At Gribbins Insulation Co. Inc., maintaining a safe working environment is the responsibility of every employee, from the company president to the newest employee. All employees have the right and responsibility to fully understand each of their assigned tasks, stop work if they spot an at-risk condition and return home to their families in the same condition as they arrived at work.
“Our core values – integrity, quality, productivity and innovation – all have a common thread: Safety,” says Jim Gribbins, company founder and president. “Every team member at Gribbins Insulation, including the person we hired yesterday and the person we may hire tomorrow, must place safety in front of all actions. There is absolutely no task that is so important or necessary that we might consider sacrificing safety, to even the slightest degree, in an effort to perform the task.”
At Gribbins, management demonstrates leadership by attending safety meetings, reviewing incident investigations, implementing policies and procedures and encouraging discussions about the program. Management supports the safety d e p a r t m e n t through the allocation of significant resources, including a full-time safety manager and several safety coordinators. Most importantly, Trevor Atherton, CHST/ safety manager, reports directly to Gribbins and has full authority to implement and enforce safety rules to achieve the company’s goal of zero accidents and injuries.
At Gribbins, the importance of safety is stressed before a new hire starts his or her job. The safety manager or a safety coordinator reviews all aspects of the safety program with the new employee, covering a variety of topics, including the company safety policy and manual, the drug and alcohol policy, hazard communication, incident and injuries reporting, emergency action plans, the incentive program, personal protective equipment, fall protection, confined space awareness, electrical safety, lockout/tagout, hand and power tools, cranes and rigging, trenching and excavations, housekeeping, pre-work stretching, hazard recognition, the cell phone policy (the policy forbids talking, e-mailing or texting while driving) and more.The training is followed by a comprehensive 50-question exam, which requires a score of at least 80 percent to pass and begin work.
After new hires pass the exam, a supervisor reviews the site-specific safety plan and job hazard analysis with the employee. Each new employee is assigned a mentor for a 6-month period. The new employee receives a hard-hat sticker that both designates them as a new employee and marks the “graduation date” from the mentoring program. Mentors are assigned by the safety department and chosen based on their experience in the field, their proven knowledge around safety policies and procedures and their level of training.
“Once the new employee has successfully completed the 6-month [mentoring] period, they are released by the mentor, supervisor and safety department to enter the work force as a more safety-conscious worker,” Atherton says. “Our safety program works,” he adds. “Just one lost workday case since 2006. Not a single restricted or lost work day in 2009, 2010 or 2011.We are proof that even a mid-sized insulation contractor can develop and maintain a successful and extensive safety program.” Gribbins Insulation Co. Inc.
Gribbins Insulation Co. Inc. accepting their awards at the American Safest Company awards ceremony at The Ritten House in Philadelphia, PA.
Read about this years America’s Safest Companies Winners
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