2016 – summer Issue

In Pursuit of Zero

A few years ago Interstates began a new safety journey. We had been a contractor focused on Behavioral Based Safety, and it had drastically improved our safety culture. Our performance had improved to the point of lowering our EMR to best in class levels. We were, and continue to be, the recipients of many awards recognizing our achievements in the areas of safety including ABC?s National Safety Excellence Award, on multiple occasions. Although the recognition of our efforts was great, many on our team soon became concerned that our success might lead to complacency and the decline of the very safety mindset we had all worked so hard to achieve. Soon our goal was reset to move from being a good, safety conscious, contractor to being a great, safety culture, contractor. At the same time, our core value of family was nagging at us that we needed to get to zero recordable injuries. We needed to stop accepting small incidents as ?just part of doing business? in the construction field. We made the choice that we were no longer willing to have any of our family members get hurt.

Our journey to zero began with us struggling to imagine that zero was even a realistic possibility. The construction world is inherently dangerous and is constantly changing. We needed to adjust our own thinking and achieve buy-in at all levels that we could actually get to zero. Eventually we had to break down this large goal into smaller, bite sized increments. This meant deliberately not thinking about reaching zero for an entire year, as an example, but rather start with a goal of a single, safe day. We began by asking ourselves, ?can we get to zero for a week by aiming initially for one day and even for just one morning?? With this as the building block, our team and our culture began to believe and change.

We are pleased to say that we have now achieved over One Million man-hours without a recordable injury. According to OSHA records, this achievement has been obtained by only 31 other contractors in the United States since 2004.

Throughout the journey to zero, our client partners have been a critical component to our success. Their passion and partnerships have helped build healthy work environments which are of vital importance in enabling our safety culture to grow. It is our desire to see all of our trade and client partners uncover a similar vision for zero injuries. We consider them an extension of our family and we want all of our family to be safe.

A big thank you to our clients, trade partners and the whole Interstates family in helping us reach this goal and stay committed to zero injuries.