Goal Zero Calls for Culture Change
Colas USA calls its safety initiative “Goal Zero” for good reason. This infrastructure company with seven operations and 6,000 employees across the country wants to achieve zero accidents and injuries—and it’s making significant progress toward that goal with Cat Connect safety services.
Colas USA’s journey began in 2014 with a summit to engage upper management and a safety perception survey to set a baseline for improvement. Then, continuous improvement teams across the U.S. went to work identifying location-specific priorities—everything from safety orientation to daily huddles—and gaining buy-in from other employees.
“WE’RE INFUSING A SAFETY CULTURE FROM TOP TO BOTTOM AND BOTTOM TO TOP. OUR PEOPLE FEEL EMPOWERED TO MAKE DECISIONS.”
“We’re infusing a safety culture from top to bottom and bottom to top,” says President and CEO Jean Vidal. “Our people feel empowered to make decisions. They’re not just workers; they’re part of something bigger and doing something for a good cause.”
Injuries Continue to Drop Year After Year
The process is working. Prior to 2014, Colas USA’s recordable injury rate had hit a plateau around 4.0, the industry average. Since then, it’s declined every year—to 3.2 in 2015 and 2.8 in 2016—and the company hopes to drop below 2.0 in 2017.
A second safety perception survey just administered shows significant improvements, but company leaders know there’s still work to be done.
“It’s a long-term relationship when you start this,” Vidal says. “You need to be consistent—not just for six months or a year. When your employees see you doing this year after year, they believe.”