“Gentlemen, we will chase perfection, and we will chase it relentlessly, knowing all the while we can never attain it. But along the way we shall catch excellence.”
— Vince Lombardi
Excellence. That is the key word and concept of the CCC Group Inc., which according to its brochure is “... an industrial construction, fabrication and specialty engineering solution provider committed to excellence in every effort, every day ...”
It is not a motto lightly taken, especially when it concerns workplace safety. With the economy on the mend, it takes on an even greater significance, according to Matt Edson and John Forrest, CCC’s operations manager and division manager, respectively.
“We’re a people business, and the more we invest, the more we get a return,” said Forrest. Part of that return is focusing on safety. “We train every day. That’s the nature of our business.”
That training also includes formal training conducted at least once per month.
“The training we do for our employees, we choose to do a lot more (of training) that’s not mandated,” said Edson. “Our expectation is a safe workforce. Our focus is to get a clear and consistent message.”
One way in which the company pursues (and accomplishes) that is in the fact that job sites are also personnel offices. That way, said Edson, CCC Group can consistently convey its safety measures and directives. What that also does is provide direct feedback from those actually in the field.
“When you involve people, the results are that people feel it’s more than just a goal,” said Forrest, who added it is a bottom-to-top approach.
“Employees are always going to have good recommendations,” said Edson. “Those are the guys out there every day, sweating, putting themselves in harm’s way.”
As a result of the bottom-up approach, the company’s employees are further engaged in creating the safest work environment possible, because they see that management is equally engaged. Forrest said that when employees witness that, they are more willing to speak, as well as speak out, especially in certain situations.
Edson provided an example in which a prototype Task Safety Assessment (TSA) form was redesigned and given to employees to review and comment upon; the form itself had been simplified, which did not meet approval.
“They actually asked for more information to be included,” said Edson.
Both men said the company’s training is well-received, and Edson said that he makes it a point to always give employees his business card. It contains several phone numbers, including a “hot line.” That way, if an employee is given a task to do that the employee feels is not the right way, or if the employee believes he is not qualified to handle, if it’s dire, Edson can be contacted.
Edson made that point emphatic as he attended a training class for new employees the first of a two-day safety training orientation. He pointed out to them there is a chain of command in the field as well as there being protocols and procedures to follow. At the same time, he told new employees there are additional paths to take when necessary.
“At the same time they have to know they have an open line of communication,” he said. He told the class each of them is empowered to stop a job when necessary. “That’s my expectation of you and everybody in the company expects that.
“I want you to go home a little dirty every day,” said Edson. “I don’t want you to go home hurt.”