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2018 CEOs Who "Get It"

January 28, 2018
2018 CEOs Who
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Deborah A. P. Hersman
President and CEO
National Safety Council

What does it take to create a culture of safety?

It takes listening as well as leadership. It takes data and dedication. And it takes a CEO who gets it.

We’ve been successful at shifting safety culture in a positive direction over many decades because at every turn, we had key people who understood the paramount importance of keeping those around them safe, and then acted as safety sponsors. Safety sponsors challenge the status quo, create positive safety cultures and help redefine what often is taken for granted. Our 2018 CEOs Who “Get It” are safety sponsors in their own right.

These eight individuals not only are fearless and willing to take charge in the interest of safety, but they also are passionate about creating a world in which safety is at the center, starting with their employees and extending to their families, their clients and their larger communities. Shifting culture isn’t easy, but for the organizations with a CEO Who “Gets It” at the helm, it’s within reach. All of our recognized leaders have powerful visions in which safety is the right way to do things.

For example, Daniel Evans never lets safety take a back seat to cost or schedule at Fluor Federal Petroleum Operations in New Orleans, encouraging everyone to “Speak up! Listen up!” for potential hazards and solutions.

Dr. Abdulrahman Jawahery, president of Gulf Petrochemical Industries Co. in the Kingdom of Bahrain, instilled a sense of urgency in ensuring the highest level of safety practices and world-class standards, reaching a record 26 million hours of no lost time at the company. GPIC not only has trained all employees in first aid, but it has provided potentially lifesaving training to family members, contractors, university students and others in the community.

David Petratis supports Allegion employees’ innovative safety ideas through a Trailblazer competition at the Carmel, IN, hardware manufacturing company, where workers believe in the value of “Be Safe, Be Healthy.”

At the Day & Zimmermann engineering and construction firm in Philadelphia, Michael McMahon knows that safe workplaces and behaviors are cultivated not just by what people are told to do, but from watching others do things the right way. Like teens learning to drive, they have been watching and learning from the back seat for years.

A leader in any industry can enact change through policies, data sharing or advancing technology, but some make safety their highest priority. Leaders who walk the walk, not just talk the talk, are CEOs Who “Get It.”

We all can learn from and celebrate their examples. Hopefully, each one inspires not just the frontline and management employees at their own companies, but employees in other industries as well. Each leader nominated this year has a fantastic story to share, so while we learn about the eight individuals who rose to the top, join me in congratulating all our 2018 CEOs!

Deborah A.P. Hersman
President and CEO
National Safety Council


Browse individual CEO profiles by clicking on a photo below or by pressing the navigation buttons at the top of each page.

  • Garret DanosGarrett "Hank" Danos
  • Dan EvansDaniel M. Evans
  • Dr. Abdulrahman JawaheryDr. Abdulrahman Jawahery
  • Tammie JohnsonTammie Johnson
  • Michael McMahonMichael P. McMahon
  • Chris PappasChris Pappas
  • Dave PetratisDavid D. Petratis
  • Peter WilsonPeter A. Wilson
  • View the article as it appears in print in the digital edition.




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Garret Danos

Garrett “Hank” Danos

President and CEO (1990-2017)
Now Chairman of the Board
Danos
Houma, LA


Accomplishments

  • Leadership in safety through measurement of owner, executive and field leader engagement in field visits, customer safety meetings, audits, BBS observations, participation in training and other safety initiatives, as well as planning and/or participating in quarterly “Safety Focus Forums,” monthly Town Hall meetings and weekly safety roundtables.
  • Created “Hank’s Hazard Hunt,” encouraging employees to find potential hazards and send them to him for review.
  • In the past year, supported and funded multiple hazard-focused initiatives, including a BBS mobile application, a Crane Improvement Team, HAZID Process and SHARP Process (periodic hazard assessment for permit to work systems).

Founded in 1947, Danos is a family-owned and managed oilfield service provider that employs 1,800 workers. A trusted industry partner, Danos offers the most responsive end-to-end integrated service solutions – safely, on time and within budget. Danos achieves world-class safety results and customer loyalty due to a values-based approach and an unyielding commitment to employee engagement and training.

Describe your personal journey to becoming a CEO who “gets it.” What experiences or lessons brought you to where you are now?

During the very early years of my career, one of my responsibilities was to act as a first responder to any incident. This allowed me to meet with anyone and everyone who was involved in an incident. I witnessed the pain, disappointment and embarrassment that many felt as a result of accidents, regardless if it was a personal injury, environmental or equipment-related. No one wants to be involved directly or indirectly in any type of failure or incident. I realized that this is a complex issue and required employee training, culture reshaping and commitment from management to improve safety and reduce incidents. Fortunately, as I was growing in awareness and experience, many of our partner service providers and customers were realizing that together we could impact not only safety but morale and productivity. We realized that as we worked together on communicating and improving the workplace safety culture, good things would follow. The journey began many years ago and is continuous.

Why is safety a core value at your organization?

Safety is important to our employees and their families. It is important to our customers, our communities, owners and all of our stakeholders. We realize that safety is the first and the most basic responsibility that each of us must share in, and therefore it must be core to who we are and all that we do.

What is the biggest obstacle to safety at your organization, and how do you work to overcome it?

I believe that all people desire to be safe and want to execute good, safe work practices. Not all are equally knowledgeable in safe work practices, therefore it is our job to offer training, programs and assurances that confirm we are committed to the safety of all our team members. Additionally, the challenge for management is often to help our people understand that deadlines and competing priorities should not compromise safety. This is easier said than done. Therefore, we have to consistently demonstrate that safety is a core value and our first priority. Helping our team members understand and believe that they have a right and obligation to intervene when they sense an issue is a process that we must encourage continually.

