BeyondZero BeyondZero
News May 15, 2024

Going Beyond to Achieve Zero: Operations Management and Facilities Services Celebrates Remarkable Safety Performance

Jacobs teams share how they elevate safety standards and exemplify the BeyondZero® safety culture.

People are a utility’s most valuable resource. They provide the skills and knowledge to keep critical operations running for communities, industries and the private sector. Therefore, their ability to work safely is paramount.

The Operations Management and Facilities Services (OMFS) practice at Jacobs is no stranger to this idea. We conduct work involving high-risk tasks, such as excavation, heavy equipment operations, exposure to harmful chemicals and work under unpredictable environmental factors. But despite these hurdles, our dedicated staff demonstrate resilience, adaptability and an unwavering commitment to BeyondZero®, the foundation of who we are at Jacobs. 

In an industry where these challenges are inherent, achieving a milestone of zero Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recordable incidents and lost time is a triumph. An impressive 45 project teams in our OMFS portfolio have never had an OSHA recordable incident  –  when a work-related injury requires medical attention beyond first aid  –  since Jacobs assumed operating responsibility. Additionally, nearly 100 projects have reached safety milestones of one to 31 years without a recordable incident.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the utility operations and maintenance industry has averaged 3.57 recordable incidents per year since 2012, compared to 1.46 by the OMFS practice as a whole. Additionally, OMFS has averaged 0.91 recordable incidents resulting in one or more days away from work, whereas the industry has averaged 2.12. These results show Jacobs outperforms the industry nearly twofold when it comes to sending our people home safely. 

“Our people not only ensure the safety of their teams and the communities they serve, but also consistently set a precedent for the industry in regard to safety,” says Vice President and General Manager of Design-Build and OMFS, Greg Fischer

So, how do we do it?

Training and skill development

Investing in continuous training and the skill development of our people is a cornerstone of our success. We empower our teams with the knowledge and tools to navigate potential hazards, creating a workforce that is proficient and safety-conscious at every step.

Robust safety protocols

Implementing and strictly adhering to robust safety protocols has been pivotal in our journey. Regular safety audits, hazard assessments and real-time monitoring enable us to identify and address potential risks before they escalate. 

Engaged leadership

Projects are supported by regional and national safety leadership. Each leader throughout the business actively engages with their teams to reinforce key safety messages, provide on-the-job and industry training, listen as concerns arise, and motivate their teams to work safely. Without that participation, safety is just a buzzword.

An established culture of accountability

We create a culture where our people take responsibility for their safety, as well as the safety of their team. Staff are empowered to speak up if they see any unsafe practices, allowing everyone to feel comfortable raising concerns without fear of repercussion.

Inspiring safety communication

Staff throughout the portfolio volunteer to share simple messages daily that are focused on our culture of caring. The messages highlight the safe behaviors expected on a project, as well as safe practices that can be implemented in their personal lives. The communication includes a to-date safety performance overview for the portfolio by region.

Staff recognition and reward

Behind every incident-free year is a team of dedicated professionals who prioritize safety in their daily operations. Our people are the heartbeat of our success, and without them, these milestones are nothing. We regularly seek out industry safety awards and host project parties to foster a sense of accomplishment among the team, boost morale and reinforce our desired safe behaviors.

Safety isn’t a destination, it’s a journey

“While we celebrate these achievements, we remain steadfast in our commitment to continuous improvement,” adds Greg. “The journey toward safety excellence is an ongoing focus and we embrace the challenges that lie ahead, confident our experience, expertise and dedication will continue to not only set the standard for the industry, but also redefine it.”

Did you know...

  • 45

    OMFS project teams have never had an OSHA recordable incident since Jacobs assumed operating responsibility

  • ~ 100

    OMFS projects have reached other various safety milestones of one to more than 31 years without a recordable incident, an impressive journey that’s not yet finished.