I recently had the opportunity to visit with Maurice Lafavers and Eric Shubert, Cemex’s VP of Operations and Director of Safety, respectively, for the Florida markets.
The first thing any visitor will notice when visiting any Cemex office or plant location is that all of the vehicles are backed into their parking spots. Their corporate office in West Palm Beach Florida is a testament to the practice.
I asked Maurice and Eric about the idea behind it, Eric explained that the “first motion forward” mentality, much like the ‘Smith Driving’ training has been proven to reduce incidents, putting the driver’s focus immediately and easily in the direction the vehicle first moves.
One of the more eye-catching themes at all Cemex locations is their Zero4Life Campaign.
This is our vision and goal. It is the right thing to do. It is a core value.
The zero in Zero4Life means zero recordable injuries, job-related illnesses, preventable vehicular incidents, and environmental events. The 4 relates to the four fundamental principles of achieving zero injuries and occupational illnesses: accountability, behavior, communication, and dedication.
'Life' means living safely off the job and sharing this value with our contractors, vendors, families, and friends. It means doing what is necessary to sustain zero, but also taking safety awareness beyond the workplace into our homes and our communities. Zero4Life also means Integrating safety into our daily lives and into everything we do as individuals and as an organization. Full details here.
Zero incidents for thousands of employees with hundreds of locations can seem like an impossible task, but like Eric said, “…all we ask our employees to do is take one day at a time, ‘Start Safe – Finish’, be and work safely each day, then repeat the next day…it’s that simple. We ask for the A, B, C and D’s attributes each day, be ACCOUNTABLE, proper physical and mental BEHAVIOR, COMMUNICATION – open and honest environment of collaboration, and DEDICATION – it takes loyal actions, and the daily grind of it, to be safe.
Eric went on to explain, “…we ask our employees to offer 4 safety ideas, comments, near misses, or concerns each month. One of those ideas that came from one of our Delivery Professionals was to put a horn actuator at the back of the truck”.
Many times, when discharging into a concrete placement pump, the pump operator is not inline of site to the Delivery Pro, to prevent back splash, the driver alerts the pump operator by blowing his horn. High volume placements can have the driver discharging very quickly, leaving little time to get to his cab and hit the horn so that the pump operator can stop pumping.
This simple, yet brilliant idea, allows the driver to stay at the point of discharge and still be able to alert the pump operator with his horn, that he is near the end of discharging his load.
This is Zero4Life in action! Cemex employees are impowered to take accountability for their own safety and for those around them. Managers are receptive to input and demonstrate the value of collaboration.
Maurice shared Cemex USA’s Share the Road Together program, that is gaining momentum State side. An interesting innovation that puts words into action is the addition of ‘side rails’ to each of their concrete mixers. The rails will help prevent pedestrians or cyclists from being able to fall under the mixer, preventing serious injury.
Read more about Cemex’s Share the Road program here.
It was great visiting with Maurice and Eric, see Cemex’s commitment to the Safety of Things, in both words and action demonstrates Industry leadership, thank you Cemex for keeping us safe!
From left to right: Eric Shubert, Pete Dube, Maurice Lafavers