To close out National Safety Month, we interviewed our Corporate Safety Director, Dave Parise, to ask him questions about the culture of safety at CEC, our safety goals, and what employers can do to prevent workplace injuries. Dave has been with CEC for more than 18 years. He supports employees by encouraging them to follow CEC’s Safety Program requirements, as well as participate in external-client-based training programs, safety planning, and hazard mitigation. Dave’s work on implementing and maintaining company policies on workplace safety helps to prevent injuries and occupational illnesses within CEC.
Q: In your opinion, why is it essential to have dedicated safety experts within the company?
A: First and foremost, the employees. Employees are CEC’s most valuable asset. It is imperative to make sure our employees make it home every day in the same condition in which they showed up to work.
Q: What does CEC do to promote safety within its footprint?
A: CEC leadership recognizes that working safely is everyone’s job. Our Safety Philosophy states that ”working safely is a condition of employment.” We have designated safety staff in all of our office locations. We also have a Corporate Health & Safety Committee whose mission is to promote a safe working environment for CEC employees by supporting our Office Leaders with local efforts to comply with safety policies/regulations and safety-related communications. The Committee also seeks out employee input and communicates that input during Safety Committee meetings regarding safety issues, including unsafe conditions, near-miss events, and policy and procedure clarifications — all as a means to enhance CEC’s safety programs.
All of our internal staff meetings are required to begin with a safety minute. We host semi-annual safety forums in all of our offices to increase collaboration and involvement by our office management teams. We provide a monthly summary to all employees that presents information related to our safety performance, both good and bad. The summary also provides positive safety reminders, at-home safety tips, and summaries of first-aid incidents. Lastly, safety is incorporated into every aspect of the job, from start to finish. This includes requiring the development of a project-specific safety plan for fieldwork activities to safeguard employees against workplace hazards.
Q: What are the biggest things employees can do to prevent workplace injuries?
A: Continuous on-the-job hazard assessment. You can never account for all the possible hazards on the job. Hazards constantly change for various reasons, such as changes in a process, condition of tools, others working nearby that may affect the work you are performing, and even the weather. I say this all the time: Be your brother’s keeper, meaning take care of each other, look out for each other. No one wants to see someone get hurt.
Q: What are your future safety goals for CEC?
A: Future goals are to continue to support our employees by encouraging and maintaining a safe workplace, and to continue to strive to prevent injuries and accidents. I truly believe having a year without an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recordable can be a common occurrence and be completely repeatable. Most importantly, to continue helping ensure everyone goes home to their loved ones at the end of the day.