Be Safe: Weitz Mission Critical Increases Safety Engagement and Ownership in the Field by Drawing on Inspiration from Popular Social Media Platforms 

June 12, 2023  /  News Blog,

The Weitz Company promotes safety without compromise in every aspect of our projects. In order to expand our collaborative safety efforts on locations across the country and internationally to over 111 employees, our Weitz Mission Critical unit began implementing a new weekly activity called Be Safe. This activity places the responsibility of safety on each and every person on the jobsite. Over the last six months, Be Safe has prompted collective learning opportunities and instilled universal ownership of safety.  

Weitz’s Be Safe activity was inspired by one of the latest social media applications, BeReal. The social media platform is a no filter focused application that randomly notifies all users once each day and gives them minutes to post a front and back photo. This fresh take on filter-less social media had people in classrooms, restaurants, offices, and living rooms rushing to their phones when they heard the daily, randomize alert for BeReal.  

Emily Biedenfeld, Mission Critical’s Marketing and Proposal Associate, took this idea of a suspense-building, randomized alert and real-time feedback and utilized it as the foundation for Be Safe. In 2022, Weitz Mission Critical launched Be Safe and the activity immediately showed a positive impact on jobsite safety and team building.  

Overall, Be Safe is a simple activity and easy for jobsites to implement. Once a week, at a randomly selected time, all Mission Critical jobsite employees receive a Be Safe email. The project teams then have two hours to perform a site walk and review safe work practices. Afterward, teams submit a summary with photos or videos of their observations including positive recognitions and any corrections that were made. These submissions are compiled and shared among the Mission Critical business unit for encouragement and collaborative learning.   

Submissions range from simple things like “discussed clean work areas with trade partners”, to recognition for workers safely performing various tasks. Weitz project teams are encouraged to make the site walk their own. They are instructed to keep the submission simple and have some fun. Teams are required to submit a unique Be Safe recap each week. After a full month of submissions, any jobsite that participated in all four weeks receives perks like food, apparel, and other fun incentives for that jobsite.  

Ryan Hawkins, Mission Critical Regional Safety Manager, believes the Be Safe initiative has really helped build the common culture of safety on Weitz’s joint venture project down in Mexico. In a partnership where two companies speak different languages and have different views on safety procedures, having a collective goal has helped greatly.

“It’s a good practice that reminds you why we’re out here. We’re here to build, and we’ve got high-level tasks every moment of the day. This is a great reminder to stop, drop your pencils and know that nothing is more important than the safety of our jobsite. It has really helped our team coalesce around safety down here.” 

Ryan Hawkins, Weitz Mission Critical Regional Safety Manager

Soon after Be Safe was introduced to jobsites, Mission Critical project teams began taking the activity to new heights with side competitions popping up across the unit. Teams would try to predict when the alert would go out, compete for the best positive feedback, and even challenge to see which team could submit their walks first. Be Safe has become an exciting weekly challenge that both promotes safety and helps build meaningful connections across Weitz Mission Critical jobsites, bridging thousands of miles of physical distance and offering valuable safety learning opportunities.  

After the proven success of Be Safe within Mission Critical, additional Weitz business units are beginning to utilize the same program and hope to enhance their teams’ focus on our top priority.  

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