I had the chance last week to meet with Oscar Antommattei at his Denver-area office. Oscar is the senior concrete engineer for Kiewit Infrastructure Engineers, an internal design-build entity within Kiewit. Walking into their lobby I found a wall of what seemed to be family photos. That’s nice, I thought. Then I saw the sign in the center that reads, “Why I Work Safe,” and I got it.

Kiewit has a deep, cultural commitment to safety and this wall emphasizes what’s at stake. These aren’t just workers to Kiewit, they are family and each has a family that expects their fathers and mothers and children to come home safe every day. Safety is a good business decision but it’s also a matter of respect. Construction companies today that don’t have safety as a core value, won’t have the best workers. Those that don’t respect their workers enough to keep them safe can hardly expect to have the respect of their workers.

Smaller construction companies might think, that’s all well and good for a big company like Kiewit but we little guys need to cut some corners to make a profit. Research has shown, though, that companies with a strong safety culture have better profitability—even small companies. It’s one of those things that professionally run companies do simply because it’s essential to success. If your company’s safety program could use a boost, one good resource is ASCC’s safety program. Make sure you are safely sending your family home to their family every day and they will come back the next.