Hunter Roberts demonstrates a strong and steadfast commitment to safety and the well-being of its employees through the implementation of an “Incident & Injury Free” (IIF) safety initiative, which strives to eliminate danger at construction work sites through a highly personal approach. This individualized methodology is a radical departure from safety training programs of the past, and will hopefully help to combat the many risks associated with the industry, which federal statistics currently rank as the most dangerous in the United States.
The fundamental aim of the initiative is to break away from traditional enforcement mentality, which punishes the breaking of safety rules with typical job suspension or termination. IIF personalizes safety and emphasizes the “human side” of it. The philosophy reasons that if employees are reminded of their home lives and personal relationships, they will be less apt to take risks which may result in injury. Furthermore, a deeper awareness of their colleagues’ personal lives will encourage workers to intervene when they see a coworker in a questionable position or making an uninformed decision.
The initiative endeavors to accomplish its goal through relationship-building workshops that facilitate the sharing of personal information. Meetings begin with an “IIF moment,” in which employees are encouraged to discuss their personal histories with job danger, to share their thoughts and concerns about daily safety, and to volunteer to be responsible, as well as accountable, for safety. Additionally, safety meetings and foreman’s meetings are combined to help focus on the issue and pre-planning.
The IIF shift in focus on safety (from a compliance requirement to a concern for workers’ health and welfare) has had a profound effect on Hunter Roberts job sites since its implementation earlier this year, with employees actively participating in the development of new, innovative ways to alter industry attitude and mentality.
Even before we became an industry leader in the application of IIF principles to job sites, we were recognized for our dedication to safety at work. General Building Contractors of New York (GBC) named us as one of the seven recipients of their 2008 GBC Safety Excellence Award. To qualify, contenders needed a competitively low EMR rate, and had to submit a detailed application chronicling OSHA logs, firm history, and safety program specifics.