Safety Week 2020: The Commitment to Our Core Values
Core values are a part of nearly every business. They might be written on a sign in the hallway at the office, or on the first page of the team member handbook. Often, these values become a formality and lose their motivation. At Gray, we strive to never let this happen. It’s abundantly clear that we would not be who we are today if it weren’t for our core values, and the first, and most important of these values is: we put safety and quality of life first.
For us, safety is more than a slogan or company directive; safety is simply who we are, as individuals and as a company. Our daily tasks, whether it be a department-wide meeting in the office or planning and executing a complex pick-and-lift in the field, all are centered around safety.
As a part of our commitment to safety, Gray is excited to again participate in Construction Safety Week. This is our seventh year participating in this event, which is geared toward raising awareness of the daily dangers of jobsites and equipping teams and workers with education to be safer.
Throughout the course of Safety Week, Gray had approximately 4,000 team members participate in several events, including toolbox talks and safety stand downs, on nearly 50 jobsites across the country.
Safety is ingrained in the culture at Gray, and it is infectious. One of the main reasons Gray’s safety program is so strong is because of the people who eat, sleep, and live safety every single day. We asked some of these individuals why safety is so important and how it has impacted their lives even when they leave the office or jobsite.
In your own words, why is it important that Gray be built on safety?
Brian Shoop, Senior Process Engineer at Gray Solutions, A Gray Company – To say that Gray is built on safety is important because, if not for the proper planning and execution of a robust safety program as a precursor to the rest of our job duties, we would ultimately fail to deliver what the customer is expecting and what we expect of ourselves.
Bill Spencer, Senior Electrical Designer and Engineering Project Manager at Spencer Bristol Engineering, A Gray Company – Safety should never be an afterthought or in the back of one’s mind. Safety serves us best as a culture and a path through which we navigate the myriad of small decisions that make up our day.
Marcus Polk, Site Safety Technician – It’s important that Gray is built on safety because no one wants to work at a place where people get constantly injured. To me, safety is simply caring for others, even if you have to protect them from themselves.
Joshua Bullock, Regional Safety Manager – Beyond the obvious answers, I think it is important to build a reputation as being the best in safety. Our safety record sets us apart from other contractors in the industry.
Jesse Abel, Site Safety Manager – Construction can be a dangerous industry. Without Gray being built on safety, Gray doesn’t win work, and our jobsites don’t get to send people home in the same way they came to work.
Bill Carey, Director of Safety – For me, safety just boils down to good decision making. Everyone here knows, both field and office, that if you do not take your safety as well as the safety of others seriously, you will not have a long career here. We are a family. You take care of your family. You make sure your family is safe.
How has Gray’s commitment to safety changed the way you see safety in your personal life?
Abel: Safety is illustrated so well within Gray that it becomes ingrained within your being. During my personal life, I find myself reverting to what I have learned and observed while at work.
Spencer: I must admit that my own home has become even more safe as I more often see the safety-mindset incorporate itself into my own lifestyle. I see “safety issues” more in the vein of to-do’s than something I have to “step-around.”
Shoop: I am learning to be completely unapologetic about being safe in all aspects of my life. I’ve gotten weird looks from my neighbors for wearing safety glasses and gloves while doing woodworking in my garage and have learned to just smile and wave.
Carey: Since being here, I have really started living “take safety home with you.” Not just for me, but for my family as well. I recently drove my son to college, and as we were packing up his car, he said, “Maybe I should bring some gloves and safety glasses. I mean, you never know.” I love that kid.
Gray is proud of the safety culture we have built, but we also understand that our work will never be done. Safety is never something that you arrive at or complete; it is a constant work in progress and a process that is continuously in motion. Even one single incident, no matter how small it may appear, is too many, because those “numbers” are not really numbers, they are people. Our people.
“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 of Safety and Field Operations.
To learn more about Gray’s dedication to safety, please visit our safety page.
For more information on Construction Safety Week, please visit www.constructionsafetyweek.com/.