By Lauren Elmore, CEO

Safety is a big deal. It’s a big deal for us and for our clients. Mine sites, landfills, and utility line operations can be full of potential hazards. With this in mind, we strive to foster a culture of safety in the organization by complying with external requirements, such as MSHA and FAA certifications, and also through internal programs, like GDOGS

For decades we’ve maintained a strict compliance with MSHA safety standards and as we deploy drones, compliance with FAA Part-107 guidelines. Our Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Field Training have been developed based on these standards, however, we felt we needed to do more to drive acceptance and adoption. It’s not enough to merely create policies, procedures, and documents. Safety is embedded in our company’s DNA – a way of life that is part of a safety-first culture supported by all levels of management.

Back in 2017, we launched our internal safety program, GDOGS, with input from all departments to address our priorities, policies, procedures, and people. We identified 5 keys and coined the catchy term GDOGS,  an acronym that could be easily memorized and reinforced among all employees. GDOGS is a fun way for us to keep safety top of mind. Our intent is to provide clear and simple tips for keeping our people safe in the field and on the road between jobs.

In case you’re new here, here’s what GDOGS stands for:

G–  Get home safe: This is the #1 priority.
D – Don’t let technology distract.
O – One task at a time.
G – Gear up for safety.
S –  Say what you see.

GDOGS isn’t just a cute slogan we use. Every morning we post the number of days without incident and a reminder about one of the letters of GDOGS. As Peter Drucker said, “What gets measured, gets managed.” That’s why we use daily metrics to prioritize safety. We also have a weekly safety report. This report is specific to driving incidents as tracked by our vehicle tracking system. It shows each driver’s driving report and gives each driver a safety score. The technician with the highest safety score (often 100%!!) is recognized each week. It’s a small but fun way to create transparency, accountability, and a little bit of positive competition.

Safety isn’t just about safety programs. One of the more important things that we do from a safety perspective is use Standard Operating Procedures. The SOPs ensure the team is operating equipment safely. They help keep our team, and our clients’ teams safe and ensure that every job is done with high accuracy and repeatability.

Safety is top of mind for us every day in the environments in which we work. We use internal and external safety programs and try to make safety fun to keep these important ideas fresh and relevant. What works for your teams? We’d love to hear about it!

About Lauren Elmore

Lauren is the Chief Executive Officer and part owner of Firmatek. She has a background in finance and law. Lauren is part of the investment team for Indiana based private equity firm, Elmore Companies. Her experience includes glendonTodd Capital, LLC where she worked on deals in the technology and real estate industries and as a Consulting Associate at Cambridge Associates, where she advised clients on asset allocation, manager selection, and spending.

Other articles by Lauren:
Use Technology to Avoid Common Stockpile Measuring Mistakes
3 Tips for Modernizing your Landfill and Waste Management Plan