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Spotlight on Safety: Our experts weigh in on National Safety Month

Jun 30, 2020

U.S. Engineering

It’s the last day of June, which means it’s the last day of National Safety Month. Although our team members would say that every month feels like National Safety Month, it’s important to recognize this initiative. When we take the time to focus on safety, we discover new and innovative ways we can ensure safety at work.

Our teams have proven day-in and day-out that safety is a core value at U.S. Engineering. As of May 31, 2020 we have worked more than 970,000 manhours in this calendar year, and our overall recordable incident rate (RIR) is 0.4. The industry average is 3.6.

We are extremely proud of our team’s dedication to ensuring a safe working environment. To honor these achievements and National Safety Month, we interviewed some of our U.S. Engineering safety leaders on what safety means to them.

What are you most proud of in your position?

“I’m most proud of being a mentor and a coach to the younger safety professionals working at this location. They are improving and excelling. It’s an honor and a privilege to see them grow in their career field and outside of their professional life.”

-Mike King, Safety Manager in Pryor, Oklahoma

“My past experiences are what make me truly appreciate how safety conscious U.S. Engineering is. U.S. Engineering puts the time, money and effort into creating a safety culture that is great to be a part of. I’m proud I get to help facilitate it.”

-Jeff Murray, Metalworks Safety Manager, Rocky Mountain Region

“I am always most proud of our field teams and their ability to perform at a high level in stressful environments. The safety of our team members would never be achieved without a high level of focus, pre-planning and constant effort to achieve Zero Unsafe Acts. Our field teams’ ability to perform consistently, pivot on a moment’s notice and stop when they just aren’t comfortable with a situation is something I will always admire and be proud of. Our safety culture will always be a work in progress striving for continuous improvement and would be nothing without our field teams.”

-Mike Zykan, Safety Director, Midwest Region

Why is it important that safety is a core value at U.S. Engineering?

“It is all about people. The team members of U.S. Engineering are the most important asset of the company. The core value of providing a safe work environment is essential to getting our team members home safe and healthy to their families and friends each and every day.”

-Vicky Shields, Safety Director, Rocky Mountain Region

“It’s important that safety is a core value because core values are integrated throughout a business. The ‘safety-first’ slogan, while a good intention, really separates safety from the rest of the business culture. The most effective way to ensure that the safety program is effective is to integrate through the organization, and that is done by designating it as a core value.”

-Mike King, Safety Manager in Pryor, Oklahoma

What does safety mean to you?

“Safety has taken on a whole new meaning since I’ve grown older and wiser. (Well, older anyways.) When I was a young tradesman on the job at a different company, many people didn’t follow proper safety guidelines such as simply wearing safety glasses. Going to the doctor was seen as a sign of weakness, rather than a necessity. I look back at some of my early career experiences and realize how differently things could’ve turned out for me and others on the job based on a lackluster safety culture. Now that I’m a Safety Manager at U.S. Engineering, I’m a person who can help teach younger generations of tradesmen and tradeswomen the importance of safety based off my experiences. They can skip their own bad experiences and learn from mine.”

-Jeff Murray, Metalworks Safety Manager, Rocky Mountain Region

“Safety is not about the statistics. The statistics are the lagging indicator. It is about providing the training and equipment for our team members to be able to be productive, do quality work, and all while feeling that their safety is not compromised.”

-Vicky Shields, Safety Director, Rocky Mountain Region

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