At our core, RS&H associates are driven to care. That means we make safety a priority at work, at home and everywhere in between. It also means we take purposeful action toward ensuring the well-being of our associates, clients and communities.
This June RS&H is honoring National Safety Month. National Safety Month is observed annually by the National Safety Council, America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate. The goal of this month is to help keep everyone safe from “workplace to any place.”
As a construction management leader, I know firsthand how vital safety is. In 2020, there were 174,100 cases of injuries in the construction sector, which is 24% higher than in any other industry.
There have been several moments in my career where a near-miss could have been a deadly accident in a blink of an eye. These moments fuel my passion for being a safety advocate and inform the decisions I help make as a member of RS&H’s Safety Leadership Team (SLT) – a group dedicated to enhancing safety culture and action companywide.
Safety Leadership Team Drives Change
The SLT represents associates from across the company, each bringing their unique perspectives to the table. This dynamic has resulted in powerful discussion and purposeful action.
Part of the SLT’s strength lies in its holistic, structured approach toward safety. In every discussion about a call to action or new policy, we’ve leaned on each other’s individual truths and those of our fellow associates, to create a safety culture that every associate can benefit from.
For example, associates are invited to begin meetings with safety moments. For years I have shared near misses and lessons learned from the field, uncomfortable and unsettling as they may be, in the hopes that doing so prevents similar situations from happening. Every moment shared by an associate enriches our safety journey.
Personal Safety Stories Spark Action
Throughout my 40-year career, I’ve learned that transparency is a critical component of improving safety and it takes time to be comfortable with putting all your cards on the table.
Fostering an environment that supports open and candid sharing requires a healthy dose of courage and vulnerability – cornerstones of transformative leadership. That’s why members of the SLT are leading by example by sharing their personal safety stories with the company.
My story recalled a moment when I was driving through a busy intersection. Like too many others, I quickly glanced down at my phone. When I looked up, I found myself narrowly missing what could have been a life-changing collision.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving claimed 3,142 lives in 2020. My life could have been one of them. This near miss inspired me to help others do better. That’s why I helped the SLT develop a policy encouraging associates to keep their phones in “do not disturb” mode while driving, which temporarily silences or blocks calls and alerts from being a distraction.
Additionally, each SLT member signed NHTSA’s pledge to end distracted driving by promising to drive phone-free. With transparent sharing and action, we can help each other make changes that improve everyone’s chances of getting home safely.
A Future Built on Safety
Although much can be done to improve industry safety and personal safety, I challenge you to begin increasing your safety efforts with these three actions:
1. Report any unsafe working conditions
2. Use proper PPE
3. Use proper tools to get the job done
Strengthening our safety culture requires the engagement of every associate. Constructive dialogue coupled with meaningful action work in harmony to help RS&H create a safe environment for everyone.
Continuous improvement has always been a part of who we are and how we demonstrate care. That’s why we honor safety as a journey without end. And, along that journey, we will continue to lean on each other and the power of transparency to be transformative.