At Upstone Materials, safety has always been fundamental to who we are, and that will never change. It’s an area in which we strive to lead our industry. That’s why we concentrate on educating our employees on the best ways to prevent accidents and stay out of harm’s way. Our company-wide health policy is underscored by the five values we believe are most critical to promoting safety:
Any business that cares about its employees has a duty to actively look out for their physical safety. Keeping our people safe is our top priority, which is why we are always looking for new and better ways to protect the health and wellness of our employees and society as a whole.
At Upstone, we employ a “Goal Zero” safety culture. In everything we do, we strive to have zero accidents and zero injuries. Thanks to this focus on preventing incidents, both the frequency and severity of workplace injuries have steadily declined - but there is always room for improvement.
Here are just a few ways we are continually working to keep our employees safe:
Through the dedication of our employees and our over 300 prevention managers, our efforts have been extremely successful in forming a safety-driven culture. A great testament to this is the large number of Upstone employees across Northern New York that are trained in first aid. This in itself meets three of our safety objectives:
Our approach to health and safety has continued to evolve and now covers the entire spectrum of issues related to working conditions from addiction (alcohol, tobacco, drugs) to psycho-social risks (stress, etc.).
At Upstone Materials, our safety culture is guided by our Safety Steering Team (SST). Members include representatives from all levels of our company and from each of the nine regions in which we operate. Utilizing employee feedback from periodic surveys and interviews, the SST determines specific initiatives designed to engage every employee in incident prevention. The SST also uses this information to select small groups of motivated employees to serve on Continuous Improvement Teams (CITs).
Our Continuous Improvement Teams (CITs) consist of small groups of highly motivated safety leaders whose purpose is to create practical, measurable, and sustainable safety processes. Nominated by our Safety Steering Team, members are typically frontline production employees, such as laborers, operators, administrative staff, and foremen. Like our Safety Steering Team, our Continuous Improvement Teams include representatives from each of the regions in which Barrett operates.
A CIT’s work begins with a one-week Rapid Improvement Workshop (RIW). During this time, the team can either develop a new safety process or improve an existing one. Once they have finalized their safety process, the team then implements it across the entire company over the course of several months.
Our CITs have been extremely effective in furthering Upstone’s safety culture. Most recently, the hard work of our CITs has resulted in two highly successful safety processes: our Daily Huddles, our One-on-One Safety Conversations, and our Close Calls. Included in those process is our Peer Guide initiative. We will continue to commission new teams each year, optimizing our safety culture one project at a time.