NSTAR News

Our Globally Recognized Incident-Free Workplace Ambassador

April 06, 2020

By Marty Kornegay

After nine years with NSTAR, and 45 years of construction experience, Michael (Mick) Duffy has seen it all. Currently, he serves as a tool install construction coordinator with one of our customers on the East Coast. He has lived up to our NSTAR Global Services name, with experience working in 16 countries.

Picture 1: Mick with Captain America (he’s the one of the left)

These years of experience have not gone unnoticed. In fact, Mick is one of three final global contenders for a customer’s 2020 Incident-Free Workplace Ambassador Award. The nomination process involved several members of his team. Mick was nominated by his project coordinator, ratified by the contractors’ safety personnel on-site, then met with the safety, health and environment (SHE) director to finalize the nomination.

The project manager has seen Mick successfully carry out our No. 1 goal, around the clock: to provide quality tool installations, safely. And sometimes the best things in life are unexpected! Mick wasn’t familiar with this safety award until he was nominated, which speaks to his integrity.

What drives Mick to be so focused on safety? It’s the people around him! It’s his family, his friends and his colleagues. Safety doesn’t just affect the individual, it has a ripple effect which affects those around us. A big part of his life is his family: his wife of 41 years and their son. But even his team at work has made an impact on who he is and his perspective on the importance of safety.

Picture 2: Meet Mick’s family: his parents, wife, son, and son’s girlfriend

Every person knows someone in this world who cares about them. Mick shared, “These are the people in your lives that you don’t want to hurt, right? This is why I take time every day to talk to all of my contractors even if it’s just to say ‘good morning.’ I make it personal. I let them know I care about them and that they are not just numbers on a spreadsheet. I get to know them, their wives’ and kids’ names, what they do on weekends, what vacations they take and then I remind them that, to continue to have all these things, they need to be safe, every minute of every day.” For example, Mick’s whole team knows he is Scottish, an avid Celtic football fan and a member of the Mensa high IQ society, and most importantly, how much he values time with his family.

By making the honest, authentic effort to make his work relationships personal, Mick has had a positive, lasting influence on his team. The team responds well to his approach, knowing he really cares. When Mick meets his team’s families, he reminds them to keep saying “come home safe.” The outcome has been significant. Team members regularly tell Mick that when they hear this statement, it always makes them think. They take a moment to step back, and consider what they are doing, why they are doing it and who they are doing it for.

Within the Incident-Free Workplace program, Mick has encouraged the contractors to approach him with regular feedback. By having this open line of communication, they are able to strengthen the team’s trust and increase its operational efficiency. Mick is a strong believer that each team is only as strong as its weakest link. He also emphasizes that good housekeeping and timeliness can make a world of difference. By incorporating consistent routines with constant attention to safety, construction projects are much smoother.

Picture 3, 4: A recent site Mick and team worked on, following consistent, safe routines.

Mick says the bottom line is that “all colleagues should be treated like they are family, so there can be a safe and happy work environment. I’ve seen this connection, because an incident-free workplace is a far happier place to work than the alternative.”

So to Mick, thank you for living out our culture! Good luck to you and the other nominees. Whether or not you win, your commitment to a safe work environment, while also fostering a true team atmosphere where successful people want to work, is already a win in our book.