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JV Driver’s Vigilance Safety Program

26 Years Without a Lost-Time Incident By Christy Krueger

In construction safety, there’s a huge difference between complying with the rules and being vigilant on the job. That’s the belief of Chuck Sanders, president of JV Driver Group, the international construction giant that acquired Tucson’s BFL Construction earlier this year. As part of its ongoing goal of setting an example for the construction industry across the globe, JV Driver is introducing its world-renowned Vigilance program to Arizona. “Keeping people safe, taking care of each other every day is one of our core values,” Sanders said. “Not just because its what’s good from a business perspective, but because its morally right. We want people to be going home better than they came to work.” Vigilance was formed by JV Driver’s workforce during an oil refinery project for Exxon in northern Alberta, Canada. Sanders said. “From 2,000 workers we chose some from each job area – 93 people” who came to be called The Original 93. “They were devoted to finding what was best about the safety programs we had that already delivered superior results – and what would make those results even better and continuous.” The Original 93 held meetings to brainstorm methods for increasing the safety factor and how to get everyone on board. The idea of Vigilance is to 162 BizTucson


Summer 2018

get workers on job sites into the habit of looking out for those around them – to stop and ask the question: What could happen? Sanders compared it to having a scuba-diving buddy or airline pilots checking each other before they go to work. He said it goes far beyond compliance as set by industry watchdogs like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. “It’s about taking care of your friend. It’s a basic human responsibility.”

It’s about taking care of your friend. It’s a basic human responsibility. Chuck Sanders President JV Driver Group

After Vigilance was established with that original project, Exxon recognized JV Driver with a safety award. Then the program moved to the next job, a project for Shell Oil. “We received an

award from the global CEO of Shell for having the best safety project – we won from among 400,000 contractors,” Sanders said. Eventually, JV Driver decided to brand the Vigilance program and run awareness campaigns using T-shirts, hats and temporary tattoos. “It extended outside of work – we’d see people wearing their hats and other gear in airports and all over,” he said. “It even changed people’s attitudes about safety at home and educating kids about safety.” Once the culture of vigilance became entrenched in the company’s workforce, management continued to make it an everyday state of awareness by producing training videos accessible online. They even used celebrity spokespersons in some, including former wrestler Hulk Hogan and National Hockey League and National Football League players. Other processes that emerged from Vigilance include the Act of Vigilance card, a tool which captures in real time the acts of vigilance which workers make daily to take care of one another and stop to think what could happen to prevent incidents from occurring. Getting into the habit of watching for potentially unsafe conditions or hazards makes workers more aware and causes them to think about solutions and prevention. continued on page 164 >>>

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