Senior-level executives from some of the leading construction firms in the industry – including Skanska, Gilbane, Jacobs and others – met this week at Gilbane Building Company’s corporate headquarters in Providence, Rhode Island to discuss strategies for improving safety in the construction industry. While it’s not a common event for these competing companies to be collaborating on initiatives, attendees agree that the issue of safety transcends business lines.
“We are not competitors when it comes to safety,” says William J. Gilbane, Jr., president and COO of Gilbane Building Company. “The relationships that have been forged by our caring about the improved safety of every worker, regardless of which firm they work for, has been significant to all of us. By being personally engaged, we can better help our companies and each other.”
Topics of discussion for the day included insurance carrier involvement, providing leadership to safety, Build Safe initiatives, and sharing lessons learned from the field. The firms have embraced a new attitude about safety called Incident and Injury Free, or IIF. Rather than focusing on the numbers, the construction companies approach safety with a genuine concern for each other as individuals. In an IIF culture, safety is a fundamental value and as such, everyone takes personal responsibility for their safety and the safety of loved ones and coworkers.