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4 Ways to Prioritize Safety and Make it the Core of Construction Company Culture

December 18, 2018

Filed Under: Safety

In the construction industry, we must always make safety our number one concern. There are inherent risks to what we do, and it’s important that we take every possible step to make sure our employees and job sites are safe. At Gray & Son, we have long prioritized safety and are proud that this is part of our reputation.

Putting safety first means making it a part of your culture and weaving into every aspect of your construction business. Here are four ways Gray & Son has set about creating a construction safety culture:

1. Make safety training a focus from day one
When a new employee joins the Gray & Son team, we give them everything they need to ensure their safety, as well as the safety of other employees. Initial employee orientation includes an in-depth section on general safety education. We also hand out all the personal protective equipment (PPE) they’ll need to stay safe in the field, including safety glasses and hardhat.

The next step is specialized safety training, tailored to each employee’s specific construction job. We have developed safety protocols and training classes for all of our divisions and jobs. Once we have figured out an employee’s specialty and where they feel most comfortable, we immediately provide this additional specialized safety education.

2. Continue to educate in a variety of formats
Safety education and training does not stop after initial orientation. At Gray & Son, we host a number of safety trainings throughout the year. One of our most effective and unique initiatives involves three full days that are set aside for safety training, when every single employee in the company has the opportunity to attend a day of safety. We cover a wide variety of topics and bring in trainers from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds, such as Maryland OSHA, state police and more. The days are tailored to specific division and the specific tasks they deal with in their daily work.

We also host additional specialized trainings throughout the year, such as Mine Safety Training. All of these larger events are reinforced with our weekly “Toolbox Talks.” We post training and safety tips and topics in our employee portal every week, and each employee must read and submit in our system that they have done so. We’re able to keep up a dialogue about any pertinent safety issues or timely events with our employees all year long.

A key outcome of these initiatives is that all employees understand just how important their safety is to the company. We care about our employees and truly want to do everything we can to ensure their well-being, so we put the time and cost into these events so they have the education they need.

3. Build relationships with government entities
There are a number of government entities responsible for creating and enforcing safety guidelines for the construction industry. At Gray & Son, we have worked hard to build solid, positive relationships with these entities. We work together to help each other, and we have mutual respect for what we all do. Instead of viewing them as enforcers, we view them as partners to help us be as safe as we can.

An example of this relationship is how these entities have helped us with training on our time frame. The day starts early at our construction company, but that didn’t stop one group from helping with training. They sent an employee to come in at 5:30am to share their knowledge. These partnerships and friendships have really helped us keep on top of all safety regulations and best practices, and we’re grateful for these relationships.

4. Keep an open door policy with employees
The same goes for our relationships with all employees. We want every single Gray & Son team member to feel comfortable bringing any safety or job concerns to management. We have an open door policy, and employees can speak to their managers or safety management at any time.

This has allowed us to learn more about what education we need to be providing at different times, whether it pertains to specific incidents or cross-discipline issues. Keeping an open dialogue with our team members has benefitted all of us.

To keep safety at the core of our construction company culture, it takes a lot more than one or two initiatives. It involves weaving safety into every aspect of what we do and continually reinforcing it. Gray & Son is proud of our record on this, and we’re always thinking of new ways to emphasize and prioritize safety for our business and employees.