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June 11, 2020

Safety: It is a mindset. 

One of my favorite quotes speaks to how thoughts become words, words become actions, actions become habits and habits become character.   This has formed the way I’ve been thinking about what to share with you during National Safety Month.  Sure, I could write about statistics, our Safety Training Evaluation Program (STEP), programs to help with safety and other safety-oriented topics du jour.   However, I thought I would go deeper with what safety really means.  I have never been on a jobsite where a fatality has occurred or a serious injury.  I have, on the other hand, had to change the mindset of many during fantastic and challenging times.   I have also had to change the mindset of 30-year middle school English teachers on how to effectively teach the 700 students in their classrooms who spoke 23 different tribal languages.  Those efforts to change the thinking is how we will make a real difference in how we believe in safety for our workers.

Safety is more than propaganda on “how to-do toolbox talks”.  Safety is a culture; a mindset and it starts from the top.  As a business owner, it is imperative to ensure that your workers return safely home at night.  How do you instill within your company culture the mentality to embrace your passion around safety?  What you do, rather than what you say makes all the difference, as the leader --how you carry yourself on a jobsite, how you handle matters in the office, you are being watched.  A COVID-19 safety protocol can be copied, emailed, read and posted all around the jobsite and in the company, however, if you are not actively modeling the heightened procedures, how can you expect anyone else to do so? 

The timing of June being National Safety Month is impeccable.  Over the nearly 90 past days, the construction industry has been executing increased safety protocols on jobsites around the County and through the State to protect its workers so the risk of having an outbreak of coronavirus did not happen on a jobsite and mostly, to assuage those concerns of workers who were going to work each day.  We want to assure our workforce that we are “taking safety seriously” and doing everything we can to protect them from the transmission of this disease. 

During the dark days of the virus, everyone’s email closing salutations were “be safe” “stay safe” “be well” “take care”.  Staying safe, staying healthy was what was on everyone’s mind.  It was more than the catchy close to an email – it was how and what we were all doing to maintain our safety and health during the peak of the pandemic.  It was a mindset.       



Shandon Harbour

President & Chief Executive Officer

Associated Builders and Contractors - San Diego

ABCSD  I  13825 Kirkham Way Poway, CA 92064  I  Tel: 858.513.4700  I  Fax: 858.513.2373  I  I

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