Communication is key in most facets of life and that rings especially true for construction. We have moving parts ranging from order numbers to multi-ton excavators. We also have a lot of people, people that have families and that we see as family. In that spirit, we have made it an annual tradition to host a Safety Summit that is attended by all E&W team members to kick off the year. Our presentation led by the President of E&W and our Vice President of Safety recapped our past, focused on the present, celebrated our achievements and set expectations and goals for the future. Our achievements this year are a particularly important focal point—zero recordable incidents! This breakfast means going home safe, it means a job well done, it means improvement and it means safety excellence.
“Our achievements this year are a particularly important focal point—zero recordable incidents!”
While our entire company attends this breakfast, we would like to share the events and knowledge with you. On behalf of our team, VP of Safety Jason Burroughs has some words to share about this year’s summit.
New Year, New Goals
The New Year is upon us and with zero OSHA recordables for 2017, this new year brings us opportunities to focus on achieving zero injuries in 2018. But to do so we must focus on our programs, trainings, and initiatives. At East & Westbrook, the New Year is a opportunity for everyone at the company to review their safety performance from the past year and set appropriate goals as we move forward.
As millions of people countdown to ring in the New Year, East and Westbrook used a similar concept in the form of a riddle as we were concluding 2017. Within our company-wide November memo there was a clock face set at 11:00, signifying that we had reached “the 11th hour” or the 11th month. This was of course to signify that we had one more critical month left to achieve zero for the year. We are extremely proud of this achievement because it’s simply the right thing to celebrate when no one gets hurt.
“We are extremely proud of this achievement because it’s simply the right thing to celebrate when no one gets hurt.”
Reinforcing Our Reputation
Due to the commendable efforts of our dedicated team members and the company’s leadership, this past year proved to be a particularly safe one with the numbers speaking for themselves. 2017 was another year in our organization that we achieved zero recordable incidents, which is an especially impressive figure when compared to the 2017 industry average of a recordable incident rate of 3.5. Considering our increasing number of man-hours worked and the challenging and potentially hazardous environments that were faced with no recordable injuries—our company is very proud of the numerous precautions our team members have taken to ensure everyone’s safety on the job.
We emphasized that the clock has made a full revolution, and now we start back at one. The clock has been reset, and we must continue to focus on meeting our expectations of zero injuries and not stop there. Just as the clock continues to tick, our safety performance expectations and goals must continue as well. The Safety 2018 summit was themed Good to Great with the inspiration to achieve safety excellence. In essence, “inspiring” means sparking and energizing the East and Westbrook team in order to promote continued growth within our safety culture and sustain it. This theme is suitable for East & Westbrook because as our company continues to grow, so does our risk and need to achieve safety excellence.
“inspiring means sparking and energizing the East and Westbrook team in order to promote continued growth within our safety culture”
We continually look for ways to incentivize our team for putting in an exceptional amount of effort to ensure the safety of themselves and others throughout the year. In fact, we did just that at this year’s summit by continuing the time theme with a Bulova watch given to every team member for the recognition of achieving zero OSHA recordable incidents last year. We also held a massive drawing in recognition of team members’ safety performance. Rest assured, plenty of prizes were given away (including cash and Large TVs!).
Future – Goals to Strive For
Despite zero recordable incidents in 2017, our yearly expectation is always zero incidents. This means the clock starts over and every month is as critical and important as the last.
Safety Excellence is our goal, to achieve this we must ask ourselves what safety excellence is and how we fully achieve it. We should look to safety as the starting point for answering these questions. Providing a safe workplace lays the foundation for organizational excellence and integrity in our industry; all of which can be driven by a deep sense of commitment to ethical safety driven principles that include:
Value for our team members – Preservation and protection of our team members supersedes all other goals.
Integrity – Commitment to telling the truth and keeping promises, applying the best of one’s abilities and team loyalty and commitment.
Justice – A strong sense of fairness dealing with the team – establishing trust between leaders and team members..
The good of the many – Excellence stems from a concern for the achievement of the common good (as opposed to what is good just for the individual person).
Excellence – Whatever degree of safety or integrity we have achieved; we always have the opportunity to improve.
Combating complacency– Keeping eyes and minds on task at all times, no matter what the job is.
Remaining vigilant and proactive – Just because something bad hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it never will.
Continued Training – Always relying on and applying training experience that every E&W team member has gained from their first day; starting with our three day orientation which includes E&W Specific Training and the OSHA 10-hour as well as customer-specific training. Training does not end there, it is followed with hands on learning in the field in conjunction with weekly safety focuses and relevant classroom training throughout the year.
We look forward to all the new work that 2018 will bring, but even more so, we look forward to further solidifying our reputation as the safest construction company in the area.