How do you instill a sense of safety in employees on an ongoing basis?

Walk the talk. Folks are very perceptive and know when we mean what we say. We must be sincere, clear and innovative in the way we offer training, develop safe work practices and implement safety tools. We must communicate that we care and are willing to place safety above production. This is a process that always needs to be reinforced and refreshed. Communication must be consistent, from the CEO to the “shop floor,” so to speak. Our organization develops safety goals for each department and group at the beginning of the year. These are published and measured. My safety performance and involvement is plain for anyone to see, and they can help hold me accountable.

How does your organization measure safety? What are the leading indicators that show you how safe your organization is, and where do you see room for improvement?

We measure a number of indicators and attempt to gain insight, which can be applied forward. Total recordable incident rate reports and near-miss reports are studied for clues as to how we may improve. We also realize that the more engaged our workforce is with safety, the better our program can become. We measure and encourage participation in a behavior-based safety observation program, job safety and environment analysis, and employee safety forums. The challenge is to keep our programs interesting and meaningful so that our employees want to participate. We know that when our field teams feel a sense of ownership we are much more successful. The information and communication pipeline is always at work with events such as a weekly Wednesday morning safety call. Team members from literally all over the world can and do call in for a 30-minute safety discussion. We also employ a robust electronic communication system to keep information flowing. Finally, we provide safety information that can be used at jobsites by field team members, safety professionals, account managers or any staff visitor.

What role does off-the-job safety play in your organization’s overall safety program? What types of off-the-job safety and health programs does your organization offer to employees?

It is important for our team members to be safe and healthy at home as well as at work. Healthy folks on our worksites is a must. Many of the safety lessons learned and applied at work are equally useful at home. We have regular campaigns regarding safety issues during holidays, hunting seasons, vacations and home improvement activities. Some years ago, we began a children’s safety poster calendar contest. This was an opportunity for our team members to help and teach their children about safety. A company safety calendar was published with the winning poster designs. Our BBS observation program promotes use at home as well as at work. Danos has a BBS app that is easily downloaded to any phone and allows our team members and their families to participate.



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Dan Evans

Daniel M. Evans

President and CEO
Fluor Federal Petroleum Operations
New Orleans, LA


Accomplishments

  • Engages employees in a repeated safety perception survey to identify incremental improvement opportunities and provide training for all employees to identify safety hazards.
  • Created a Subcontractor Safety Council that meets quarterly to discuss concerns and new or changed processes, ask questions, and share best practices.
  • Created the Management in Action process to facilitate conversations among managers, supervisors and workers about job hazards and controls and to track and analyze process outputs to view improvement opportunities.
  • Identified the 9 “Life Critical” operations so additional hazard controls are implemented when these activities are conducted; all employees are trained on this process.

Fluor Federal Petroleum Operations is a special-purpose company formed for the sole purpose of managing and operating the Strategic Petroleum Reserve under a prime contract with the U.S. Department of Energy. With the capacity for holding up to 713.5 million barrels, the SPR is the largest emergency supply of crude oil in the world. FFPO, which employs 576 workers, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Irving, TX-based Fluor Corp.

Describe your personal journey to becoming a CEO who “gets it.” What experiences or lessons brought you to where you are now?

My approach to safety has grown out of having been part of a variety of organizations, many with high-hazard missions. Early in my career, these projects gave me an up-close-and-personal view of how others would lead. The best of these leaders created safe environments for workers by understanding their businesses and the inherent risks, demonstrating an in-depth knowledge of the people doing the work, creating a personal connection with employees, speaking the truth, following through on commitments and leading by example.

I strive to carry those lessons forward in my role at the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. While working at the world’s largest petroleum reserve offers new safety challenges, the same lessons apply. The end result, I believe, is that we have created an environment where we are responsible for our own safety, and we help each other to be safe. If issues arise, we work them out in a just environment where we can all learn how we can perform better. I have also observed that our safety culture “goes home” with our workforce – our approach to hazard recognition, work planning and mitigation gets used at home for simple but potentially hazardous tasks like using ladders and power tools. We work every day to renew this passion for safety, and I believe it works.

Why is safety a core value at your organization?

Safety is the first core value (Safety, Integrity, Teamwork and Excellence) at Fluor Federal Petroleum Operations because we truly care about our employees. Our employees are our greatest asset, and making sure they are safe is our top priority.

Our mission on the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is to keep the country safe and secure. The way we accomplish this is to take care of ourselves and each other on and off the job. FFPO is proud to have made an immediate and significant impact on safety at the SPR. For the last three years, we have enjoyed the safest years ever in the history of the project.

What is the biggest obstacle to safety at your organization, and how do you work to overcome it?

The biggest obstacle to safety is inattentiveness. Everyone must be focused on what they are doing and aware of how they can perform the task safely. Some of the ways we work to overcome inattention is through sharing lessons learned, distributing cross-talk communications and discussing safety topics. Every meeting begins with the brief discussion of a safety topic, which keeps the importance of safety at the forefront of employees’ minds.

How do you instill a sense of safety in employees on an ongoing basis?

Safety is something we talk about and something we live. We make sure our employees have whatever they need to keep them safe, such as a safe working environment, hazard recognition, thorough training and appropriate personal protective equipment. Safety is one of the ways we measure the quality of the work we do.

How does your organization measure safety? What are the leading indicators that show you how safe your organization is, and where do you see room for improvement?

