How does Gray consistently set such a high bar for the industry? It’s simple—we’re safety professionals, and like any professional, we never stray from practicing the fundamentals, but always look to incorporate new, innovative solutions.
This year, Gray is proud to sponsor Safety Week, the industry’s premier event, to continue its mission to “strengthen our industry’s safety culture and performance by sharing best practices, tools, and resources…and send each employee home safe every day.”
Since our founding, Gray’s greatest champions for safety have been our people. We spoke to several team members about what it means to be a part of Gray’s company-wide culture of safety, how this focus impacts the health of our industry, and why our dedication to safety drives us personally and professionally.
What does it mean to you to be united in safety?
Chandler Branstetter, project engineer: Our people and trade partners need to be aligned on how we approach safety, communicate about it, and enforce it. It’s our responsibility to make sure that everybody understands how important it is to maintain a culture of safety.
James Schultz, site manager: Everybody has to understand what’s going to happen on the job before it ever starts. We do this through constant communication—meetings, pre-planning, and asking lots of questions.
Josh Bulloch, safety manager: Gray’s safety culture is driven by the goal of sending everyone home safely to their loved ones at the end of each day. We are absolutely committed to this goal—to safety—because the numbers are not really numbers, they’re people.
Will Harned, project engineer: Everyone is accountable. If you see something unsafe happening, take the person aside and tell them what they’re doing wrong and how they can fix it.
How is Gray helping to build a stronger, safer industry?
Joe Gerardi, project executive: Subcontractors often tell us that, at first, they weren’t very happy with some of Gray’s safety rules and regulations, but that after following them, they’re better off for the experience. They take those lessons learned to their next project sites.
Stephanie Crane, senior administrative assistant: [After working on a Gray site,] A lot of our subcontractors have reconsidered the way they approach safety. One traded in his old hard hat for Gray’s updated helmet and told us ‘If Gray’s doing it, it’s worth taking note.’
Harned: Gray puts your full focus on safety the moment that you come to site and doesn’t just go through the motions to sign a piece of paper. Site leaders walk through your scope of work and ask safety questions about your specific activities.
Amanda Flowers, operations integration manager, Gray Solutions, A Gray Company: Gray is continuously working to educate and train team members in core safety strategies and integrate safety recognition via stand-downs, daily meetings, and personal engagement of individuals working on jobsites. Gray has created a culture of awareness and responsibility by empowering everyone, no matter their job function, to stop any process that is perceived as being unsafe.
What does “growing safer together” mean?
Christopher Hampton, safety technician: Gray grows safer together by listening to its team members and using their wisdom to adopt better practices. Our leadership is open to new ideas.
Ned Brown, director of safety: We understand that even after more than 60 years of dedication to building a strong safety culture, there is still work to be done, because “safety” is never something you arrive at or complete; it is a constant work in progress and a process that is continuously in motion.
Sarah Carrico, project engineer: Safety is very transparent here. Gray is very intentional about learning from every incident and every near-miss. We want to learn and improve.
Logan Downs, project engineer: It means showing that we truly care about the subcontractors and trade partners we work with and that we want them to go home to their loved ones. This is reflected in day-to-day interactions like our “three-a-day” talks that encourage us to make connections by talking to at least three new site workers every day.
What is your personal commitment to safety?
Steve Owens, site safety technician: I adhere to our safety standards because I want to go home and see my family every day, and I want to make sure that the folks I’m watching over do the same.
Isaac Lucas, site safety manager: I try to be a positive influence on as many people as I can while on site. I want to reinforce our core values, our message.
Gerardi: Any time I go to the field, my first focus is doing a safety audit. Our leadership makes it a priority.
Joe Schmiade, safety manager: Ultimately, it is the families of those that are turning the wrench and swinging the hammer that inspire me to put safety first every day.
What does being a part of the Gray family mean to you?
Downs: The Gray family is a community that I’m happy to work in. When I wake up, I’m happy to come to work. I feel welcomed and I feel like I should welcome everybody else too.
Schultz: I’ve worked for Gray for 27 years and can say with confidence that Gray offers a family environment where everyone is safety- and quality-minded.
Hampton: I was brought up with the “Gray Way.” I learned everything that I know from them and wholeheartedly believe that I have more professional and personal support here than I have with any other experience.
Branstetter: The Gray family is a tight-knit group, not just on a professional level, but on a personal level, and I want to see these guys get home safely at the end of the day.
As we grow, Gray’s team members continue to cultivate our approach to safety. By ensuring the safety of everybody who interacts with Gray—from site crews to customers to office team members—we are building relationships that communicate a consistent message: you matter to us.
To learn more about how Gray is daily reinforcing its safety culture, visit our Safety page.
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