Safety is a mindset that unites all of us
Creating a culture of safety is more than just committing to practices and procedures on paper. Safety is a mindset, an innate drive, and an actionable responsibility to make our environment and company a safe place to work — physically, emotionally, and mentally. At Southland, safety is one of our core values. This means safety is one of the foundational principles that drive our company culture and sets the expectations for how we act. Our company-wide investment in safety and injury prevention speaks to how we value the safety of each and every person in our company as well as those we partner with.
To safeguard an environment that focuses on the health and well-being of our employees and to reach our ultimate goal of zero accidents, a strong safety culture is imperative. Creating and fostering a safety culture takes work and requires everyone moving in the same direction and working as a team. In order to continually improve, we must never grow complacent in our drive to uphold our safety principles and work to be the best.
The tricky thing is that there is no tried-and-true method for being able to measure a safety culture. It is something that is sensed and radiates throughout the company from the top down.
A strong safety culture that supports our people
So, why is a strong safety culture so important to the health and success of a company? It starts with the people, which is another core value at Southland. A strong and positive safety culture can affect everything that we do. The tricky thing is that there is no tried-and-true method for being able to measure a safety culture. It is something that is sensed and radiates throughout the company from the top down. The people at the company are the most important resource that we have, so in turn, we have to reflect that in our approach to safety. Elevating the importance of safety is the right thing to do because every single employee deserves to come to work and feel safe.
A safety culture built on connection
To foster a strong safety culture, we must continually evolve and seek ways to connect and support our employees — especially in times of change and uncertainty, so that we can continue to make safe choices that ultimately deliver better work. Although scary at times, the COVID-19 pandemic and related recent challenges have given us the opportunity to refocus the key elements of our safety culture.
This requires us to create a safe place to work not only physically, but emotionally and mentally as well. From simply picking up the phone, reaching out to a fellow employee to ask how they are doing, or looking out for co-workers on the jobsite, this connectedness can lead us to have open and honest conversations. The insight from these conversations can drive us to better results by helping us make safer choices, improve work planning, and empower others with the confidence to raise their hand if something doesn't look right.
Although these might seem like small steps, they are key to fostering a positive environment that supports the mental, emotional, and physical health of every person at our company.
By committing to and ingraining safety within our company culture, safety is a priority for everyone each and every day. Now, more than ever, it is important to ensure every employee feels connected, secure, and, most importantly, safe in their role.
Corporate Safety Manager
As a Corporate Safety Manager for Southland Industries, Matt Black is responsible for supporting the divisions' safety needs, providing all safety personnel with guidance and training, assisting with the development and implementation of our safety policies and procedures, and supporting our safety platform, NextCode.