Safe + Sound Week: Remaining Committed Through the Pandemic
At Gray, safety and quality of life is our first core value, but it’s more than that. Safety is ingrained into our culture and is a part of everyday life both on our jobsites and in our offices.
As a part of that commitment, Gray is proud to participate in this year’s U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Safe + Sound Week.
Safe + Sound Week is an annual, nationwide event held every August that celebrates workplace safety initiatives and programs, as well as offers tips to help keep workers safe. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, more than 3,300 businesses helped raise awareness about workers’ safety and health for Safe + Sound Week in 2019.
This year, being safe comes with its own unique challenges. Faced with COVID-19, Gray has taken extra steps to maintain our commitment of keeping our team members safe at all times.
“From the onset of the pandemic, Gray has championed promoting a safe work environment. While continuing efforts in the top ranked jobsite safety program, Gray promptly and completely committed resources to managing the pandemic on our jobsites and offices,” says Greg Janzow, director of Food Safety and Gray’s Healthy at Work officer. “From developing and implementing a CDC-based COVID-19 preparedness plan to sourcing and hiring additional staff to support the job site staff, Gray has demonstrated full commitment.”
During Safe + Sound Week, OSHA asks that different safety topics are assigned as a focal point for each day. The hope is that organizations, employers, and team members will take time to discuss the procedures in place surrounding those specific topics. Amidst the week’s scheduled events, the importance of team members maintaining proper COVID-19 protocols was reiterated.
This year, Gray focused on the following safety subjects:
- Monday – “Focus Four,” spotters, and barricades
- Gray’s “Focus Four” centers around Falls, Struck By, Caught Between, and Electrocution. These four factors account for around 85% of fatalities in the construction industry and for that reason Gray focuses a large majority of our time on how to prevent these instances on our jobsites.
- Tuesday – Walk of the project with all safety personnel
- Gray requires each subcontractor to have a safety representative on site. By walking the site, the idea is to give fresh perspective on the totality of the project to each individual worker and trade professional, rather than looking just through their own job-specific lens. Gray also believes, the more you get to know someone, the more you care about their safety, and by walking the site as a project team this helps promote safety through personal relationships.
- Wednesday – Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including masks and new helmet requirements
- Thursday – Ground disturbance process
- Friday – Fatigue management, including Gray’s policy and subcontractor requirements
“I’ve often heard it said that workplace safety is about leaving the job at the end of the day the same way you came in,” says Janzow. “With all the dynamics of the construction business and given multiple decisions that individuals make each day, it is truly a conscious, focused effort to achieve that outcome. So, to me, successful workplace safety is the result of individual and organizational commitment – every minute, every day.”
At Gray, we celebrate the opportunity to pursue safety every day. In our offices and on our jobsites, safety is something we practice, not just something we preach. Our team members understand the importance and value of making it home safely at the end of every day and approach each decision from a mindset of safety first.
We strive to be better at safety every day, because even one incident is one too many. We don’t treat safety statistics as just numbers; we see the people behind the data. We believe you can never be “too good” at safety.
“I am committed to safety so that everyone who comes to work in the morning is able to return home, free of injury, at the end of the day,” says Jim Grant, vice president, Safety and Field Operations, Gray Construction.
For more information on Safe + Sound Week, please visit https://www.osha.gov/safeandsoundweek/.
To learn more about Gray’s dedication to safety and to explore the Gray Safety 6, please visit our safety page.