Safety Week 2019: Why Gray Chooses to Put Safety First in Construction
"It's not about programs, procedures or policies. It's about making the conscious decision to be safe," said Jim Grant, Vice President, Safety & Field Operations.
At Gray, safety and quality of life are a natural part of our culture, both on the jobsites and in our offices. We always put safety and quality of life first–it’s our first core value and a purpose instilled deep within our team members.
Each year, it’s a pleasure to participate in another year of Safety Week, to join the industry-wide efforts and “raise awareness of the construction industry’s continuing commitment to eliminating worker injury and to clearly communicate dedication to a shared culture of care and concern.”
Across North America, all of our team members and subcontractors participate in our coordinated Safety Week events. Annually, we begin each day of Safety Week with a stand-down, a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to construction teams about safety. Following the morning safety stand-downs, the construction teams gather for a specific, educational focus on highlighted safety issues. Additionally, some projects schedule guest vendors to attend these meetings in order to show various safety products and perform safety demonstrations for the workforce.
Gray’s Safety Week agenda for this year is as follows:
Monday – Making Safe Decisions
This Safety Week, we’re beginning with a focus on safe decision-making. Making safe decisions on the jobsite is one of the most important things that should be done to ensure each person goes home safely at the end of every day. There are many ways to make safe decisions on the jobsite, such as using the appropriate tool, selecting the proper piece of equipment or navigating the best travel path on site.
Tuesday – “Stop the Drop”
All elevated work should properly protect all lower levels from falling objects. A few ways to protect the lower levels include using spotters, barricades and tool tethers. If any contractor needs help with planning their overhead work, please contact Gray more information.
Wednesday – Proper Equipment Use and Spotters
Before operating any piece of equipment on any project, the team member must be properly trained in the safe operation of the specific piece of equipment. All operators shall perform a thorough equipment inspection prior to operating the equipment. Spotters must be utilized in congested areas, when entering/exiting the building or when deemed necessary.
Thursday – Fall Protection
According to the most recent available data, the leading causes of private sector worker deaths (excluding highway collisions) in the construction industry are falls. In 2017, there were nearly 1,000 fatalities in construction, 40% of which were related to falls. As a result, it is of the utmost importance to focus on fall protection. Effectively tying off could truly save lives, and it’s crucial that workers on site believe and understand that truth.
Friday – Dealer’s Choice!
Every jobsite is different. Therefore, it’s important to recognize and educate on safety-related topics specific to each jobsite in order to improve the level of safety on that site. Some of the topics our teams may include are:
- Safe Ladder Use
- Good Electrical Practices
- Proper Scaffold Use
- The Importance of Spotters and Barricades
- Safe Equipment Operation
With safety as our cornerstone, we accept any opportunity to shed light on the importance of safety, both on and off the jobsite. Although Safety Week is only one week each year, it’s an excellent opportunity to educate our both team members and subcontractors why safety is our No. 1 core value.
It is truly a focus every single day of the year.
The week allows an additional opportunity for the entire industry to come together as one cohesive team and truly emphasize the importance of safety.
The ongoing commitment of safety is one that we will continue to advance because you can never be “too good” at safety.
“I focus on safety, not because it’s my job, not for personal accolades, but because looking out for each other is the right thing to do,” says Bill Carey, Director of Safety, Gray Construction.
For more information on Safety Week, visit https://www.constructionsafetyweek.com/.
To learn more about Gray’s dedication to safety and to explore the Gray Safety 6, visit our safety page.