FFPO relies on leading indicators to help us get in front of potential safety issues. Here are a few examples:

  • Results from our Management in Action program give us valuable safety data. Supervisors, managers and executives “walk the site” and engage in one-on-one dialogue with the employees. Observers identify opportunities for improvement with the intent of creating a positive impact. These data are compiled and we look for root causes and trends.
  • The number of “stop works” called by month, year and cause
  • How many Safe Work Permits are issued by site and year, and the number of work orders completed
  • Reporting and tracking first aid injuries and illnesses by cause, body part injured, site and year. The first aids are excellent predictors of accident occurrences.
  • Job Hazard Analyses performed by types of hazard, nature of work to be performed, location and site
  • Gathering annual findings from all audits – internal, external, client, corporate – and analyzing the total group of findings and their impact on safety culture or performance
  • Near-miss reporting
  • Looking at our leading indicators, one of the areas that we can improve on is the way we prepare and use Job Hazard Analyses.

What role does off-the-job safety play in your organization’s overall safety program? What types of off-the-job safety and health programs does your organization offer to employees?

We want our employees to be safe no matter where they are. Instilling and cultivating a strong safety culture at work will flow naturally into a way of life. One of the ways we keep off-the-job safety at the forefront of employees’ minds is using personal experiences as safety topics to open our meetings.

Each issue of our weekly employee newsletter features an article about off-the-job safety. The topics range from how to safely deep-fry a Thanksgiving turkey to the safety issues created by drowsy driving. FFPO hosts meetings and presentations in New Orleans, at the storage sites and by video teleconference about safety and health topics. Most recently, a nationally known ergonomist delivered a presentation on how changing work and lifestyle behaviors can improve health.

The company also provides opportunities to join local health clubs at a reduced rate and provides a free, confidential Employee Assistance Program to help employees cope with the stresses of everyday life. Also, we are planning a vehicle accident reduction program for 2018.



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Dr. Abulrahman Jawahery

Dr. Abdulrahman Jawahery

President
Gulf Petrochemical Industries Co. (GPIC)
Kingdom of Bahrain


Accomplishments

  • In the spirit of continuous improvement, invited his company to go under the microscope for stringent audits such as RoSPA’s QSA audit (Level 2 achieved) and the British Safety Council’s five-star Audit, and drove the company to achieve ISO standards that include 31000, 22301, 9001-2000, 14001 and OHSAS 18001, integrating them all through PAS 99.
  • Encourages safety beyond the workplace in homes and communities, training employees’ family and children, hosting annual family evening and EHS night functions, and EHS week.
  • 26 million hours with no lost-time injuries

GPIC was established in 1979 as a joint venture equally owned by the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) and Petrochemical Industries Co., Kuwait. GPIC, which employs 480 workers, uses natural gas as a feedstock for the production of ammonia, urea and methanol. In addition to the production plants, the GPIC Complex comprises utilities plants, maintenance workshops, offices, stores and laboratories, as well as numerous environmental green-initiative gardens and projects.

Describe your personal journey to becoming a CEO who “gets it.” What experiences or lessons brought you to where you are now?

Like most people, I wasn’t always sure of the direction I was taking in my career or what position I wanted to hold years down the line. But what I have always fundamentally known is what kind of person I wanted to be. That never changed at any point in my life. My career and my journey to the position I am in today took many roads, many experiences and many turns. But knowing who I wanted to be and shaping those solid values and characteristics is, I believe, the reason that I am where I am today. It’s also the reason that I do not give up on the things that are important to me. The health and safety of people is the most important practice and value any individual or company can covet. It’s also not only about what you do inside the confines of your own business, but the permanent and positive impact you make for the people and the society in which you operate.

Safety is leadership imperative, in my opinion – to continually show your employees they are your number one priority is measured only through your words and actions. It means putting safety first in everything we do. It means we’re doing everything possible to ensure our people come to work and leave work without injury. Our people know if we cannot complete the job safely, then we will not do the job. We are very clear that we will never conduct business in a manner that would put our employees at risk.


Why is safety a core value at your organization?

We are successful because safety isn’t just a program – it’s a way of life for us. As a forward-looking petrochemical and fertilizer company, GPIC recognizes that our commitment to safety is the foundation for building and maintaining trust and public confidence. It’s part of being a good citizen, a good neighbor and a good partner. Safety drives our commitment to sustainable business and defines who we are and what we stand for. By instilling a culture that ensures the well-being and safety of our employees, we empower them to focus on the details and to do what’s right the first time every time. This leads to improved performance and reliable, consistent and predictable delivery of our high-quality products.

What is the biggest obstacle to safety at your organization, and how do you work to overcome it?

I am proud to say that our company thrives on making the impossible possible. This also applies to our health and safety standards at GPIC. The only obstacle a company may have to implementing or ensuring best practice is if adopts an attitude of complacency. We need to assume an accident can occur at any moment. When one does, we need to quickly understand why and put the right procedures in place so that it doesn’t happen again. At GPIC, we have mandatory safety training every year for our employees. We also do yearly on-site safety assessments at all of our plants, and spot site assessments regularly. But the best thing we do – and that any company needs to do – is utilize the full capability of our workforce. All of our GPIC employees are our eyes and ears constantly. Conditions change, plants and offices change, people change. It’s an ongoing process.

How do you instill a sense of safety in employees on an ongoing basis?

Creating a safety culture requires continual communication and reinforcement at every level of the organization. Every communication we do, from our most important operations morning meetings to our daily supervisor meetings on the shop floor, starts with a message on safety – how we’re doing, how important it is, and everyone’s role in creating and maintaining a safer workplace.

