August 2015

Local 22 Ironworkers Make I Care Program a Safety Success

John Whitaker, Iron Worker general foreman for Skanska Midwest at Duke Energy, Cayuga, Indiana out of Local 22 (Indianapolis, Ind.), recently had the honor of presenting one of his ironworker foremen with the Stepped Up For Safety – I Care award. The award was given at the fourth quarter Safety Excellence banquet, which the entire Skanska Cayuga team won. The award was given to Jeff Meier, Local 22.

The I Care program, developed by Mike Wells with Skanska, recognizes individuals by their peers for actively caring. The intent is not trying to catch someone doing something wrong, but to encourage safe acts by peer-to-peer recognition of safe acts. The I Care program is a small part of Skanska people-based safety program, which is broken down into four parts: acting, coaching, thinking, seeing. Jeff Meier excelled at these principles especially in the coaching aspect. Coaching is letting the individual you are coaching know you care about what happens to them and you care about them at work and at home.

Whitaker states, “Jeff Meier truly cares about his crew and all team members he works around. He turns in I Care cards for all the jobsite crafts. His I CARE attitude is not just at work. He also volunteers at local non-profit charity organizations. This is a small fraction of the things that make Jeff a good leader and deserving of the award. I am blessed to have him work with me and I encourage others to step up for safety as Jeff has done.”

Wes Jordan, project lead safety resource supervisor, Skanska USA Civil Midwest, says the following on its I Care program, “One of our leading indicators of the I CARE program is where we put personal responsibility on positive peer-to-peer recognition. This is a simple program where a card is used for anyone being observed caring for safety. Then, we share these statements everyday as success stories.

“Jeff Meier took the time to fill out I Care cards (over 75 cards) to give recognition to his crew members and other craft members. Jeff is an excellent candidate for this recognition because he truly cares. Jeff starts everyday with one of the best toolbox talks/job safety analysis. He gets his team involved by asking questions and ensures they are prepared for the forthcoming high-risk work an ironworkers is expected to do. And his crew members do it safe! A year has gone by without an incident by his team. He communicates with other front line supervisors and takes personal responsibility for all workers. Every day, he shows gratitude to his team for a job well done with a handshake and a thank you.

“It is our privilege and honor to acknowledge Jeff Meier for going above and beyond with the Stepped Up For Safety award. This is the first award given, and Jeff is a person I couldn’t be more proud of as a partner in safety. He was awarded with a custom leather wallet, an index card engraved certificate and a $50 gift card to a local eatery. Congratulations, Jeff.”

As a commitment to providing a safe workplace through the I Care program, the Skanska Cayuga project issues “Stop Work Authority” for any unsafe condition or acts observed by workers on the project. Workers are encouraged as part of the I Care program to bring these safety issues to the Skanska safety team. Mike Wells deserves special thanks for his commitment to developing the I Care program and working with Local 22 members to provide a safe workplace at the Cayuga project. The following are the key points of the “Stop Work Authority” policy and procedure:

Your Personal Stop Work Authority 
• You have personal authority to stop work and are expected to use it whenever you see something you believe to be unsafe. 
• You are responsible for your own safety. Don’t do anything you believe to be unsafe. 
• You have a responsibility for your coworker’s safety. Don’t let them do anything unsafe. 
• You are responsible for reporting all safety incidents to your supervisor, including injuries or accidents you are involved in.
• You are expected to report all safety concerns to your supervisor, and/or our company’s safety resources. 

Our Safety and Health Goal: Zero Incidents
Our safety and health policy: We can always restart work. We cannot eliminate an incident after it happened. 

Our safety and health vision: recognize risk, work safe, stay fit, enjoy life!