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story.lead_photo.caption Tatum Excavating Co. Inc. has been recognized for the second time with the Lone Star Safety Award. This award, given every two years, recognizes an organization for strict compliance with safety guidelines as determined by the state of Texas Department of Insurance. (Submitted photo)

Tatum Excavating Co. Inc. has been recognized for the second time with the Lone Star Safety Award.

This award, given every two years, recognizes an organization for strict compliance with safety guidelines as determined by the state of Texas Department of Insurance.

"Many years ago, we volunteered to participate in the Oshcon Consultation Program," said Ross Sarine, vice president of Tatum Excavating Co. "The Department of Insurance sends out an inspector, checks you for safety compliance in detail, according to their standards. They do this once a year, an auditor, when on the program. They note compliances as well as deficiencies. Over the course of years, consistent compliance puts you in the running for the Lone Star Safety Award."

The program, free for participation, is intended to encourage safety compliance for the organizations in the program. Tatum Excavating Company, Inc., received a plaque denoting the company's accomplishment. Also, they get to use the honor in their own promotions and marketing.

Sarine said Tatum, with its staff of 50, is a team effort to maintain that level of safety standards.

"Our compliance is field-based," he said. "We have a safety culture at this company. Rather than it being pressed top-down, ours comes from the bottom up. Everyone knows the standards and seeks to achieve."

This also helps them save on insurance costs.

"Our insurance payments are based on workman's compensation," he said. "The less our people file such claims, the lower our costs remain."

Tatum started in 1986. Sarine joined the company in 2003 and became an owner-partner in 2011.

"We do excavation and road building," he said. "Texarkana-based, we do that kind of work for municipalities and general contractors."

One of their main projects is the work on the new taxiway at Texarkana Regional Airport.

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