This is how construction industry safety innovation happens

What does college basketball have to do with construction site safety? As President/CEO Deb Hilmerson entered her 30th year in the construction industry, she sat down with Finance & Commerce reporter Kelly Busche to describe her interesting career path and what motivates her to design products that solve some of the construction industry’s most serious safety concerns.

During the interview, Hilmerson recounts how playing basketball for the University of Minnesota gave her the connection she needed to enter the construction industry after graduating college. She then takes Busche through her career highlights, including spending nearly a decade working for Mortensen.

Hilmerson launched Hilmerson Safety® in 2001 and traveled the globe as a sought-after safety consultant. In 2017, her company pivoted to inventing world class safety products and solutions to sell to general contractors. The first was the Hilmerson Safety Rail System™, a reusable, durable guardrail system designed to replace wobbly, wasteful and labor intensive 2×4 wooden guardrails. “This solves a safety and a productivity problem,” she explains to Busche.

The Hilmerson Safety Rail System™ is designed for the general contractor to buy and reuse, much as they would a forklift or scaffolding.

“The ROI is about 2.5 times,” Hilmerson explains. “By continuing to rent it to their projects, they are creating a new revenue stream.”

She elaborates, “All of our products are designed around using made-in-America construction-grade™ materials, reusability, being fast to install and come in kits to be easily stacked, transported and stored.”

Hilmerson Safety Rail System™ is now used on several major projects around the country including as fall protection for the 2021 Super Bowl. “That’s really exciting,” exclaims Hilmerson, who adds that workers are constantly approaching her to say how much safer they feel with her system. “What makes me happy is going to a jobsite, knowing they are protected and seeing them smile.”

What’s next on the Hilmerson Safety® drawing boards?

“I’m never going to stop innovating,” Hilmerson proclaims. “We’ll continue to build lean, efficient products for our customers.” She adds that her customers are very willing to talk with her about their safety concerns, which gets her wheels turning. “If we can afford to engineer new products and solutions, we’ll do it.”

Finance & Commerce Interview

About Hilmerson Safety

Hilmerson Safety® is a full-service safety product design and manufacturing company serving the construction industry. Since 2001 Hilmerson Safety® has been working with construction industry leaders and contractors to develop safe, lean, construction-grade™ products and solutions that add to the company’s bottom line.

For more information email us or call (952) 239-0125