Safety Starts at the Top — KBR Building Group's Inaugural Carolinas Safety Summit Well-Attended by Top Management from Subcontractor Community
May 29, 2012

Creating a zero incident-injury workplace must start with a heartfelt and absolute commitment from the top if it is to be successful. This was the takeaway for the 90 construction industry professionals who attended KBR Building Group’s inaugural Carolinas Safety Summit on Tuesday, May 15, in Charlotte. The fact that the event was hosted by KBR Building Group’s senior executives sent a clear message that our leadership genuinely believes that Incident and Injury Free (IIF) project sites are achievable and will become our new normal … that it’s not acceptable for anyone to suffer an injury on a KBR Building Group project.

The one-day Carolinas Safety Summit — themed “Leadership Changes the Future” — brought together construction contractor leadership from across the Carolinas to share best practices, discuss today’s top safety issues, and collaborate on how we as a construction community can pledge “safety first” on all construction projects in the Carolinas. Top management from 40 specialty contractor firms — all current or potential KBR Building Group subcontractors — comprised about half of the audience. KBR Building Group regional safety managers, project managers, superintendents and others rounded out the group.

Mike Pierle, Executive Vice President, welcomed everyone and gave a brief overview of the day’s agenda. President Phil Southerland kicked off the program with “KBR’s Executive Commitment,” stating that “There is no value that we have that is as important as saving the lives of those men and women who work so hard to make us successful.” At the heart of his speech was this message: “Today we are requesting your pledge and personal commitment to join us in this most important endeavor. We need our business partners to become fully engaged in safety for the benefit of our workforce and the family members counting on them… We need your ideas as we realize that the best ideas reside with the people closest to the work. That is you and your workforce…We need you to provide executive leadership, not just comply with what we ask you to do.”

Pierle followed with a session on “Contractor Leadership Involvement.” Next, Senior Health, Safety & Environment (HSE) Managers Mark Manos and Dave Rouse talked about the “Frontline Supervisor’s Role in Safety.” Andy Johnson, Director of Safety, summarized KBR Building Group’s Performance Trends and Key Initiatives for 2012; and Mac Carpenter, Executive Vice President, led a discussion on “Controlling Safety Risk.” Gaylord Ballard, Senior HSE Manager, then spoke on “Injury Case Management” and John Hodges, Regional HSE Manager (KBR, Inc.), wrapped up the day with “Brother’s Keeper.”

“The Carolinas Safety Summit was a huge success,” said Andy Johnson, Director of Safety, KBR Building Group. “We had strong participation and buy-in by many of our subcontractor executives as we discussed the advancement of our safety culture to achieve our vision of being incident and injury free. We are confident this Safety Summit will have a strong impact on moving us ever closer to fulfilling our vision. We thank our subcontractors for their participation, as well as their feedback regarding how we can build upon this experience as we strive to eliminate all incidents and injuries.”