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Balfour Beatty Construction achieves success on ‘Zero Harm’ campaign

Nothing less than Zero Harm for anyone who comes in contact with our work

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At Balfour Beatty Construction, we are challenging the construction industry’s assumptions about safety. We believe that no level of harm is acceptable on any project. We aim for Zero Harm, derived from zero fatalities, zero serious injuries, and zero harm to the public. And, we have added Zero Harm to the environment to the equation.

Zero Harm is more than just a campaign; it’s a culture throughout our organization and a way of life. It is a way of taking our already strong safety record to the next level, an unprecedented level within our industry.

Last year, we successfully achieved this goal -- quite an accomplishment when you consider that on a national basis, we delivered more than 36 million man hours without a fatality, serious injury or harm to the public. This success was not by coincidence. It came as a result of actively seeking ways to eliminate the risk of harm to anyone who comes in contact with our work, the environment and communities where we build.

As we continue to make headway on this important journey to Zero Harm, we have taken another important step to protect one of our most precious resources: our employees. On Jan. 1, we implemented a new company-wide policy that helps eliminate the hazards of driving while talking or texting on cell phones. We simply don’t allow it.

Our new distracted-driving policy prohibits the use of any mobile device to conduct company business of any kind, hands-free or otherwise, while operating a company or personal vehicle.

Distracted drivers are drivers who are talking on the phone, texting while driving, or multitasking while driving. The National Safety Council has compiled numerous research studies and reports from around the world that clearly indicate driving while using a phone increases risk of injury and property damage crashes fourfold. One study in particular found that talking while driving is more dangerous than driving with a blood alcohol content of .08. Knowing these facts, along with other leading indicators, we can no longer support this behavior. The safety of our employees, their families and the community is too important.

Why would we wait for something to happen when we can eliminate the risk proactively? While this is a minor adjustment to how we conduct business, the response from employees has been overwhelmingly positive. This simple change could save the life of a loved one, themselves, or even a stranger, as well as avoid the impact on the lives touched by losing a loved one. All it takes is a small effort to find ways to create efficiencies, such as pulling over to the side of the road to take an important phone call, or planning ahead to make one before entering the vehicle.

We take our commitment to Zero Harm personally and are proactively seeking ways to eliminate risk. It’s how we conduct every aspect of our business when it comes to safety. It’s also one of the many ways we will continue to strive to differentiate ourselves so significantly that we change the industry.

-Submitted by Brian Cahill, president of the Southwest division for
Balfour Beatty Construction

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