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Learn From America's Safest Companies

Next week, EHS Today hosts its second annual conference and celebration of the recipients of the 2013 Safest Companies In America award. Last year’s first time conference was the best safety event I have attended; mainly because the presenters and attendees were some of the most recognized companies in America for safety success. The multiple educational tracks were outstanding, but the time spent with attendees and fellow presenters at dinner and over drinks was even more useful. One can genuinely learn from attendees, and yes, I’ll be buying drinks again on behalf of Fisher Phillips, so come see us.

In honor of that event and also in recognition of the beginning of the selection process for next year’s 2014 Willis – AGC Safety Awards, I am going to share safety ideas that have worked for award winning companies. Today, I’ll start with examples of strategies for “Management Responsibility and Accountability” from last year’s Willis AGC winners ….

  • Project Manager and Superintendent Bonuses impacted by 25% depending on safety performance
  • Company and Subcontractor recordable incidents are investigated, then the project team makes presentation of findings, in-person, to CEO and COO
  • 100% of field management has had the OSHA 30 within the last 3 years
  • Weekly company wide safety conference calls for all project management personnel led by the CEO
  • From Foremen all the way to the Owner of the company are OSHA 30 hour trained
  • Superintendent presents the site specific new hire orientation using a Power Point presentation with pictures
  • Safety Committee with a 4:1 ratio of field employees to management Regional VP committed to a project safety visit at least once per month
  • Subcontractor Safety Summit conducted by Company Presidents and Operations Managers without safety professionals attending. Demonstrates safety standards come from the top
  • Foreman and Superintendent certified as "Competent Persons" in their area of expertise
  • "Brown Bag" safety video conferences conducted by CEO - Recorded for later viewing
  • Superintendent(s) teach an 8 hour class "Effective Safety Dialog With Crews"
  • :CEO "Stop Work" award letters to employees who take action to stop and correct an unsafe activity
  • Quarterly Presidents Safety Walk
  • Field Managers must log in a minimum of 16 hours of continuing safety education each year
  • Supervisory employees are trained to be "Competent Persons" for all work activities on the project - even for workthey may not supervise directly
  • Supervisory employees receive annual Lift Director training by the ACRP Group and also Rigging Inspector certification,
  • Supervisory "Safety Resource Desk" - a resource and research desk with a computer and a library of safety references is maintained at the job trailer to help supervisors learn about safety issues on their own. When supervisors find the answer on their own rather than being told what to do, they learn and retain more
  • Foreman and supervisory "Soft Skills" training on how to handle common people issues
  • In House trainers sent to Dale Carnegie training to improve speaking and team building skills
  • Division Operations managers investigate all incidents/accidents rather than safety department
  • After project completion contractor free OSHA 10 hour training to employees who will lose their job for goodwill, new job marketability, and prevention of fraudulent end of project Workers Compensation claims
  • Job site Safety round table discussions each month hosted and led by the Superintendent
  • Any incident on the project has to be called in to the CEO and the Safety Director the same day
  • "No Crew Left Unsupervised" - program to make sure all crews get the planning and safety management they deserve
  • Senior Management commitment to shake at least 10 workers hands 3 times a month and talk about a specific safety item
  • Senior Management on site, in the excavation, asking field works what they taught you about excavation safety
    "Improve It" cards - cards employees have access to that follow the company safety improvement philosophy of "You said it, We did it"
  • Employees carry "Stop Work" cards in their wallet that are signed by the CEO
  • Monthly safety audits by Executive Safety Task Force with a weighted score, highest scoring jobs win a safety BBQ each quarter
  • Have a motto: "left of zero" to focus on prevention and planning
  • After the first 250 hours of work, new employees are brought back through the process to see how they feel about safety and what the company should do differently in terms of bringing on new employees
  • Supervisor's annual safety retreat
  • No new employee allowed at heights until deemed properly trained by supervisor
  • Surprise mock OSHA inspections
  • SMART goal - Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Timely
  • Entering or pursuing entry into OSHA VPP Program
  • Management accepts responsibility for "failure" that causes accident
  • All supervisors required to attend Behavior Based Safety Course
  • Unannounced job tours by management
  • Safety in the job Title of all Supervisors
  • ACE Program - Accountability/Commitment/Engagement
  • Visit employees home if injured on the Job
  • STS (Safety Trained Supervisor) Training and certifications for All
  • Twice a year safety stand downs to develop a strategic plan.
  • Do not support "Silence" on safety issues
  • Twice a year safety "Town Hall" meetings with CEO
  • R4 People Process - Review, Recognize, Recommend, Reinforce

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