jobs that we do in building homes for Montanans.”
Around 1,500 people participate in GRIP classes each year which provide training for forklift safety, first aid, CPR and more.
“CPR and first aid is very important in the state because of the rural nature of Montana,” said Sean Lawler, Safety director for MBIA. “I think it brings a great level of confidence knowing if there’s an accident they can take care of each other.”
MBIA notes though, the best way to treat an injury is not to have one.
The funds from the check will be distributed among MBIA group members that use State Fund as their workers’ compensation insurance company.