How a Close Call Changed Our Approach to Job SafetyShare
Employers always want their workers to be safe. But even the best safety program isn’t immune to human nature. People naturally fall into old habits. They get used to working with certain hazards and become complacent. Staying safe in the construction business requires continually reminding employees that in our industry, a single mistake can be deadly.
A Wake-up Call
At Weaver, we learned this lesson the hard way. About four years ago, we had a close call when one of our workers fell from a two-story home at the completion of a roofing job. He was airlifted to the hospital and was in a coma for two weeks. He already had two children and a third child was on the way. Miraculously, he survived, and he’s back on the roof and still working with us today.
We had safety protocols in place at the time, but for us, this was a wake-up call. We needed a more aggressive safety program to ensure that nothing like that ever happened again. No job is worth dying for. Employees should never sacrifice their lives or health for their work.
Our Safety Program Today
Since that accident, Weaver has strengthened our safety program to remind employees continually to put safety first. Our current program features all of the following:
- Safety Committee: Our committee meets monthly with the entire production team.
- Training: We bring in outside experts to train employees in CPR, fall prevention, forklift safety and more.
- Tool Box Talk: We send a weekly update to all field employees with safety information and reminders.
- Bonus Program: We pay bonuses to all employees who complete each quarter with no lost-time injuries, defined as missing a day of work. We pay additional bonuses to employees who work for a year with no injuries and we celebrate companywide milestones with parties.
- Safety Equipment: We provide harnesses and other safety equipment to ensure that our workers stay secure no matter what sort of work they’re doing.
Our prior record for the entire company working without injuries was 540 days, and we have already broken it with our current stretch of 661 injury-free days. We celebrated at one year with a bowling and pizza party, and we are almost ready for our second celebration.
Waking Up to a Better Way
When we make time in our schedules for safety, we demonstrate to our employees that it’s worth taking the time to put safety before everything else. We’re deeply grateful that our wake-up call didn’t cost an employee his life, and that we have the opportunity every day to turn that lesson into something positive for all of our employees.