Safety Tour of America: Murphy Co. Built on Passion for Safety

The largest mechanical contractor in St. Louis and 17th largest in the U.S., Murphy, like GPRS, views safety as a part of its culture

Safety Tour of America: Murphy Co. Built on Passion for Safety

The largest mechanical contractor in St. Louis and 17th largest in the U.S., Murphy, like GPRS, views safety as a part of its culture

In 1882, John C. Murphy immigrated to St. Louis, Missouri from Ireland, determined to create a better life for him and his family. 

Twenty-five years later, the John C. Murphy Plumbing Co. was born.

Fast forward to present day, and Murphy Co. is the largest mechanical contractor in St. Louis and the 17th largest in the United States. The firm now has more than 300 salaried workers and 900 union craft workers in the pipefitter, boilermaker, plumber, sheet metal, HVAC, and laborer trades.

Safety is at the heart of everything Murphy Co. has accomplished over its 116 years of existence. They aim to ensure that all their employees – and anyone else in and around their job sites – get home safe at the end of each workday. 

“At Murphy Company, we believe that we are obligated to protect the human, physical and financial resources of both our company and our clients,” reads the Murphy Co. website. “We recognize our responsibility to manage our business in a manner that will effectively conserve and utilize these resources. It is our belief that all incidents occur as a result of a specific cause or causes and are therefore, preventable…”

Murphy Co.’s safety practices are built around the following initiatives and prevention practices:


  • Comply with all applicable rules and regulations as set forth by OSHA and the client.
  • Hold Managers and Supervisors at all levels accountable for the safety performance of their operations.
  • Provide a safe and healthful workplace free from recognized hazards.
  • Provide necessary instruction and protective equipment and measures when hazardous work must be performed.
  • Provide professional personnel to support the Safety and Health Program and to monitor performance.
  • Recognize incident prevention as an integral part of all operational activity and not a separate program.


  • Effectively pre-planning work to eliminate accidents and injuries.
  • Implementing a zero-tolerance policy for items that keep employees safe.
  • Providing a high level of training to ensure that employees are up-to-date on industry standards and the best safety protocols. 

Murphy Co.’s commitment to safety is evident in the safety milestones the company has reached. The firm recorded 2,828,607 consecutive hours without a lost time injury; 740,223 consecutive hours without a recordable injury; and 56 days – 262,456 consecutive hours – with zero injuries nationwide.

In 2022, Murphy’s Vice President of Safety and Quality, Ricky Reams, was named the Mechanical Contractors Association of America’s (MCAA) Mechanical Industry Safety Professional of the Year. 

In 2021, Murphy took home two awards at the 28th annual American Subcontractors Association (ASA): 2021 Outstanding MEP Subcontractor Category A and 2020 Division I Safety Award.

Three men and a woman pose for a photo.
Murphy Co.’s Vice President of Safety and Quality, Ricky Reams, receives the 2020 Division 1 Safety Award on behalf of Murphy.

“At Murphy Company, safety is our number one core value,” Reams said. “Employee well-being is our number one core value. It is what we build and strive to achieve in every project.”

“It’s a culture here,” added Murphy’s Loss Control Director, Chris Hamilton. “We don’t have it as a priority, a commitment, or a goal – those things change all the time.”

Murphy Co. has for years been one of GPRS’ valued safety partners, and our team members have seen firsthand the former’s passion and commitment to keeping everyone safe.

“You can step away from everyone on site and watch the work in progress and see everyone adhering to the safety program that was laid out in orientation,” said GPRS Project Manager Jeff Hughart. “This is huge to me because not only does it show that they want their employees to go home safe and sound to their families, but it also aligns with our perspective on how we approach safety here at GPRS.”

For their part, Murphy’s safety leaders say they appreciate how GPRS adds to their safety practices through our suite of infrastructure visualization services. 

“Just knowing we have the backing of your safety and professionalism on the job site really partners with us well,” Hamilton said.

“GPRS is the absolute best locating company we’ve ever worked with,” Reams added. “I’d recommend you guys, across the board, to any of our trade partners – any company anywhere, really.”

GPRS is proud to have partners who value safety as much as we do, and we love to highlight that shared passion. Our elite Project Managers use only the most advanced technology to conduct utility locates, concrete scans, video pipe inspections, and other infrastructure visualization services, ensuring companies such as Murphy Co. can Intelligently Visualize The Built World™ while keeping their projects on time and on budget, and their people safe.

We are currently scheduling the second phase of our Safety Tour of America, where we visit with our valued safety partners to highlight their efforts and our shared commitment to getting their crews home safely every night. If you want to be a part of this initiative, click here.