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America's Safest Companies 2018: Icon

Nov. 7, 2018
Safety ownership starts at the top and cascades down the line at roofing contractor Icon thanks to leadership's hands-on approach.

Safety ownership starts at the top and cascades down the line at Icon Corporation. The key to the roofing contractor's success is leadership's hands-on approach.

"At Icon, the business case for safety is easy to make and convey to all of the team," says David Johnson, Icon's owner and safety director. "Because we have such a small number of citations and injuries, we are able to demonstrate a direct link between safe work practices and higher income for each and every employee."

Johnson personally conducts training sessions for workers, from hazard awareness training to eight-hour asbestos worker training to fall protection competent person training. This close management style ensures accountability and ensures the training is done thoroughly and properly.

When it comes to incident reporting and investigation, Johnson is the first one notified, whether or not an injury occurs. With assistance from other personnel the investigation is documented, and a root cause analysis is performed.

"Having a company executive leading this process is essential in ensuring that employees know that these incidents are taken seriously and helps to ensure that any lessons learned are integrated into the accident prevention plan," Johnson explains. "Only a company executive would have the authority to immediately incorporate such changes into the plan, and this streamlined approach makes the company safer and more efficient."

Icon employees also participate in the safety process because they have either faced the hazards in the past or can determine the likelihood that a hazard will cause an injury and address the severity of an injury if one does occur.

"Including the employees in the JHAs, AHAs and pre-task planning ensures that they understand the plan to avoid injuries from all identified hazards and how to execute that plan," he says.

Icon management has had a long-standing policy of encouraging workers to speak up about all near-misses, as near-miss reporting is among the most valuable tools available to assist the company in avoiding future similar incidents.

And as Johnson points out, he's not only the owner of the company but he's also a safety professional, one who is fully dedicated to ensuring an injury- and incident-free workplace. That points to Icon's non-subjective commitment to safety.

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