Handling hot asphalt is inherently dangerous. A small spill could result in a major injury for workers. Since there is no such thing as a minor accident when it comes to asphalt, even just one incident is one too many. That’s why, here at Blacklidge, our goal is to have none.
In 2019, I’m proud to report that we realized our safety goal with ZERO event-related recorded incidents. That means we had no injuries that resulted from the production, handling, moving, loading, unloading and transporting of product from one location to another. To quantify how incredible that accomplishment is, consider this: Cumulatively, our employees worked a total of 205,503 hours throughout the year. That’s more than 200,000 hours of potentially hazardous exposure! Meeting our zero-sum goal required prioritizing the well-being of our employees, with well documented and proactive processes in place.
I think the biggest factor that has driven us to zero is that we treat every incident as it is serious, even if it is a near miss. If someone almost got hurt, we treat that just as seriously. We investigate why it happened, how we can avoid it next time and share our findings company-wide. In the unfortunate event that something does happen, we approach the incident in the same careful manner.
Once the incident or near-incident is fully investigated, areas of improvement are identified and implemented. We actively solicit feedback from our employees, especially those who are on the front lines, on what should be done to enhance workplace safety. Even something as simple as recommending better PPE is treated as a serious consideration. Additionally, we have a designated corporate safety resource who visits our facilities regularly to ensure safety regulations are in compliance and spot any potential hazards. Our job isn’t done until everybody on the team can look each other in the eyes and feel comfortable that an incident will not happen again.
When our goal is zero, we’re ensuring that our employees are safe on the job so they can go home whole. We know how the complications from just one injury can severely impact one’s quality of life long term. I urge every single member of the Blacklidge team to approach safety like this: Perform your tasks as if your loved ones are standing next to you. If you think you’d be putting them at risk, then it’s not something you should be exposed to either. When we all put safety first, we’re contributing to a happy and healthy work environment for everyone.