The UP Companies and KAI Corporate Safety Director Steve Richardson Named 2021 Safety Professional of the Year

(St. Louis, MO, May 19, 2022) The UP Companies (UPCO) and sister company KAI Enterprises is proud to announce that their joint Corporate Safety Director Steve Richardson has been named the 2021 Safety Professional of the Year by the St. Louis Chapter of the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP). KAI and UPCO Assistant Safety Director and ASSP Secretary Nate Richardson, CSP, CHST, Steve Richardson’s son, had the honor of presenting the award to his father during the association’s annual Membership Appreciation Night on May 5, 2022.

“Each year the St. Louis Chapter of ASSP selects a safety professional that has furthered the specialty of safety for their company, community, chapter and industry,” said ASSP St. Louis Chapter President Steve Williams. “Steve Richardson has been an outstanding member of the St. Louis Chapter of ASSP. The board has selected Steve because he not only meets but exceeds the criteria of what we look for in a Safety Professional of the Year.”

KAI and UPCO hired Richardson as Corporate Safety Director in 2017. With more than 43 years of AEC industry safety experience, Richardson focused his efforts on developing and managing a “Construction Design and Build Safety Program” for general contractor KAI Build and UPCO’s business units Power UP Electrical Contractors, Square UP Builders and Hustle UP Laborers.

Since joining KAI and UPCO, both companies have reported zero lost workdays through 2021 and continued declining EMR rates to 0.60. In 2019, the Associated General Contractors of Missouri (AGCMO) presented KAI with an Outstanding Safety Performance award (25,000-50,000 hours) for work performed on the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis Teen Center of Excellence in Ferguson, Missouri. Power UP also received a Zero Recordable Accidents and Outstanding Safety Performance award (10,000-25,000 hours) for work performed on the new Fairfield Inn & Suites in Downtown St. Louis. Square UP earned an Outstanding Safety Performance award (up to 10,000 hours) for its work on the Enterprise Center Seating & Suites project in Downtown St. Louis. Additionally, Power UP was awarded the Independent Electrical Contractors National CNA Safety Award in 2019. In the past five years alone, The UP Companies’ hours have increased from around 250,000 to nearly 600,000.

“Steve’s extensive safety knowledge and AEC industry experience have been a tremendous asset to both companies,” said KAI and UPCO CEO Michael B. Kennedy. “There is nothing more important than keeping our workers safe on the job and able to return home to their families every night, and Steve knows exactly what it takes to accomplish that goal. We are also grateful for the important work he is doing training the next generation of safety professionals by working with his son Nate.”

Richardson has a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Safety Engineering from the University of Central Missouri. He is also certified as an OSHA Construction Outreach Trainer and is a member of the National Safety Council, American Society of Safety Engineers, Mid-Missouri Associated General Contractors (AGC) Executive Safety and Health Committee, St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers Substance Abuse and Safety Committee, and the American Society of Healthcare Engineers.

“I am honored to receive the Safety Professional of the Year Award for 2021. This award is special because it is a recognition by my peers. It is gratifying to work with such a close-knit group of safety professionals in the Greater St. Louis Area. Through the ASSP and other local groups, we have developed close relationships with OSHA, other regulatory agencies, and each other in a way that promotes the safety profession, our individual industries and future professionals like no other group I know,” said Richardson. “It was even more special that my son Nate presented me with the award. Nate, like so many other young safety professionals, will continue to promote the ideals of the profession and continue to advance the goal of making sure every worker goes home safe and healthy.”