President Chad Clark provides a State of the Chapter Report at the 2018 Administrative Conference in late July.
In late August I found myself scrambling to rearrange my work schedule to provide opening comments at AGC’s 7th Annual Executive Safety Conference.
Let me be clear: while the opportunity to lead this association is one of my greatest honors, these events don’t get planned around my convenience. Sometimes they coincide with deadlines, family requirements, or emergencies. As a contractor, there’s always some crisis or deadline that has me running around.
But I made time and made it to the conference as scheduled. And as I stood before the hundreds of people who also made the time to attend, it occurred to me that this “making time” is at the heart of a successful safety program.
Every single one of the 420 attendees had something pressing to do. These are the men and women who run the highway heavy industry in Texas—and yet, here they were. Their attendance signaled that none of it was more important than making time for safety—and leading by example.
That moment made me intensely proud of our association, our partnership with TxDOT, and the level of excellence we demand on our jobsites.
As Doug Pitcock once said, “If you want something done right, ask a busy person.” True leaders don’t have time to do things the wrong way. TxDOT’s and AGC’s conference was testament to the importance of safety at all levels of our industry.
When I hear about creating a “culture” of safety, this is what I think: it’s the extra effort and the extra thought in advance. It’s slowing down and “making time,” even when you’re behind. ESPECIALLY when you’re behind. It’s making sure that, in your company culture, TIME isn’t king, SAFETY is.
The recent criticisms of our safety culture by the Workers Defense Project are made by those who would make our oversight their funding source. They know nothing of our efforts and priorities in making safety the number one priority on our jobsites. They don’t know our safety records, our goals, and how we constantly challenge each other to be better.
Seeing the crowd of 420 busy people reminded me of what an outstanding community of leaders this industry is built upon. I commend each of you for your efforts every day to get our men and women home safely to their families.