Safety: It Takes All of Us

Foundation of an Effective Health and Safety Program

June is National Safety Month and GAI is joining the National Safety Council (NSC) and thousands of organizations across the country to raise awareness about what it takes to stay safe at work and home. NSC’s 2015 theme is “What I Live For.” According to NSC, “Everyone has something they live to see or experience. No matter what your passion is, we engage in safe behaviors so we can live for what matters to us.” Throughout the month, the Council incorporates weekly themes to bring attention to and reduce the risk of critical safety issues.

At GAI, a robust health and safety program is a top priority year-round for two reasons. First and foremost, our employees are our most valuable asset, and we want to protect them, take care of them, and keep them healthy and safe.

At GAI, a robust health and safety program is a top priority year-round for two reasons. First and foremost, our employees are our most valuable asset, and we want to protect them, take care of them, and keep them healthy and safe. GAI recently welcomed Pam Walaski, CSP, CHMM, Director – Health and Safety to the organization to lead the Health and Safety Department. Walaski states, “Safety is a core corporate value at GAI. Our goal is to provide and maintain the safest possible working conditions for our employees.”

Secondly, there is the business side to health and safety awareness. In particular, our Energy clients require us to provide a healthy and safe workplace for employees—in our offices, at project sites, or en route to project locations. Safety is important to them because they believe that completing project tasks in the safest manner is truly the most cost efficient and productive way; and they have a significant number of staff in the field where accidents can be more prevalent. GAI understands that every safety concern is an opportunity to learn and look for areas of improvement in the system.

How do you make your workplace safe and healthy for your employees? Here is a list of core safety program elements that an effective health and safety program should embrace. GAI employees utilize these and other processes to implement a “health and safety” culture.

  1. Develop and implement a Health and Safety Program throughout the organization.
  2. Use your firm’s Intranet to communicate your Health and Safety program so employees have easy access to the latest Health and Safety information and tools.
  3. Hire dedicated, full-time Health and Safety Program team members to answer questions or concerns.
  4. Create an Employee Safety Suggestion Box so employees can submit comments, suggestions, ideas, and photographs—and review and consider the suggestions to improve your Health and Safety program.
  5. Distribute periodic safety topics to continually remind staff of effective preventative strategies. Include a short quiz to verify employees’ understanding of the subject matter.
  6. Offer in-house training on topics such as First Aid/CPR/AED certification, OSHA, MSHA, SafeLand, and other project-specific health and safety training courses throughout your offices.
  7. Distribute Health and Safety “Lessons Learned” Bulletins and Alerts, to share workplace incident investigation results and the corrective actions used to avoid a reoccurrence.
  8. Conduct new employee onboarding sessions to stress the “continuous improvement” nature of the company’s Health and Safety Program and culture.

All employees have a responsibility to their self and to one another, so GAI encourages every employee to be aware of his or her surroundings and take action if they recognize an unsafe condition. Employee health and safety is a high priority that cannot be successful without everyone’s participation and awareness—because safety takes all of us. To learn more about GAI’s Health and Safety program, contact Pam Walaski, CSP, CHMM, Director – Health and Safety at 412.399.5143.

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