It is not just an agenda item that I push for, but one that every single employee completely and utterly believes in. Health and safety is not a strategy. It is not a business initiative. It is a moral code and a behavior that is only visible through the actions and deeds we initiate and the change in focus and attitude we create in others. I would go so far as to say that it really is an inherent part of our culture and DNA at GPIC, and stems from a values-based mindset that we seek out through our recruitment, development and retention strategy. Who we hire matters because our focus is not solely on the skills required to do the job – that is easy to teach. Our focus pivots on the values and principles the individual holds and brings into the ethical framework in which we strive and operate.

How does your organization measure safety? What are the leading indicators that show you how safe your organization is, and where do you see room for improvement?

At GPIC, safety, health and environmental performance is a top-level agenda and is measured, reported, evaluated and continuously improved upon. It is part of our company’s regular review process, and we have set stringent, clear and visible goals with leading and lagging indicators throughout all levels and processes of the organization. We focus and apply measures to all the four elements of safety culture: Systems and Processes; Skills and Knowledge of Individuals; Behaviors; and Attitudes, Perception and Leadership. We have long realized and recognized that there is no single reliable measure of health and safety performance. What is required is a basket of measures providing information on a range of health and safety activities.

As a forward-moving company, GPIC has understood the worker safety dimension of sustainability and has started proactively leveraging the OHS and sustainability connection. With the launch of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, GPIC is using these global strategies to underpin its sustainability efforts.

What role does off-the-job safety play in your organization’s overall safety program? What types of off-the-job safety and health programs does your organization offer to employees?

GPIC firmly believes that effective health and safety knowledge can only be powerful when it is shared, and more so when it comes to passing on that knowledge to the wider community and society. Since its inception, GPIC has led the way in passing on that knowledge to future generations through an extensive number of initiatives and program sponsorships. GPIC conducts yearly industrial training programs for university students; involves over 30 percent of its employees in educational programs and transferring health and safety methodologies to the wider public; hosts annual safety, health and environment evenings; and works closely with charities and institutions.



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Tammie Johnson

Tammie Johnson

President and CEO
CJ Drilling
Dundee, IL


Accomplishments

  • An active participant in every near-miss and incident analysis to ensure meaningful corrective actions are implemented to prevent incident recurrence
  • Personally leads the company’s Executive Safety Committee
  • Committed to tracking proactive safety metrics

CJ Drilling is a 100 percent woman-owned and operated foundation drilling contractor serving the utility, transportation, railroad and general contracting industries. The company also provides heavy-hauling; rebar cage fabrication; crane hoisting; hydro-excavation; concrete pumping and finishing; and site access, cleanup and remediation. CJ Drilling employs 115 workers.

Describe your personal journey to becoming a CEO who “gets it.” What experiences or lessons brought you to where you are now?

I set a goal to never miss out on a bid opportunity because of our past safety performance, and I can proudly say we never have. We have actually passed on some bidding opportunities because of safety concerns. More and more, we see our customers examine our past safety performance, safety programs and our regulatory compliance record before we even begin to estimate a job. This has become the “price of admission” to work for most of our customers. As the president/CEO, it is up to me to ensure we do not lower these standards. Not even for a minute.

Why is safety a core value at your organization?

Nothing is more important to our overall success than our employees going home safe each and every day. I owe it to our employees to provide the resources necessary to prevent injuries and incidents. This is a commitment that I take personally and I require throughout every level of employment within the company. By sharing this value across the organization, safety does not become one person’s responsibility; rather, it is a shared responsibility across all levels of our company. This allows us to protect our employees, our customers and the public as we perform our work. In our very competitive market, our company would simply not exist if safety wasn’t a core value.

What is the biggest obstacle to safety at your organization, and how do you work to overcome it?

One of the biggest obstacles to safety at CJ Drilling is the human performance factor. All humans are fallible. There’s just no getting around it and, sometimes, despite their best intentions, they may disregard a safe work procedure in an effort to get a job done. While we admire ingenuity and reward innovation, we have to remain vigilant in communicating that all changes in the procedure must be evaluated to ensure that safety is built in. We will never eliminate people in our workforce, so it is up to us to ensure every employee fully understands their role in delivering our product safely to our customers. Our customers demand it of us, and we owe it to our employees.

How do you instill a sense of safety in employees on an ongoing basis?

The most important thing we can do as a company is to remain consistent with our safety message. Although we perform work all over the country, our safety message doesn’t change. We need to ensure our employees receive the same support for their safety on any project and working for any of our field leaders. To make sure we continuously send the same message, we have a weekly safety conference call to share the same safety message to all of our company leaders. This call is followed up with the minutes being made available to every employee. By sharing a consistent safety message and communicating our safe work expectations, we have seen a reduction in incidents in each of the past five years.

How does your organization measure safety?

We monitor and report out on several safety metrics. In no particular order, we look at incident by cost, incident type, root cause, the supervisor at the time of the incident, geographic location, weather, etc. Each of these metrics allows us to identify positive and negative trends so that we can provide the resources, be it worker oversight, training, equipment or a combination, where they are needed the most.

What are the leading indicators that show you how safe your organization is, and where do you see room for improvement?

Monitoring these metrics is an important part of how effective our safety program is, but they are all reactive – that is they only show what we’ve done. To counter that, I have instructed our safety director to take a very hands-on and proactive approach to our safe work performance. This approach is again a team approach. In addition to our weekly safety call I mentioned, our field leadership performs an audit of their jobsite a minimum of once weekly. This allows us to identify deviations from our safe work practices before an incident occurs. We also take a team approach to investigating all incidents, even if an injury does not occur. Our incident analysis team is assembled and includes myself and all senior managers, safety staff, the person(s) involved in the incident as well as field leadership. This investigative process allows several independent views on the incident and allows us to figure out what went right, what went wrong and what needs to be fixed.

