What Matters More Than Safety Numbers and Statistics?

Day & Zimmermann’s (D&Z) safety initiatives are foremost about the individuals, the families, and the lives that are impacted in horrible ways sometimes when an injury happens. Our drive to zero incidents and injuries is always about our people — and our people’s people.

It’s about zero spouses, mothers, and fathers receiving phone calls saying that something terrible happened to their loved one.

Zero families struggling because their household breadwinner is in the hospital.

Zero apprentices who are afraid to say something when they see someone putting themselves or others at risk — even if that someone has a big important title after their name.

Safety is D&Z’s No. 1 priority. As chair of the Day & Zimmermann Safety Council, I see fostering a culture of safety as central in our quest for zero. An outstanding safety culture puts people first and works to make safety top of mind for every employee. It’s a workplace environment where all employees adopt the mindset that zero injuries each hour, each day, each week is possible. It’s a culture where everyone at every site and office is dedicated to keeping each other safe “from the workplace to anyplace” as states the National Safety Council’s motto behind #NationalSafetyMonth every June. And it’s a culture where everyone from executives and our home office staff to our directors and site managers to our superintendents and supervisors to our skilled craft feel secure to speak up about safety concerns.

An outstanding safety culture also hinges on transparency and accountability. Any indication of declining safety performance means our leadership needs to look at more effectively enforcing our safety standards in the field. That’s why D&Z’s Maintenance and Construction (DZMC) division recently established its Safety Improvement Roundtable, to double down — from the top —on our safety priorities.

DZMC works in high-risk environments in different markets, labor postures, operational models, and client expectations. Our workforce is welcoming a new generation as we position DZMC to service customers’ greater project needs under an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) execution model. It’s not surprising then that our safety tools and programs risk inconsistencies across sites and lack familiarity with new workers. Our business may be growing and changing, but the need for an outstanding safety culture remains.

The Safety Improvement Roundtable gathers operations leadership, site managers and directors, and leadership from each market to work on bringing greater consistency and clarity on safety expectations and standards to our customer sites and fostering a more engaged leadership presence through coaching and correcting behaviors in the field.

Our Environmental, Health, and Safety Team recently conducted a market-wide Gaps, Drivers, Actions, Results (GDAR) assessment and is working with the Roundtable on steps to address safety culture development within both our mature and new market sectors. Some initial outcomes of the Roundtable’s work include partnering with our Information Technology (IT) Department to develop leading indicator metrics using proprietary AI tools and partnering with our Marketing Department to help us relaunch our internal Why Not Zero?® safety campaign to bring more awareness and recommit to protecting what matters – our people.

It is not hyperbole to say that D&Z employees are a family and that our commitment to safety is the foremost way D&Z honors family values. Nothing is more important than a well-trained workforce that concludes each shift by returning home to their families safe and injury-free. And so, I challenge you — why not zero? In your role at D&Z, what can you do differently to inspire a mindset that reaches for zero injuries each hour, each day, each week, and always?


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