The week of September 1, 2014, Henderson, Inc. reached a major milestone in company history. During this week, Henderson employees worked our one-millionth consecutive man-hour without having a lost time injury. To put that in perspective, the last time we had a lost time injury was August 1, 2010, or 4 years 1 month and 4ish days.
What is a lost time injury? A “lost time injury” is a non-fatal injury that causes any loss of time from work.
What does this mean? One million man-hours without a lost time injury means that our employees “get it”. They understand that as a company, we value safety, their lives and it is of utmost importance that everyone make it home to their families each and every night. One million man-hours means that our employees are holding themselves and their fellow co-workers to a higher standard. It means that throughout the company, we have had a shift in mindset – we now can see that our employees are in a “safety state of mind”, consciously making decisions based on their knowledge of safety practices and how to safely get the job done instead of just how to quickly or easily get the job done.
Why is this important? One million man-hours without a lost time injury is important for many reasons. Most importantly, all of our employees are making it home safely every night and are able to get up the next day for work to help provide for their families and contribute to Henderson, Inc.’s success. It is also important because we see ourselves as an industry leader in safety and we hope that this will motivate others to make their own commitment to safety. According to national averages in the construction industry, during the span of 4 years, we should have had 3 to 4 injuries resulting in lost work time. The fact that we have incurred zero is proof that the “safety state of mind” is working for us and we know it can benefit others as well. Lastly, the financial impact of one million hours without a lost time injury is important because with savings of not having to cover for lost time injuries as well as a .67 EMR (resulting in lower than average insurance premiums), we are able to be more competitive when contracting work, saving our customers money as well as ensuring our employees have jobs to do.
What can we attribute to our success? Our success can be attributed to the company as a whole. It is not just one person that makes this happen, it is everyone. Our corporate commitment to safety is moving the concept of safety away from the impossible priority or goal to a real, actual value. It starts from the top down and from day one, with every employee completing a safety orientation. A successful safety program starts with a “top down” mentality, but it can only really achieve success when it evolves to a “total involvement” mentality, meaning that everyone has a role. A safety culture is kind of like the ultimate team building – when everyone does their job, everyone reaps the benefits.
Part of our corporate commitment to safety is our in-house Safety Director Dave Thompson. “Safety Dave” ensures that our safety program is carried out with everyone’s involvement. Some of the factors we believe attribute to our safety program’s success are our “All Hands Monthly Safety Meetings”, weekly job site safety meetings, safety inspections, and our support of our employees, whether it be through safety gear, training and/or education. All of these factors contribute to Henderson’s “safety state of mind” and have helped us, along with a little luck, accomplish this impressive feat.
ABC Regional Director of Hampton Roads Rob Camlin on our impressive milestone, “ABC-VA would like to congratulate Henderson, Inc. on their milestone, one million man-hours with no lost time. When we think of safety on the job, we think of Henderson.”
Moving forward, we have challenged ourselves to continue down this path to continue driving total involvement, to continue to be a leader in safety and to make it to two million hours!