We continually strive for zero incidents and have committed personnel and resources to our safety program. One area that we can improve is to ensure that every safety message we send is received and understood by every employee. With modern technology, it has become very easy to electronically send a safety communication, but we need to work harder to ensure the receiver understands the message so that the same incident doesn’t happen again.

What role does off-the-job safety play in your organization’s overall safety program?

Safety off the job is just as important to us as it is on the job. There are so many of our safe work procedures that parallel activities outside of work: texting while driving, ladder use, smoke detectors, ergonomics, fire prevention, etc. I hope that our employees utilize the same practices off the job to ensure their safe return to work – we cannot be successful without them. As a NSC First Aid, CPR and AED training center, we provide this training to all of our employees. This valuable training is available to our employees whether they experience an accident at work, at home or out in the public.

What types of off-the-job safety and health programs does your organization offer to employees?

In 2016, we built a gym and basketball court to allow our employees a place to work out. This facility is open to all employees, and they have 24-hour access to it. Throughout the year, we send out safety messages that are relevant to safety in the home, like during Fire Prevention Week, Fourth of July Summertime Safety and Winter Holiday safety tips. In coordination with our health care provider, we provide information on nicotine cessation to help our employees quit their nicotine usage. It is my goal to be a tobacco-free company by 2020.



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Michael McMahon

Michael P. McMahon

President
Day & Zimmermann ECM
Philadelphia, PA


Accomplishments

  • Has been instrumental in promoting the drive for, and accountability to, the safety of all employees, and has taken that drive beyond his own business unit to the balance of the D&Z organization.
  • Leads thousands of workers at field and office locations around the country by setting a strong personal example, challenging the status quo, and inspiring each to safeguard their own personal health and safety and the health and safety of co-workers.
  • Led the development of a comprehensive safety program that enhances employee engagement and accountability for safe execution throughout the organization.

Day & Zimmermann is a leading provider of engineering, construction and maintenance services for the power, process and industrial markets. The company is the No. 1 maintenance services provider to the U.S. power market and maintains more than 50 percent of the U.S. nuclear power fleet. Day & Zimmermann employs 25,000 workers.

Describe your personal journey to becoming a CEO who “gets it.” What experiences or lessons brought you to where you are now?

My personal mentor was Joe Ucciferro, the former president of Day & Zimmermann NPS and the former chairman of the Board of Directors for the National Safety Council. Joe used to say that safety is a value, not a goal. It’s not something you do, it’s in your heart and it’s a part of you. I believe that, and I credit Joe with instilling in me the respect for safety that I have carried throughout my career. In my younger days, when I was working in the field, I thought, “Injuries happen, and I better be careful so that they don’t happen to me.” As I started to do accident investigations, I began to see that there are no injuries that we come across that we couldn’t have avoided. And that is why we started to talk about the zero injury principle.

Why is safety a core value at your organization?

Safety begins at the top with strong core values that are fundamental to our owners, the Yoh family, who carry the zero injury safety focus across all the Day & Zimmermann companies. Safety is our No. 1 corporate value, and nothing is more important. We care about safety because we care about our people. We are a people business. Our employees and our customers have come to associate Day & Zimmermann with safe delivery because of our constant vigilance and daily commitment to create a work environment that is without accident or injury.

What is the biggest obstacle to safety at your organization, and how do you work to overcome it?

The biggest obstacle to safety is getting everyone to buy into the concept that safety isn’t something that is done to you or for you, but starts with each and every one of us. It is not about what the other workers are doing, it is about what I must do to protect myself within my own surroundings. We can avoid injuries if we each take personal responsibility for our own conduct, protect others and monitor our surroundings. We constantly work to keep safety top of mind by modeling safe behaviors and reinforcing our zero injury principles. When I tour the sites, I look for safe work practices. If and when I find the opposite, it is addressed immediately.

How do you instill a sense of safety in employees on an ongoing basis?

We have a comprehensive EHS program built on the Construction Industry Institute’s nine Zero Injury safety management techniques. We conduct safety training throughout the organization. Our Safety Conscious Work Environment encourages employees to identify and report work-related concerns or issues without fear of retaliation. This is coupled with an Employee Concerns Program, which provides a confidential method for workers to report their concerns. We also conduct Craft Pulsing Surveys to solicit honest feedback so workers are assured their concerns are addressed.

How does your organization measure safety? What are the leading indicators that show you how safe your organization is, and where do you see room for improvement?

We measure our safety performance using OSHA and other industry standards. We benchmark our performance and look for opportunities for improvement. We teach our people to identify and mitigate or eliminate hazards and risks. We embraced a behavior observation learning tool that drives accountability through preemptive evaluations of personal behaviors, plant conditions and surrounding behaviors. We know that over time, we become blind to what is right in front of us. We can look at work in action and look right past the errors. When safety becomes boring, people tend to have an inaccurate perception of the risk and a high-risk tolerance. In other words, we lack the heightened awareness and caution we have when we first enter a strange or unfamiliar work environment. It takes managerial courage to passionately refuse to lose the battle to get to zero injuries.

What role does off-the-job safety play in your organization’s overall safety program?

If safety is something that you turn on at starting time and turn off at quitting time, you are going to hurt yourself and others. We continually preach and reinforce that safety is a 24-hour-a-day commitment. We must take our safe practices home with us and teach our children, grandchildren and loved ones how to be safe. Safe workplaces and behaviors are cultivated not just by what we tell our people. We must lead by example and show people how to be safe.

