Building a culture of safety in construction

Advice from the CEO of Canada's Safest Construction Employer

Building a culture of safety in construction

In an industry known for its high hazards and complex challenges, the Borger Group of Companies has emerged as a shining example of safety excellence. Bill Borger, the CEO of the Borger Group of Companies, shares insights into their award-winning safety approach in an exclusive interview with COS TV.

The Borger Group of Companies clinched the 2023 QM Environmental Award for being Canada's Safest Construction Employer, a remarkable achievement that reflects their unwavering commitment to safety. “Safety is our top priority at Borger, and we make it a part of our daily routine,” says Borger, who shed light on the key principles and strategies that have propelled them to the forefront of safety in the construction sector.

He says it’s all about maintaining a safety-first mindset throughout the organization. "Whether it's keeping up with safety paperwork, leveraging technology to monitor events, or communicating safety trends and concerns across the company, we strive to keep safety at the forefront of our operations every day.”

Borger's dedication to safety goes beyond communication. They have instituted a unique safety initiative called the SOS card, empowering employees to halt operations if they spot safety issues. "We want safety to be top of mind from the moment our team starts their day until they finish," Borger explained.

In the digital age, technology plays a crucial role in enhancing safety measures. "One of the biggest challenges we face is successfully implementing technology to enhance safety,” explains Borger. “While digitizing safety processes can be a game-changer, it's essential to ensure compliance doesn't drop during the transition," he notes.

The Borger Group relies on a software called Vizzn, which guarantees that every safety event has the necessary paperwork. This proactive approach ensures that safety documentation is in place before incidents occur, helping them maintain compliance. "Vizzn is the only product we trust for this level of integration between what's happening on-site and the corresponding paperwork," Borger emphasized.

When asked about advice for construction companies struggling with their safety programs, Borger provides valuable insights. "First and foremost, I recommend that the head of safety reports directly to the CEO. This ensures that safety remains a top-level concern."

Additionally, he stresses the importance of focusing on policy adherence rather than fixating on mistakes. "People make mistakes, but by concentrating on maintaining key policies, we can prevent serious incidents. It's crucial to prioritize policies like avoiding overhead loads and staying out of the red zone," he advises.

Borger offers a simple yet profound mantra for safety success: "Focus on policies, not mistakes." This philosophy has undoubtedly played a pivotal role in their journey towards becoming Canada's safest construction employer.

The Borger Group's commitment to safety, its innovative use of technology, and its emphasis on policy adherence serve as a blueprint for other construction companies striving for safety excellence in the challenging landscape of the construction industry.