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May 21, 2021

Safety: General Contractor (Highway/Civil), Under 500,000 Worker Hours

Photo from Guy F. Atkinson Construction
Atkinson’s corporate culture fosters a collaborative atmosphere that encourages continuous improvement.

Guy F. Atkinson Construction

At Atkinson, corporate culture revolves around fostering a collaborative atmosphere that encourages continuous improvement. Atkinson has devoted considerable resources to identifying areas of improvement, both on a corporate and individual level, through perception surveys, continuous improvement teams, Team Atkinson events and company-wide safety retreats. These methods are all designed to promote meaningful communication and education regarding safety.

One innovative approach that Atkinson has developed to drive home the importance of safety is the Speak Up, Listen Up Initiative. This initiative is designed to include all employees and empower them to own and manage their safety. Speak Up, Listen Up is structured to showcase the work environment as a friendly, collaborative environment, and encourages the workforce to speak up if they notice any safety issues. Likewise, the initiative also drives home the importance of listening to the concerns of anyone who speaks up — ensuring that any potential safety issues are addressed and used as teachable moments.

The concept of speaking up and listening is a cornerstone of the Atkinson business philosophy, and permeates into how the company approaches quality, safety and production. Atkinson identifies expectations that can be trained and measured. These expectations are typically considered leading indicators, such as participation with daily pre-task meetings, weekly safety meetings and weekly safety audits. Additionally, near-miss identification is measured. Feedback is provided on all measured leading indicators in a report format, effectively closing the communication loop as it pertains to these identified expectations. Each identified expectation and its measured participation is tracked in order to show trends. These trends can then help to identify the effectiveness of Atkinson’s safety program and help with identifying new directions for the program.

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