We teach children to pass the driver’s test at 16 years old. But, in reality, our children learn how to drive by watching mom and dad for years from the back seat. If you drive defensively, wear your seat belt and obey the rules of the road, your children will model that behavior. Conversely, if you are speeding or consistently distracted when driving, your children will follow suit. If you don’t respect teaching the next generation at home, you won’t respect teaching your co-workers.

What types of off-the-job safety and health programs does your organization offer to employees?

We know the impact personal medical conditions can have on worker safety, and continually remind our employees to speak up if they are not feeling 100 percent. Every business meeting begins with a safety message, and I think we do a good job talking about health-related topics such as the warning signs of stroke and heart attack, choking hazards, and environmental hazards like heat and cold that can cause physical harm. Our benefits package includes professional assistance for health-related issues, and we offer a variety of wellness programs that promote healthy lifestyles and choices. New this year is a digital option, which gives our employees the ability to access a doctor by phone or secure video to help treat any non-emergency medical conditions.



2018 CEOs Who Get it
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Chris Pappas

Chris Pappas

President and CEO
Trinseo
Berwyn, PA


Accomplishments

  • Corporate and staff meetings begin with EHS performance reports, including a review of any injuries.
  • Developed the “Safety on Purpose” behavioral safety program, training over 200 “safety influencers” across 22 locations, and so far over 1,000 workers, including contractors.
  • Runs and participates in mock corporate crisis drills with senior managers.

Trinseo is a global materials company that develops and produces plastics, latex binders and synthetic rubber that drive the creation and manufacture of goods within multiple high-growth end-markets. The company has 2,200 employees.

Describe your personal journey to becoming a CEO who “gets it.” What experiences or lessons brought you to where you are now?

The chemical industry has yielded so many wonders that are essential to modern life, but like many industrial businesses, the raw materials and manufacturing processes we use have risk. It takes care every day to make sure we are operating safely and responsibly.

Throughout my career, I’ve been blessed to work at companies that take safety seriously, but any good leader will tell you that safety doesn’t happen organically or arise solely from good intentions. For me, focusing the organization on safety is a relatively simple concept – it’s about establishing a culture where caring for your co-worker, for your community, and for yourself and your family are just a way of everyday thinking.

When Trinseo was carved out of Dow Chemical in 2010, we really didn’t have a company, just a collection of businesses and assets. We had to work hard to build a company and corporate culture – one with safety and sustainability always at the core of what we were trying to accomplish.

At all levels, we ask a lot of our people in terms of accountability and leadership, and in return we want everyone to feel that their health and safety will never be put at risk. Right from the very founding of Trinseo, we said, “If a job cannot be done safely, it should not be done,” and we empower every employee to stop work if they have a concern. We make sure that safety is discussed at every leadership meeting, and we have a “vision of zero” for workplace injuries and environmental incidents.

Why is safety a core value at your organization?

I believe this commitment to safety is at the center of our success and our growth. It has helped us retain top talent and find the best workers across the globe.

When we were carved out of Dow Chemical, we made a conscious decision to maintain our strong heritage and history of engineering excellence, safety process discipline, and a relentless continuous-improvement mindset. And we decided to pair that with new traits as a young company, like an open and collaborative culture.

We treat safety performance as a line management responsibility, with each line manager being accountable for the safety results of their department. We expect all leaders to show a strong and visible commitment to safety. Safety also is a critical piece of career advancement for leaders in manufacturing. Simply put, if a production leader or operations leader has consistently poor safety performance in their plant, this can affect their promotions and career advancement in the future.

We’ve found that safe and healthy working environments foster greater productivity, but also strengthen our relationships in the communities where we operate and bring us closer together as an organization.

The most valuable resources we have at Trinseo are our employees. Keeping our people safe and healthy is essential to our success and all that we’ve been able to accomplish.

What is the biggest obstacle to safety at your organization, and how do you work to overcome it?

Our safety performance is very good, with an OSHA recordable rate of between .27 and .32 each year, including contractors. We want to keep getting better in order to get to our vision of zero incidents, but our injury has more or less plateaued over the last several years.

In order to get better, we need to focus on behavior. And we know that many of our incidents have a behavioral component. So in 2016, we started working on redesigning our behavioral safety program, and launched it in early 2017 under the name “Safety on Purpose.” This is a real shift for us because we’ve historically focused on engineering solutions to reduce the risk of what we do, and not always focused as much on the behavioral component. So we completely redesigned our behavioral safety program, using ideas we gained from benchmarking other leading companies, combined with expertise from a consultant.

The Safety on Purpose program was previewed at a leadership meeting in October 2016, followed by full launch in Spring 2017 via 22 training sessions across all of our manufacturing plants. The core training is 18 hours, aimed at each plant’s leadership. We call these people “safety influencers,” and we have trained over 200 of them. In addition, the plant leader introduces the program in several shorter sessions to everyone who works at the plant, including contractors. Over 1,000 people have received this one-hour introduction to the program, to get them engaged in safety conversations. We decided to deliver that training in local language because we found this program works much better when employees can feel comfortable expressing themselves and asking questions in their native tongue.

It will take time, but we feel confident that improving behavior will help us get to that next level and ultimately our vision of zero incidents.

How do you instill a sense of safety in employees on an ongoing basis?

It’s built on the belief that safety doesn’t happen by itself, or even with good intentions and superior engineering. Safe workplaces arise from commitments by every employee to embed safe behaviors in everything they do, coupled with strong programs, operating discipline and highly trained people in our organization.

It starts with tone at the top. I begin each biweekly leadership meeting with a report on our EHS performance. So it’s front and center not just for leaders in manufacturing, but for leaders in every other department, too.

How does your organization measure safety? What are the leading indicators that show you how safe your organization is, and where do you see room for improvement?

