This is a transcription of a conversation with Colin Shields, Flagship’s Vice President of Safety.
Flagship includes Safety as a core value because our people are our most valuable assets. If Safety isn’t a core focus/value in your organization, your teams simply won’t be as productive or effective, employee morale will suffer, and cost controls will most certainly be negatively impacted.
While we recognize the importance of cost factors, at the end of the day it's about our people. We have core values that extend into other areas such as Caring, Integrity, Customer Focus, and so on, but we've really built a structure that allows Safety to be represented across the organization, both vertically and horizontally.
Creating a Culture of Safety
The structure of our Safety program starts with our Founder and CEO, Mr. Dave Pasek, at the monthly Executive Safety Committee Meeting. The Senior Team actively participates in these meetings. We review and discuss Safety performance, and we construct Safety improvement initiatives that include all levels of the organization and cascade down to business unit Safety Committee Meetings, Manager Safety Committee meetings, and the frontline.
It is critical that Safety communications are delivered to frontline employees, but it’s even more important for us to communicate to the top of the organization on behalf of frontline employees. We value learning from our frontline employees about how their job is impacted by different Safety aspects. We take the feedback from our frontline workers and use it to guide process changes that make their jobs safer.
When an organization gets to that point – the point where everybody is engaged in thinking about and talking about Safety – it has really achieved a mature culture that allows everyone to look out for one another and have a “my teammates’ keeper” mentality.
Keeping Safety Top of Mind
We are proud that every employee really embraces Safety and its role in delivering quality facility management and supporting a safe environment at every client location.
Everyone – from Operational Leadership, Human Resources, Sales, Marketing, and Finance – is invested in pursuing the core value of Safety. That investment is infectious; it ultimately spreads through other departments and to every member of our company, which is a wonderful thing!
Keeping Safety top of mind will happen by expanding communications to our frontline workers. We have several different means to communicate with our frontlines:
- Holding regular safety meetings
- Opening every meeting with a safety message
- Facilitating incident investigations and communicating our findings
- Encouraging and collecting feedback from all employees
- Delivering Safety communications to all locations
Implementing Safety Systems
AIC, our online reporting system provides a process for reporting workplace-related incidents so that we can get information into the hands of insurance carriers quickly and manage claims to help injured employees. It also gives us full visibility into trends so that we can be more proactive in the field. For example, if we see a lot of strains and sprains at a particular location, we can focus on addressing that issue. We can have that information disseminated to the various locations so that we can be strategic in our approach to Safety. We also use a telephonic nurse service to triage injuries. Nurses are available over the phone 24/7 to discuss and provide immediate medical assistance to injured employees.
Additionally, we leverage a Safety observation program that's critical to ensuring ongoing Safety communications with frontline employees. Developing a culture of Safety is a very big focus of ours, which requires our supervisors to be actively engaged and conducting Safety observations in the field. We are excited to expand the Safety observation program and incorporate DENS this year, which will be a complementary component to an already solid Safety program.
Again, Safety observation is a proactive approach that helps us identify unsafe behaviors and hazards in the workplace as well as recognize and reward safe behavior, which has become a staple of our Safety culture.