CEO Les Hiscoe contributed his insights to Banker & Tradesman on how technology can be used to create a culture of risk prevention. Read excerpts below and the full article on Banker & Tradesman here (subscription required).

It’s imperative that teams have the right safety programs and protocols in place to reduce risks and prevent incidents, and that starts with company culture. When safety is engrained at a foundational level—with a top-down and bottom-up approach to driving it forward—the result is continuous innovation and improvement, allowing for quick action during times of high risk and crisis.    

With no singular solution to prevent risk, a proactive and effective safety program is critical, and needs to be supported by a dedicated workforce that’s empowered to always be exploring and trying new systems for safety. When safety is embedded in a company’s culture—with a commitment to creating a healthy, injury-free environment—employees are empowered to speak up and share their thoughts and observations.

Successful, preventative safety results from layering technology and resources on top of a strong cultural foundation, providing solutions to enhance current processes. With technology continuously advancing, having as many safety champions as possible increases the speed at which a company can vet, pilot, and deploy new innovations. Shawmut recently shored up its corporate safety steering committee with regional safety branches, establishing boots on the ground to drive local initiatives and pilots, which, if effective, can translate into companywide programs.

This year, we aim to pilot eight new software and hardware solutions, enhancing communication, collaboration, and engagement in safety. We’re advancing our use of wearable technology to identify critical work barriers and understand patterns in controlled access zones. We have also implemented programs to streamline our workflow with subcontractors, including verification of qualifications, documented credentials, and pre-mobilization safety submittals and orientation.

Shawmut has seen firsthand the progress that results from coupling a culture of safety with technology. From 2019 to 2020, we saw a 22% increase in engagement in our safety program and a 53% reduction in OSHA recordable incidents. When an entire company has a shared goal of continuously improving safety, there’s no limit to what it can achieve.