Our long-range goal is to be incident free – an important metric that we achieved from April 2016 through January 2017. And many of our plants have gone more than a year incident-free. We celebrate this each year with our Triple Zero Awards, which are given to each plant site that has zero injuries, zero spills and zero process safety incidents in a calendar year. Typically, well more than half our plants have a Triple Zero year.

At the company level, each January we establish an EH&S dashboard, with annual targets for injuries, spills and process safety incidents. And everyone has a personal stake in it because each employee in the company has a small part of their annual bonus tied to these EH&S targets.

In terms of opportunity for improvement, there are always things we can do to get better. For 2018, our focus will be to continue to drive full adoption of our behavioral safety program “Safety on Purpose,” and to implement computer-based training with video scenarios for life-critical standards. Zero incidents is our vision, and we believe we can get there.



2018 CEOs Who Get it
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Dave Petratis

David D. Petratis

Chairman, President and CEO
Allegion
Carmel, IN


Accomplishments

  • Sparked creation of the Allegion Safety Initiative – a peer-to-peer safety program that teaches employees to incorporate safety into their everyday activities.
  • Actively involved in safety, including starting operations planning or investor meetings with safety; taking part in incident reviews, safety inspections, and EHS program reviews; and attending regional EHS meetings and site safety celebrations.
  • Engaging employees through a Shark Tank-like program called Trailblazer in which employees can develop and pitch their innovative business ideas, talking with employees about how they are living the “Be Safe, Be Healthy” value, and writing personal thank-you cards to employees.

Allegion is a global pioneer in safety and security, with leading brands such as CISA, Interflex, LCN, Schlage, SimonsVoss and Von Duprin. Focusing on security around the door and adjacent areas, Allegion produces a range of solutions for homes, businesses, schools and other institutions. The organization employs more than 9,500 workers.

Describe your personal journey to becoming a CEO who “gets it.” What experiences or lessons brought you to where you are now?

Immediately after earning my college degree, I started my career as a first-line supervisor who was responsible for the lives of 70 employees. Because of exposure, their safety was a high priority for me every single day – and safety became a fundamental value for me as a result. The truth is, if people believe their basic needs (including safety) are met, there’s more teamwork and productivity – ultimately creating the best service for both internal and external customers.

I’ve also learned many lessons during my journey from first-line supervisor to CEO. One of the most impactful in the workplace is this: When you get people focused on safety and quality, there are fewer disagreements. When teams of people work with the same goals in mind, like safe working conditions and high-quality products, there’s a shared sense of responsibility that creates cohesiveness. Whether you’re a union official, supervisor, engaged or disengaged employee, it’s pretty easy to agree that safety and quality are important goals to work toward.

In addition, employers must prioritize the condition of human capability as well as mechanical capability. Team members should go home in the same condition they are in when they walk through the doors daily. When management and leadership can send the message that they care and this is a top priority, great things will happen. If they send the opposite message – that they don’t care about safety – I believe other aspirational goals will not be achieved.

Why is safety a core value at your organization?

Again, safety is a core value for me fundamentally – but it’s also one that Allegion’s people share. Specifically, our value of “Be Safe, Be Healthy” demonstrates that our executive team members and employees around the world believe safety and health go hand in hand. The healthier we are, the better we will be able to withstand and adapt to the rigors of the job and the rigors of the day. Recognizing this and having management that cares ultimately drives success for the business.

What is the biggest obstacle to safety at your organization, and how do you work to overcome it?

One of the biggest obstacles to safety is focus. It’s not always easy to focus on safety when you’re involved in the day-to-day operations. It’s not always top of mind to think about potential hazards, including rare ones that may only happen once every 25 years. In fact, it can be very time-consuming and daunting. But, if we don’t think about these things – if we don’t take the time to focus – we aren’t truly putting safety at the top of that agenda, are we? No one at Allegion or elsewhere comes to work thinking they are going to get hurt, making it extremely important to ensure that safety is an unconscious act applied in a conscious state. If we do this on a 24/7 basis, we all will be safer.

How do you instill a sense of safety in employees on an ongoing basis?

First, as one of Allegion’s core values, we beat it like a 
drum – talking about it regularly, no matter the job at hand. That sets a cultural expectation that our team members will contribute to the safety of their work environments.

Second, we make health and safety a priority in our actions. If you look at our managements’ agendas, you’ll see safety habits like team meetings, inspections and trainings.

How does your organization measure safety? What are the leading indicators that show you how safe your organization is, and where do you see room for improvement?

As CEO, I personally have short-term, mid-term and long-term objectives around health and safety. As a company, we also benchmark Allegion with the external world and report on safety to our board of directors annually.

I believe Allegion is the safest workforce in our industry. To measure that, we consider leading and lagging indicators. Some of the leading indicators that help drive our success include:

  • “Allegion Safety Initiative” participation (a tiered, behavior-based safety program customized to our site needs)
  • Employee engagement surveys
  • Good catches (for quick EHS improvements)
  • Quantitative job safety analyses
  • EHS Kaizen participation
  • Training completion rates
  • Preventive ergonomic measurements
  • EHS touch-point discussions
  • Wellness programs at our sites

We value our team members and have management who cares, meaning that employee safety is a top priority for Allegion. We do not want our employees to experience any incidents at work, and that’s why we provide them with a variety of tools to protect themselves and others. As a continuation of that, it’s our hope that they take safety lessons home with them each day – building a “Be safe, be healthy” culture at home, too. For that reason, I’d say our focus for improvement is advancing off-the-job safety.

What role does off-the-job safety play in your organization’s overall safety program? What types of off-the-job safety and health programs does your organization offer to employees?

