The first week of May is traditionally hailed as National Safety Week, but the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) takes this one step further. In the Construction Industry specifically, May 1st-5th this year will be recognized as the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction, as fatalities by falls continue to be a leading cause of death within the construction industry.
Here at Thomas, we know and believe everybody is responsible for safety. Participating in National Safety Week is important as it continues to raise needed awareness while encouraging important conversations on how to address this issue in our industry. We have a saying, “Me overlooking a simple safety violation equates to me changing my attitude about the value of your life.” We firmly believe that everyone has the right to stop work to ensure all safety protocols have been met, especially to prevent falls.
As Safety Director, I aim to ensure all Thomas employees and trade partners are well-equipped with the tools and knowledge to monitor their job sites for safety-related hazards. To do this, we have initiated many steps and programs, both internally and externally, to encourage constant vigilance and improvement.
On each job site, we ensure that all our trade partners receive ‘Toolbox Talks’ weekly and award quarterly Subcontractor Safety Awards on each site to the subcontractor who goes above and beyond to ensure safety.
Internally, we host quarterly Safety Meetings where we review pressing safety topics. Most recently, we completed our Q1 Lunch and Learn, bringing together all our superintendents and project managers to cover scaffolding basics. Additionally, we have re-energized our Safety Committee and meet quarterly to review and plan for safer job sites. Furthermore, at the end of every year, we award the ‘Bill Hudson Safety Award,’ which goes to the Superintendent who best embodies what it means to ‘own safety’ in the workplace. That person is a leader, doesn’t allow shortcuts, holds others accountable, and is Always Building a safer work environment.
As leaders on the job site, it is our duty to ensure all the men and women working with us go home the same way they came to work. With that said, we are challenging our teams to hold a safety stand down on your job sites this week with your subcontractors. The job site with the most signatures will be rewarded for participating.
At Thomas, we are confident in our core values of Team, Improvement, Excellence, and Service and how they tie into our safety approach. As we look to the future, we are committed to becoming a zero-incident company and taking bold steps toward achieving this goal. By 2025, we aim to reduce job site accidents to less than 15%, half the industry average. We will work as a team to consistently improve our standards and processes, enabling us to deliver excellent results and unparalleled service to our clients and the community. With this unwavering commitment, we are confident in achieving our goal of becoming a leader in safety.