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By Gary Kraemer, 2020 Housing First Minnesota President
“The minute you get away from fundamentals—whether it’s proper technique, work ethic, or mental preparation—the bottom can fall out of your game, your schoolwork, your job, whatever you’re doing.” – Michael Jordan
Certainly, COVID-19 has driven home the importance of safety on our job sites. But even before this pandemic, we focused on safety at our company. In fact, we were named Governor’s Safety Award Winners – Meritorious Achievement in 2017 and 2018, and we were named the Governor’s Safety Award Winners – Award of Honor in 2015, 2016, and 2019.
We chose to commit to safety as a company for several key reasons, and I’ll share those in the hope that you consider placing safety as a primary focus at your company as well. First, prioritizing safety clearly demonstrates that we care about our people and value them above all else. It also helps us keep our costs down—good workplace safety means lower workers’ compensation rates, less lost time, and less family disruption. Good safety is good for morale and we believe, good for our business. We also find that our clients are moved by our commitment to safety—it’s one of the many reasons they seek to do business with us.
We are certainly in very challenging and trying times. We’ve had to modify our construction practices to account for COVID-19. But as the saying goes, “this too shall pass.” The question is what will our industry have learned and can we all put the highest priority on safety as we eventually leave COVID-19 behind.
To build our work safely, our employees need to know what the fundamentals are, and why they are important. Here are some toolbox talk topics you might want to engage in with your team.
Now, as 2020 and my term as your president come to a close, I would like to share my gratitude for my family and my team at John Kraemer & Sons for their support throughout the year. I’d also like to thank our dedicated board of directors and the entire membership for your continued commitment to the industry. We have demonstrated exceptional resilience and strength through a year filled with uncertainty, and I am hopeful for what the future will bring for this industry that we love and serve.