2010 CEOs Who 'Get It'
AMEC's Earth & Environmental Division
AMEC’s Earth & Environmental Division is one of the world’s leading environmental and engineering consulting organizations, delivering full-service capabilities covering a wide range of disciplines, including environmental engineering and science, geotechnical engineering, water resources, materials testing and engineering, engineering and surveying, and program management. Headquartered in Philadelphia, AMEC has approximately 4,500 employees.
Why is safety a core value at your company?
There is nothing more important than getting our employees and the subcontractors who work for AMEC home safely every day. AMEC’s safety values are:
- Nothing we do is so important that we can’t take time to do it safely.
- We expect everyone to be a safety leader.
- We seek the involvement of all our people.
- We communicate openly and honestly with our people.
- Everyone has the right to challenge anyone or anything if they believe safety is compromised.
How do you instill a sense of safety in your employees on an ongoing basis?
It starts at the top. If I can’t demonstrate that I talk and walk safety, that it’s one of my core values, none of the training and programs would carry much weight. I have made it clear that it’s important to me, and I’ve articulated and communicated my own personal and corporate safety commitments. I frequently travel to offices and project sites, and I always include safety in my schedule. I am always looking for good safety ideas from our employees to cascade through the organization, and the rest of our management team does the same.
We provide many different types of safety training to our staff. In addition, occupational safety, health and environmental protection are among our professional practice areas. Each month, we produce new training materials to be delivered to all our people. Recently we started an online safety quiz program that has become quite popular.
One of our senior leaders started his own daily safety blog two years ago, never missing a day, creating a big group of followers who are actively exchanging safety ideas and promoting safety knowledge across the business. He received an internal safety award for his proactive health and safety commitment.
At AMEC, safety programs are led by company executives and are consistently and persistently implemented. Safety is integrated in business processes and is a part of the risk management cycle. This process of recognizing and evaluating a hazard, developing and implementing controls, managing change, and staying alert for new hazards should never stop.
How does safety “pay” at your company?
There doesn’t need to be a business rationale for safety – it’s simply the right thing to do. Safety is ingrained in what we do and intrinsic to our personal values as much as it is to our business values.
How do you measure safety? What are the leading indicators that show you how safe you are, and where do you see room for improvement?
To be excellent in safety, we need to go beyond meeting the typical regulatory requirements and reporting on lost-time injuries and reportable incidents. We have additional, more rigorous measurements in place internally. Leading indicators we continuously use are the number of safety inspections and audits conducted, number of monthly safety training meetings, number of safety training hours for our employees, and the number of near misses reported.
A critical component of our program is the employee survey. The latest survey indicated that 95 percent of our employees think AMEC is committed to employee safety. While we are really proud of that result, we want to improve it.