Each year, the world’s 40 largest construction companies, in conjunction with OSHA, issue a worldwide stand-down to address safety. With a focus on eliminating worker injury, the companies take time out of each day to emphasize safe practices while challenging workers to think critically about potential safety conflicts in the workplace and at home.
Our company was built on a foundation of safety practices, so it’s no surprise that the concept rules our mind on a year-round basis at Great Lakes E&I. Even so, we never waste the opportunity to address best practices during our annual Safety Week activities. Here’s a look at our fundamental principles of safety, our celebration of employee recognition, and our upcoming Safety Week ventures.
The Great Lakes E&I Initiative
The first measure of success for any project is safety. Our goal is always zero incidents with any project, whether it be injury, property damage, or environmental impact. Safety of our staff, others on site, and the surrounding community take precedent over any other project goals – no matter the profit or production.
In many ways, Safety Week is every week at Great Lakes E&I and its affiliates. While we do employ a large quantity of individuals we identify as Safety Professionals, we consider safety in the workplace as everyone’s responsibility – from the President to the office receptionist. Every last Great Lakes E&I employee is a safety officer in their own right. It’s the backbone of our company, and without it, we’re nothing.
Because of our high safety standards, all of our employees are taught to use the 20/20/20 rule. Every 20 minutes, for 20 seconds, every employee must take a 360-degree look at everything within a 20-foot radius. With an emphasis on identifying anything that may have changed in the past 20 minutes, both construction and office workers alike are required to look for safety threats in this manner.
We’re very pleased to announce that our very own Marcy Wade (Great Lakes E&I Health & Safety Manager) will be presented with the NAWIC (National Association of Women in Construction) 2016 Safety Leadership Award at the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek Chapter’s Safety Awards Night on Thursday, May 5th.
Awardees were selected by nominations from NAWIC Chapter 302 members and then voted on by the chapter. Each year, the Chapter awards a “Woman in Construction” award to a female outside of its organization that exemplifies what it is to be a woman in the contracting world and this year – in recognition of Safety Week 2016 – the award has been modified to the “Safety Leadership Award” in order to recognize a dynamic female in contracting that carries a strong value on safety in the workplace.
Marcy Wade has worked in health and safety in both the environmental and construction sectors for over 11 years and is also a Desert Shield/Desert Storm veteran with the United States Military. In the service, Marcy was an Aviation Electrician in VP-23 and worked on P3-C Orion aircraft. Her work experience in health and safety includes safety management at the likes of Aggregate Industries, The Weitz Company, Monsanto, and Pfizer before taking over safety/regulatory compliance, training, and ensuring safety standards on client sites at one of the largest, and most diverse, environmental contracting firms in the country, Great Lakes Environmental and Infrastructure (Great Lakes E&I).
Marcy, through her hard work and strong spirit, has earned the respect and admiration of her male and female colleagues alike. She holds her ground and is not afraid to correct personnel on substandard safety performance. Marcy seamlessly balances the necessity to be firm with workers on matters related to safety with her own natural kindness and enthusiasm. She has high standards on working safe and teaches the importance of safety—and teaches it well— in all aspects of her life—including at home with her daughter, Emily. Marcy not only asks the right questions, but listens intently to the answers and gets a full and accurate account of a situation before taking next steps. She seeks facts, doesn’t operate on assumptions, and asks for help when needed.
“Respect and compliance are absolutely necessary for a safety professional and, as women in the construction industry, the members of NAWIC can empathize with the unseen struggles and can absolutely celebrate the achievements of those that not only earn these, but do so with integrity and a humble spirit. We give our Woman in Construction Award (this year with a SAFETY focus) each year to a woman who brings strength, intelligence, and confidence to their workplace and by doing so, inspire and challenge those around them to do the same. Marcy stands by her decisions and always represents the best interest of her company, the employees, and their families and, by doing so, absolutely exemplifies what we seek to recognize in this award. We are happy to award her with our 2016 Safety Leadership Award.”
-NAWIC Chapter 302, Kalamazoo-Battle Creek
The Safety Week Schedule
Monday’s topic will challenge all employee’s to conduct a “Hazard I.D. Hunt” either in their workplace or at home. Employees are encouraged to take a photo of their observation and submit it on-line via www.SafetyMojo.com/login
Tuesday’s topic will focus on the importance of Heat Illness Prevention at the workplace, at home, and during recreational activities. Prevention measures, including fluid intake protocols and various personal cooling devices will be discussed.
Wednesday will feature a Safety Stand-Down to cover the importance of fall prevention in the workplace. Employees at each work location will identify and discuss their site- specific fall hazards. PPE and measures to prevent falls will be discussed.
Falling is the #1 fatality in the construction industry. Though many outside Great Lakes E&I tend to overlook potential fall threats in the office as well as the construction zone, we make sure employees are aware of the risks in both settings.
Thursday marks our celebration of Safety de Mayo by recognizing our cultural diversity in the Great Lakes E&I workplace. Staff will discuss cultural challenges related to safety and ways to overcome those challenges. As an international company, Great Lakes E&I is comprised of employees of all cultures and ethnic backgrounds – a fact we couldn’t be prouder of.
Friday’s topic will address the hazards associated with workplace violence and simple self-defense measures to reduce your risk of becoming a victim of an attack. Presentations may include guest speakers from local law enforcement agencies.
It’s our number one priority for every worker on every level to make it home safely to their families every night. To learn more about our critical emphasis on safety and the measures we take to maintain it, visit our Safety page.