Jordan Foster Construction
El Paso, TX
700 employees | 4 sites | 10 EHS professionals
Addressing challenging workforce situations is difficult even in the best of times, particularly for construction companies, so Jordan Foster Construction has developed specific programs to anticipate the psychological needs of their employees.
“With the construction industry being so affected by suicide rates, we have answered the call to make mental health awareness a priority,” notes Asma Bayunus, the company’s EHS operations manager. Their efforts include pooling the resources of a lead mental health advocate, field safety leaders and the entire safety department to promote the importance of mental health awareness. “We implement standards via toolbox talks, safety bytes (mini videos), and in company training. We have an Employee Assistance Program as well as an on-staff pastor. Also, we have a hard hat sticker which identifies our Mental First Aid-trained employees, whom others can go to for assistance in finding help for their concerns.”
Another labor-related focus of the company is to be inclusive. “As our industry is ever-evolving we work hard to broaden the scope of inclusion,” says Bayunus. “Our women’s leadership committee is a diverse group who work in all areas of the company, and this committee serves as a safe place to help women who want to continue to navigate the road less traveled in our industry.”
Being proactive is part of the culture at JFC. When taking on a new project the safety team collaborates with the project team to analyze tasks, drawings and construction specifications in order to determine where they might encounter project safety issues.
“We plan for safety during the preconstruction process, allowing us to stay ahead of the safety issues,” explains Bayunus. “In the rush of the bidding process to complete pricing and other information to meet a bid deadline, some contractors can put digging into the safety aspects of a project on the back burner during preconstruction, but JFC looks at all the safety variables from the beginning. We use technology during preconstruction, looking at how something will be built with an eye toward what could go wrong, incorporating a better way into the plan, and mitigating the risk.”
Their organizational structure reflects the close tie between risk and safety and in fact, they have merged risk management and EHS in one department. “This allows us to promote the insurance and safety initiatives with clarity from the beginning to end,” she notes.
“Our EHS department is the gatekeeper and movers and shakers of change within the company,” says Bayunus. “We lead the way in implementation, education and promotion of much needed support opportunities to create a safer and more inclusive environment.”