At Alberici Constructors, our focus on safety and health began with some hard work and a little bit of magic. In 1962, Gabe Alberici, the son of founder John S. Alberici, hired the company’s first dedicated safety employee, who happened to be a magician on the side. Using magic tricks to captivate his audience, he created a platform to talk about the importance of safety, decreasing accidents by 35% as a result.
Today, Alberici Constructors relies on four guiding principles, Plan, Communicate, Observe, and Improve, as the foundation for our safety and health program, SafeRing. As a company, we are dedicated to engaging our workers and empowering them to recognize and correct hazards on our worksites. This begins with daily walkarounds where workers identify hazards in their work area before starting the job. It is also an expectation of management that we constantly track trends and incidents so that we can better respond to hazards. Every Friday, our Chief Operating Officer (COO) leads a meeting with representatives from every project to discuss safety issues and solutions from the week; these calls always start with a Safety Moment, where a member of the management team shares how safety has impacted them. Thanks to these efforts, we have now worked for three and a half years—over 10 million labor hours—without a lost time injury. Our DART rate (Days Away, Restrictions, Transfers) and EMR (Experience Modification Rate) are significantly below industry average.
While strategies to address safety and health have shifted over time, our commitment to safety has been and continues to be a corporate value. No matter your industry or the size of your company, getting started is the most important step. Here are a few of the approaches we have used:
- Focus on housekeeping: working in a messy or disorganized area creates hazards, increases injuries, and is bad for business.
- Take 5: Have field management work with your crews after work assignments are made to walk the site to see if there are existing hazards that need to be addressed – just 5 five minutes can make the difference between working among hazards and working safely.
- Keep things simple: Don’t complicate the process. You want the focus to be on safety, not the steps.
- Engage your workers: From posting signs to having safety contests (i.e. develop slogans) to stopping work to make corrections, your workers are an essential element to any safety program.
As stated by COO LeRoy Stomberg, “Alberici Constructors is participating in Safe + Sound Week because it’s a commitment we can all get behind. The message that this initiative sends mirrors our corporate value of safe work and assures that workers know that safety is a way of life.” We encourage you to join us and show your commitment to safety.
Kathi Dobson is a Safety Director at Alberici Constructors and is the chairperson of the OSHA-NAWIC Alliance.