Allegion’s goal – and my personal desire – is to have safety be an unconscious act in which training, principals and practices are taken off the job. We know Allegion has the opportunity to keep people safe for one-third of the day. However, the true majority of the day, people are exposed to everything in the world, which likely creates many more safety concerns than those that may be faced on the job. If we can teach people to be safer and healthier no matter where they’re at, Allegion will be better because our people will be better. Our employees are the most valuable asset we have.

As CEO, I’m vocal about a variety of off-the-job issues, including texting and driving, wearing personal protective equipment and ladder safety. But Allegion, as a company, certainly offers employees access to programs and incentives that are meant to encourage their health and safety, both on the job and off the job. For example, as a part of our health care offering, our people can use a mobile application to accomplish personalized goals (like walking a certain number of steps or avoiding caffeine) and earn HSA money as a result. Across the world, our employees are also empowered to start different health and safety programs at work based on localized interests – like post-work yoga classes or emergency responder training.



2018 CEOs Who Get it
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Peter Wilson

Peter A. Wilson

President and CEO
Barriere Construction Co. LLC
Metairie, LA


Accomplishments

  • Chairs the joint employee-management committee, reviewing safety incidents and safety alerts and determining safety recognition rewards, as well as completing one annual project to increase interdivisional investment in safety.
  • Personally conducts weekly field visits and encourages executive committee members to conduct Leadership Walks, documenting presence using an electronic field audit form.
  • Requires all supervisors to have core and specialized safety training, safety trainers to be certified instructors, and challenged supervisors to attain the Safety Certification for Transportation Project Professionals.

As the top asphalt producer in the state of Louisiana, Barriere Construction’s mission is to safely provide quality asphalt and concrete paving, industrial and heavy civil construction services and materials to customers in a rewarding work environment. Barriere Construction employs 475 workers.

Describe your personal journey to becoming a CEO who “gets it.” What experiences or lessons brought you to where you are now?

After the unexpected death of my father 40 years ago, my mother, Betty Wilson, made the difficult decision to step up and run the company because my brothers and I were too young at the time. The culture of care for our employees she instilled in us all will always be her trademark at Barriere. Having spent my entire career working at Barriere, I have had the pleasure of staying closely connected to our workforce, which we feel is the best in the industry. When taking over the role as CEO in 2015, I was honored to carry on the legacy of my grandfather, father, mother and brother before me. Our employees are the lifeblood of our business, and it is my responsibility as CEO to ensure their safety and well-being.

Why is safety a core value at your organization?

As our primary core value states, “We put the safety of our employees and the public first.” Simply put, safety is a core value at Barriere because taking care of our people is the right thing to do. We know we are nothing without our employees. To this end, we strive to keep employees until they retire by helping them build careers in construction. We are proud to have several generations of families currently working for our company. To me, this indicates the level of security and opportunity we offer as an employer. We try hard to be a company where employees want to come work and our safety programs play a large part in this. On the other hand, our customers demand we work safely, especially in our private markets. When we excel in safety, we ultimately develop a competitive advantage, which can be a major differentiator from our competition. The fact that we, as a largely public works contractor, can take our low incident rate into the private/industrial market speaks volumes to our customers. Having every employee at Barriere be responsible for the safety of themselves and their co-workers quickly becomes mutually beneficial for employees and customers alike.

What is the biggest obstacle to safety at your organization, and how do you work to overcome it?

Our biggest obstacle is overcoming the perception that production is the driving force and that risks can be taken to meet the schedule or are in response to poor planning.

We decided to take a proactive approach to find where we could improve our safety message. Last year, our employees participated in an anonymous survey to gauge their beliefs, perceptions and opinions as they relate to Barriere’s safety culture. Safety is the responsibility of every employee, and this survey was an opportunity for everyone’s voice to be heard. The findings were used to help us identify and bridge gaps in our safety culture, and to improve and grow together as a unified company.

As a result, management took further action by conducting regularly scheduled Leadership Walks to focus on engaging with employees in the field and to encourage and recognize safe work practices. In addition, I make weekly field visits to discuss the importance of safety, health and financial wellness, and everyone’s responsibility to stop any unsafe tasks or conditions.

How do you instill a sense of safety in employees on an ongoing basis?

Leading by example, we drive safety responsibilities into our operations and hold our supervisors accountable. We teach our employees that they not only have the authority but also the obligation to stop and correct unsafe acts or conditions. When we communicate at Barriere, whether by mail, email, newsletters, videos, etc., we discuss safety each and every time. We also teach employees how to bring safety home and try to educate their families on the importance of safety. We start all internal meetings off with “safety minutes” and it is always the first item of the agenda on every progress meeting.

How does your organization measure safety? What are the leading indicators that show you how safe your organization is, and where do you see room for improvement?

We measure both leading and lagging indicators, which we publish internally each month with the mindset that what gets measured gets done. While we use lagging indicators to measure our incident rate, we focus on leading indicators to predict future results. For example, we find that new employees may not understand how important safety is to us, so we have a strong focus on pre-job orientation, our new employee mentor program and our required core safety training.

What role does off-the-job safety play in your organization’s overall safety program? What types of off-the-job safety and health programs does your organization offer to employees?

We share home safety tips each week in conjunction with our weekly toolbox talks. We also strive to involve the families of our employees in safety during our annual employee picnic and have a safety art calendar drawing contest for the employees’ children. We have hired a full-time Wellness Nurse as a resource for health screens, education programs, disease and weight management, and nicotine cessation. For the last four years, we have had over 80 percent of employees and spouses participate in our outcomes-based wellness program. We want our employees to be healthy during their time at Barriere, but more importantly, long after they retire from a career in construction.