Focused On Safety

BGCI’s Safety Culture Reduces Risk For Everyone

By Logan Zeferjahn, Director of Safety

This summer, Baker Gulf Coast Industrial will celebrate its third anniversary. We’ll have three years of safety data behind us, which is a key point of proof in our industry.

Like most contractors, our goal is to achieve injury-free projects and a total recordable incident rate (TRIR) that is below industry standard. Since our founding, we have maintained an exceptional TRIR. While we are proud of this, we also recognize that it is a lagging indicator. It means someone has already been hurt, or property damage has already occurred.

Driving a proactive culture is key to stopping incidents before they happen. That’s why we direct our energy and resources on planning and prevention. We empower our supervisors and craftspeople to create safe jobsites. We emphasize that we are each other’s keeper, accountable not only for our own safety, but for everyone else on a site, as well. And we back it up with a framework for creating Incident- and Injury-Free (IIF) jobsites across all our projects.

Here are some of the steps we take to keep our jobsites safe for our co-workers, project partners, and clients:

High expectations. When it comes to safety, the baseline is not good enough. Our policies and procedures not only ensure that we meet regulatory standards, but that we are also doing the best that we can to mitigate risk for our co-workers because it is the right thing to do. We constantly train, talk about, and reinforce our safety standards and procedures so they are top of mind for all of our co-workers. And we set the expectation that safety is everyone’s responsibility.

Extensive mentoring. We start educating new hires about our safety policies, processes, and procedures from day one. But it’s not a one-and-done deal. Providing ongoing, relevant training and instruction for all of our co-workers reinforces their knowledge and lowers their risk tolerance over time. Initiatives like our mentor program are so important for this reason. We pair new co-workers with experienced mentors, based on work assignments, to ensure new co-workers always have someone at their side to show them how do to things The Baker Way.

Environmental, Health, and Safety audits. We have developed a two-tiered auditing program to help front-line supervisors identify potential hazards before they become an issue. Our daily audit is a checklist on standard practices, regulations, and safety policies. Our weekly audit is a process for evaluating jobsite operations against our IIF policies and procedures. The weekly audit goes above and beyond standard safety regulations to make sure we are doing better than baseline.

Hazard mitigation program. Our hazard mitigation program engages craftworkers in the correction of unsafe acts and conditions in the field. In addition to earning craft buy-in, it enables us to identify and trend leading indicators so we can focus training or other resources in the right places.

Safety Goals For 2022

When we consistently meet our key performance indicators (KPI), we raise them. Our goal for 2022 is to identify and meet a new set of KPIs that will make our jobsites safer. By continually setting a higher bar, we will get closer to eliminating injuries and incidents — and that’s a goal that benefits everyone.